American Animated Features: A New Path

Note: This is meant to be an examination of what could of happened to pop culture if various animated films had gone with different ideas than in the final product, including their influences on later films. This is my first alternate history, so it isn't the most polished and I refer to "our timeline" more often than I probably should have.

Part 1: What (Disney) Could of Been

As in our timeline, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first full-length cel animated feature film.

The major differences in this timeline's version stemmed from some creative decisions made during production of the film, detailed as followed:

- Snow White's was planned to be a blonde, but it was decided for it to be changed to make her more relatable to general audiences. In this timeline, it was decided that she would have brown hair, rather than black.
- Snow White's initial sketches featured her in a much more pink dress. The numerous color changes in the design eventually led the designers to return to the pink dress and compliment it with white.
- In the lineup of the seven dwarfs, the characters were developed largely the same, but the character of Sneezy was never developed, with a comically cowardly dwarf named Jumpy taking his spot.
- The character of Dopey was originally going to have lines, but it was decided to make him a silent character since a voice actor couldn't be found. In this timeline, an uncredited animator allegedly provided a few lines of dialogue as Dopey, simply making him the dwarf with the least lines, rather than the only one without any.
- A major diversion came in the form of the Evil Queen's attempts on Snow White's life. Just as in our timeline, the bodice was cut, leaving the poisoned apple and comb to be planned to be used. When the plot had to be streamlined for time, it was decided to cut out the poisoned apple instead of the poisoned comb, leaving it the only attempt from the original tale kept in the film.

Rather then being released on December 21st, 1937, it was released on January 4, 1938, where it was largely successful, only making back slightly less money than the film did in our timeline.

As expected, it had a major impact on the image of the fairy tale in American pop culture. Following the film, almost all future adaptations depicted Snow White as a light brunette who wore pink dresses and was exclusively threatened by the Evil Queen's poisoned comb.

The next film from the company would be Pinocchio, released later in 1940. In comparison to its predecessor, this film largely resembled the version from our timeline save for three differences:

- In the film, Mel Blanc provided a full vocal performance for the character of Gideon the cat. This is because Dopey hadn't been made voiceless in this timeline, meaning it never inspired such a change with Gideon.
- Stromboli had a pet parrot with yellow feathers that served him as a sort of sidekick, in order to justify the birdcage he trapped the title character inside of. This parrot was called Terror and was only in a few scenes of the movie, with his most significant appearance being panicking and flying away when Pinocchio escapes Stromboli.
- A different ending was used that featured Pinocchio on the beach believing that an unconscious Geppetto had died after they escaped Monster the whale, before he awakens and everyone realizes that Pinocchio had turned into a real boy. Unlike the abandoned version of this ending from our timeline, it features the Blue Fairy appearing to congratulate both Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket.

The film was praised by critics, but was still disappointing at the box office, doing only marginally better than it had in our timeline. This lead to similar repercussions as in our timeline, including Walt Disney being rather depressed at the results and the studio/company losing money due to the venture.

Due to its lack of aesthetic differences from the film from our timeline, this film's image largely stays the same, especially compared to Snow White.

The film Fantasia was identical to the one of our timeline, save for the film being two minutes shorter due to a reduction in the time of "the Right of Spring". It's financial success, or lack thereof, was virtually identical as well. The major impact of the failure is that their next film, Bambi, was delayed by four months past its release date in our timeline.
 
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Note: This is meant to be an examination of what could of happened to pop culture if various animated films had gone with different ideas than in the final product, including their influences on later films. This is my first alternate history, so it isn't the most polished and I refer to "our timeline" more often than I probably should have.

Part 1: What (Disney) Could of Been

As in our timeline, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first full-length cel animated feature film.

The major differences in this timeline's version stemmed from some creative decisions made during production of the film, detailed as followed:

- Snow White's was planned to be a blonde, but it was decided for it to be changed to make her more relatable to general audiences. In this timeline, it was decided that she would have brown hair, rather than black.
- Snow White's initial sketches featured her in a much more pink dress. The numerous color changes in the design eventually led the designers to return to the pink dress and compliment it with white.
- In the lineup of the seven dwarfs, the characters were developed largely the same, but the character of Sneezy was never developed, with a comically cowardly dwarf named Jumpy taking his spot.
- The character of Dopey was originally going to have lines, but it was decided to make him a silent character since a voice actor couldn't be found. In this timeline, an uncredited animator allegedly provided a few lines of dialogue as Dopey, simply making him the dwarf with the least lines, rather than the only one without any.
- A major diversion came in the form of the Evil Queen's attempts on Snow White's life. Just as in our timeline, the bodice was cut, leaving the poisoned apple and comb to be planned to be used. When the plot had to be streamlined for time, it was decided to cut out the poisoned apple instead of the poisoned comb, leaving it the only attempt from the original tale kept in the film.

Rather then being released on December 21st, 1937, it was released on January 4, 1938, where it was largely successful, only making back slightly less money than the film did in our timeline.

As expected, it had a major impact on the image of the fairy tale in American pop culture. Following the film, almost all future adaptations depicted Snow White as a light brunette who wore pink dresses and was exclusively threatened by the Evil Queen's poisoned comb.

The next film from the company would be Pinocchio, released later in 1940. In comparison to its predecessor, this film largely resembled the version from our timeline save for three differences:

- In the film, Mel Blanc provided a full vocal performance for the character of Gideon the cat. This is because Dopey hadn't been made voiceless in this timeline, meaning it never inspired such a change with Gideon.
- Stromboli had a pet parrot with yellow fingers that served him as a sort of sidekick, in order to justify the birdcage he trapped the title character inside of. This parrot was called Terror and was only in a few scenes of the movie, with his most significant appearance being panicking and flying away when Pinocchio escapes Stromboli.
- A different ending was used that featured Pinocchio on the beach believing that an unconscious Geppetto had died after they escaped Monster the whale, before he awakens and everyone realizes that Pinocchio had turned into a real boy. Unlike the abandoned version of this ending from our timeline, it features the Blue Fairy appearing to congratulate both Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket.

The film was praised by critics, but was still disappointing at the box office, doing only marginally better than it had in our timeline. This lead to similar repercussions as in our timeline, including Walt Disney being rather depressed at the results and the studio/company losing money due to the venture.

Due to its lack of aesthetic differences from the film from our timeline, this film's image largely stays the same, especially compared to Snow White.

The film Fantasia was identical to the one of our timeline, save for the film being two minutes shorter due to a reduction in the time of "the Right of Spring". It's financial success, or lack thereof, was virtually identical as well. The major impact of the failure is that their next film, Bambi, was delayed by four months past its release date in our timeline.

A most intriguing beginning Coca Bear. The
way I see it, in this ATL Disney could go
into live action films earlier than they
IOTL did OR come up with animated films
that IOTL they never showed. I'll be most
interested to see if you do take these two
options up, or if you come up with a 3rd
path for Disney to take.
 
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Part 2: What (Disney) Couldn't of Been

In our timeline, Dumbo was created as a way to make back money due to the financial losses of Fantasia. It had been designed to be a simple film that could help the studio financially. In this timeline, things were different due to a new philosophy spreading in the studio: Be Cautious. So, instead of a feature film, the concept of a cute elephant learning to fly was instead repurposed for an animated short. This kept Disney's animation in the public eye, especially since the short became acclaimed after it was shown in theaters.

All was going well with the production of their next film, Bambi, that is until the outbreak of WW2. Since so much work had been done on the film, it became clear that the film would be utterly wasted if it went unseen, so the film was delayed for four months past its original release date in August and moved to December so that edits could be made to convert the project into a propaganda film to show American troops. Walt hated this with a passion, but knew that his company would be conscripted to make wartime propaganda for their country, like all the other animation studios in the US. The film was largely the same, except for the depiction of "Man" who became a caricatured German soldier who shot Bambi's mother for sadistic reasons instead of just hunting, who later caused a fire that burned him and a camp full of caricatured German and Japanese men to death. As a bit of "revenge", Walt specifically had artist Tyrus Wong featured prominently in the credits as "Lead Artist....Tyrus Wong" in opposition of military officials' request to anglicize Wong's name or remove it entirely (due to their personal racial prejudices). The film was a success as a propaganda film, but actually made Disney's situation worse, as the officials would want larger forms of propaganda than they would in our timeline as a result.

 
come up with animated films that IOTL they never showed. I'll be most
I'm wondering if TTL's "Snow White" & "Pinocchio" take near enough the boxoffice projections for Disney management to say, "Okay, we'll make more", or do they make too little (lose too much). If the latter, a move to live-action would seem indicated. As described, the changes don't seem big enough either way (yet...) to move the company off OTL's path.
 
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