Lost media is perhaps one of the most fascinating topics to many. In an age where media of all sorts is released daily, it intrigues fans to know that lost animated media could possibly exist. Perhaps a film or tv show was canceled before it left the ground, or maybe it was released on a small scale and faded into obscurity. One specific type of lost media that attracts internet sleuths is animation. Animated media projects can be lost before they even leave the storyboard stage, which is why fans search high and low for them. Here are ten pieces of lost animated media that beg to be found in some way.
10. Batman And The New Robin
Batman was enjoying a new level of success in the late ’80s. The Caped Crusader had been known as campy thanks to the Adam West series for decades, and he was finally being taken seriously once again. One way he was being reinvented was by having a new Robin introduced. Jason Todd was the current Robin, and animation studio Nelvana was looking to make an animated Batman series featuring him. Batman and the New Robin was pitched around 1988 but was never picked up. Now, all that exists are various pieces of storyboards and some pitch material featuring the Dynamic Duo and their greatest foes. These promotional materials have since been leaked by those who worked on the doomed show.
9. Escape From Jurassic Park
The ’90s was a time when cartoon shows based on hit movies were very common. Often, fans wonder why the highly successful Jurrasic Park series never made the jump to the small screen. As it turns out, this was almost a reality. The would-be show was conceived by writer and comic artist Will Meugniot, who had planned to make the series slightly more mature ala Batman: The Animated Series. He had planned to use a mixture of CGI and traditional animation to bring it to life. Some storyboards, character designs, and even scripts have been leaked to the internet. A full trailer was also reportedly produced, but it has yet to be seen is still out there in the world of lost animated media. Stephen Spielberg reportedly nixed the idea, meaning Escape from Jurassic Park never made it to air. The storyboards are widely available, but the trailer is a sought-after piece of lost media.
8. Yellow Submarine
In 1968, The Beatles released the animated musical Yellow Submarine using music from the album of the same name. In 2009, Disney announced that Robert Zemeckis would be heading a fully CGI remake of the film, using his ImageMovers Digital company. This company was known for its use of motion capture and produced such films as The Polar Express and the Jim Carrey-led A Christmas Carol. The movie had all four Beatles cast and a large amount of design work done. Disney shut down ImageMovers Digital in 2011, meaning the project was killed. Some of the material made for the film can be seen online today, such as character models, art designs, and even a few seconds of fully animated footage.
7. Power Rangers: Origins
In 2015, members of the RangerBoard forums discovered the existence of a mysterious Power Rangers animation in a development trailer from animation studio ZAG. The trailer was from around 2011 and was uploaded on the studio’s official Vimeo account. Upon further inspection, a Korean animation studio had Power Rangers 3D listed among other projects they worked on around 2011. Further proof of the canceled project was a poster hidden in the background of a licensing trailer for Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir. When knowledge of this project became widespread, Saban pulled down any copy of the trailer they could find. Little is known about this canceled movie, and even less exists of it. Lost media is usually found through breadcrumbs, and Power Rangers: Origins has very few.
6. Angry Beavers: Bye Bye Beavers
The Angry Beavers is known as one of the best animated Nickelodeon shows of all time. When Nick canceled the show, the creators decided to create a meta last episode in retaliation. In it, the titular beavers discover that their show has been canceled. They then realize they are cartoon characters and break the fourth wall. Throughout the episode, the two refer to each other by their voice actors’ names instead of their character names. Nickelodeon had a rule against cartoon characters referencing the fact they are cartoon characters, so they refused to let it air. Some storyboards, as well as recorded audio, have been released online, but that is all. It is unlikely Nick will ever release the episode in full making it lost media.
5. Dumbo II
In the early 2000s, Disney made straight-to-video sequels to many of their classic films. Movies such as Cinderella and the Little Mermaid received follow-ups showing what happens after happily refer after. One movie that had a planned sequel was Dumbo. The film was in production for a 2001 release, but it kept being pushed back until officially being canceled in 2006. Not much is known about the plot. It appears the film took place just a day after the original and follows Dumbo and friends finding their way back to the circus. All that exists are some storyboards and a brief behind-the-scenes featurette that has become hard to find. Disney has a lot of animated media, and this is one that fans wish had come to fruition.
In 2015, Dreamworks Animation planned to release an animated supernatural comedy titled B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations. The movie had a stacked cast, including Melissa McCarthy, Seth Rogan, and Bill Murray. Originally slated for a summer 2015 release date, the movie was pushed up to a November 2014 date before being removed entirely. According to insiders, the film has been placed under development at Dreamworks, but likely it will never get released. Images of promotional products such as a poster and the cover of an activity book have leaked, as well as around 45 seconds of footage. This footage was found in animation reels from some crew that worked on the film.
3. Sly Cooper Movie
In 2014, Sony announced a feature film based on their popular Sly Cooper series of platforming games. The movie was planned for a 2016 release date and was to be produced alongside a movie based on the Ratchet and Clank games. The latter movie was released with disappointing results. After the failure of Ratchet and Clank, the plug was pulled on Sly Cooper. There has been no official announcement of the cancellation, but the animators have since moved on, and no updates have been given since 2016. A teaser trailer was released and can still be viewed. Sony even had a website for the movie, although that has since gone down. It isn’t known how much work was done on the movie, but odds are there is something out there, such as storyboards or audio.
2. Mighty No. 9: The Animated Series
The game Mighty No. 9 had a lot of hype leading up to its release. The game was created by Keiji Inafune, who created the Mega Man series. Mighty No. 9 was funded via Kickstarter and was hyped to be a spiritual successor to Mega Man. The game was released and was an infamous flop. In addition to the game, Keiji Inafune planned an entire franchise, including a manga, an anime, and an animated series. While most of these spin-offs never left the idea stage, the animated series made some progress. The game’s failure halted the series, although some material exists. A trailer was released before cancellation, and many believe something such as storyboards must exist in some capacity.
1. Blues Brothers: The Animated Series
As stated before, the ’90s was infamous for making producing cartoons based on hit movies. One movie that was planned for the animation treatment was The Blues Brothers. The show would follow Jake and Elwood getting into weekly musical shenanigans. The series would star Peter Akroyd and Jim Belushi, real-life brothers of live-action Blues Brothers Dan Akroyd and John Belushi. It isn’t known why the series never aired, but quite a bit of material was produced. In fact, it is rumored that eight episodes were fully produced and were shown at an animation convention. All that exists online are an early cut of a promo, some scripts, and some storyboards. It is likely that at least one fully animated lost media episode exists somewhere.