For every Disney project that comes to fruition, there are numerous other ones that never even make it past the early stages of development. A vast majority of the projects that never get made are animated too.
In 1991, aside from Beauty and the Beast, there was supposed to be another animated feature film released. That film was Puss in Boots – based off the exact same character that would go on to appear in the Shrek franchise over a decade later.
Of all the projects that may never see the light of day though, there’s one that stands out the most and it was called Dufus. Now, nevermind the odd title. This film was supposed to be Disney’s adaptation of J.D Salinger’s controversial coming-of-age novel, The Catcher in the Rye.
This information comes courtesy of a recent interview Collider had with legendary Disney filmmaker and producer Don Hahn.
In the interview, Hahn says that the film was meant to be, “Catcher in the Rye with German shepherds.” He didn’t appear to be making it up either. As the interview goes on, he says that former CEO of The Walt Disney Company Michael Eisner loved the novel.
“We ought to do [it],” Eisner once suggested to Hahn. However, since it was highly unlikely that Salinger would let the company adapt the novel, Eisner eventually settled on making a coming-of-age story strongly inspired by the book instead.
How German shepherds got thrown in the mix still remains a mystery though, and seeing as how the film may never get made there’s a good chance we’ll never know either.