How much do you know about Circle 7 Animation? Depending upon your level of interest in Disney projects that never were, the answer may be ‘nothing.’ Circle 7 was an animation house set up in 2005 with the intent to create one sequel per year for Pixar-created films that were owned by Disney, but the studio only existed for a year.

Toy Story 3 was to be the first project, and Monsters, Inc. 2 would have been the second. We’ve covered the latter film before; it had the working title Lost in Scaradise, and you can see concept art above. Neither of those films happened — not in their Circle 7 incarnations, anyway — because the mid-aughts rift between Disney and Pixar, created by then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner, was bridged. Eisner stepped down earlier than planned, Bob Iger became Disney CEO in his wake, and Iger set up a deal to buy Pixar. Two months later, in March 2006, Circle 7 was closed without ever finishing a film.

Bob Hilgenberg and Rob Muir, known colloquially as Bob & Rob, pitched a script for the Circle 7 version of Toy Story 3, and were hired to write the Circle 7 Monsters, Inc. sequel. They turned in a very well-liked script, which got them a gig working on the early, never-produced Toy Story 3 after all. Now Bob & Rob have consented to an interview in which they detail the history of Circle 7. Read More »

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Back in 2005, when it seemed like Disney and Pixar would be dissolving their partnership, Disney set up a studio called Circle 7 to take advantage of the fact that it still held the right to make sequels of Pixar’s film under a previous agreement. The studio was shut down in 2006, once Disney agreed to acquire Pixar, but not before Circle 7 employees had already begun work on sequels like Monsters, Inc. 2 and Toy Story 3. Circle 7′s plans for those films were scrapped completely; the Toy Story 3 that came out last year and the Monsters, Inc. 2 that’s due out next year bear no resemblance to Circle 7′s earlier ideas.

Yesterday, however, two of the screenwriters behind Circle 7′s Monsters, Inc. 2: Lost in ScaradiseBob Hilgenberg and Rob Muir, or Bob & Rob, as they call themselves – offered an intriguing glimpse at the never-produced film when they posted some of the artwork for their unproduced script. See images and read the concept after the jump.

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With the incredible success of Toy Story 3, it’s crazy to think that Disney was originally going to dump the film onto the home market. The year was 2005 and it looked like Disney and Pixar were going to part ways. Disney, however, owned the rights to Pixar’s characters and figured they would cash in by writing and developing direct to DVD sequels to many of Pixar’s biggest hits. So they created a company called Circle 7 to do just that. Of course, differences were eventually settled and in 2006, Disney purchased Pixar for $7.4 billion. When that happened, Circle 7′s ideas were completely scrapped and the company dissolved. However, there was several months of work done on an earlier version of Toy Story 3 that would have seen Buzz Lightyear recalled to Taiwan and Woody and the gang traveling across the world to save him.

After the jump, we’ve got a whole bunch of concept art from the scrapped version of Toy Story 3 that we’ll never see. Read More »

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