Sunday, March 17, 2024

From Cruella to Disneyland

I remember years ago I just had to ask Marc Davis about his departure from Disney Animation after having animated the incredible character of Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmatians
At that time he was at the peak of his craft, why didn't he continue his animation career? 
It turned out Marc had high hopes for a future project he helped to develop called Chanticleer.
It's story was based on a French folktale in which a rooster believed that his own crowing in the morning made the sun rise every day. Included were plenty of other anthropomorphic animals like a fox, an owl, a mole etc.
When presented to a group of executives, including Walt Disney, Marc remembered one of the execs exclaiming: "You can't get a personality out of a chicken."
And apparently that was the end of the meeting. An alternate project, developed by Bill Peet, called The Sword in the Stone got the green light instead. 
Soon afterwards Walt asked Marc for help with Disneyland. Upcoming ideas for new rides needed a humorous touch, and Marc moved over to WED. 
In the end Marc felt very happy and challenged with this new assignment, but I can't help but wonder how Chanticleer might have turned out. I do know that Marc's friend Milt Kahl was leaning more toward The Sword in the Stone.

Here is my first post on Chanticleer from 2012: