"Henry, a famous TV dog, finds himself stranded in the Nevada desert. Out in the world for the first time, Henry's tidy life of scripted triumphs has come to an end, and his 2,000 mile trek through the real world is just the beginning."
Sounds a little like Bolt, eh? Well, there's a reason for that. American Dog was supposed to be director Chris Sanders' follow-up to Lilo & Stitch. Like Lilo & Stitch, American Dog was a story that originated with Sanders, starring characters created by Sanders, and featuring Sanders' unique blend of quirky comedy and heartfelt emotion. Then John Lasseter took over Disney Animation, deemed the work in progress "too quirky for its own good," and fired Sanders from the film.
And what did Lasseter give us instead? American Dog: Neutered (a.k.a. Bolt).
Whether or not Bolt was able to accomplish any of these things...well, I'll leave that up to you to decide.
American Dog, according to those lucky folks who glimpsed it at the 2005 Siggraph show, not only possessed all of Lilo & Stitch's warmth and humor, it was also set to be a game-changer in regards to how CGI was used in animation. Gone were the cold colors and hard shapes made popular by Pixar. In their place was a deep, rich color palate, more of that patented Sanders-roundness, and an almost painterly look to the backgrounds.
(You really don't need me to compare this to Bolt's by-the-book look, do you?)
While I genuinely love How To Train Your Dragon and am OBVIOUSLY looking forward to The Croods, I can't help but feel a little saddened that Chris Sanders has yet to release another film conceived solely in his cranium. The man's mind is a whacked-out wonderland full of fuzzy creatures and curvaceous girls. I don't know about you, but I'm hoping to see lots more of it on the silver screen before I die of an ice cream-related illness.
Until then, we have these sixteen pieces of production art from American Dog to ponder over. While it sucks to know that the film will never be made, there's no denying these images' wit and beauty. Enjoy!
The preceding pictures were culled from the following websites: Ain't It Cool News, Always Animated, Cartoon Brew, Jim Hill Media and Michael Sporn Animation. Thanks y'all!