5 Weird Secrets Of Childhood Favorites (Revealed Through Spinoffs)
When movies and TV shows are being made, the process is long, and it can take something that originally was dark and brooding and turn it into a comedy or a straight-up farce into a detective show. Often the developmental process, while interesting, is almost unseen outside of incredibly boring documentaries or even more uninteresting interviews with the creators.
But sometimes, those vestigial traits surface in odd ways. Sometimes you get soundtracks for films that don't exist, books that cover old scripts, and you find out that, hey, those early versions? They were so much wilder than what you got ...
Hook Was Almost A Musical
Hook, the somewhat dark family film starring Robin Williams as a hairy, grown-up Peter Pan who's forgotten what he is, is an oddball of a film. It skates between more adult drama and themes (such as Tinkerbell obviously wanting to get lost in Robin Williams' chest carpet) and more childish escapism (there's a food fight scene that looks like something out of a Cartoon Network show). But originally, this dichotomy would've been less pronounced because all of it would've been wrapped up in songs.
Before deciding to make the movie that would earn Dante Basco a spot in our childhood trauma Hall of Infamy, Spielberg was going to make a live-action musical of Peter Pan. He even went as far as bringing on Star Wars composer John Williams to work on the film, sketching out some songs. William ended up being the composer and reused all of his previous work because what're you going to do; work hard or work smart?
At one point during production, Spielberg even considered having Michael Jackson as Pan, but MJ was uninterested in an adult who has moved on from Neverland. After Spielberg dropped out of the musical version of Peter Pan, the screenwriter decided to go talk to his kids, who started asking what if Peter Pan had grown up. The writer dismissed his idiot children, but it spurred a brilliant idea: What if Peter Pan had grown up?
"We Don't Wanna Grow Up" and "When You're Alone" are the only songs that fully survived from the Peter Pan musical, but pieces of it survived throughout the whole film and given that given the latter song gave Williams an Oscar nod, and the actual film ended up being a box office bomb ... maybe it should've just stayed a musical?
So when you hear Glenn Close getting eaten alive by scorpions, just remember, that could've been a song!
In Pokémon, 10-Year-Olds Are Legal Adults
Pokémon is the hit game, show, app ... listen, if you're on Cracked and don't know what Pokémon is, welcome, friend, we're not a magazine anymore. It's impressive you're even on a computer, and this is the first thing you've chosen to read, but hey, we'll endeavor to help you understand our weird modern world. One of the most popular franchises around is about people catching, rearing, and fighting little demon monsters called Pokémon, from the time that they're 10 years old ... Which, in the light novels by the original anime director, is the age that people become adults.
Get ready for the most horrifying sentence you've ever read: "Let me remind you, this girl who has terrible luck with men is still only ten years old." Yeah, your horrible instincts are correct; that sentence does mean what you think it means. There's no room to wiggle past this idea either. The first chapter of the light novel explicitly says if you're 10 and you steal, police will arrest you. You have a right to marry whomever you want, you take a job, and you even pay taxes. When you get to the age to become a Pokémon trainer ... you're a full adult.
There's a lot of other wild stuff in there, too. Gym leaders bribe people because if they lose three times, they're out of a job. There are actual animals, and Pokémon were made on God's day off? And that Ash's hometown is a dump everyone desperately wants to flee from, including Ash's dad, who ran from his mom to go make it as a Pokémon trainer, leaving her to rear Ash alone.
But it's not just the light novel that has dummied out content. If you ever played the trading card game, you might've encountered this card.
That's Imposter Oak, who originally was going to be a character who would attempt to bamboozle children by pretending to be the trusted adult and expert on Pokémon, Gary's Grandpa. So, yes, the world of Pokémon is a horror world where children become adults at 10 and then are preyed upon by older men disguising their identities. Gotta catch 'em all!
The Rebel Alliance Were Emperor Fanboys
Star Wars is ... You know what it is. The fight of the Rebel Alliance against the evil machinations of the Emperor and his Sith-powered apprentice spawned more media franchises than the Bible. The key fight of the rebels against a dark, nearly unseen force permeates all of the films, from Phantom Menace all the way to Rise of Skywalker, but originally the film was going to have a much different conceit. It wasn't going to be about rebelling; it was about undoing a coup.
A year before the film was released, a novel by Alan Dean Foster was released that was fairly close to the released film but with one notable difference. It had the Rebel Alliance fighting to restore the Emperor who had become deposed.
This version is just one of the many drafts of Star Wars that Lucas did, including one that had the Jedi called the Dai Nogas fighting the Legions of Lettow, one with the Holy Rebellion of "06" along with evil trader barons (gee, never gonna see them again), and another with a green Han Solo working with Annikin Starkiller, but none of them saw the light of day.
This novel was the first piece of Star Wars fiction ever released, and for a full year, readers were expecting to see a movie about restoring an Emperor to his former glory ... only for every movie past that to make the people attempting that akin to Nazis.
Foster would later go on to write Splinter of the Mind's Eye, based on the again unused script, that had Luke and Leia visit a pseudo-Dagobah, be much closer, and the first appearance of what was later known as Kyber Crystals, the things that power lightsabers (and the Death Star). Too bad Alan Dean Foster wasn't tapped to write the novelization of Rise of Skywalker.
Lilo Curses (People)
Lilo & Stitch is the popular film about how if you feed a fish peanut butter and jelly, it won't kill your parents in a horrific car crash. Throughout the film, Lilo commonly expresses belief in odd things, including the fact that Pudge, a fish seen in the introductory sequence for Lilo, can control the weather. But in the Lilo & Stitch game, her magical thinking goes beyond just thoughts.
Yeah, she has full magical powers. There's only one reference to it in the film proper, when Lilo drowns her doll in a vat of pickle juice, saying her friends need to be punished, where Scrump is used as a voodoo doll. But in the Lilo & Stitch video game Trouble in Paradise, a retelling of the film, Lilo has the full power to use Scrump to do effective curses.
While most Disney princesses have the power to make birds come to them or change their dress color or just sing real nice, the Hawaiian Disney icon has the power to ... curse people. Which ... that's not problematic, right?
Marge Had Rabbit Ears
The Simpsons is the longest-running show that has or will ever exist, featuring every single topic, conversation, word, or combination of thoughts that anyone could have. Due to this, the show has changed quite a lot since the beginning, starting horribly, getting good, and then settling back into being abjectly horrible. But somewhere in the middle of that, an arcade game was released and, despite being a tie-in, it completely kickass. It also revealed important character information, like that Bart was a good skateboarder, that Homer ate donuts, and that ... Marge had rabbit ears?
Yeah, for some reason, Marge Simpson had rabbit ears in the videogame. Turns out this was planned for the television show too.
Weirder still, this isn't just a one-off goof. This was an idea developed to tie in Matt Groening's pitched series to the one he originally was going to pitch. See, back before he did The Simpsons, he was going to try and pitch a strip he had called Life in Hell, featuring giant anthropomorphic rabbits. The idea was that on the last episode of the Simpsons (will that day ever come), he was going to have her hair part to reveal that she was actually from Life in Hell. However, the idea was abandoned, partially due to continuity and partially due to Groening realizing the heat-death of the universe would occur before The Simpsons ever ended.
But this idea still lives on in arcades everywhere. Yeah, arcades everywhere. We swear.
Top Image: The Pokémon Company