It’s interesting how the future can hang on a decision. I was recently in email conversation with the fabulous Jody Lynn Nye and she mentioned John Carter of Mars had been close to becoming animation back in 1936. The animator at the time was Bob Clampett and you can find some footage hereof his early work on the project. It’s fabulous and really captures the essence of John Carter as I’d visualised him when I read it as a child. Pixar have taken over the project a mere 76 years after Bob Clampett was steered away from Edgar Rice Burroughs work towards Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. John Carter of Mars as portrayed by Pixar will be released in 2012 with the incredibly busy Willem Dafoe as Tars Tarkas, Taylor Kitsch as John Carter and Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris.
In hindsight I can understand why they did Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs instead of John Carter. At the time they tended towards the mainstream and tried to please the masses. Science fiction was very much on the fringes of society (a theme I’ll be exploring in the future when I start looking at pulp magazines) and much harder to accept so it would not have gone down as well if they had done John Carter instead of Snow White. I can’t help wondering what would have happened if Walt Disney had given the ok to finish John Carter. There are a number of possibilities and considering the enormous influence Walt Disney has had on the movie industry and on the world as a whole it would probably have made major changes to society.