PHOTO: CG Models for Disney’s ‘Aristocats II’

Thomas O'Malley and Marie CG models for 'Aristocats 2' In late 2005, Disney’s DisneyToon Studios (then the king of direct-to-home-video sequels) began development on a sequel to the 1970 animated classic, The Aristocats. Although some storyboards have been passed around the internet, little appears to be known about the canceled project and based on what is known, there’s probably a very good reason for it.

In 2008, Tod Carter spoke at length with Animated Views about his work at DisneyToon and talked about the Aristocats sequel. According to Carter, while there was a script when he became involved in the project, they felt it was flawed and reworked it despite an extremely tight and unforgiving schedule. The film was to be centered on Marie and would involve the kittens facing off with a jewel thief on a luxury cruise ship on the high seas of Europe. Initially planned to be done in traditional hand-drawn 2D animation, Disney decided to go with a CG approach but ultimately shelved the project — according to Carter — because of its anxiety about the film finding a market in a highly competitive marketplace. You can read more of Carter’s fascinating interview at Animated Views.

3D Animator Jaime Maestro, a co-founder of Keytoon Studios — which counts Disney among its many clients, has shared some CG models (mostly of Thomas O’Malley) in his gallery of work on his website. For Aristocats II, Maestro’s site titles him as the Projects Supervisor / Models and Textures and even includes a short video of a turnaround of Thomas O’Malley.

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