But the truth is that sometimes it takes Hollywood a few drafts before they nail it, as evidenced by ...
8. The New Ninja Turtles Were Almost Gun-Toting Slendermen
Millions of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans are aware of the existence of the recent live-action adaptations. (Some viewers were even able to recall plot points 15 minutes after leaving the movie!) But for all of Michael Bay's sins, we can at least credit him with making the new turtles look somewhat vaguely recognizable.
That was not always the case. It would have been difficult to root for the gang had they looked like creatures you'd kill early on in Skyrim.
At some point, Bay must have looked at that design and thought, "Hmm, there's something off about these dead-eyed swamp monsters ... I know, let's make them look like terrorists!"
Everything we know about Bay's approach to filmmaking leads us to believe that someone told him about how the turtles each have their own distinct personalities, and he interpreted that as giving each of the otherwise-identical characters a different kind of firearm.
7. The Ewoks Could've Rode Ghoulish Spider Bears
One of the most common criticisms of Return Of The Jedi is that the Ewoks were clearly designed to sell toys regardless of whether they fit logically into the plot. Just look at these yub-nubbing little bozos.
The only thing they'd really be good for in a fight is dying in such droves that you'd be able to take cover behind their piled-up bodies. Well, early incarnations of the Ewoks made them look readier to throw down, but at the cost of making you root for the Empire to wipe them from existence.
Another draft made them resemble creatures that would steal your firstborn child away unless you could successfully guess their name.
Here's a fun piece of Star Wars trivia to impress your next date: The Ewoks were originally going to be joined by a race called the Yuzzums (not to be confused with the Yuzzems) in fighting the Empire. And in the spirit of creativity that defined the franchise, the Yuzzums would have been Ewoks ... but, like, tall.
The Ewoks would ride the Yuzzums to get even taller! And the series would be renamed Tall Wars!
6. Beauty And The Beast's Beast Was Once A Goddamn Mandrill
Beauty And The Beast needed to walk a fine line between the Beast being weird-looking enough to be considered cursed but still approachable enough for viewers to believe that Belle would totally want to jump his bones. And they got the job done, because don't even try to tell us that you wouldn't hit this:
No, of course not. He looks like a giant monkey in Napoleon's army who lost his best friends to the freezing Russian wilderness. Look at this miserable sad sack. He's in the middle of reciting a poem about how rainy days reflect what's in his soul while Belle tries to stay awake.
After realizing that no one watches their movies to experience crushing ennui, Disney then overshot in the other direction and made the Beast a warthog who looked like he was about to pound back a few goblets of wine before hopping on his horse and riding out to smash some mailboxes.
5. The Whos From The Grinch Stole Christmas Were Nightmare People
In the live-action Grinch movie, the Whos of Whoville were basically humans of reality, but with weird noses and hair.
The creators originally tried to make the Whos more closely resemble Dr. Seuss' original drawings. Unfortunately, it seems no one involved had read the book in years, and they had all somehow found themselves under the impression that Dr. Seuss wrote grotesque body horror stories. These two Whos look like they're from an artsy French drama about deformed friends being shunned by their community until they win people over by opening a pastry shop.
This Who looks like it was modelled off of some of Seuss' anti-Japanese World War II propaganda and was then told to dance like it was having a seizure but didn't want to make a big fuss about it.
Another approach saw the Whos resembling moody greaser werewolves, and while we'd admittedly read fanfiction of that, it doesn't seem like the most accessible strategy for a $123 million movie.
Mythological genies are often monstrous and dickish. And despite Aladdin's creators being well aware that they were casting wacky Robin Williams in a Disney movie, they initially went that route too. Behold:
But a monster that consumes everything in its path was clearly too one-dimensional, and also too obvious of a stand-in for Disney itself. So what if the Genie liked to consume the flesh of man, but also dreamed of appearing on RuPaul's Drag Race?
3. Early Attempts At The Mask Make It Look Like A Horror Film
The Mask, which every 13-year-old boy in 1994 was obligated to have a poster of in their bedroom, had pretty convincing special effects for the day.
But earlier designs of whatever that thing Jim Carey put on his face was called gave off a vibe that was less "wacky romp" and more "giallo horror." Here's the mask screaming in pain and anger while Carey achieves orgasm.
And here's an incarnation that would get the poster banned from being near children. Carey looks like he's about to steal either your ice cream or your eyeballs, and he's not terribly fussed over which he gets.
And here he is as the uncle the family doesn't like to talk about. "He knows how to fulfill your every desire," the ad promises. But what if your only desire is to not have him molest you?
2. Who Framed Roger Rabbit Was Borderline Hentai
Even if you don't know anything about Who Framed Roger Rabbit, you're familiar with Jessica Rabbit, the cartoon that launched countless weird nights learning how safe search and browser histories work.
It's hard to imagine further sexualizing her while still having her resemble a human woman, but they nearly found two ways. Her first song was going to feature a close up on her breastswhich porn directors would consider too obvious and crass.
There was also a scene wherein the non-cartoon protagonist, Eddie, encounters Jessica right after she gets out of the bath, in case viewers needed to know the canonical proportions of her ass instead of relying on unofficial renderings.
"It seems Disney decided that was just way too hot!" the artist later said about the scene being cut. Yes. Yes, that was the reason Disney didn't put cartoon butt in their kids' movie. Surely, there can be no other explanation.
1. Harry Potter Villains (And Heroes) Were Almost Far More Monstrous
In Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1: Harry Goes To Camp, an old lady is murdered and her body is hijacked by Voldemort's snake in an attempt to ambush Harry. It wasn't his greatest evil scheme from a practical perspective, but the mechanics were creepy enough that the transformation occurred offscreen.
But originally, it was all going to be out there for viewers to see and wonder if they had somehow stumbled into a new Resident Evil movie.
Meanwhile, Fenrir Greyback, the evil werewolf soldier whose name means "Wolf Soldier," made it into the movie looking like a gimmicky professional wrestler ...
... but was initially a legitimately terrifying monster that could only be stopped by Keanu Reeves after a lengthy hunt.
And it wasn't only the villains who originally looked like they were metal cover art come to life. Remus Lupin, whose name means "Wolf Reference Wolf Reference," made it into the films as a kindly if perpetually exhausted uncle with faint hints of werewolf ...
But he was drafted as someone whose first lines of dialogue would be "Hello, look at me, I'm a man with a mysterious past and a dark secret! I like the full moon and blood! Crap, pretend I didn't say that! You look delicious!"
And Sirius Black, the innocent prisoner with a heart of gold by way of Johnny Depp impersonation ...
... was going to look like the wizard version of a neo-Nazi gang member.
Finally, there's Voldemort. While the Big V had a creepy look in the movies, they decided to skip over the part where he's shown suckling from some, uh, disconcertingly pert snake bosoms.
They're getting the book (and also basic biology) wrong there. Snakes don't have breasts, since they're not mammals, and when Goblet Of Fire talks about Voldemort "milking" his snake, it's referring either to venom being taken from the snake's fangs or Voldemort jerking off. So a concept artist at Warner Bros. either thinks snakes have breasts or really hoped that the writers would come up with a magical excuse to add some. And that's how movies are made!