Walt Disney's Kingdom of Imagination was a movie developed by Walt Disney which never made it past pre-production. One of the best kept Disney secrets, this movie was supposedly written just before Walt Disney's death in 1966 and was written by Walt Disney himself. The movie was supposed to be similar to that of the later The Black Cauldron, being that it was to become a fantasy epic, combining both animation with live action similar to that in Mary Poppins. It was to also feature a completely new musical score, which was never written in the end.
Walt wanted to create a film franchise for the entire family. After Walt wrote the first screenplay of what he called his crowning achievement, his coworkers found the piece terribly dark and depressing for a Disney movie, and similar to that of a Dickens tale, with a complex story line and characters. After he received word that the animators would not produce the movie, it is rumored that it is what caused him to collapse on November 30, 1966. Fifteen days later, he died in the hospital.
After his death, there was a rumor in the studios that Roy O. Disney wanted the movie to be turned into a ride at the new Florida theme park in addition to renaming the park Walt Disney World. The other workers at Disney disapproved of the idea, though they did leave a space for the ride, later to be occupied by Mickey's Toontown Fair. One page of the script, the very last, is said to have been cremated with Walt Disney. All other pages are held by family and friends
Basic plot synopsis
Below is the basic plot which was heard from Walt when the idea for the movie was being tossed around at various meetings:
The movie was supposed to take place in a separate universe known as the Kingdom of Imagination. The opening sequence was basically the creation of the world, and how the entire world first started out as a small idea. It then grew into a creation, and when it exploded, it created an Imagination. The central plot is meant to be about a young woman named Minerva, whose aunt was the former queen of the kingdom until he married an evil sorceress named Tierra Damage.
Unlike other Disney heroines, she longs to be a princess only to help her struggling country. However, when the king, named Lord Oswald, and Minerva's aunt both die suddenly, the young prince of the kingdom, Nicolaus, is convicted of being the murderer by his sister, Nella. Nicolaus, a young inventor, is rescued from the angry mob by Minerva, and he instantly falls in love with her. Minerva is now determined to find the true killer.
While searching the castle, Minerva finds her aunt's necklace. Inside lives a fairy named Desire, who guides Minerva in trying to find the true murderer. With Nicolaus, Minerva and Desire discover that Nella is the true murderer, and that she did it to take revenge for her mother, Tierra Damage. As Nella flees the land, she kills a servant carrying a young child. Minerva decides to care for the child, naming him Oswald, after the king. When Nicolaus asks Minerva to marry him, she accepts, and the three instantly become the new royal family.
At the christening of Oswald, Nella appears again, and places Nicolaus under a spell which causes him to become half human, half rat. While trying to fight Nella, Nicolaus falls of a cliff and seems to die. Presuming he is dead, the rest of the kingdom (who have all been turned into half human, half animalistic creatures, save Minerva and the child) grieves, and Minerva now realizes that Nicolaus was the only true passion in her life. She then decides to devote her life to raising her child, and destroying Nella. Just as she and the rest of the kingdom leaves the cliff, Nicolaus stretches his hand out from the pile of debris, alive.
To this day, various people have tried to adapt the story to not only give a more happy ending, but to make it a new Disney franchise. One rumor going around is that it will become a part of the in development Night Kingdom as the Disney Theatrical produced musical. Another rumor floats around that what is known of the plot is only half of the script, and that the other half included a happier ending. Still, until this date, the Disney company has never referred to this project, and only exists in rumors. However, some old Disney workers have leaked information on the project, and the above synopsis.