Have you ever heard someone in your family talk about what you could’ve been named before you were born? Sometimes it feels silly, sometimes it feels off. But more than likely the people who named you went through a handful of different options before deciding on the one they liked best.
Creators have to do the same before their characters are *born*, too! It’s bizarre to think about Mickey not always being called “Mickey,” but Mickey — and a bunch of other Disney characters — had the potential of being called something COMPLETELY different. Here, we’ll show you a few!
Didn’t know there was a Mortimer Mouse? You’re probably not alone! He’s not featured prominently much anymore. Here’s the thing with this mouse — the Mortimer featured in the Disney cartoons is just plain mean. He’s a big bully toward Mickey, often playing the villain opposite our favorite mouse. Look — Mortimer even tries STEALING Minnie away from him! (Step AWAY from our OTP, you scummy mouse.)
After watching Mortimer try to make Mickey’s life miserable, even saying the name Mortimer tastes bad. BLEH. And yet, our good pal Mickey was almost NAMED Mortimer. Say it isn’t so!!
Thank goodness for Lillian Disney! When Walt Disney’s wife, Lillian, saw what her husband was about to name what would later become the biggest cartoon icon of all time, she was like, “Uh, heck no, techno!” (If those were her exact words, that’d be epic. But that’s probably not the case, so don’t come at us.)
Lillian told Walt the name Mortimer sounded too stuck-up to be attached to a character we were supposed to be rooting for. Go, Lillian, go!
Now HERE’s a throwback for you! Before we give you the answer, can YOU guess whose name this used to belong to?We’ll give you a hint…
Okay, so this hint may be a *bit* misleading. We’re not talking about Figment — we’re talking about Figment’s very best friend.
NO, NOT NIGEL CHANNING, EITHER. YIKES. We’re talking about the OG man himself — Dreamfinder!
Back in 1983, the Journey Into Imagination ride over in EPCOT’s Future World was WAY different than the one we know and kinda-sorta like today. The original ride featured Dreamfinder — a kind-hearted soul who led riders through a fantastical dark ride adventure.
But before he was called Dreamfinder, he was originally called Professor Marvel. (And Figment was originally supposed to be GREEN, not purple!)
Disney Parks explained that Professor Marvel and his green friend were going to appear in an expanded portion of Disneyland Resort, but the concept was rejected and the two characters remained in limbo until finding their home in Future World. The characters were renamed (and recolored) to fit Journey Into Imagination. *Sigh.* We miss you, Dreamfinder… .
Before Pluto was the Pluto we know and love today, he was…Rover. (Quite original for a dog, no?) And he actually stayed Rover for a bit.
According to D23, Pluto first started appearing in the Mickey Mouse cartoons back in 1930 when Pluto and Mickey were actually on opposing sides. (Say whaaaat??)
Yup. These two besties weren’t always as close as they are today. The first time Mickey and Pluto meet each other is in a black-and-white film called Chain Gang. In this cartoon, Peg-Leg Pete arrests Mickey. When Mickey attempts to escape, he’s chased down by a group of bloodhound guards. And *who* does one on those bloodhounds happen to look like?
That’s right. Pluto. Er, actually, not Pluto yet. At this point he wasn’t even called Rover — he was just another dog, doing his guard-dog duties. It wasn’t until another cartoon released later that year that “Rover” would come back on screen as…Minnie’s dog!
Yeah, yeah. You know that’s not how the story ends. Mickey and Rover partner up in 1931 and Mickey promptly renames him “Pluto.” The rest is history.
Need a pick-me-up? Click HERE to watch Disney World character interactions that’ll definitely make you smile!
“To infinity and BEYOND!” When Disney released some early sketches of the Toy Story characters, we felt bad for laughing. And yet…
…*Snorts* Buzz Lightyear was so short and squatty and adorable! Of course, Buzz’s character design changed during the movie’s development — much like his name did.
The name Lunar Larry was actually featured on early designs of Buzz’s spacesuit. But Lunar Larry wasn’t the ONLY other name Buzz could’ve been called.
According to The Walt Disney Company, Tempus of Morph was also a potential name for Buzz Lightyear. (Lunar Larry doesn’t sound *quite* so ridiculous now, does it?)
We can’t read this one without cracking up.
Goofy was never supposed to become part of the Fab Five, but when he made his debut appearance as an audience member in the 1932 cartoon, Mickey’s Revue, he set himself apart from the rest of the crowd with his over the top “HYUCK!”
Walt Disney — as well as the rest of the animation crew — knew they’d hit a comedic goldmine with wacky character and brought him back on ASAP.
Originally, they called this slightly-clueless character Dippy Dawg — but when he began starring in his own shows, the creators changed Dippy’s name to Goofy. (Which we love WAY more, even though Dippy Dawg makes us giggle.)
Goofy transformed from a character solely created for comic relief to a character who developed quite a backstory. He appeared in How To cartoons, the Goof Troop TV show, and eventually starred in his own movie — The Goofy Movie — in 1995 with his angsty teenage son, Max. (and POWERLINE. YESSSSS!)
Oh, and just to set the record straight for everyone questioning…
…Goofy is a DOG. Not a COW. The court is adjourned. (Don’t get us started on why Pluto is on all fours and Mickey’s pet, while Goofy is granted clothes, can talk, and lead a normal life!)
Homer, Rags, Bozo
Okay, let’s play the guessing game again. Who do YOU think originally had these three names? We’ll give you a hint for each name. (Three names, three hints.)
Hint One: We’re talking about another dog. (Seriously, what’s with all these dogs and their name changes?)
Clue Two: The movie was released in 1955. (So prob not this guy below!)
Final Clue: You rarely see the faces of the humans in this film. (Gotta keep that dog perspective, after all.) You catch on yet? It’s…
…the “goodest boi” around, Tramp! (Okay, actually he’s a “scoundrel,” but we’d still totally adopt him.)
We don’t know about you, but this was fun to learn about! It’s neat finding out tidbits of Disney history that you can “amaze” your friends and family with at your next get-together.
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Do you know any other potential Disney character names? Share them in the comments below!