American Dog (partially found original version of "Bolt" Disney animated film; 2007-2008)

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Original title treatment.

Status: Partially Found

American Dog was a Disney animated film written and directed by Chris Sanders (who also directed and written Disney's 2002 animated feature film Lilo & Stitch), that was due to be released in 2007. However, due to production issues and Sanders reportedly refusing to listen to the advice given by Disney executives on how to fix the film, he left the film's production and the film's concepts later became realized in Disney's 2008 animated feature film Bolt.


The protagonist of the film was a canine actor, Henry, who stars in his own show where he's a secret agent. Sanders described the plot as follows:

"Henry, a famous TV dog, finds himself stranded in the Nevada desert. Out in the world for the first time, Henry's tidy life of scripted triumph has come to an end, and his 2,000 mile trek through the real world is just beginning."[1]

Henry would run into a giant, radioactive rabbit and a cat with an eyepatch who had access to a classic car. He would con them into helping him get back home all the while learning how to interact with normal people and live without being served on hand and foot. John Travolta, Thomas Haden Chruch, and Mario Cantone were rumored to be the voices for the trio.[2] According to artist Mike Gabriel in the book, They Drew As They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney's New Golden Age, during his travels Henry would come across 'The Lady In Black,' a circus performer from the 1930s who had done a fire act with a gorilla. She was now holed up in a mansion in the swamps of Georgia. A mutant girl scout named Ruth (or Ruthie) and a sexy Vegas waitress named Jo Night were also part of the film in some way.[3]


Ultimately, the film was considered too surreal and "too bold" by the executives at Disney. Sanders got kicked off the project in late 2006 and replaced by Chris Williams and Byron Howard, spurring Sanders to leave Disney entirely and later join DreamWorks Animation.[4] The film was soon re-written and became Bolt, which was released in 2008. In honor of American Dog, Sanders reused the eyepatch-wearing cat (who would become the character Mittens in the final film) in his webcomic, Kiskaloo.

Still, very little production material and artwork of American Dog has been released or leaked to the public and all that is known to currently exist of Bolt's original incarnation is test footage of the film shown at SIGGRAPH 2005.




Test footage from the film shown at SIGGRAPH 2005.
Compilation of test footage for the film.


ObscureMediaTV's video on the subject.

See Also


Animation (Disney)

Animation (Pixar)


Live Action

Short Films

External Links