Gaming, something that was once thought to be a nerdy pastime, has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry with numerous fans across multiple generations, and with it the appeal of gaming franchises as a cross-media source of entertainment has risen substantially. Of course, there was also a time when giving gaming mascots their own cartoon show was a fad of sorts, which is why it’s not surprising to hear that initial plans were to have Crash Bandicoot possibly follow that trend.
Those lofty aspirations always remained on the back burner though, as the original game was simply set to feature an opening that looked as if it could be a Saturday morning cartoon – with an ending that matched. Baring that in mind, it looks as if Crash Bandicoot could have had a serious shot at being a decent animated show, albeit wacky and full of 90’s charm.
The above video and information has come from none other than one of the original producers for Crash Bandicoot, David Siller, as he claims that this was the original direction for the title before Sony pushed its “3D agenda” on the team at Naughty Dog. While the game itself would have presumably played out much like it eventually did in 3D environments, the cutscenes would have been animated.
Taking to YouTube with the official video, Siller was more than happy to set the record straight about the footage. While it was never intended to be a full grown animated series, it would have drastically changed how the story was conveyed in the original game.
“It was based on ideas for where we were going with this IP at that time. It was probably too ambitious in nature and was also trying to be humorous. It was never used or even embedded in the game as a hidden “easter egg” treat.”
“Once UIS licensed the game to Sony for publication, Sony did not want it utilized since they were heavily pushing the “3D” agenda. There are many close to the development of the original game that do not even know that this material even existed.”
Even though this particular footage wouldn’t have been used in a cartoon, Siller clarified that Universal wanted this to be a prototype to “flesh out ideas for a possible cartoon series” – provided the game was a success. That was, of course, before Sony picked up the game and demanded that the team focus on Crash Bandicoot‘s 3D element.
“The discussion at Universal at that time was if the game was successful (before Sony came a knockin’) then this animation was a somewhat prototype to further flesh out ideas for a possible cartoon series and inclusion into the game. This animation was influenced by Animaniacs and even a few others popular at that time. A Crash Bandicoot attraction was also discussed as our offices were right next door to where Universal Theme parks maintained a creative office to plan new park attractions. UIS even did some consulting for them.”
All that remains of these possible plans is the footage of the fun-filled intro for Crash, but truthfully maybe that was for the best. While many longtime PlayStation fans reflect on Naughty Dog’s then-blockbuster game with a well-earned sense of nostalgia, the developer has gone on to do some truly awesome games with its talented staff. Still, it’s hard not to think about what could have been.
Even more interesting to think about is the fact that Sony likely wouldn’t have picked up the property had it ended up partnering with the house of Mario for the Nintendo PlayStation, which would have meant that the Crash Bandicoot cartoon may have very well happened with Universal. Regardless, it will likely still be a while before the scatter-brained bandicoot makes his return – if ever.
Would you have liked a cartoon based on the PlayStation-exclusive game? Would you like a new Crash Bandicoot? Get at us in the comments.