Gaming industry veteran David Siller has unearthed an animated intro planned for inclusion in Naughty Dog’s 1996 PlayStation platformer Crash Bandicoot, hinting at a cartoon series and other franchise expansions that never materialized.
The scrapped introductory sequence, seen above, relates Crash Bandicoot‘s storyline in a minute-long video that could easily double as a title sequence for a cartoon series.
“This video is test animation that was done for Crash Bandicoot,” Siller explains. “Produced by Universal Animation early in the development of the 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.”
Siller continues: “Once [Universal Interactive Studios] 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.”
When it hit retail in 1996, Crash Bandicoot instead used in-engine cutscenes to detail story progression. Crash afterward served as the platform’s ersatz mascot, starring in a number of PlayStation-exclusive sequels and spinoffs before publisher Vivendi Universal charted a multiplatform course for the series.
Siller confirms that a cartoon spinoff for Crash Bandicoot was in discussion before Sony joined mid-project in a publishing role.
“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,” Siller said. “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.”