There are reams of documentation covering abandoned shorts from Disney, MGM, Fleischer, and other Golden Age studios, but coverage of TV cartoons that met the same or a similar fate is sparser. An example of one with an interesting history: a rejected Tiny Toon Adventures story became one for Ren & Stimpy. No April foolin’!
Jim Smith and Bob Camp mostly storyboarded Hi, Spirits, a planned segment for one of the Acme Acres Zone half-hours,
when he was in the newly formed Warner Bros. Animation unit in 1989. [UPDATE: See Kent Butterworth’s comment for the correct date and place, as well as some more info.] He and Bob Camp lasted a whopping six months on the show before becoming fed up with the industry altogether and joined partners John Kricfalusi and Lynne Naylor in forming Spumco, the haven for animation’s malcontents.
What follows is the entire storyboard Smith and Camp did. (They’re littered with great unrelated duck sketches of theirs too.) There are discrepancies in the page numbers, but the board is complete. It’s criminal the final shows never retained the sort of liveliness found in this board.
Fast-forward two years later when The Ren & Stimpy Show began its second season of production. The show had risen the bar for what TV animation was capable of far more than any of its contemporaries in the fabled ‘animation renaissance.’ Hi, Spirits was flip-flopped into a story premise with Ren and Stimpy in the roles of Hampton and Gogo. (The Paul Tsongas ghost and yak remained. A fat naked black man was added.) It was one of the “C” cartoons that John K. handed over to layout supervisor/timing director Ron Hughart to see through production as director in mid-1992.
For your enjoyment, here is the uncut version of the episode, unavailable on the “UNCUT” box set. See what remained the same from the Tiny Toons board – and what got changed!
Contrary to ‘facts’ circulating the Internet, the scene with the bloody-head fairy (here Doug Funnie instead of Elmer Fudd) was not added by Games Animation. The finished animation from Taiwan’s Color Key Studio arrived a week before the transition from Spumco to Games commenced.