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The Vulture was intended to be the secondary antagonist from Disney's 16th full-length animated feature film Sleeping Beauty. He was to be Maleficent's pet vulture and right-hand and serve as the film's comic relief. However, as his role did not contribute much to the story and also somewhat detracted from Maleficent's imposing nature, the character was written out and replaced with Diablo the Raven in his role as Maleficent's minion.

He was intended to be voiced by the late Dallas McKennon.

Biography

The Vulture was originally intended to appear in Sleeping Beauty as Maleficent's pet vulture and right-hand. After Maleficent curses Princess Aurora to die on her sixteenth birthday by pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel, the Vulture is send to spy on Aurora to see if all goes according to the plan.

Judging by one of the sketches found for the character, it's possible that one sequence intended to feature the Vulture in the film involved him spying Aurora in the woods, leading a bird, possibly one of Aurora's forest friends, to shoo him away.

It's presumed that much like Diablo the Raven in the finished film, the Vulture would have been involved during the film's climax and Merryweather or one of the Three Fairies would have taken charge of him.

Unfortunately, the Vulture never made it past the story sketch phase because his involvement would detract from the imposing nature of Maleficent and his intended New York accent didn't fit into the classic medieval Europe world where Sleeping Beauty was to take place, so Walt Disney and the filmmaker opted to drop the character. In fact, too little is known about the Vulture, whose existence was proven in 2014 when researchers from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library found story sketches from the long-deleted character during an extensive look at the 1959 film's historical material.

Trivia

  • Dallas McKennon, the voice actor who was intended to play the Vulture, ended up voicing Diablo the Raven in the finished film. Like the Vulture, Diablo served as Maleficent's henchman and bird pet.
  • Unlike the non-speaking Diablo in the finished film, the Vulture was intended to have an speaking part in Sleeping Beauty, hence his planned New Yorker accent.
  • Maleficent producer Don Hahn was reportedly impressed with the discovery of the Vulture character, even wondering why he was dropped from the film.
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