Lasseter and his Pixar team had the first half of the movie ready to screen by November 1993,
so they brought it down to Burbank to show to Katzenberg and other Disney executives.
Peter Schneider, the head of feature animation,
had never been enamored of Katzenberg's idea of having outsiders make animation for Disney,
and he declared it a mess and ordered that production be stopped. Katzenberg agreed.
"Why is this so terrible?" he asked a colleague, Tom Schumacher.
"Because it's not their movie anymore," Schumacher bluntly replied.
He later explained, "They were following Katzenberg's notes, and the project had been driven completely off-track."
Lasseter realized that Schumacher was right.
"I sat there and I was pretty much embarrassed with what was on the screen," he recalled.
"It was a story filled with the most unhappy, mean characters that I've ever seen."
He asked Disney for the chance to retreat back to Pixar and rework the script. Katzenberg was supportive.