Trolling the Jim Hill Media archives, I found this little sidenote in an article from 2004, and thought I'd share it:
Speaking of Disney & money ... There's a fascinating story about that "Mission to Mars" movie. The Walt Disney Company actually let the first director that they hired for that film -- Gore Verbinski -- go because he wanted "M2M" to be a special effects extravaganza. A film with no less than 600-700 effects shots.
Disney wasn't willing to spend the money necessary to to make that version of "Mission to Mars." So they let Gore go and replaced him with Brian DePalma. Who significantly pared down the scope & proposed cost of the project so that his version of the film would only feature 240 effects shots.
Long story short: Brian's low budget version of "M2M" failed to really wow audiences. So -- the next time that Disney hired Gore Verbinski to direct a motion picture -- they let him have all the special effects shots he wanted.
That picture turned out to be much more popular than "Mission to Mars." Maybe you've heard of it? "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"?
I was actually looking in the archives for a story I figured I read there, that gave a brief synopsis of how the Tinker Bell movie (then occasionally called "Tinker Bell and the Ring of Belief") was going to be about. Turns out I was thinking of an article on a completely different site that was linked through Animated News.