Here's another project to throw in the "I wish this would have been made" file we all keep in our heads. Back in 1971, legendary animators Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata began production on an animated adaptation of Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking books. After meeting with the animators, Lindgren ultimately decided not to give them permission to produce the film. But now we can all look at some of the watercolor concept art that Miyazaki created, featuring the strongest girl in the world, and wonder what could have been.

The art was made available to the public courtesy of the the Miyazaki and Studio GHIBLI Live Journal page and, as you can see below, it was a project with the potential to be wonderful. The marriage of Miyazaki's style and and Lindgren's iconic character makes for some lovely art. It's possible Lindgren's decision not to give permission to Miyazaki and Takahata for an adaptation stemmed from concerns about them straying a bit too far from the source material -- Kiki's Delivery Service, for instance, in some ways differs quite a bit from the novel it's based on. We may never know what the reasoning was. All we can really do is sit back and think about how amazing this likely would have been. Alas.

[Via io9]