It's reasonable to assume that Disney's purchase of Marvel Studios three years ago -- with Pixar also under the Disney umbrella -- could eventually lead to a Marvel animated movie. The idea has been strenuously denied for a while...but there are hints it may happening after all.

As Slashfilm recounts, rumors of some sort of dream team Marvel/Pixar/Disney animated project have been around ever since Disney closed its purchase of the superhero factory, with potential titles like 'Doctor Strange' and Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' bandied about. Wright himself called such speculation 'premature,' while Pixar chief John Lasseter threw cold water on the idea as well, saying that Pixar's superhero ambitions began and ended with 'The Incredibles.'

So that's Pixar. But what about Walt Disney Animation, which is a separate unit (even though it's still supervised by Lasseter)? Well, Marvel head Kevin Feige said on the set of 'The Avengers' last June that "the notion of an animated movie based off of a Marvel property is a no-brainer... (it) would seem to be something that could happen at some point.”

That brings us to director Don Hall. Hall has been working at Walt Disney Animation for 10 years, doing writing, character design, story work and more on titles like 'Tarzan' and 'Chicken Little,' all of which culminated in him taking the director's seat for last year's 'Winnie the Pooh.' Well, apparently Hall has had some sort of secret project brewing for some time, which Blue Sky Disney described as thus:

"That project, once announced, will generate a lot of buzz in certain geek communities, as it’s going to surprise a lot of people for what it is and what it’s not."

The blog added that the project's development would depend on how well Lasseter and other execs received Hall's presentation, with the site adding this nugget last week (emphasis ours):

"The projects competing for 2014/2015 are the uber-secret film from Don Hall, which will be a marvelously unexpected project if it ever gets the green light..."

It's important to point out that this falls squarely into the category of "rumor," but the mention of "certain geek communities" and that word in bold could be hints that Hall is in fact working on an animated Marvel movie. What that film could be, no one has any clue. Would it be too late for an animated movie to make Marvel's still-open second 2014 release date?

If Marvel was making an animated film, which characters/storylines would you like to see?