The film was originally announced as The Bear and the Squirrel in 1990 as a TV movie from Cinar and Hanna-Barbera. RKO Pictures acquired the film from Cinar and Hanna-Barbera.
In October 1992, Ron Clements joined RKO Animation Studios to direct the film, with intentions to significantly rewrite the script. In December 1992, it was reported that Clements took over A Cowboy Toy putting Beaverman on hold, and thus postponing its original schedule for a year to a then planned March 1993. The film's final title, Beaverman, was revealed in May 1993, along with new co-director, Gary Trousdale. In July 1993, the film got another delay, being pushed back a year to January 14, 1994, and finally settled at February 4.