The wonderful world of Disney is one of the most iconic companies in the world. Home to some of the biggest pop culture icons, the house of mouse has seen more animated films, shows, comics, music albums and video games than most other franchises and companies in the world. Whether you soared along with Peter Pan to the shores of Neverland, joined Buzz Lightyear to Infinity and Beyond or just enjoyed the classic cartoons of Mickey Mouse and his friends, Disney has become the icon that defined cartoons for generations. Yet, what if some characters we’ve all come to know and love had a completely different look?
As new generations have risen and technology has advanced, the age of the internet has allowed fans around the world to take their favorite characters and give them new and fun looks. Whether it’s a cosplay of a Steampunk version of Snow White, to a piece of fan art that shows off a gender-swapped version of Aladdin and Jasmine, the Disney fandom looms large and has given the world some of the most creative reworking’s of Disney favorites for years now.
That’s why today we are thrilled to share with you these incredible images. We are going to be looking at the 30 most amazing Disney cartoon character redesigns that are actually better than the original. Some of these are just creative mashups we absolutely love, while others bring a realness and sense of reality to the characters that we didn’t know was possible. So sit back and enjoy these truly amazing images.
30 Kim Possible
This amazing piece of art showcases one of the most realistic versions of the teen hero we’ve ever seen. Kim Possible is the popular cartoon show that told the story of the titular hero and her adventures keeping the world safe and dealing with high school drama.
Fans flocked to the show immediately, but of course, the show was more animated than realistic in those days.
However, this fan redesign shows the incredible detail and sophistication the character could have.
29 Pocahontas And Moana
Two of Disney’s most powerful and strong female heroes has to be Pocahontas and Moana. The first is the popular and historical figure, who according to legend saved the life of legendary settler John Smith by stopping her father from taking the settler’s life. This was played heavily into the film version, while the story of Moana told the tale of a young woman of the Polynesian culture who is chosen to save her people and the oceans from a disease and save an ancient goddess. These two strong and powerful women are shown united for both their people, standing tall and powerful in the light of day.
28 Warrior Mulan
This next piece of art showcases a new look for one of Disney’s most female empowered characters, Mulan. In this film, a young woman disguised herself as a man in order to protect her injured father from the draft that brought soldiers to fight the invading Hun army.
This redesign shows off the warrior side of Mulan.
Not just any warrior though, but a warrior that looks like she’s straight out of the Final Fantasy series of games, with a giant sword showing off her skill and power.
27 Alice In Wonderland
One of the most realistic depictions of a topsy-turvy film I’ve ever seen, this next piece of art showcases the classic story turned animated film Alice in Wonderland. Here instead of the outlandish depictions of characters like the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and the Chesire Cat, we are shown the real world version of these animals and people. We see the young woman Alice holding onto some of these animal creatures for dear life as the Mad Hatter rides in a train car after her.
26 Pocahontas Channels Her Culture
In the course of the film (and rarely discussed sequel), Pocahontas spends much of her time not only trying to learn as much as she can about the people of Europe and their customs but trying to keep the peace between them and her own people, including her chieftain father.
She only seems to have one outfit in the film, but the daughter of a chieftain would more likely have some outfits like this in her culture.
This redesign pays tribute to the culture and material her people wore in that time.
25 Ariel The Little Mermaid
One classic story in the world of Disney is none other than The Little Mermaid. The story of a young mermaid princess who dreams of exploring the surface world and her journey of self-discovery is something that many people related to and fell in love with instantly. Yet, Ariel’s design in the film was mostly human, save for her mermaid tail. Yet, this redesign does a wonderful job imagining Ariel as a true mermaid who has adapted to ocean life, with oceanic colored skin and brightly lit red hair.
24 Human Mickey And Minnie Mouse
One of the more intriguing redesigns we came across while researching this topic was this amazing depiction of the classic Disney icons Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
The couple has always been humanoid mice who go on adventures, fall in love and work with their friends in various jobs.
Yet, in this depiction, we see a young teenage human version of both characters, wearing the same clothes and using the “mouse” look as more of an identity choice than a real humanoid mouse thing.
23 Pokémon Disney Princesses
The list of Disney Princesses is long indeed. From Cinderella and Aurora to Jasmine and Tiana, these incredible women have been the leaders of their respective films, taking on impossible and powerful tasks to overcome their struggles and become the people or leaders they were meant to be. They have been a classic icon of the Disney brand, but what if they had a very different look? One redesign showcases the line of Disney Princesses as if they were part of the Pokémon universe, with a very different animated look.
22 Scar And The Pride Lands
The destructive, evil force that is Scar in Disney’s The Lion King had a very classic look.
In his animated form, he had a sleek look with a black streak in his fur that gave him his iconic name, while Jeremy Irons gave him the gravelly, villainous voice everyone knows from the film.
Yet this redesign imagines the character in a more live action sense, with an actual lion with a long jagged scar overlooking the Pride Lands as it burns around him.
21 A Frozen Family
One of the biggest aspects of the film Frozen was the tragic loss of Anna and Elsa’s parents. They were a big part of trying to keep Elsa calm and collected so her powers wouldn’t get out of control. Yet, when they passed, the sisters struggled to find their place in the world. This redesign imagines a film in which they defied the classic Disney storyline, and found the parents surviving their trip across the ocean, with the family growing closer as a result.
20 Tiana And Prince Naveen As Children
One of the newer Disney Princess films in recent years was The Princess and the Frog.
The story of an aspiring chef and restauranteur who meets Prince Naveen, a spoiled rich kid who gets his money cut off until he learns responsibility, and ends up getting both of them turned into frogs.
Yet, in this redesign, we imagine the two meeting much earlier in life, as children playing together near a pond. It’s a sweet story of two children drawn together after years apart.
19 Elsa The Fire Queen
The biggest aspect of the film Frozen has to be the fact that Elsa has extraordinary powers that allow her to unleash ice and cold into the world. It’s the whole reason why she sings about how the cold never bothered her anyway. Yet, what if she had been born with a much darker and more powerful gift? In this redesign we see Elsa in an orange and red dress with fire surrounding her, making her not the Ice Queen but rather a Fire Queen.
18 Rapunzel, All-Powerful
The film Tangled instantly became a hit. Based on the classic story of Rapunzel, the film focused on her imprisonment in a tower and her extremely long hair.
Throughout the film, she discovers her hair is the source of a great power, and we see it has the power to heal.
Yet, what other abilities does she have? This redesign shows Rapunzel learning more about her power, making her appear to be a powerful warrior with fantastic abilities.
17 Jafar And Maleficent’s Happily Ever After
Who says villains can’t live happily ever after? Two of Disney’s most popular villains are none other than Jafar and Maleficent. Jafar is the evil vizier who terrorizes Aladdin, while Maleficent is the evil sorceress who can become a dragon and brings hardship and struggle onto Aurora, aka Sleeping Beauty. Both were defeated by the heroes, but what if they’d had a chance meeting and their evil ways were set aside for their love for one another? That’s what this redesign shows as the two villains dance and get closer.
16 Sailor Moon Disney Princesses
Another artist has made an incredible redesign for the Disney Princesses. The heroines of their films, they have been the model of strength, courage and the ability to find true love while still being strong and independent.
The characters have evolved as the years have gone by, giving them more strength in a more positive thinking female empowerment era.
This artist takes that sentiment and makes the Disney Princesses in the image of the Sailor Moon franchise, giving them a unique and anime-inspired look.
15 Mulan (The Warrior And The Woman)
The two core things that define who Mulan is in both her film and her iconic status for young women everywhere has to be her femininity and her skills as a warrior. By the end of the first film, she had returned to her father, gained the love of her mentor and friend Shang, and gained the respect of the Emperor of China and all the people of the nation. This image imagines the aftermath of that film, with Mulan in her womanly outfit while still wielding a powerful sword, ready for battle.
14 Beauty And The Beast
One of Disney’s tales that’s as old as time is none other than Beauty and the Beast. The story of a cursed prince and the young woman obsessed with books and independence is something everyone fell in love with.
So much so that Disney remade it in a live action format with Dan Stevens and Emma Watson.
This version of the characters inspired this animated redesign, showing off Belle as she goes through the many volumes of books and makes the Beast carry them for her.
13 A Disney Brotherhood Of Grief
As discussed before, one thing Disney has a habit of doing in their films is having the child protagonists lose their parent early on in the film. Classic examples of this are Bambi’s mother being taken out by a hunter, Simba’s father being taken out by his brother Scar, and even the infamous Little Foot losing his mother in the film The Land Before Time. This image brings these sad characters to help a grieving Koda from the film Brother Bear, who lost his mother in that film as well, as they all comfort one another in their shared grief. It’s a sad but emotional redesign.
12 Aladdin, The Prince Of Agrabah
The hero of Agrabah is definitely Aladdin, the young man forced to live on the streets who fell in love with the Princess Jasmine, found the genie in the lamp, battled and defeated the evil Jafar and became the city of Agrabah’s champion.
This led to him marrying Jasmine, becoming a Prince himself.
In this reimagining of the character, we see Aladdin embracing his position as the Prince, decked out in armor and ready to take on any threats to his home much like the video game warrior the Prince of Persia.
11 Snow White
The story of Snow White is a huge classic in the Disney lineup. Her escape from the evil queen, her renowned beauty, her time living and being protected by the seven dwarves, and the cursed apple the evil queen tricked her into eating that led to her sleeping curse, until prince charming awoke her with true love’s kiss. In this hyper-realistic redesign of the character, we see her time running away from the Queen’s castle, tears streaming down her face as her life is turned upside down. It’s incredibly detailed.
10 Meg Of Hercules Fame Get’s Greek Era Look
One thing about the film Hercules was the very different and refreshing take on a love interest for the hero.
In this film, Hercules, the son of Zeus, meets and falls in love with Meg, a young woman trapped in a contract with Hades and forced to help lure monsters into his fight with the gods.
Here we see a redesign of Meg, wearing Greek era clothing and holding Hercules helmet under her arms.
Perhaps this is a somewhat older Meg who bears her love Hercules helmet after his fall in a later battle.
9 Cinderella And The Prince
One of the most classic moments of the story and film of Cinderella comes when she meets the Prince while wearing her stunning blue dress and glass slippers. They dance the night away, and their unique bond and romance blooms in that moment. Here you see the moment before the clock strikes midnight and she is forced to flee back to her home. Caught up in the magic and romance of the night, this hyperrealistic look at the princess with her prince is truly stunning.
8 Ariel Walks On Land
A huge moment for The Little Mermaid film came after Ariel made her deal with the sea witch Ursula and became human.
Despite sacrificing her voice, she was amazed when she discovered her human legs and feet for the first time.
This redesign shows that moment Ariel walks on land for the first time, climbing the cliffs near the ocean and looking back at her oceanic home as Sebastian the crab follows her. This is a truly stunning and realistic approach to a classic scene.
7 Sleeping Beauty’s Slumber
One of the most classic tales has to be that of Sleeping Beauty. The young woman cursed to fall into a sleeping curse and her journey to find love, happiness, and a family is one of Disney’s longest running stories. No matter how hard the three good fairies or her parents work, the curse placed on her by Maleficent is completed and she falls into a deep eternal slumber. This super realistic redesign shows her time in the throws of the curse, holding a rose and wearing her classic outfit.
6 Disney’s Avengers
This next reimagining perfectly encapsulates the Marvel fandom’s first reactions to Disney buying the rights to the MCU.
While the films have gone on to gain great success, the fandom was hesitant for the House of Mouse to gain the rights to these iconic heroes.
This redesign shows off what fans feared most, which was animated characters like Mickey and Donald taking on the roles of Cap and Iron Man, as seen here in this image. While we got a much more realistic looking and iconic film, this image is fun to see nonetheless.
5 Cinderella Caught In A Storm
The romantic connection between Cinderella and the Prince was as iconic as a Disney Princess/Prince relationship can get. While we know the story of how she fled the Prince at midnight and returned to her life of servitude, he eventually found her by placing the glass slipper she left behind on her foot and confirmed her identity. In this image, we see the power of the romance they both had for one another, as the two in an anime style art form are caught in a swirling storm and find solace in one another’s arms.
4 Aurora, Mother Of Dragons
One thing that is definitely a natural fit is the combination of Disney Princesses and Game of Thrones characters. Both are set in fantasy realms and deal with romance, danger, and power.
In this instance, we see the classic Sleeping Beauty aka Aurora turned into Daenerys Stormborn (Targaryen), aka Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons.
The most powerful female character in the GoT universe transfers her power to Aurora, bringing her dragons and iconic look to the forefront of this amazing redesign.
3 The Aristocats Become Human
Another hit Disney classic that gets little recognition has to be the Aristocats. The film follows Duchess and her three kittens as they live with a retired opera diva and learn they are to inherit the diva’s fortune upon her life’s end, with her butler set to get the funds once they pass. They are forced to live in the countryside and streets after the butler tries to get rid of them. In this redesign, the film reimagines the kittens as children, making this a film not about animals but real people and their struggle to survive a world they don’t understand.
2 Esmerelda And Clopin
A huge hit film for the Disney company was definitely The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. The story of a young child with deformities taken by the evil Claude Frollo and forced to become the bell ringer in Notre Dame, isolated from the world, was a hit.
His struggle to join humanity and save a young gypsy woman named Esmerelda from Frollo was something we all could relate to.
In this image, we see Esmerelda and the gypsy leader Clopin, a mischievous look in their eyes as they take a heroic stance together as brother and sister (as depicted by the artist).
1 Peter Pan And Wendy
A film everyone knows by heart, Peter Pan followed the iconic hero of the same name as he brought London children Wendy and her two brothers to Neverland, a magical land filled with pirates, the Lost Boys, Tinkerbell and of course Captain Hook. In this film, the focus is on children and the struggle to grow up. The film depicts Peter Pan and the Lost Boys as children, but this redesign allows us to see Pan and Wendy as younger children, making their struggle to accept maturity more realistic.