You would be hard pressed to run into anyone who doesn’t have a list of cartoons that they grew up watching as a kid. After all, they were a part of life for many of us and they introduced us to the world of art in a whole new way. For some, it was the springboard that got them interested in the field of animation and for others; it drove them to create wonderful pieces of art of their own later on in life. We might look at them for a moment as entertainment, but if we were to analyze things a little further we would find that there were things that we learned and applied toward our own lives from them. Sure, not every cartoon or animated film had the same effect, but they all showed us a new avenue of self-expression and allowed us to see things that were in our imaginations come to life.
Often times you will hear people say that cartoons are for kids, but in truth, many people still watch some form of a cartoon and if they were honest, they would freely admit that they still enjoy an animated children’s film every now and then. There’s just something about the way that the stories are told and in the end, the memories of our childhood never truly fade away and it’s those memories that bring us back to watching cartoons all over again. If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite cartoon character may look like today you’re in luck, because a wealth of artists have created fantastic grown-up versions of them for you to view.
30 Still Thinking Of The Sea
Sometimes you will have a character that slips through the cracks and never truly gets fanfare for the simple fact that many weren’t introduced to them. Such is the case with Melody who is the main character and the focus of The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea. Unlike the movie that predated it, this particular film never got a cinema release and instead went straight to video.
Plot holes and an unpopular storyline caused the film to receive a cold reception.
While the film may have been disliked by many fans of the original it did have some bright spots. While she tends to primarily focus on artwork related to her own comic book series, Izumii89 also does renditions of her favorite Disney characters every now and then. This particular illustration of Melody fits in line with the Disney color scheme and she does a great job of creating texture on the clothing.
29 Gazing Into The Stars
It would be rather difficult for you to find someone who hasn’t at least watched part of The Little Mermaid. While the story itself was a bit different from the original tale of the same name, it did keep a few key elements intact. It took a lot of manpower and money to create and even caused the company to open up a separate animation studio to help with its eventual completion.
It was originally set to be released shortly after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
The film was well worth the wait though and is considered by many to be the one to finally bring music within animation to the big time. VeraVoyna spends a lot of her time creating concept art for games, but she also likes to practice creating realistic backgrounds as well. It is all of this practice that has perhaps led her to be able to create such a realistic depiction of Ariel.
28 A Laser Focus
There was a challenge put to the animation studio by fans to create something that was vastly different from anything that they had created before. Fans wanted a character that didn’t fit the stereotypical princess mold and they wanted a setting that was unlike anything else that the company had ventured into before. Thus, Brave was born.
It was the first fairy tale that Pixar had done and it was the first by the company that had a female protagonist. During production, Disney tasked Pixar with creating tartan patterns and later submitted one of these same patterns to the official Scottish Register of Tartans. It was eventually accepted, though there were some detractors to its being accepted into the registry. SandraWinther enjoys doing realistic depictions of our favorite Disney characters and her Merida rendition has a good balance between that and a cartoon style.
27 Surrounded By The Wilderness
What you will find is a common thread among great animated series is that they usually get their start within the California Institute of the Arts. The same holds true when it comes to the show Gravity Falls, which was developed as an idea by Hirsch while he was a student there. He was originally offered a chance to produce the show for DreamWorks, but he declined the offer out of a want to work with Disney instead on the project.
What started out as a student film consisting of only eleven minutes turned into the successful show that we all know of today. It's a story based on Hirsch’s own interactions with his twin sister on their summer vacations as children. Like many artists on this list, izandra likes to stay within the field of realism and her Wendy illustration makes good use of texture and blending techniques to create separation between the different character elements.
26 Awaking From Her Slumber
For all intents and purposes, Sleeping Beauty might be one of the most underrated films by the company that is out there. While it received a warm reception, there were detractors of the film who freely pointed out its stark similarities with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Even so, it achieved box office success and many felt that it was a fine attempt by the studio of creating something rather different.
The art style for the film was altered once Eyvind Earle left the company a year before its release.
Originally, Earle had intended for the backgrounds to have a great amount of detail to them, but when Geronimi took over as supervising director for the film he gave deep criticism toward Earle’s work and felt it too detailed. It was distorted and softened after Earle left as a result. In drawing Aurora, yourpsychotherapist depicts her in a way that I imagine Earle would have wanted her to look.
25 Enjoying The Rain
There is a lot of animation that is brought about thanks to comic books and the television series W.I.T.C.H. is no exception. The Italian fantasy comic bearing the same name spanned over eleven years and would produce one hundred and thirty-eight issues and sixteen specials during that time. Despite its long run and the amount of material that Disney had to work with, the show itself only lasted through two seasons.
While it might not have lasted as long as other animated series, there is a wealth of character depictions associated with it. This could, in part, also be due to the fact that the comic book series would continue on six years after the last episode of the show aired. Wogue loves to play around with colors and she challenges herself by selecting colors that are rather difficult to find complementary colors too, though her Will depiction is more in line with the source material.
24 Seeing Her Reflection
Being that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the company’s first full-length feature film you could say that they started off with a bang. It not only put the company on the map, but it also helped to foster the creation of animation studios that would later stem from it. It won many awards and is one of the highest grossing animated films of all time.
Animators and artists used real makeup to help them to create realistic colors.
As has been the trend with the company as of late, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is slated to have a live-action adaptation released and it is currently in production. If you are looking for fantastic realistic depictions of some of your favorite characters from video games, comic books, films, and more, sakimichan has you covered. Her Snow White portrayal is wholly unique and depicts the two sides of Snow White well.
23 The Belle Of The Ball
It seems as if Disney is attempting to expand upon the list of princesses with their character base and many feel that the inclusion of such characters within animated series is an effort by the company to test the waters. In a sense, they are attempting to gauge the interest of the public in regards to a particular character before they create a full feature film depicting them.
This is a good idea and it also allows for a following of the particular character before a film's release which helps to increase the likelihood of success for said film. There aren’t a lot of depictions of Princess Sofia that differ from her appearance in Sofia the First, but there is a difference in art styles as it relates to her. TheDavyJones does a little bit of everything as it relates to art and that includes taking a multitude of photographs.
22 Not The Same Wonderland
There is perhaps no film that gets more discussion over its true meaning then Alice in Wonderland. Though author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name of Lewis Carroll, was clear that the meaning of the story tied with the presence of imaginary numbers in mathematics, it still drove many to find a deeper underlying meaning.
It is through this lens of mathematics that we can begin to understand the true nature of the characters and the environment and it only helps to add to their depth. Jonas Jodicke is a master at color selection and color blending and his rendition of Alice really shows that. He creates sharp lines and bold colors that really stand out.
21 Remembering Her Past
For some time many felt that Disney was too keen on sticking with a particular art style. They wondered if the company was ever going to break loose from that and try something entirely different. While they made some headway along that front throughout the years, Monsters, Inc. changed how many viewed the company forever. Despite all of the doubt surrounding the film it became an instant box office success and proved once again that Disney was willing to change their animation format.
Through their subsidiary Pixar, Disney continued to make strides in the field of animation. Our next artist loves to draw in the Japanese art style and he has a unique way of blending watercolors with brilliant effects. His painting of Boo is more of the same and kawacy does a marvelous job of adding detail in the background to complement the characters.
20 The Forgotten Princess
Given the myriad of films and characters that Disney has created over the years, there are bound to be a few that miss the mark. While there were some redeeming qualities about the film The Black Cauldron, it wasn’t enough to save it at the box office. In fact, it did so poorly that it took ten years for it to have a home video release.
It had the largest budget of any film during that time and nearly doomed Disney animation.
Though the animation studio was in near collapse as a result, the film itself received high praise for its musical pieces and is still regarded to this day as one of the company’s best in that regard. Princess Eilonwy may be known as the forgotten princess as a result, but that doesn’t stop artists like melaniedelon from crafting beautiful renditions of her like we see here.
19 Protecting Sugar Rush
Just when you think that animated films are getting a bit repetitive in nature, another film comes out that is very different from all the rest. When Disney decided to start working on Wreck-It Ralph there was an understandable amount of excitement. After all, it was going to combine world-class animation with a subject matter that we all know and love, video games.
It was a Disney project that had been in concept form since the 1980s with the title of High Score.
Given the amount of time that the company had been tinkering with the project, it is no surprise at all that it received such a warm response from critics. If you take a stroll through the artwork done by joacoful you will be treated to a large collection of realistic artwork covering everything from video games to animated films. His Vanellope depiction mixes a range of colors to create a digitizing effect.
18 Within The Wilderness
With the difficulty that the company had with creating successful sequels to groundbreaking films, many wondered if they should stop making them all together. This sentiment was understandable given the performance of such sequels, but despite a negative reception, The Jungle Book 2 still managed to perform at the box office.
This could be attributed to the time between the films, but none the less it showed that the company could generate success when it came to second entries. Rosie-Love98 likes to do drawings of her favorite characters from the films and she plays around with many different art styles when creating such renditions. Her Shanti illustration keeps in line with the source material while also giving the character a bit of personality that we don’t perhaps see within the film itself.
17 Always On Guard
Peter Pan was yet another film by Disney that took a rather small budget and turned it into a colossal success. It wasn’t an easy task during the creation of the film and Walt Disney toiled over various ideas about how to go about bringing the story to life. At first, they were going to focus on the backstory of Peter Pan, but that was later changed to the story we know today.
Originally, they were going to have Peter kidnap Wendy.
Like many films before it, artist and animators were able to use a live action depiction of the story to work from. Though there are many drawings related to Tinker Bell and Peter pan out there, there is perhaps an equal amount of those related to Tiger Lily. This particular drawing of her done by Gnewi shows an awesome grownup version of the character.
16 Exploring Gravity Falls
Alex Hirsch, the creator of Gravity Falls, got his inspiration for the show from his time watching The Simpsons while growing up. He saw it as a prime example for how an animator could make a show that was geared toward kids while also making it for all ages. He felt that he could do more of the same with his aforementioned show and set out to do just that.
It wasn’t easy though and he found it rather difficult to incorporate all of the elements he was seeking into each and every episode of the show. While it only lasted two seasons it garnered a lot of respect and admiration among fans and critics alike during that time. Where-Lies-Goes is one such fan and this Mabel depiction shows a good grasp on the use of complementary colors. I also like the way that they have incorporated stars throughout the piece.
15 Using Her Powers
Sometimes the amount of artwork associated with a certain show will surprise you and that is for sure the case with the series W.I.T.C.H. The show itself was based upon an Italian comic book with the same title. The production of the show was handled by Disney along with seven other production companies around the world.
Despite the title of the show, none of the main characters within it are actually witches.
If you run a search for any of the main characters of the series you will have no trouble at all being introduced to a large selection of artworks. Shricka likes showing the process that goes into each piece that is created and you can see not just the original line art, but the steps of the coloring process as well. This particular piece depicting Hay Lin has a lot of movement within it and makes great use of highlighting to reinforce the idea of magic being present.
14 Not So Funny
The original series of Doug had its place among one of the better-animated series out there and still to this day I can remember lyrics from the songs sung by The Beets. Though that is indeed the case, many felt that Disney dropped the ball in the making of their own installment of the show. Many felt that the changes to the characters were too drastic and had really taken away from the original premise of the show.
While that may be the case, you will still find a lot of artist creating renditions of their favorite characters from the show. One such artist, GuxD, gives you a good first-hand look at the art creating process. I really like the changes he has made to Patti Mayonnaise here and I think that the colors really go well with the character.
13 Striking A Pose
Having watched a lot of cartoons growing up I realized that there were a few that I had completely forgotten about. One such cartoon is Pepper Ann and I imagine this was due to the other cartoons that ran alongside it during the same block at that time. After all, when shows like Doug and Recess are airing at the same time it’s hard for a show like Pepper Ann to really make any headway.
Lighane creates artwork using all sorts of mediums, but she tends to steer away from using digital drawing programs to do so. What she is able to do with Copic Markers and a pencil is nothing short of amazing. If you didn’t know any better, some of her art pieces could fool you into believing that she did create them digitally. Her Pepper Ann depiction showcases that and she even shares all the colors she used alongside it.
12 Taking Flight
You might be wondering what Kiki's Delivery Service is doing on our list and it will take a little bit of context to explain it. As you may know, Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki drew a lot of inspiration from Disney. He set out to create films like those he fell in love with from the company and as a result, he earned the respect and admiration from Disney in return.
The film was created under a partnership with Disney.
It was the first film by the company to be released within this same partnership and Disney would release a full fledged English dub of the film some eight years later. Ruiwen-art's depiction of Kiki is beautiful and does a great job of showing us what she'd look like in the future.
11 Hanging Out At The Beach
When it comes to some of my all time favorite animated films, Lilo & Stitch is among them. It wasn’t just because of the fantastic animation or the great characters within it though, it was also because Stitch was one of the first characters I attempted to mimic. It sparked my start into doing voice impressions and I have been doing them ever since
There is no shortage of artwork associated with the film either and you can pretty much find Lilo and Stitch drawn in virtually every art style on the planet. There are those that keep in line with the source material and those that exaggerate it or create something completely new all together. This illustration done by JasmineAlexandra does a little bit of both and she does a good job of creating a realistic depiction of what a grown up Lilo and Stitch might look like.
10 Ever Vigilant
With the remastering of a lot of the films we know and love many have wondered when Mulan will be added among them. There was a lot to like about the film and it is one that I could probably watch today and enjoy just as much as I did growing up. It did a great job of blending action sequences with a terrific storyline and it truly deserves a remake.
With a live-action currently in the works, a remake may soon happen.
It seems like only a matter of time and the influx of images associated with the film only continue to bolster the support behind such an idea. Having worked with the company in the past, rossdraws may be hinting at the possibility with his illustration depicting a grown-up Mulan ridding into battle. It is simply stunning and the level of detail on her horse and within her clothing is awe inspiring.
9 Venturing Into The Deep Blue
There is a lot to be said about an animation studio that is willing to continue to work outside their comfort zone to create groundbreaking films, unlike anything they have done before. It not only presents a challenge but also puts the whole field on notice about the ability of a particular studio to expand and evolve along with the times.
In the creation of Moana, there was a lot of historical research that was done along with visits to the areas where the film would be based. In keeping with Walt’s timed tradition, animators wanted to ensure that they got the details right and made them as true to life as possible. It paid off in a large way and the film is considered one of the greatest that the company has ever created. This rendering of Moana by kawacy is brilliant and I really like how he presents the sunlight.
8 Enjoying Some Relaxation
Alright so picture this, a writer goes into the animation studio and explains that they have this idea of creating an animated series around gummy bear candies. Not only did that happen with Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears, but the show went on to last for six whole seasons.
It is largely credited by animation historians as being what jumpstarted the television animation boom.
The show itself helped to bring about other great animated television series from the company and it gained so much popularity within the UK that certain episodes were released in theaters. While she might not be as popular as the other princesses, Calla has her fair share of fantastic renditions out there. Throughout the DeviantArt page of sugarnhoney we can see that there is a myriad of different artistic styles in play. This Cella drawing is quite different from the rest though and it mimics the traditional art style of Disney well.
7 Dancing Into The Night
When you think of Aladdin I’m sure that one of the first things you think about as it relates to the film is Robin Williams and his portrayal of the genie, and rightly so. After all, it was his appearance as the genie during teasers for the film that won admiration and critical acclaim from executives from all over the animation industry.
While he may have given rise to one of the most beloved characters in the film, Princess Jasmine has her place alongside him. There is an endless supply of great renditions out there of her and this one by artsbycarlos is among them. He uses varying degrees of blending to make it appear as if Jasmine’s clothing is moving right along with her as she dances and he provides different degrees of detail within each part of the piece to create a truly remarkable depiction of her.
6 Gaining Their Attention
Though there has already been a character from the series within our list, I couldn’t help but add another given how many great renditions are out there. Due to the difficulty of crafting each episode of Gravity Falls, writers were asked to work with a concept and craft a story around it. Not only that, but they were required to create two different scripts for which two separate storyboards would be created.
Even with all of that, creator Alex Hirsch stated that he still had to rewrite most lines.
He explained further that he wasn’t saying that the writing was bad, but that he had a differing vision for the characters and wanted to craft them to fit his vision. D0MINICA creates renderings of a ton of Disney characters and this one of Pacifica is like nothing else that is out there.
5 Ready To Strike
As you can probably guess, this is yet another portrayal of a character from the series W.I.T.C.H. In looking for renditions that relate to the show often times you will come across those that employ the use of water colors to illustrate some form of movement or help to depict the present of magic within the piece itself.
MinemikoMali does things a bit different and creates a much sharper image.
When it comes to realism, there are many different ways you can achieve the same result. Some will have a more photo like quality to them and others will have a realistic quality that falls in line with an oil based painting. MinemikoMali falls somewhere in between both worlds and she does a good job blending character elements into the background like the magic being cast by Taranee Cook that we see here.
4 Focusing On The Task At Hand
Kim Possible was easily one of the most successful animated series for the company to date. It would span over four seasons and in that time it would achieve some of the highest ratings of any animated series produced by the company. In fact, as of today, it is still the highest rated show that the company has ever produced and it was the company’s longest-running series as well until Phineas and Ferb.
Given the amount of fanfare that surrounds the show to this day, it is not a shock that there is a large number of depictions of all of the characters within it. While they all have their fair share, Kim Possible herself sits atop the pile with the most illustrations associated with her. One such illustration by tatianangfung surrounds her with a soft green aura to the backdrop of buildings with the same hue.
3 A Gloomy Future
At first Goldilocks was simply a part of a short animated film done by Disney, but later on, she was reintroduced into a series entitled Goldie & Bear. Many wondered when, if ever, the company was going to create a full-length feature film depicting the character, but the appearance of the show and its success may bring about that reality.
With an increase in her popularity, a film may be just around the corner.
TeeLamb takes a look into the future and what would happen if Goldilocks continues to go into houses without permission. It would lead to her making her way to prison and taking a mugshot, that might look a lot like this.
2 Peering Into The Distance
When it comes to deciding what art style to employ a lot depends on the character that you are trying to draw. Some artist will stick with one particular style throughout the piece while there will be others who mix different styles in order to achieve their desired results. It can be hard to mix two styles within a drawing, but it can also help an artist to gain a level of depth and sharpness to their character.
In creating renditions of characters ZakuraRain likes to do just that and she provides the right blend of both art styles to create it. While she tends to use a blended and blurred style to her backgrounds and a sharper style for her characters there are some minor changes that are applied depending on the character. In drawing Cornelia she does this by adding a blurred effect to her clothing while giving her wings a sharper appearance.
1 A Hint Of Magic
If the decision is ever made to create a series around the grown-up versions of the characters within Star vs. the Forces of Evil I don’t think that Disney will have to look far to find inspiration. Thanks to many artists who have become fans of the show, you can pretty much locate a grown-up version of every major character within it and you can even find some crossovers as well.
Creator Daron Nefcy got the idea for the show from her own experience of watching Sailor Moon.
She originally intended for Star to have no powers at all, but with Disney’s urging she changed the script and added magical abilities to Star’s character. Creating complex backgrounds to go along with realistic characters is what andyliongart is all about and his digital artwork of Star Butterfly shows many levels of depth. He picks the right background colors to complement both characters.