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30 Disney Cartoon Character Redesigns That Are Better Than the Originals

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Art via PixieCold – DeviantArt

Over the years, Disney has given us such a long list of memorable animated films, it’s hard to pick a favorite. The same goes for the huge line-up of iconic cartoon characters that have earned the studio a fiercely loyal fan base.

Disney fandom has taken its fascination with these characters to a new level. After all, the entertainment giant inspires us to believe anything is possible. From cosplay versions to fun character combinations, we’re sharing 30 super-creative character redesigns that are actually better than the originals.

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30. Kim Possible

Art via inktion – DeviantArt

The teenage heroine of Kim Possible may have looked like a typical cheerleader in the popular Disney cartoon.

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This fan redesign transforms the character using an amazing level of detail, while adding some sophistication to her overall appearance. In our opinion, it’s a look that’s perfectly fitting for a young woman who saves the world from supervillains in her spare time.

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29. Pocahontas and Moana

Art via logancure – DeviantArt

When we think of female Disney characters who are symbols of strength and power, the first two who come to mind are Pocahontas and Moana. Pocahontas is the legendary Native American woman who is credited with saving the life of colonial leader John Smith after he had been taken prisoner by her father’s men. Moana, on the other hand, is a Polynesian teenager who sets out on a daring voyage to save her people, fulfilling the ancient mission of her ancestors.

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In this incredible piece of art, these young women display their firm commitment to their people, standing strong, as dawn ushers in a new day.

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28. Warrior Mulan

Art via Skirtzzz – DeviantArt

Still on the topic of powerful young women, we take a look at a redesign of one of Disney’s toughest heroines, Mulan. In the film, Mulan is a young woman who disguises herself as a man to fight off northern invaders in China. Secretly, she actually wants to save her injured father from being drafted into the Imperial Army.

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This piece of art highlights Mulan as a warrior, while giving her a new look. With her huge sword, she seems to be ready for combat in any fantasy warrior game.

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27. Pocahontas Channels Her Culture

Art via MissMikopete – DeviantArt

Although the film and its lesser-known sequel focus on Pocahontas trying to understand the ways of the Europeans, we never forget that she is the daughter of a Native American chief.

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Here, her style of dress is reimagined in this piece of art, as she is depicted wearing an outfit that reflects her culture and status.

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26. Alice in Wonderland

Art via rebelakemi – DeviantArt

This piece of art delivers a more lifelike portrayal of the Alice in Wonderland story than the animations in the film. The Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and the Cheshire Cat are depicted realistically rather than the over-the-top versions we’re used to seeing.

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In both the 1865 novel and the Disney film, Alice is a young girl who falls through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world, and in this scene, we get a clear sense of her crazy adventures in this upside-down place, full of weird characters and creatures.

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25. Ariel the Little Mermaid

Art via PixieCold – DeviantArt

Ariel is the young mermaid princess at the center of one of the most-loved Disney tales. She is fascinated with life on land although she is forbidden by her father from visiting the surface. Audiences everywhere were instantly sympathetic and identified with her longing to see what else life might have to offer.

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In the film, apart from her mermaid tail, Ariel looked mainly human. In this redesign, however, she looks truly other-worldly. Her skin seems to have taken on the color of the ocean and her trademark red hair is now an unusual shade.

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24. Human Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Art via SakURA-JOkER – DeviantArt

Okay, so Mickey and Minnie Mouse have never been ordinary mice. They’ve always had human activities and adventures. Mickey is often seen courting Minnie and sometimes they even appear to be a married couple.

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The human versions of these highly recognizable characters wear the same iconic outfits and remain easily identifiable, although they’re shown as young teenagers in this creative redesign.

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23. Pokémon Disney Princesses

Art via Hapuriainen – DeviantArt

Nothing captures the imagination of little girls like the line-up of Disney Princesses. Each one has her own unique story, look and personality, from Cinderella to Jasmine and Tiana.

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One artist has envisioned a new concept for these amazing lead characters. This redesign portrays the line of Disney Princesses with a completely new look, as if they were part of the Pokémon universe.

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22. Scar and The Pride Lands

Art via FelisGlacialis – DeviantArt

If you thought Scar looked evil in Disney’s The Lion King, take a look at the depiction in this redesign. Here he trades the sleek form with a black streak that we saw in the animated film for a more realistic look with a long jagged scar.

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In this piece of art, he is overlooking the Pride Lands while they are ablaze around him, a fitting visual for this destructive character.

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21. A Frozen Family

Art via miacat7 – DeviantArt

The tragic death of Anna and Elsa’s parents was a major part of the Frozen storyline. Elsa’s parents were the ones who used to try to keep Elsa calm and level-headed, so her powers wouldn’t get out of control. Both sisters had a tough time as a result of being orphaned.

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In this artist’s reimagined version of the family, parents Iduna and Agnarr do not meet their demise during the voyage into the Dark Sea. Instead, the family is close-knit and happy.

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20. Tiana and Prince Naveen as Children

Art via Isaia – DeviantArt

In Disney’s modern version of a classic story, Tiana is a hardworking waitress and aspiring restaurant owner. She crosses paths with arrogant, carefree Prince Naveen and he ends up getting both of them turned into frogs.

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Since The Princess and the Frog is an altered retelling of the original Frog Prince story, why not add a new twist? In this charming piece of art, we see that Prince Naveen and Tiana know each other from childhood days and are playing together, with a frog of course.

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19. Elsa the Fire Queen

Art via RikaMello – DeviantArt

The entire premise of the hit film Frozen is that Elsa has unusual powers that allow her to blast ice and cold.

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This artist seems to be imagining Elsa with fiery powers instead. Elsa is totally transformed in this depiction. Her orange and red dress is fitting for a Fire Queen, and it is fair to assume she has generated the flames that surround her.

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18. Rapunzel, All-Powerful

Art via rossdraws – DeviantArt

The film Tangled is based on the classic story of Rapunzel’s imprisonment in a tower and her extremely long hair. Her exploration of her power led to the discovery that her hair has the ability to heal.

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Well, there’s no limit to an artist’s imagination and in this piece of art we see Rapunzel finding out about all the amazing powers she has. She is portrayed as a mighty force to reckon with.

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17. Jafar and Maleficent’s Happily Ever After

Art via Steampunk-Girl – DeviantArt

Surely evil Disney characters like Jafar and Maleficent should be defeated and repaid for their wicked deeds, right? Evil sorcerer Jafar made life very difficult for Aladdin and devious Maleficent put a curse on Aurora in the modern version of Sleeping Beauty.

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Let’s play devil’s advocate, pun intended. Suppose Jafar and Maleficent happened to meet and were able to stop scheming long enough to fall in love. Could they actually live happily ever after? The artist who created this redesign is suggesting they could.

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16. Sailor Moon Disney Princesses

Art via manony – DeviantArt

The spotlight is on the Disney Princesses once again. In this redesign, they are recognizable yet transformed. Gone is their familiar attire which fits each of their stories, yet even with a new look they’re still portrayed as brave symbols of “girl power.”

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Their anime-inspired appearance makes them look like they’ve been taken straight from the Sailor Moon franchise.

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15. Mulan (The Warrior and the Woman)

Art via cosmogirll – DeviantArt

Although Mulan pretends to be a man in the Disney film of the same name, by the end of the first Mulan film she has proven her skill as a warrior yet she reclaims her femininity and gains a love interest. She also gains the respect of the Chinese Emperor and the entire nation.

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In this rendering, we see Mulan as the confident young woman she became by the end of her adventure but of course she still has a powerful sword within her grasp.

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14. Beauty and the Beast

Art via T.DayDreamer – Tumblr

Often referred to as one of the best animated films of all time, Beauty and the Beast has such timeless popularity that Disney remade it, this time as a live action version starring Dan Stevens and Emma Watson.

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Inspired by the remake, this animated redesign depicts some of the key elements of the story. Belle is portrayed as the day-dreamer we know and love, obsessed with books, which the Beast painstakingly carries for her. Oh, the things we do for love!

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13. Meg of Hercules Fame Gets Greek Era Look

Art via shoomlah – DeviantArt

In the Disney film which tells the story of Hercules, son of Greek god Zeus, Hercules is shown meeting and falling in love with Megara, better known as Meg.

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This redesign depicts what seems to be an older version of Meg, wearing a more sophisticated style of period dress than we saw her wearing in the film. She is shown holding Hercules helmet under her arm. Who knows, this could portray her continued love for Hercules after his fall in a later battle.

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12. Cinderella and the Prince

Art via yourpsychotherapist – DeviantArt

The magical moment captured in this image is the highlight of the Cinderella story. Thanks to her fairy godmother, Cinderella got a gorgeous blue dress and a pair of glass slippers so her dream of attending the ball could come true. She meets the Prince and they dance the night away, at least until midnight.

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In this richly-colored, vibrant piece of art we see the couple swept up in the romance that is blossoming. This is the stuff fairytales are made of!

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11. A Disney Brotherhood of Grief

Art via NostalgicChills – DeviantArt

We’ve often seen Disney’s child lead characters lose their parents early in the films. From Bambi’s mother being killed by a hunter to Simba’s father being thrown off a cliff by his brother Scar, and Little Foot losing his mother during an earthquake in the film The Land Before Time.

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This image brings these sad young males together to comfort Koda from the film Brother Bear, as he mourns the loss of his mother. Their common bond of grief is written all over their faces in this emotional redesign.

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10. Aladdin, the Prince of Agrabah

Art via FERNL – DeviantArt

You can’t help but admire Aladdin. This young man went from having to live on the streets to falling in love with Princess Jasmine. Not to mention he found a genie in a lamp, defeated the evil Jafar and became the hero of Agrabah.

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Upon marrying Jasmine, he became a Prince. Here we see Aladdin reimagined in his princely glory, suited up in armor, looking as much a warrior as the Prince of Persia from the video game franchise.

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9. Snow White

Art via yourpsychotherapist – DeviantArt

Disney stays true to the emotional story of Snow White as it was written in the Grimm fairy tale. A lonely princess, Snow White is mistreated by evil stepmother, the vain Queen who is jealous of Snow White’s beauty. As the story unfolds, the Queen orders the murder of her stepdaughter but later discovers Snow White is alive and well, living in a cottage with seven dwarves.

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This image reflects the point in the film when Snow White runs away from the Queen’s castle. Her deep despair is vividly portrayed in this image.

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8. Ariel Walks On Land

Art via yourpsychotherapist – DeviantArt

This redesign realistically depicts the moment Ariel had been waiting for throughout The Little Mermaid film. The time for her to walk on land had finally come, even if it meant sacrificing her voice as part of her deal with the sea witch Ursula.

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Here we see Ariel feeling thrilled with her human legs as she climbs the cliffs near the sea and gazes back at her aquatic home. Sebastian the crab follows close by in this mesmerizing rendering.

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7. Sleeping Beauty’s Slumber

Art via yourpsychotherapist – DeviantArt

A well-known Disney tale, Sleeping Beauty takes us on a rollercoaster journey of good versus evil.

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The three good fairies and her parents tried their best, but the princess at the center of this story still falls prey to the curse placed on her by Maleficent and she goes into a deep eternal sleep. This is the moment depicted in this redesign. She is wearing her classic outfit and holds a rose as everyone waits for a true love’s kiss to break the spell.

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6. Disney’s Avengers

Art via Renny08 – DeviantArt

This redesign represents a controversial period in Disney’s history. It captures precisely what fans of the Marvel franchise initially feared when Disney bought the rights to the MCU.

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It turns out there was nothing to fear after all because the films have done very well, but first Marvel fandom imagined animated characters would play the roles of the iconic heroes. This lighthearted image shows Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck taking on the roles of Cap and Iron Man.

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5. Cinderella Caught In a Storm

Art via akaLilu – DeviantArt

The artist who designed this image drives home the concept of Cinderella and the Prince being swept away in their new-found love for each other as they dance at the ball. Their embrace and expressions are portrayed with tenderness.

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Although this depiction is anime-inspired, it still conveys the spirit of the classic story. This piece of art is a moving tribute to a powerful romance.

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4. Aurora, Mother of Dragons

Art via IsaiahStephens – DeviantArt

Both built on fantasy, Disney and Game of Thrones share many similarities. The two franchises use themes of power, danger, and romance in the adventures that captivate audiences.

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Somehow it isn’t a stretch to see Sleeping Beauty, also known as Disney Princess Aurora, reworked as the Game of Thrones character Daenerys Stormborn (Targaryen), also known as Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons. In this redesign, we see Aurora as we’ve never seen her before, dragon in hand and transformed to have Daenerys’ highly recognizable look.

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3. The Aristocats Become Human

Art via MabyMin – DeviantArt

In Disney’s The Aristocats, a wealthy retired opera singer wills her entire estate to Duchess, her cat who is used to the Parisian high life, and her three kittens. The butler is in line to inherit the riches after the cats die, so he kidnaps them and leaves them in the countryside.

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The kittens are as defenseless as children, so this redesign is quite fitting. You can’t help but feel sorry for them as they end up living on the street while trying to make it back home. This image puts a human face on the concept of fighting to survive in a world that baffles them.

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2. Esmerelda and Clopin

Art via Quarter-Virus – DeviantArt

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is an unforgettable Disney film. The disfigured protagonist, Quasimodo, is confined to the Notre Dame bell tower and longs to be with other people. This leads him to meet the enchanting gypsy, Esmeralda. When this beautiful young woman catches the eye of Quasimodo’s guardian, evil Frollo, Quasimodo must help to keep her out of his clutches.

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In this image, Esmeralda is no damsel in distress. She and gypsy leader Clopin present a united front and share the same naughty gleam in their eyes.

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1. Peter Pan

Art via andersonmahanski – DeviantArt

Full of fun and fantasy, the Disney film Peter Pan traces the adventures of Wendy and her two brothers after Peter Pan flies into their bedroom. Peter and his fairy friend, Tinkerbell, lead the children from their London home to a far-off place called Neverland, where children stay young forever.

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Seeing Peter Pan and Wendy portrayed as carefree young children, we sympathize with their reluctance to grow up.

Kat Begonja

Kat Begonja

Lover of animals, writing and all things Croatian!

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