Cartoons have a magical effect on children and adults of all ages. Just the mere thought of a favorite cartoon character can instantly bring someone years back to when they were a child. Although some of the most beloved cartoon characters may be forever etched in memory as being sweet and innocent, a few artists decided to mix things up with some imaginative fan art.
Childhood nostalgia and the love of cartoons certainly goes hand in hand. Earlier this week, fans were given a sneak peek at the upcoming Detective Pikachu trailer, featuring Ryan Reynolds. Disney also announced some new plot details regarding Toy Story 4, while Nintendo revealed that an upcoming Super Mario Bros. movie is a definite priority. Nintendo has reportedly been working closely alongside Illumination studios for the upcoming film, who also produced Despicable Me and Minions. While we're on the subject of cartoons, we decided to make a list of some of the more darker versions of cartoon characters.
Wickedly delightful and creative, some of these fan art photos are a bit scary and might make some squirm. There are some cartoon characters that are inherently creepy—we’re looking at you, Ronald McDonald—but there are some that are so incredibly innocent, you might be surprised at how these cartoon characters would look as villains. However, others are just so ingenious, you can’t help but look at them and smile because of the sheer brilliance of it all.
Let’s take a look at these 25 Wild Cartoon Characters Reimagined As Villains.
20 Mike (Monster’s Inc)
In the beloved Disney animated movie Monster’s Inc, Mike Wazowski couldn’t be farther from the label of a stereotypical scary monster. DeviantArt user Tomallica decided to create an imaginative take on the lovable one-eyed character. With an eerie sense of spot-on realism, the artist has recreated a wildly amusing action shot of Mike. Featuring rows of sharp teeth and a wide grin, this variation of Mike Wazowski is not here to play.
This is not the beloved Mike W. that one might remember as a childhood memory. Sure, it was super sweet when Boo pronounced his name in the most adorable fashion, but this Mike is another monster entirely. Bravo on the excellent quality, we’re sure that this digital painting is bound to cause more than a few scares.
19 Sailor Moon
Sailor Moon and her friends might be fighting evil by moonlight, and winning love by daylight, but in this variation, the character is anything but sugary sweet. Originally posted by 2D artist Stef Tastan, this portrait shows a tough Sailor Moon who's not afraid to take on any challenge. Complete with a bokeh background effect and a pair of soft, ethereal looking wings, this portrait is just so dreamy. Art enthusiasts will certainly appreciate the subtle details and lighting.
The artist wanted to portray a realistic Sailor Moon who isn't afraid to back down from a fight. Featuring a battle-torn version of her signature Sailor Suit, this iteration of Sailor Moon is ready for any type of threat.
If you're a fan of The Punisher from the MCU, you'll certainly appreciate this tough rendition of Tigger. In this digital fan art portrait, Tigger is far from his sweet home of the Hundred Acre Wood. With a frame that resembles a grizzled war vet, this fanart version features Tigger tending to his wounds. While wrapping a bandage around his tail, Tigger also has barbed wire, nails, and extra bandages nearby.
Amusingly enough, the artist DanLuVisiArt included some fun easter eggs connecting back to other Winnie the Pooh characters. In the background, a bulletin board features photos of Roo, Eeyore, Piglet, Winnie the Pooh, and Christopher Robin himself. Typically, Tigger is always portrayed as the most hyper, energetic character of all. In stark contrast, this Tigger conjures up images of a mobster or The Punisher.
17 Snow White
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? The classic fairytale Snow White and the Seven Dwarves hardly needs a lengthy introduction. Artist Jeffrey Thomas has taken things to a new level with this wickedly delightful rendition of Snow White herself. With dark and somber tones, Snow White looks down upon the dwarves, who she has bound individually with ropes around their necks.
This piece also depicts Snow White holding a gnarled looking apple—complete with worms squirming out the sides, and a look of decay from the center. Forget about the smiley, singing dwarves from the animated Disney movie. These dwarves have haunting, glowing eyes and rows of pointed teeth. This is one version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves that's not for the faint of heart.
16 Toy Story
“You've got a friend in me…” Artist Ivan Maraht has stepped out to head to infinity and beyond with this eye-catching piece of Toy Story fan art. The digital artist also works as a VFX compositor, and his work is truly visually stunning to look at. This piece looks like a movie poster, with Woody and Buzz Lightyear found front and center. Other beloved characters, like Jessie, Rex and the Alien toys are also featured.
Who didn't wonder what the Toy Story crew might look like as a real life posse? While some of us continue to count down towards the release of Toy Story 4, we can always look towards this piece for a little entertainment. Maraht has sketched out something we've always been curious about.
15 Lion King
Disney fan and artist Jeffrey Thomas has struck gold again, and this time with a seriously twisted version of The Lion King. With Nala shown as the focal point, it begs the question, should we be thinking about a possible new title—The Lion Queen?
This digital fan art piece shows Nala on the prowl, complete with recent scars from battle and a piece of flesh hanging from her mouth. The questionable piece of flesh or fur in her mouth looks suspiciously like Simba's pelt, but let's not go there. The lovable meerkat Timon and the boisterous warthog Puma stand on either side, poised and ready to go. Fans might be wondering with panic: where’s Simba? Let’s just move on before we think too hard about that one.
14 Mickey Mouse
When it comes to legendary status, few characters on this list are quite as iconic as Mickey Mouse. Over the years, self-professed fans known as “Disneyholics” have undoubtedly witnessed hundreds of variations of the smiling mouse, but none quite like this. Artist Sebastian von Buchwald has conjured up a demented form of Mickey Mouse that's bound to cause chills.
Looking seriously sinister, this version of Mickey definitely won't make anyone want to join the Mouseketeers anytime soon. Sebastian von Buchwald's artwork makes Mickey Mouse look like a hybrid of Venom and a Dementor. Big props to this artist for creating such a villainous rendition of Mickey.
13 Calvin and Hobbes
Deviantart user MrG00 has decided to take things way back with a big dose of nostalgia. If you grew up reading the weekly cartoons found in the newspaper, you might remember a lovable comic strip about a boy and his tiger. In this imaginative piece, the artist has created an anime-inspired piece of Calvin, who almost resembles Cloud from Final Fantasy. With spiked hair, an oversized hoodie and cutoff shorts, this version of Calvin looks like he has personally witnessed horrors in a post-apocalyptic world.
Although most might remember Hobbes as his stuffed animal from the comics, you might do a double take at the tough tiger's muscular frame in this piece of art. With a unique flair, artist MrG00 has successfully created a brand new version of Calvin and Hobbes.
Deviantartist Tohad has created a truly disturbing piece that might make you want to rethink some of your old childhood memories— or never revisit them again. If you remember the television series, Rugrats, as a warm and fuzzy entertaining show, this piece is bound to ruffle some feathers. With its deranged-looking Tommy, fans might be more than a little startled by this artist’s bold style.
This piece of fan art also centers on a slightly demented Chuckie and a nightmarish version of Phil & Lil. Tohad has a pop-art inspired style, complete with their bold use of color choices and composition.
Deviant art user lordzasz has done the impossible, they have literally made one of the cutest Disney characters of all time into a nightmarish creature. Stitch is truly a cute, misunderstood part of the Disney fandom. In the original Lilo and Stitch movie, Stitch’s arrival caused a little bit of mayhem when he arrived on Earth.
In this version, the artist has created a traditional drawing of Stitch as a Heartless creature. If he was a menace in the movie, it looks like this version would be ten times worse. With drool slipping from his mouth, the lovable creature from Lilo and Stitch is literally no more. Say aloha to the cute Stitch, and hello to a new evil version.
10 Mario (Nintendo)
It's-a me, Mario! Or is it? This dark version of Mario by artist Josh Summana truly leaves things open to the fan's imagination. With an ominous look, this fan art piece is quite the deviation from the norm. Although many fans are used to seeing Mario in as an enthusiastic character that's bursting with energy, this image seems to make people want to scratch their heads.
A far cry from his typical upbeat attitude, this enigmatic Mario no longer holds a thumbs up and a huge grin. In this mysterious fan art version, Mario isn’t here to play— holding a thumbs down sign and a cold stare— and it brings about all sorts of questions.
You might wonder how far she'll go with this wicked look by deviantart user Ihlosih. Fans of Disney’s Polynesian-inspired adventure Moana will appreciate this uniquely created piece. As one fan noted, it reminded them of what may happen if Moana decided to hold onto the Heart of Te Fiti for her own personal power.
The artist captured the facial structure of Moana with an uncanny resemblance, and decided to add in a pair of glowing eyes as a dramatic effect. Keeping true to the essence of the story, the artist also included the clear blue ocean waters in the background. Although we're so used to seeing Moana as the true heroine of the story, this gives fans a glimpse at what it may be like to see Moana as the villain.
8 Charlie Brown
Charles Schulz, the original creator of the Charlie Brown comics, might be a bit taken aback by this fan created piece. Featuring classic characters like Charlie Brown and Snoopy, a group of digital artists decided to create a dark, apocalyptic-like approach with this artwork. The coloring work was completed by Sean Ellery, the pencil illustration from Max Dunbar, and the inkwork by Vitali Iakovlev.
With the lead protagonist at the front and center, supporting characters line the bottom of the artwork, appropriately titled, "It's the Apocalypse Charlie Brown!" The artists even penned a short backstory to coincide with the illustration, describing how Lucy had overreached her quest for power, resulting in a nuclear apocalyptic world. Since then, Charlie Brown has roamed the wasteland with his faithful sidekick, Snoopy IV.
7 Link (Zelda)
For video game fans, it goes without saying that when Nintendo's Legend of Zelda series hit the stage, it changed the world. Gamers of all ages can all relate with fond memories of getting lost in the world of Hyrule. Deviant artist thatLD shares the sentiment, and has decided to share their passion for The Legend of Zelda and video games with a mashup of Link battling a darker version of Link.
In this intriguing mashup, the digital artist decided to create a sense of drama with a dark rendition of the Link from The Legend of Zelda. Nintendo's popular franchise has enchanted fans for generations, and continues to engage fans, year after year.
6 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Featuring a bold, stylized aesthetic, this piece by allengeneta is bound to appeal for any fan of eighties and nineties cartoons. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are featured in all of their glory, complete with seriously sharp weaponry. The artist portrayed the turtles in a dynamic pose.
With a strong attention to detail, this fan art has a sense of movement, with the artist including ripples and folds found on the fabric of their clothes. When it comes to fan art and childhood nostalgia, artist allengeneta really knows how to make a bold impact. Featuring the four lead characters from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this piece is certainly bound to be a fan-favorite.
Created by Brooklyn-based digital artist Hanna Jaeun, this piece draws from the artist's love for video games. Most of her work is primarily with acrylics on wood panel, and this piece shows off her signature style with a retro twist. Few arcade games have made quite an impact like Pac-Man. Although many will recall the spherical character in pixel form, Hanna Jaeun has decided to create a realistic portrait of the beloved video game character.
Featuring sharp fang-like teeth and a slithering tongue, this Pac-Man is a far cry from the more innocent-looking video game character. Hanna Jaeun has elevated things to the next level with this bold piece of fan art. The artist even included horror-inspired elements, like a dripping texture of saliva and a sense of blood-shot eyes on the character.
4 Hello Kitty
When it comes to all things kawaii, Hello Kitty reigns supreme. Artist jflaxman has molded Hello Kitty into something else entirely, titling his piece as “Hallow Kitty” instead. The Japanese character has infiltrated pop culture, and has always seemed like the queen of cute in all regards. However, jflaxman has decided to mix things up with a spooky portrayal of the wide-eyed feline.
Although the original Hello Kitty character is never shown with a mouth, this artist decided to add in a pair of sharp fangs for added measure. Creating a scary feel, this piece also features a version of Hello Kitty with scrawny limbs, a lopsided dress and drooping eyelids. Say hello to a much darker iteration of Hello Kitty.
3 Ronald McDonald
Few things are as synonymous with childhood nostalgia as the sight of a photo of Ronald McDonald. The golden arches of McDonalds are already iconic on their own, but when paired with the clown, it can invite waves of long-lost memories flooding back. On the opposite end of the spectrum, artist Wil Hughes 3D has effectively made an a piece of fan art that's bound to mar the familiar face of our childhood.
With an unruly head of bright red hair, Ronald McDonald stares out into the abyss with sunken-in eyes. As if that wasn't scary enough on its own, the clown has traded in his warm, inviting smile for a menacing grin. This might be one of the more spooky images on our list.
Ah, Pikachu. Few wide-eyed cartoon characters are as beloved as the cuddly yellow Pokémon. Whether it's those pointed ears, zig zag tail, or just the character's overall adorable appearance, you'd be hard pressed to find anything even remotely scary about this one. Pikachu may be as sweet as can be, but Deviant Artist n00brevolution has creating an intriguing take on the Pokémon.
With a subtle yet powerful black and white image, the artist has turned Pikachu into a devilish figure to be feared. With razor-sharp teeth and jagged claws, this image would definitely make Raichu cower in fear. Hats off to the talented artist for creating a stylized evil version of Pikachu.
1 Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh is undoubtedly the most well-known character out of the Hundred Acre Wood. Whether fans have read the classic novels, watched the animated series, or the more modern film adaptations, Winnie the Pooh is a legendary children's cartoon character by far. Anyone who is familiar with the series can attest, Pooh bear is usually characterized by a calm, Zen-like demeanor.
In this fan art image, artist CameronHarperArt takes a cerebral approach to what may be lurking under the surface of Pooh's gentle persona. Featuring rows of honey bees, Winnie the Pooh stands center stage in the Hundred Acre Wood. Behind him, three gigantic grizzly bears tower over his figure, shredding everything in sight and looking completely enraged.
What's your favorite villainous fan art? Let us know in the comments!