To say that Disney’s animated movies are a huge influence on the art world is an understatement. There are hundreds of artists who were inspired by or learned to draw from the Disney movies they watched as a kid. This has resulted in some awesome artists getting into the art industry and then paying tribute the animated movies that inspired them in the form of awesome redesigns of their favorite characters. Of course, this isn’t every artist’s motivation, but regardless, there are some seriously cool fan redesigns of Disney characters out there.
The greatest thing about Disney’s animated films is that there are so many genres to choose from, even amongst the princess movies. This has inspired artists to create tons of interpretations and redesigns that sometimes look better than the movies they originated from.
We decided to find some of the coolest Disney art out there, picking out the pieces that took our favorite animated characters in a different direction. The greatest part of these redesigns are their great attention to detail, incorporating elements of the original designs and adding in a new touch of creativity.
With that said, here are 15 Crazy Disney Redesigns Way Better Than The Movies.
15. SOME INCREDIBLE KIDS
To start off, we’ve got the Parr kids, otherwise known as the Incredibles. With the recently released trailer for The Incredibles sequel, it doesn’t look like we’ll be going this far into the future, which is what makes this fan design by Deviantart artist MabyMin so cool. MabyMin gives us a look at an older Dash, Violet, and Jack-Jack as they settle into their superhero roles.
What makes these designs so great is the balance between the team aesthetic and individual identities. The colors, logos, and belts all match, but each kid still has a unique look to them.
Even better is the incorporation of classic superhero design elements: Violet, like DC’s Raven, has a hooded cloak look to match her psychic/invisible abilities, Dash has got a Kid Flash vibe going for him and Jack-Jack looks like a little devil, fitting to his various destructive powers.
14. LILO AND MONSTROUS STITCH
Even though Stitch eventually adapted a friendly persona, let’s not forget that he was, by every definition, an alien monster. Jaslynn Tham Munn Yi took this concept and gave it a video game twist. This digital painting depicts Lilo and Stitch as though they were a videogame duo; Lilo is the lovable quirky protagonist and Stitch is the monster she commands.
We particularly like how Stitch was redesigned; all the original elements are there, but the “alien monster” dial is cranked up to 11. Jaslynn wonderfully depicts an older Lilo, one whose wholesome appearance contradicts the drooling monster she sits on top of. We’d love to play a video game starring these two, something akin to Banjo-Kazooie or The Last Guardian.
13. THE WALKING DISNEY
This piece is one of many in Deviantart user Kasami-Sensei’s “The Walking Disney” series. These redesigns depict Disney characters in the world of a zombie apocalypse. We featured the Maleficent piece that depicts her holding a chainsaw reminiscent of the one Ash wielded in Evil Dead, but there are so many more from every genre of Disney movie. Each of these apocalyptic redesigns come with a short story, telling the character’s background in a zombie-filled world, how they survived and where they are now.
Though all the designs are great, these little stories bring everything together, connecting these reimagined versions of your favorite Disney characters to a world akin to The Walking Dead. Like a lot of interpretations, Kasami-Sensei uses elements of the original designs in his interpretations, as seen in the Maleficent piece.
12. HISTORICALLY ACCURATE POCAHONTAS
Disney tends to simplify the clothing of the specific era their movies take place in, partially for easier animating and partially to make the designs flow a bit better. Because of this, there’s quite a few artists out there who redesign Disney princesses with historically accuracy in mind. Above is one of Frida Johansson’s pieces enacting this concept with Pocahontas, whose Disney film is notorious for being horrifically inaccurate. This is just one of Johansson’s three historically accurate princess pieces, all of which are wonderful and beautiful.
With this Pocahontas piece, she is depicted as being a teenager, closer to her young age in her real life encounters with John SMith. Furthermore, her clothing is more historically accurate, with a bit of the Disney coloring thrown in.
11. FOXILY ACCURATE MAID MARIAN
Like Frida Johansson, artist Claire Hummel also did some historically accurate redesigns of Disney Princesses. Hummel’s designs were part of a project aptly titled “Historical Princesses,” which used real examples of historical apparel from each princess’ country of origin as reference.
Above is her April Fool’s Day entry in the series, an “accurate” Maid Marian from Disney’s Robin Hood. Since this version starred anthropomorphic animals, Hummel hilariously depicted what a real fox would do if placed in traditional clothing.
The rest of the designs in the Historical Princesses series are all wonderful, beautiful interpretations of the ladies of Disney. Her Belle piece looks more like a traditional french gown, her Jasmine redesign incorporates Islamic fashion, and her drawing of Hercules’ Meg looks like she’s straight out of a Greek painting.
10. DISNEY UNIVERSITY
This is a particularly fun one, it’s the “Disney University” series by Rubén, an artist from Spain known as Hyung86 on Deviantart. Reubén has taken nearly every major Disney and Pixar character and redesigned them as though they all go to the same school, Disney University.
These redesigns also include a bit of background for each “student,” which help bring the whole school concept together. Even better, the characters’ role in their respective films is incorporated into their hobbies or field of study at the university, a nice touch to the student-themed redesigns.
9. BOO, MONSTER SLAYER
This digital painting depicts an epic battle between a young girl and a giant snake monster… wait, is that Boo and Randall from Monsters Inc?! Indeed it is, and artist Tom Lopez has made them both look incredibly awesome. This piece depicts the adorable girl as a wandering monster hunter, coming across this purple beast in her travels.
This is one of two of Tom Lopez’s Monsters Inc pieces, with the other depicting Mike as a salvager, looking for remnants of Monsters Inc while riding on a giant, beastly version of Sully. Both pieces are awesome redesigns of the originals, taking the adorable elements and reinterpreting them into a Skyrim-like world, a savage land of monsters and danger.
8. SUPER PRINCESSES
For those longing for a Marvel/Disney crossover, we have a wonderful series of redesigns by Melissa Erickson that depicts the ladies of Disney as awesome superheroes. The best part is that each Disney princess is given a theme-appropriate costume based on their designs, films, and/or backgrounds.
Ariel is an combination of Queen Mera and Aquaman, with a bit of Abe Sapien thrown into the mix. Belle looks like a beast-hunting paranormal superhero. Aurora has a ’60s styled costume that perfectly adapts the elements of her dress. Jasmine has some awesome tiger stripe tattoos and prehensile hair. Cinderella looks a lot like Emma Frost. Mulan is a martial artist-styled hero akin to Iron Fist with awesome red eyepaint. The giant collar of Snow White’s dress earns her a vampire-like theme, complete with pointy cape. Lastly, Tiana’s swamp-setting has her rocking an awesome poison ivy-like costume and powerset.
7. TERRIFYING HADES
We can’t really say this version of Disney’s lord of the dead would work in an animated film, but that doesn’t make it any less cool. Deviantart user Apterus really brought a lot to his redesign of Hades, taking the Disney concept and creating something unique and frightening – perfect for a live-action Hades.
The flame-headed design is repurposed as a decaying skull-like head, seeming to be held together by the energy of the eternally damned. We particularly like the missing teeth and rotting skin look, which make him look like a magical zombie, appropriate for the lord of the underworld.
Apterus has made the Hercules villain look like a boss out of Dark Souls, and it’s an amazing digital painting to boot.
6. PRINCESS SMACKDOWN
We doubt Disney would ever do it, but wouldn’t a princess fighting game be awesome?! Think of Injustice but with fighting versions of your favorite princesses. Rebecca Lawler gives us a look at what a Princess fighting game might be like with her piece, “Disney Princess Smackdown.” There’s a lot to love about this drawing, especially all the fighting-oriented redesigns.
Most of their dresses have been replaced with pants and boots and they’re all brandishing some awesome-looking fighting gloves. Even the sillier elements of their outfits are given purpose to a potential fighting style — like Cinderella’s glass slippers, which look like they pack a punch – or should we say a kick?
5. BUZZ LIGHTYEAR
Deviantart user BrotherBaston has really taken this design to infinity and beyond! Yeah okay, bad joke, but it doesn’t make this piece any less awesome. BrotherBaston has taken Buzz’s space-suit and turned it into a sci-fi masterpiece. Where the original Buzz had a bulky, very toy-looking suit, this version is a lean, mean, green machine.
The update to the wings and the way he incorporates the stripes are truly brilliant design work. Baston also depicts Buzz as a real space ranger rather than a toy version, which makes the whole thing even cooler.
Unfortunately, this is BrotherBaston’s only Toy Story piece, in fact, his only Disney piece, as we’d love to see how he’d approach a redesign of Woody, Wendy, or even Zurg.
4. NOUVEAU PRINCESSES
This is one of Hanna Alexander‘s many redesigns of Disney Princesses, part of her “Nouveau” series. Coming from the French word for “new”, this style essentially means updated or modern. It’s derived from nouveau riche, which means recently wealthy. In other words, Hanna’s “Nouveau series” is meant to give a modern, elegant update to the Disney princesses.
The above is one of six Disney entries in the series, featuring Mulan, Belle, and Ariel. Alexander’s modern touch to these characters is incredibly elegant and intricate, incorporating the original designs into modern, high-fashion gowns. Particularly impressive is the effect of Ariel’s dress mimicking her seashell bra and mermaid’s tail, while this is a completely new silhouette for Belle’s iconic golden ball gown, and Mulan’s dress has epaulettes that suggest her military background.
3. NORWEGIAN DRESS ELSA
Disney’s Frozen was inspired by both the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Snow Queen, and the landscape and culture of Norway. As such, Norwegian artist Dina Norlund decided to redesign Elsa’s ice gown as a “bunad” dress. “Bunad” is the term encompassing the folk clothing of Norway, and we think this version improves upon the original gown.
The brilliant colors remains, but the fabrics and design are more in line with traditional Norwegian dresses. The best part is that the ice motif is still alive and well in this version, incorporated into the patterns of a bunad dress, the traditional jewelry, and even Elsa’s shoes. Not only is it a great design, but the digital painting is also beautifully well done.
2. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
This adorable version of Belle and The Beast is a wonderful take on the classic Disney film’s characters. These designs were done by Arem Pak, a character designer and illustrator. Arem has taken the base of these characters’ designs and thrown in some new, interesting elements.
The beauty of these designs is in the details. Belle has a wonderfully cute beauty mark, an adorable hairdo, and flowers incorporated into her dress and hair. Beast has a shorter tail and stubbier horns, and his outfit looks just the slightest bit too small for his beastly frame.
But the details aren’t the only great part, Arem’s color choices are also an excellent change to these characters. Belle’s green eyes increase her beauty and the yellows, golds, and oranges in her dress are excellently selected. Beast’s blue eyes show the innocence behind his beastly form, and the bits of blond amongst his brown fur are a nice touch.
1. KEYBLADE WARRIOR PRINCESSES
For those who don’t know, there’s a video game series called Kingdom Hearts, and it’s kind of the most insane thing to ever happen. It’s a joint project between Square Enix and Disney, following a character named Sora. Sora is the chosen wielder of a weapon known as the “Keyblade”, a weapon that opens up other worlds for him to explore. Each of the worlds you can travel to in the game is from a Disney movie, and when a world is completed, you typically acquire a Keyblade with a theme based on that world/movie.
Artist Avery Ota has taken these Keyblades and given them to the women of the movies they’re based on. Ota has dubbed this her “Keyblade Warrior” series, and above is just one example of her awesome redesigns, Belle wielding the Divine Rose. Along with Belle, Ota has also done Mulan, Alice, Tinker Bell, Sally, Jasmine, and Cinderella.
Are there any other Disney redesigns you love? Share them in the comments.
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