25 Unused DreamWorks Concept Art Designs That Would've Changed Everything

Shrek Concept Art

Over the years, DreamWorks has put out a number of rather unique animated movies that have stood out in the industry, with a number of their movies, such as Shrek, becoming even more iconic than a number of Disney movies from around the same time.

Of all of the animation studios, DreamWorks is arguably the only studio to actually give Disney a run for their money on a regular basis.

The biggest draw for DreamWorks movies is how unique their stories are. They tend to take a pre-determined genre or style of movie and add a rather unexpected twist.

For example, Shrek was a classic fairy tale romance, but starring an ogre with a donkey rather than a prince with a horse. More recently, Boss Baby made an infant into a controlling businessman, and Kung Fu Panda made a chubby, lazy panda voiced by Jack Black into a ninja-like hero.

However, while a number of these DreamWorks movies have already been rather strange, a number of them were almost a lot stranger.

Early concept art of some of the movies showed how different they could have been, and all in all, it makes us wonder if the alternate plans for these movies would have been better or worse.

With that said, here are the 25 Unused DreamWorks Concept Art Designs That Would've Changed Everything.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Adorable Bee Movie Concept Art
Start Now

25 An Adorable Bee Movie

Adorable Bee Movie Concept Art

One DreamWorks movie that really didn't take off too well up until the last few years was Bee Movie.

This unique comedy starring a bee and a woman just didn't click with audiences. It could have been because of the concept of a bee and a woman in love, or it could have been because of the animation style that simply wasn't appealing in the slightest.

This concept art is genuinely a lot better looking than what we actually got.

Their eyes are incredibly larger than they were in the movie, which makes them more accurate to actual bees.

All in all, Bee Movie could have been a much more appealing movie had this design been implemented.

24 Boss Baby's Baby-Sized Home

Boss Baby's House Concept Art

Boss Baby was a rather clever concept from DreamWorks, showing a businessman in the form of a baby that got into some clever hi-jinks in a plot to take down an immortal breed of puppies.

However, what really entertained audiences was the clever ways that Boss Baby was shown as a businessman.

One concept idea that never made the finished cut of the movie was Boss Baby's own home. While Boss Baby's room was where he usually stayed, he nearly had a house to himself out in the yard, which we can assume would have had a rather professional looking office inside.

23 Turbo As A Sloth

Turbo Concept Art

One of DreamWorks' most unique twists in a movie was Turbo, which featured a snail that became a professional racer.

Evidently, DreamWorks went through a couple drafts for their racing hero, and this concept art reveals that one of those original drafts featured the protagonist being a sloth rather than a snail.

Like snails, sloths are well known for being incredibly slow and lazy.

Presumably, this concept would have worked, but as the concept art shows, it may not have been as visually appealing as a snail. Perhaps DreamWorks made the right call going with a snail rather than a sloth.

22 A Rather Different Looking Tulio

El Dorado Concept Art

The Road To El Dorado is one of DreamWorks' least memorable movies over the years, but this concept art reveals that it was almost quite different.

One of the issues with The Road To El Dorado was that its animation style was exactly like that of The Prince of Egypt, which had released only two years earlier, so it didn't really stand out as anything unique.

Perhaps this radically different style would have been more appealing, or at least different enough to get more people to see The Road To El Dorado.

Maybe it would even be more memorable today had this design been implemented.

21 Donkey With Hair

Shrek Donkey With Hair Concept Art

Shrek Forever After featured a number of radical changes to our favorite characters, such as showing a much rounder Puss in Boots and a more barbaric Fiona.

For whatever reason, though, Donkey almost received a major change of his own, nearly featuring a raggedy head of hair.

While this does help to show how raggedy his lifestyle is, it wouldn't really make sense considering the plot of the movie.

There's not really any way to explain why Donkey would have suddenly grown hair on top of his head had he never met Shrek, so it makes sense that this concept was cut.

20 Less Adorable Trolls

Trolls Concept Art

The year 2016's Trolls was a huge hit for DreamWorks, absolutely redefining the trolls toys that were a hit back in the '80s.

As some concept art revealed, the trolls in the movie underwent a number of different drafts, with the concept art above showing the creatures being incredibly more grotesque than they were in the movie.

Most of the trolls that made the final cut of the movie were heartwarmingly adorable, whereas the trolls shown above are just kind of creepy.

We are glad that these trolls did not make it into the finished movie and that the trolls we actually saw looked beyond huggable.

19 A Gray Oh

Home Concept Art

The adorable DreamWorks movie introduced audiences to Oh, the purple alien voiced by The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons.

As this early concept art reveals, however, Oh wasn't always purple. Original designs for Oh actually showed him being gray.

While the gray color scheme works, as a number of fictional aliens are regularly shown as being gray, the purple version of Oh that we saw in the movie was simply a bit more appealing.

It's arguable that Home may not have made as much at the box office had this version of Oh been chosen for the movie.

18 A Demonic Dragon

How To Train Your Dragon Demon Dragon Concept Art

How To Train Your Dragon was already one of the darker, more adult additions to DreamWork's long list of animated movies, but this demon-like villain almost took it up to a new level.

While the more dangerous dragons in the movie were already terrifying, this beast would have taken things up a notch.

It's probably for the best that this monstrous beast didn't make it into the final cut of the movie.

While there were dragons similar to this, they were not nearly as terrifying, and honestly it could have given the children watching some rather horrid nightmares.

17 A Much Smaller Po

Kung Fu Panda Concept Art

Above is some of the early concept art from Kung Fu Panda, which actually shows the heroes in a much less friendly-looking artistic style.

The most different character, however, is easily the panda hero Po.

In the movie, Po was a large, chubby panda, which added to the comedy of his character as he physically would be unable to sneak around or crawl into small places like his peers.

While the smaller Po shown above may be a bit more adorable, it's safe to say that DreamWorks made a good call by doubling his size.

16 Rumpelstiltskin With A Tail

Rumpelstiltskin Shrek Concept Art

Before the villain Rumpelstiltskin graced the screen in Shrek Forever After, he went through a number of different concepts.

One of these concept designs actually featured him with a tail, and being noticeably more ratlike in his appearance.

Ironically, none of the concepts shown above are similar to Rumpelstiltskin's original appearance in the franchise in Shrek the Third. The villain actually made a brief reference in the third movie, but DreamWorks drastically redefined his appearance for the fourth one.

All in all, it would have been rather interesting to have seen him with a tail and a ratlike face for Shrek Forever After.

15 More Bee Characters

Bee Movie Concept Art

The above concept art shows the variety of bee characters that we almost saw in Bee Movie, and all in all, they look rather clever.

It would have been great to have seen Santa Bee grace the screen in Bee Movie, or even the ridiculously oversized Sumo Bee.

It also would have been interesting to have seen the Mosquito Lawyer or the Banker Bee appear during the third act of the movie, considering that Bee Movie started becoming more about the legality of humans selling honey.

However, we should all be counting our blessings that the terrifying Clown Bee did not make the final cut.

14 A More Terrifying Villain In Rise of the Guardians

Rise of the Guardians villain concept art

The villain of Rise of the Guardians, Pitch Black, was already rather terrifying, surely frightening a number of the members of the younger audience.

However, as this early concept art from the project revealed, Pitch Black was almost even more horrifying.

Pitch Black's abilities allowed him to transport magically through darkness, but this ability shown above takes it to a new level.

He essentially would have become a monster who is so terrifying that there are even frightening faces scattered within his "body," or at least one haunting face towards the left of the design.

13 Chris Farley's Shrek

Shrek Concept Art

Before Mike Myers was on board, comedian Chris Farley was originally going to voice the lovable ogre Shrek.

Understandably, the design for Chris Farley's Shrek was quite different from the version that we know and love today voiced by Mike Myers.

While this concept design may appear a little too different, the difference in the designs makes sense.

It wouldn't really make sense to hear Mike Myer's Shrek voice come out of the ogre above, and it would arguably make even less sense to have seen Chris Farley's voice come out of the Shrek we actually saw.

12 A More Scaly Winged Dragon Suit

How to Train Your Dragon Suit Concept Art

The first How to Train Your Dragon featured some rather interesting montage sequences of the hero Hiccup trying to build a flying suit that can help him fly alongside dragons.

Whereas the suits in the movie were more leathery, the above concept art reveals that the original design would have been a lot more scaly, being almost identical to a dragon's wings.

The concept shown above is arguably even cooler than the version we saw in the movie.

However, it is understandable why DreamWorks decided to cut this concept, as it may have taken away from the human element of Hiccup and his friends. They weren't trying to be dragons, they were just trying to be with them.

11 A Darker Animation Style For Antz

Antz Concept Art

Antz is already one of the darkest movies that DreamWorks has put out, as it featured a decent share of profanity and showed the mortality of the characters.

Despite this, a majority of the animation was bright. The above concept art, however, seems to be a bit darker.

Based on the script of the movie, it's safe to assume that Woody Allen originally planned on Antz being a darker movie, both visually and in its content.

However, in order to sell better to kids, this darker color scheme was likely cut by DreamWorks in exchange for a brighter look.

10 The Original Boss Baby

Original Boss Baby

Something that many people do not know about the 2017 animated movie Boss Baby is that it actually wasn't an original concept from DreamWorks.

Instead, it was based off of a children's book series, which, as its title would suggest, was based on a baby who was also a boss.

The illustration above is drastically different looking than the Boss Baby voiced by Alec Baldwin.

Sure, he may have a suit and a tie, but something about his face just makes him a bit less appealing.

All in all, DreamWorks actually ditched a lot of the original ideas from the Boss Baby books.

9 A Different Chel In El Dorado

Road to El Dorado Concept Art

The Road To El Dorado featured the character Chel, who was the only main female character in the movie.

This concept art reveals an original plan for Chel that we didn't really see play out on screen, and is different in a number of ways from what we got.

First off, her hair is blue, so that's different. Additionally, her skin color is significantly lighter, possibly showing that DreamWorks was planning on giving her a different regional origin than the one we saw in the movie.

Then there's the room she's in, which is radically brighter than most of what we saw in the movie, so that's interesting too.

8 Different Designs For Home

Home Orange Concept Art

This early concept art for Home shows yet another different color scheme for the alien character Oh, and even a different design for the female protagonist Tip.

This concept design is significantly more orange than what we saw, specifically for Oh, who is now completely orange outside of his outfit.

These designs, like the gray version of Oh, just aren't as appealing as the purple and blue color scheme we saw in the finished product, especially for kids. Simply staring too long at this bright orange design for Oh is enough to get one's eyes to hurt.

7 A Horrifying Water Dragon

How to Train Your Dragon Water Dragon Concept Art

At this point, it's safe to say that the concept artists for How To Train Your Dragon regularly forgot that it was for a kids movie.

This water dragon is absolutely terrifying both in its appearance and in its concept.

Dragons are already scary enough as it is, being the kings of the skies. Having them be the kings of the water as well would be nightmarish, especially to kids who are already watching the skies for dragons.

Imagine being a small child and being terrified of this monster flying out at you while you're at the beach.

It's a fantastic design, but maybe just a little too extreme for a kids movie.

6 A Very Different Kung Fu Panda Team

Kung Fu Panda Team Concept Art

Evidently, DreamWorks went through numerous drafts of their team in Kung Fu Panda. This early design for the characters is still incredibly different from the heroes we saw in the movie.

Po may be the most similar design to the version we saw on screen, but even he is rather different looking.

It's safe to say that the concept artist pictured the Kung Fu Panda team being more warrior-like, with Tigress dressed in a green warrior gown.

Additionally, Shifu looks much older in this design, which arguably would not have worked, as it would be difficult to believably see him fighting anyone.

5 Shrek With Hair

Shrek With Hair Concept Art

Have you ever wondered what Shrek looked like with hair? Well, as it turns out, one of the original designs for the ogre hero featured him with some rather luscious locks, and honestly his hairdo suits his head rather well.

It's understandable why DreamWorks ditched this idea though, as the hair arguably makes Shrek look more appealing to the eye.

DreamWorks wanted Shrek to be absolutely hideous, and apparently giving him a fully bald head was part of their way of doing that.

Despite this, it's safe to say that the Shrek fandom may have appreciated this design a bit more.

4 Pets In Bee Movie

Bee Movie Pets Concept Art

As if Bee Movie wasn't already strange enough, this concept art reveals that the movie almost featured the bees using other, less threatening bugs as pets.

This is a rather funny concept, especially considering the spiked collar in the art shown above.

The main reason for DreamWorks cutting this concept is that it likely went against the thematic elements of the movie, which opposed humans exploiting bees.

This argument would have been a lot harder to make had the bees exploited other creatures themselves.

Regardless, this concept art is still hilarious.

3 A Giant Rabbit In The Croods

The Croods Rabbit Concept Art

The Croods took some rather unique twists throughout the course of the movie, with a number of the animals in the movie being rather over-sized compared to the sizes they are today.

The concept art above, however, took this twist to a new extreme of absurdity.

It's hard to imagine a rabbit being terrifying, but the concept above makes it look like the most horrifying creature ever. Could it possibly last in a fight against the rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

Regardless, this concept is still crazy, and it may have actually improved the overall movie.

2 Larger Dragons To Train

How to Train Your Dragon Concept Art

The above concept art was one of the earlier concept designs for How To Train Your Dragon, showing that the winged beasts were almost incredibly larger in size.

While a few of the dragons in the movie were that big, they were the more terrifying dragons in the movie and certainly weren't the main dragons that the heroes would encounter.

How To Train Your Dragon would have ended up being a lot different had all of the dragons been the size above.

Their relationships with the humans would have presumably been a lot less personal, and the beasts would have been much more intimidating.

1 The Original Shrek

Original Shrek

Shrek may be best known as the star of the Shrek movie series, but shockingly, he originated in a children's book series.

The books didn't go as far as making him a king, but a number of the elements did help inspire the movies.

Noticeably, Shrek rides Donkey in the books, actually treating him like a steed. Some of the early concept art designs for Shrek actually featured him riding Donkey like this, but this idea was eventually cut.

All in all, it's great to see that Shrek evolved from his original design in the books as his filthy appearance is certainly not nearly as appealing.


What do you think of these designs? Would you have prefered to see any of them in a DreamWorks movie? Sound off in the comments!

More in Lists