Here’s How 25 Disney Characters Looked In Their Original Concept Art


  1. 11 Ursula In The Little Mermaid (1989)

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    Ursula's character was at first designed to look like a "tall, thin regal-looking sea witch" and was based on a scorpion fish. Later, the animator behind this character Glen Keane took inspiration from a drag queen named Divine and decided to make Ursula look more like a "vampy overweight matron." The final character even has Divine's signature makeup, jewelry, and body type.

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  2. 12 Carl Fredricksen In Up (2009)

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    After Disney bought Pixar back in 2006, movies that are now considered to belong to Disney started carrying very Pixar-like features that are usually quite different from what we're used to seeing in Disney movies. For example, Pixar usually tends to design their characters to be caricatured. Even though the adorable Carl's character from the movie Up wasn't really supposed to be a caricature, it still has some features that clearly belong to the Pixar tradition; such as a nose shaped like a balloon and a not proportional head that is definitely not natural-looking, and definitely not something we are used to seeing in Disney movies.

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  3. 13 Tinker Bell In Peter Pan (1953)

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    It was Marc Davis's (the man behind Cruella De Vil's character) task to create Tinker Bell's look since Davis has already proven his talent in creating outstanding female characters. Because Tinker Bell didn't speak, animating her was a bit different than what Davis was used to, there was a need for a very strong expression of emotions through movement which wasn't easy to portray. Tinker Bell's character was a bit different than what we were usually used to seeing in Disney movies, she was a modern and independent woman. The pixie's look resembled pin-up girls that were popular in the media at that time, many even compared her to Marilyn Monroe.

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  4. 14 Jane Porter In Tarzan (1999)

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    Tarzan is the 37th full-length Disney movie and was animated in two different countries at the same time, one part was done in California while another part was produced in Paris. Animator Glen Keane worked on Tarzan's portrayal in California, and Ken Duncan worked on Jane's character in Paris, this type of team-work caused a lot of inconveniences when it came to creating scenes of Jane and Tarzan together. The teams managed to co-operate by sending each other hundreds of animations and constantly organizing video conferences. Another interesting fact, Jane's characteristics and mannerisms in the movie were also based on Minnie Driver that served as a voice actress for the movie.

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  5. 15 Alice In Alice In Wonderland (1951)

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    The mysterious Alice character was created by Mary Blair, an extremely talented artist who worked on other outstanding Disney films such as Pinocchio and Peter Pan. What had the biggest impact to Blair's style was a trip to South Africa alongside Walt Disney where she fell in love with the colors and forms of their mesmerizing culture. For the next 10 years after her trip Mary used a lot of motifs in her work that were taken from South American cultures. Since the story of Alice In Wonderland is often described using a french word loufoques (meaning very strange or even ridiculous), it was rather difficult for Walt Disney to find a way to portray the story the way it is written in the original book. To find the best artistic solutions he invited Mary Blair since he considered her to be the most talented artists to work there. It's safe to say, that Mary definitely delivered an outstanding art piece that is absolutely ageless.

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  6. 16 Maleficent In Sleeping Beauty (1959)

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    Maleficent's character was created by Marc Davis who is also responsible for Cruella De Vil's and Tinker Bell's characters. Andreas Deja, a man who worked at Walt Disney for 30 years, created a blog post dedicated to Marc Davi's concept of Maleficent. According to him, the first sketches showed Maleficent wearing black and red since it had a strong meaning to Davis but the background stylist Eyving Earle was keen to use other colors so they settled for black with purple. As Andreas says, "Sometimes teamwork isn't easy."

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  7. 17 Cruella De Vil In One Hundred And One Dalmatians (1961)

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    The genius behind the iconic Cruella De Vil is Marc Davis. This extremely talented illustrator was also the one who helped Walt Disney to created his first Disneyland theme park that many of us wish to visit one day. Marc had the incredible skill in creating incredible females characters in many iconic Disney movies, he is the author of not only Cruella De Vil but also Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty and Tinker Bell in Peter Pan. When asked which female persona he admires the most, Davis explained that every one of his female characters is unique and carries a different style, and he admires all of them but in a different way.

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  8. 18 Belle In Beauty And The Beast (1991)

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    Belle's character was created by James Baxter and Mark Henn. This was not the first Disney princess for Henn, he had previously worked on Ariel, Jasmine, Mulan, and Tiana. Because of his achievements Henn was considered the "go-to man behind many Disney princesses." One of the main goals was to give Belle a more European-look, so they added fuller lips, narrower eyes and darker eyebrows, she also had "a little wisp of hair that kept falling in her face", as it was previously described by Woolverton. One of the main inspirations behind Belle's look was Vivien Leigh and Audrey Hepburn.

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  9. 19 Aristocats In The Aristocats (1970)

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    It took around eighteen months for Ken Anderson to finish developing the characters in the Aristocats. Five of Disney's legendary "nine old men" worked on the movie, while the rest of the crew had the experience of over 25 years on average. It was definitely a movie full of skill and talent, and it clearly shows.

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  10. 20 The Evil Queen In Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937)

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    Back in 1934 Walt Disney came up with the idea to create a film adaption of a wonderful tale by Brothers Grimm called "Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs". Inspired by this incredible story Walt Disney created a 4th full-length animated film in the history of animated movies. It took three long years to finish this project that at first many people considered to be absolutely crazy (mainly because the studio used all their money for this production). Soon after the premiere, people called this movie Walt Disney's absolute chef-d'œuvre. Even though it cost the studio approximately 1,5 million dollars, only six months later Walt Disney had gained enough money from this movie to open a new studio in Burbank.

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