ByRob Harris, writer at
Sometimes I play video games.
Rob Harris

After the unveiling of the pretty drastic Thunderbirds re-design, I thought we'd take a look back at some of the most dramatic cartoon reboots that swapped their old classic style for brand new - sometimes unrecognizable - looks.

Which do you prefer - out with the old and in with the new, or the preservation of timeless classics?

The Smurfs

Original: The Smurfs (1981 - 1989)

Remake: The Smurfs (2011)

The Smurfs got a CG reboot at the beginning of the decade with a rather disappointing feature film. As opposed to the original series' hand drawn style, the movie mixed computer effects and live action-footage to create a whole different look for everyone's favorite blue miniature colony. It was a bold move to mess with such a beloved and iconic franchise - do you think they pulled it off?


Which style do you prefer?

Loony Tunes

Original: Looney Tunes (1930 - 1969)

Remake: Loonatics Unleashed (2005 - 2007)

Despite Looney Tunes being a timeless show, Warner Bros. decided to drag their flagship franchise into the 21st century, reimagining their iconic characters' appearances with a futuristic and almost Star Trek-esque influence.

Their new jumpsuits make them look more like superheroes, rather than the anthropomorphic guys and gals of the original classic.


Which style do you prefer?

Alvin and the Chipmunks

Original: Alvin and the Chipmunks (1958 - 1972)

Remake: Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)

ALVINNN!!! These cheeky chipmunks got got their day in the sun again in 2007 with a full feature remake, complete with a brand new look. I can just imagine the studio executive in a design meeting saying 'They look good, but they need more attitude.' Attitude they got - or at least a businessman's understanding of it - with skater-style hoodies thrown over them and a downturned baseball cap for Alvin himself. Apparently it tested well with a 'hip' audience.


Which style do you prefer?


Original: The Adventures of Tintin (1991 - 1992)

Remake: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011)

The classic French comic strip character was highly recognizable by his minimalist cartoon style and trademark quiff. Steven Spielberg's remake swapped the pen for the computer and gave Tintin proper eyes along the way. The modern animation is beautiful in it's own way, but does it honor the original?


Which style do you prefer?


Original: Rugrats (1991 - 2004)

Remake: Rugrats Pre-school Daze (2005)

You may well have seen the Rugrats spin-off All Grown Up, but have you ever heard of Rugrats Pre-school Daze? I wouldn't be too surprised if you haven't - it only lasted four episodes after all! This obscure series threw out the old art style and welcomed a newer, more clean and sharp aesthetic. But did it work?


Which style do you prefer?


Original: Bomberman (1983)

Remake: Bomberman: Act Zero (2006)

Hudson's destructive video game Bomberman had a highly distinctive art style that gave plenty of character to the explosive-obsessed gentleman, despite the fact he didn't even talk. When it came to revamp the series the developers decided he needed a dark robotic makeover, turning him into a giant-handed cyborg. He's barely recognizable as the same character!


Which style do you prefer?

The Powerpuff Girls

Original: The Powerpuff Girls (1998 - 2005)

Remake: Powerpuff Girls #6 (2014)

The girls made out of sugar, spice and everything nice can boast the honor of receiving the most dramatic design overhaul, after a rather sexualized drawing of the trio appeared on the cover of a Powerpuff Girls comic issue.

The re-design received a fair bit of criticism for 'sexing up' adolescents Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup.


Which style do you prefer?

Rainbow Brite

Original: Rainbow Brite (1984 - 1986)

Remake: Rainbow Brite (2014)

Hallmark Cards' classic cartoon series grew up last year with a more adult-looking reboot. Rainbow Brite's figure is slimmer, her platform boots smaller and her hair no longer takes up half her forehead.


Which style do you prefer?


Which show is your favorite?


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