ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

They might be instantly recognizable to us today thanks to being some of the stars of the biggest movies of all time, but your favorite Disney characters all once looked very different!

Thanks to Disney blog Oh My Disney we have a whole set of amazing comparisons to show you just how much many of Disney's most famous characters changed from their initial concept art to how they ended up on film, take a look:


Jasmine and Rajah

The lovely pair of Rajah and Jasmine looked quite different in the original concept art. Most noticeable to me is Jasmine's clothing and headpiece, as well as Rajah's facial coloring - especially his white muzzle. Despite their differences it's still obvious that they were meant to be best buds from day one.


Eek, I'm not going to lie, the concept art for Abu kind of freaks me out! I think it has something to do with his eyes and huge pupils which sometimes makes cartoon characters look adorable, but in this case is kind of eerie, especially with his long fingers and toes - I think they did well with the finished product!


It looks like Aladdin didn't change too much from concept art to finished product. His bold and expressive eyebrows remained, his hair got a trim, and his face was lengthened a bit, but aside from that (and the color of his waistcoat) it looked like he stayed pretty similar from sketch to animation.

The Little Mermaid

Ariel and Eric

Wow, how different do they look?! Eric's eyes and whole posture looks very off compared to how we're used to seeing him - in fact, he bears a lot of resemblance to Flynn Rider, including costuming. Meanwhile Ariel's whole face is proportioned differently, with her eyes dominating, not to mention her hair was a lot curlier in concept.

King Triton

Look at that beard! King Triton looks like a forced to be reckoned with in both of the images above, though, I have to say he looks like one tough papa in his concept art.


Look at Flounder's chubby little fish cheeks in the concept art! It's a bit odd seeing him without the nose, and with proper fish lips, but I really like that he had his cool-like hair tuft in the front since day one.

Ursula, Flotsam and Jetsam

There was actually a whole bunch of different concepts imagined for Ursula (have a look at some here), and in this one, I can't help but feel that she's giving off a very strong Queen of Hearts vibe! As for Flotsam and Jetsam, it seems like they hardly changed.


Hercules and Megara

Wow! It looks like hardly any changes were made to Hercules and Meg from their concept art, except to perhaps soften some corners (check out those knee caps, ouch!), I wish this one was available to buy as a print!



Damn, Elsa! While she obviously maintained her sassy personality and that glorious gown, a lot has changed with our Disney Queen! First of all, her whole skin color is a shock. Secondly, her hair looks like an icy blast billowing out behind her, far from her long white-blonde locks. What do you think of Elsa?


While we eventually found out that Hans had an evil plan in Frozen, if he had looked anything like his concept art then I have no doubt we would have spotted that baddie from a mile away - check out that face, that is the face of a villain, amiright?!

Dr. Porter from Tarzan

Nigel Thornberry, is that you?!

Beauty and the Beast

Belle and the Beast

It doesn't look like Belle changed a huge amount, however, the Beast is another story - how scary does he look! While the Beast ended up a mixture of wild boar, wolf, gorilla, buffalo, bear and lion in the film, the concept art shows him as some sort of terrifying bear-like creature. I'm so thankful they changed it!


How cool did Cogsworth look! While I love how he ended up, his concept art shows that another version would have also been amazing.

Captain Hook in Peter Pan

The concept art for Captain Hook shows a much more cartoon-y looking Hook, someone you expect to be bumbling along, not searching out revenge on Peter and the Lost Boys.


Pascal and Rapunzel

Rapunzel hardly changed at all, and look at how gorgeous her hair looked in the top concept art. I love Pascal's happy little face in the bottom piece of concept art as well, what a cutie.

Flynn Rider and Maximus

While neither of these two characters changed a a bunch, there are a few differences here and there - like Maximus coloring and Flynn Rider's hair, but all in all it looks like the finished products remained close to the initial concept art.

The Lion King

Mufasa and Simba

This is just so adorable! This concept art is so touching, with the cute little moment shared between Mufasa and Simba. I really like seeing them as slightly more realistic lions, even though the finished prodcut is obviously great as well.


If Simba and Mufasa didn't change much then Rafiki changed even less! One thing I did notice is that his face seems a little shorter than in the art works, but he's still instantly recognizable as the wise old Mandrill and friend to Mufasa.

Source: Oh My Disney


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