Cartoons are timeless. They make us feel young again, but they also inspire us as grown-ups in indescribable ways. When anything goes wrong or feels amiss about our beloved cartoons, chances are we’ll never forget it. In these days where modernity has clashed with a greed for technological progress, we see fresh new ideas coming up all the time, cool new designs going viral on the internet, and, of course, cartoons being rendered darker than ever. When you go through the ones on our list, don’t for one second assume that you will leave feeling light and breezy.
Some of you might turn your gazes away, much as you would from reading a ripe spoiler. But we’re sure that most of us will adore what these artists have done here, making darker versions of your favorite childhood cartoon characters. Technically, the title of our article is not …wish we’d never seen but in truth …wish we could un-see.
Brace yourself to enjoy these crazy-scary artworks done by fans or bored hobbyists. But you, the end-reader, will have to decide whether you want to catch any sleep tonight. Aimed at those with hard stomachs and strong minds, here’s an article from The Gamer, one that involves twisting the puritanical childhood memories of some of your favorite cartoon characters.
30 Heads, You Lose… Your Senses
Talk about socially awkward! This fan art by Kevin Kirkpatrick has made it to the top of our list for good reason. Never will you be able to un-see this image, especially when next you tune in to another episode of Beavis and Butt-Head. The American sitcom has become a favorite among kids and grown-ups alike, owing in large part to how splendidly hilarious the creators have rendered a couple of Texan metal-heads who see society through terribly incompetent eyes.
As modern television shows go, this one is pure sarcastic genius.
It basically ridicules particular American cultural segments, which have sometimes proven inappropriate; but we love it just the same. The 90s may certainly have given us these two wacky characters, but fan-art has given us a creepy peek at how wacky is too wacky.
29 A Different Side Of Merida
The teenage Scottish Princess Merida has grown up to fill some dark shoes, if Jeftoon has anything to say about it. We adore the emotional impact this image laid on our senses. This is the only ‘dark princess’ image in this series to include that film’s main villain. Looks like Mor’du is actually living up to his name here. The bear is really a former prince transformed, and Merida seems to like him that way; more muscle with more compliance.
Then again, that could be her mom, Elinor, who was forced into bear form early in the movie. The tombstone engraving behind Merida hints at revenge in her pose. And look at the little bear cubs near her foot. That’s probably what they meant by bloodshot eyes. There’s a fire in this princess, and we’re not referring to her hair.
28 Who’s The Coward Now?
One of our most attention-grabbing pieces, this fan-art of Courage The Cowardly Dog by DeviantArtist EmilyStepp has us ogling the sheer perfection of the rendition. For some reason, we never thought that we'd see Courage as a realistic looking dog... and it's kind of weird to us. We don't really like it. It just takes everything we like about our little canine pal and throws it out the window.
While several readers are going ‘I want one’, I'm not one of them. That being said, we can't say that this isn't a really well-done piece of art. Courage just doesn't look like himself, is all. Although, having a pink-colored dog could be a pretty cool conversation starter. That is, until all the ghosts and goblins show up.
26 A Pie We Don't Want
You’ll never for one minute guess that anyone in their right minds would be able to ruin the image of one of the little horses from the My Little Pony franchise. But JamesCorck seems to have gone that extra mile and given Applejack a weird makeover. Fans might neigh-say the look, but to be honest, the artwork is incredible.
As magnificent as it is strange, this version of one of the famous Ponies is sure to haunt your dreams. The more you look at this image, the more you feel inclined to make some comparisons to the American Pie movie. And we both know you’re trying desperately not to think about that. Respect the art for how good it is but disregard all of the terrible and strange feelings it invokes in you.
25 Jacked Jane
Our English rose, Jane Porter, has become a poisonous jungle orchid in this image by Jeftoon. Even ferocious Sabor, the jaguar, didn’t stand a chance against her. She’s donned its pelt for optimum visual impact and a sign of pride. From the fur color of the gorilla behind her, we’re extrapolating that it is Kala, Tarzan’s adoptive mother. It looks like she’s been re-adopted into Jane’s new dark army. Those fangs and that singular holler are sure to strike nocturnal fear in anyone.
Where’s Tarzan and what might they have done to him?
If this is the new Ms. Porter, we’re certain that Cecil Clayton, the heartless hunter, would have retracted his proposal of marriage and accepted to terms of surrender. That’s if Jane didn’t choose to give him a rather impolite decline on all counts.
24 Bad Buzz
Creeping people out is definitely not one of Buzz Lightyear’s skills. He inspires them, riles them into action, and has a tendency to be arrogant upon victory, but hey, so would anyone who could perform interstellar travel. But this synthetic-looking image has us shutting our mouths and sealing it with both hands for good measure.
There’s something strange about this Lightyear, and our stomachs are ‘buzzing’ with a queasiness reserved mainly for horror movies, job interviews, and visiting relatives. Hats off to this French artist for giving us an eerie rendition of one of our beloved cartoon characters. Suffice to say, we’re not soon going to forget the way his eyes stare hauntingly out of this picture, or even the irradiated post-apocalyptic manner in which the rest of him has been drawn. Talk about infinity and beyond!
23 Eeerie Esmeralda
There have been fires in the movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but none that we can remember Esmeralda being injured in. Under Jeftoon’s careful dark-scrutiny, she’s gotten herself burned and embellished. From that fierce look in her one good eye, Esmeralda is out to get all that she wants. This time around, we are quite nervous about age-old gypsy curses.
And there’s her pet goat, Djali, who looks like an evil twin of his original happy-go-lucky self in the movie.
We liked the way the artist reminded us of Notre Dame's importance in the movie, by besmirching its sanctity here in this shady scene; shout out to the giant tower bell. It’s not that big a stretch to assume that this version of Esmie has on her blacklist the names Judge Claude Frollo and his two brutish bodyguards.
22 Goner Simpson
Realistic versions of popular fictional characters can turn out to be skin-tinglingly scary. Take the case of Homer Simpson, for example, who in this artwork by a fan at Pixeloo, has given us a ‘real’ Homer but with toon proportions intact. Mutagenic is one of the words that springs to mind, to say nothing of how uncomfortable his bug-eyes make us feel.
Suffice to say, this is certainly no lovable dad, or one who can be loved for that matter.
Pardon our harshness, we’re trying to compensate for being creeped out of our minds. After all, watching the Simpsons growing up we never once assumed that we would have the image of him shred-twisted in such a manner. The feeling is admittedly satisfying, as alternative experiences go, but it is also certainly bizarre.
21 Wailing Wendy
This Disney sweetheart has apparently had enough of playing second fiddle to Peter or being a glorified nanny to her younger brothers. Wendy has come a long way indeed, if this Jeftoon artwork is anything to go by. The Lost Boys have also been stripped of their conscious selves, leaving only their shadows under her command.
Wendy must have gained superhuman strength if she can hold that anchor up at all, let alone wield it; Tinker Bell is involved, perhaps.
A veritable captain in her own right, this version of our darling Wendy is sure to scare Hook and all his men, to say nothing of how confused Peter Pan is going to be when he gets one look at how Neverland has altered this girl. No wonder he doesn’t want to grow up. But it looks like time’s a ticking, Peter. Tick tock… Tick tock…
20 Oh No, It’s…
HIM! That’s the name of the villain in this image. As you may recall, this Powerpuff Girls bad-guy truly has gone down in TV-cartoon-history as one of the most sinister, if not downright psychotic, on the roster. Which makes it that much worse for ‘him’ to be portrayed in this nightmarish light; nightmarishly good, we might add.
Looking like an experiment gone wrong, Him has succeeded in making us lose whatever sleep we might have had before now.
In the evidently capable hands of Austen Mengler, Him has been transformed into a character who could rival Slender Man when it comes to fear-inspiring chills. While the Powerpuff Girls have indeed seen their fair share of villains (Mojo Jojo springs to mind), it looks like they’ve seen nothing yet. Him, at least this rendition of him can confidently frighten the living daylights of not just the girls but all of Townsville.
19 Mad Megara
Who would have thought the River Styx could prove such a fun place. For the insane, probably, because here we see another Disney-lady gone bonkers following a sinister turn of character under the masterful hands of Kasami-Sensei. Leaving said threads in the hands of this former romantic couple seems to hint that they have taken matters into their own hands. From the way the deceased denizens of the Styx are reacting, and getting all handsy-grabby, chances are Hades was not happy seeing the 'conquest engine' be run by Megara and what amounts to her soulless lackey, the former Hercules. From literal fabrication to overt zombiedom, this image had us in stitches, and not in the funny sense.
18 Green-Eyed Monster
Mike Wazowksi! Just his name conjures up images of wacky humor and witty comebacks. But this version of our favorite monster from Monsters, Inc. has us working around invisible corners trying to figure out what Danluvisiart had in mind when he sketched this masterpiece. Not only does it call out to a dark theme, it also inspires a certain level of fear in viewers.
Look at him, it’s like he’s just seen you, and you’re just in time for dinner. Add in those monster scars, a bottle of something we don’t wish to confirm, and radiation tape, and you have yourself a short story that’s all scary, all the way. Classic Wazowski, must have walked into the wrong place and came out a totally different monster. If this doesn’t extract screams from sleeping kids, we don’t know what will. Oh wait, we do.
17 Mendacious Marion
Giving Robin Hood a run for his money, here’s the formerly coy and proper Maid Marion turned grim and taut. Striking quite the action-heroine pose, Marion has transformed under Jeftoon’s attention into something of a vengeful thief. Suffice to say she doesn’t have that happy gleam in her eye that approved of Robin's ‘steal from the rich, give to the poor’ philosophy.
She’s seen here with Skippy, the bunny from the movie, and the duo make a powerful impression.
We like the artist's idea of adding a Wanted poster in their sketch, where we see an image of the original Maid Marion. The new maid is so unlike the fox in the image that we might just feel sorry for the sheriff and his men who are probably searching under every rock and tree for the daintier version of this princess. Look out, boys, you’ve got a target on your backs.
16 Unraveling Stitches
It's unbelievable to see fan-art being made on this level; seems like Hollywood would smile upon this. When Boris Kiselicki put art-pen to draft-paper, even his closest circle might not have been able to say that he would twist the adorable image of Stitch from Lilo & Stitch.
He's outstandingly re-made the little feller into a true monster; in keeping with the actual characterization, we feel.
Now, when you look at Stitch here, giving one of his far-off gazes, you no longer imagine the cute little alien from the film wondering what sort of world he’s in. Rather, you see yourself in the role of prey, choosing flight over fight. It is this sort of reality skewing potential that has given us cause to laud Kiselicki.
15 Afterlife Aurora
As crazy as all these pictures have made us feel about dark alternatives and twisted childhood favorites, you must admit…You Want More! Take what amounts to a corpse in this image, again by Jeftoon, where Aurora seems to have taken sleeping too seriously. She seems to be bizarre all over.
The lantern on her hip hints at fairy lights that are rumored to lead people astray if they happen to choose the swamps for a shortcut. One of the forest animals to whom she sings seems to have taken up her cue, and here’s that owl holding her up by her spindle-pricked hand, as if guiding her in the forest at night. From the mascara dripping down her face, Aurora has not been feeling too well, and that lantern with its ghostly lights seems to indicate that she might have done something truly regrettable. Our Briar Rose has grown a cruel set of thorns.
14 Piranha Banana
The minions from the Despicable series of animation films are nothing if not adorable. From their rudimentary language to an unequivocally hilarious body language, the minions have given us plenty of fodder for social media use. We return once more to the dark machinations of Disse86 who has rendered one such minion in a frightful setting.
Whether it is the bumpy texture of his skin or those teeth, we grow increasingly worried thinking what this mutated minion plans to do with the fruit. After a certain ‘banana song’ went viral a few months ago, we can’t help but see this art in a psychotic setting, with the song being played as an accompaniment to a deed. Serial criminals might need to take note; their faction seems to be receiving a lesson from the tech labs of minion-dom.
13 Perilous Pocahontas
More like Poca-haunt-us! This battle-incensed version of one of Disney’s top ladies has certainly left a dark mark in our hearts. And the normally hilarious Meeko (her raccoon companion) seems to have followed in the diabolical footprints of his Native American mistress. In the background is Grandmother Willow, looking none too wise but supremely twisted and be-devilled.
This image calls up all the old fears that people used to have about Native Americans, almost all of it pure hearsay inspired by fear.
Such impactful artwork and depth of detail may be rife on the internet, but it’s special nevertheless. The more we look at this image the more shudders we get, so let’s move on.
12 Duck Woes
Donald Duck has changed his name to Surrealist Duck, or so this artwork leads us to believe. In a bizarre twist of artistic genius, courtesy Naoto Hattori, one of the classic duck’s popular portraits has been skewed to resemble a different kind of entity, one we're not sure what to make of. We can’t say we didn’t see this coming, in a way.
There's just something a bit weird about the third eye, especially.
Strange theories aside, we like the way this picture brings out our worst impressions of dear Donald. The longer you look, those empty eyes seem to fill with a message loud and clear: get away from me or be prepared to see a very different bird. We’re not going to push our luck.
11 Execrable Ella
So desperate must she have been to sew a gown apt for a royal ball that Cinderella ended up sewing herself into the likeness of a scarecrow. Whatever might have gone wrong in the planning stage, here’s yet another masterpiece, shattered glass slippers, ruined dress, scheming Gus, raven-Jaq, rotten pumpkin, and the rest of the crazy shebang.
In addition to hinting at the fake beliefs that some theories going around the internet hold concerning Cinderella’s dreams and goals, we see here the scarecrow look summing that up quite succinctly; perhaps intentionally. A raven version of Jaq makes for a nice touch, probably the artist endeavoring to orate that age-old poem, ‘One for sorrow…’ This rather morbid depiction of one of Disney’s favorite princesses is enough proof why we like this artists’ work so much.
Learn all about class conflict in Hegemony.