People love to think back on their childhoods with wonderful and happy thoughts. Nostalgia is, and has always been, a fervent part of our culture; it is why shows like Mad Men and now Stranger Things always strike a chord with the masses. Then we all also have our favorite, colorful, sugar-filled cereals, childhood pets, family members long gone, and of course cartoons.
For kids (and people who just love cartoons) all over the world; animated, anthropomorphic animals or superheroes is the way to go. But as we get older and more jaded by the harsh realities of the world kick in, some of our fondest memories get a little twisted.
Sometimes, artists' imaginations match their artistic license and we get fan art that pays homage to their favorite cartoons. It can even embrace a dark road that had not been traveled in the original version. Here are 20 Cartoon Characters Redrawn As Nightmare Fuel.
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19 Tweety Bird
Everyone’s favorite little yellow canary with a slight little “tweety” lisp who can outsmart just about any other animal in the Looney Tunes universe (sans-Bugs, of course), certainly isn’t cute and cuddly here at all. In fact, the little critter looks like the Vampire Pomeranian from Blade Trinity.
What's cool about this depiction of Tweety is that we've actually seen a version of this monstrous canary on the Looney Tunes show several times over the years. There is a short, Hyde And Go Tweet from 1960, which played off of The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde. In the classic ‘toon, Sylvester chases and corners little Tweety, but he had happened upon Dr. Jekyll's formula and downed the hatch to become a ginormous monster that scared the cat-nip of Sylvester.
The bit was redone for the Looney Tunes film, Daffy Duck’s Quackbusters, as well. Of course, the funny part of the bit is that every time Sylvester convinces someone to look at Tweety, he’s shrunk back to normal.
When we’re little, we all want to grow up to be big and strong. So we drink milk, and if you were a big fan of the fighting sailor, Popeye, perhaps you ate a whole heap of spinach. While this guy isn’t as nightmare-inducing as some of our other friends on this list, a real-life version of the scraggly old sailor is still pretty terrifying. Somehow, we’re supposed to believe that Olive Oyl was in love with this guy?
Then again, by the looks of this guy, he may have been on something other than yummy spinach. Either that or too much of anything, even when it’s healthy for you could wind up hurting you in the long run. Maybe someone spiked his cans with meth or steroids, after all, he is pretty puny, sans for the (very) short bursts of strength that he gains from spinach.
Not to mention whatever is in that pipe of his can’t be helping matters either. Popeye in any context today is a bit nightmare fuel for parents - he’s a smoker who constantly uses his fists to solve problems with bullies while his best friend only eats hamburgers. All things that would never fly in today’s politically correct climate.
17 Ronald McDonald
Scary clowns are all the rage these days, especially thanks to the new adaptation of Steven King’s It that came out in theaters a few months back. Surely that film’s success will yield a part two with the now adult Losers Club coming after Pennywise The Dancing Clown.
What if they all just wanted some burgers and nuggets though? It has become very in vogue to depict Ronald McDonald as an evil clown hell-bent on children’s destruction or eating them, or just being a gross pederast.
So while there are a ton of creepy, scary, and disturbing depictions of Ronald McDonald online, this one has got to be the most frightening - a completely cracked out, zombified version of the guy that looks like Raggedy Andy got kidnapped and done up to look like Ronald McDonald. In any event, clowns are fricking scary to plenty of people, and if you know someone who has Coulrophobia, you should keep this one handy for blackmail purposes.
If you’ve ever actually sat down to think about Scooby Doo, this picture is actually a pretty accurate one for Shaggy. Adult fans have re-purposed the group in all kinds of ways – Daphne and Velma are vivacious vixens, Fred is actually really insecure or completely stupid, or the best one - the entire Mystery Machine crew is just a bunch of dope fiends and their adventures are all one big trip of the Grateful Dead kind.
Between all of the drugs and all of those Scooby snacks that Shaggy was imbibing for all of these years would make this guy look like this, if not a heck of a lot worse. He’s a real tragic story in cartoon lore, one too many benders can do that too.
This picture is the old Scared Straight Program come to life. Do enough drugs and you too will wind up looking and being as strung out as a cartoon character who trips out and munches on doggie treats.
15 Mickey Mouse
Would YOU take your children to Orlando to meet this rodent? Everyone loves Mickey Mouse, right? No one takes into consideration that we’re all under the spell of an anthropomorphic, talking mouse that you would call pest control on in real life? That’s ok; we don’t question a bunny rabbit outsmarting a hunter or a cowboy every day either.
Seeing everyone’s favorite mouse in this context can lead to all kinds of wild stories. For one, the kids that would be going to Disney World would be more like the Children Of The Corn, than happy families coming to the happiest place on Earth.
For some people though, this picture is actually a realistic depiction of the mascot of the Mouse House and all of the supposedly insidious things they do like buying up properties all over the entertainment landscape to make this nightmarish mascot happy.
14 Cookie Monster
Ever see Cookie Monster freebase cookie dough on Family Guy? The guy is addicted to the confectionery crack. If you've ever seen a toddler yearn for cookies, it's the same thing more or less. They both seem to growl and cry out in pain if they don't get what they want. If they do it just right, you feel bad for them and just want to shut them up at the same time. So, Cookie Monster gets his cookies.
But there's a darker reality just underneath Sesame Street’s surface. The blue guy has a serious addiction problem which has landed in him in hot water with the law after all of these years.
It’s a great parody shot - CM’s eyes are completely twisted, but also in the “The Street,” Elmo is “Wanted Dead,” and the Count’s apparently a pimp.
For over twenty years now, children from all over the world have been traversing the console landscape in hopes that they would be able to catch all of the cute and cuddly Pokemon. What started as approximately 150 different species of the little critters has exploded into over 800 different Pokemon across the landscape through a bevy of Nintendo games and a mobile game that took the world by storm a few years ago.
At the heart of just about every game and show is the franchise’s mascot; the cute ball of energy (and lightning), Pikachu. The little bugger isn’t terribly cute or affectionate here. In this shot, he is an angry little Pokemon. (See what happens when you feed your weird pet after midnight?)
You might be angry too if you were him - everyone thinks you’re just so cute and cuddly and people want to pick you up all of the time. Affection is great, but not every pet wants to be picked up, just try most cats and silky terriers.
12 Mike And Sully
Who better to give us nightmares than actual monsters? While Sully and his little friend, Mike Wazowski eventually figured out that making kids laugh and harnessing a children’s laughter could gather more energy than scaring them instead, they began their careers as monsters who hid under our beds. While no one thought the little one-eyed guy had the chops to scare anyone, much less a little kid, this version of Mike is a little scarier than the Pixar one.
Oddly enough, this pic isn’t that far off from what Mike looked like in both Monsters, Inc and Monsters University. The guy is SUPPOSED to be scary, after all, even if the crux of the jokes is that he couldn’t scare a fly.
Sully, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. The kindhearted gentle monster can turn up the fright factor when he needs to at a moment’s notice, especially when he starts growling to reveal those gnarly yellow chompers of his.
11 Winnie The Pooh
Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh / Chubby, little cubby all stuffed with fluff / He’s Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh / Willy, nilly, silly old bear…the old Winnie the Pooh theme might not be as iconic as some other kids’ songs, but it is really catchy.
In one of the most twisted pics of the little fat bear, he's scarier than Pennywise on a bender. What's even scarier is the mind of the artist - Pooh wasn't his only creation, there's a whole series (some of which are also on this list). But now he's completely tweaked out from who knows what and gorging himself on his favorite treat, honey. But what the heck else in that jar?! And is that Christopher Robin’s eyeball?!??
Besides the fact that Winnie is actually a bear and in reality could claw you in half, not to mention a lot of 100 Acre Wood neighbors, now we have a cannibalistic monster that seemingly has no issue eating his best friend and shoving his entrails into a honeypot for continuous snacking.
Yellow fever is a real thing with every subsequent Despicable Me and Minions release that hits theaters. Not to mention the cute tic-tac shaped creatures are the mascot for NBC/Universal. They have spent their time on our planet since the beginning of time serving Earth's most nefarious creatures and evil-doers.
They have become this millennium's most popular animated mischievous superstars. However, this little guy didn't get the memo that he's supposed to be cute, cuddly, and non-threatening. He's pretty friggin' ugly, and he's as a scary as he is ugly. Clearly, this Minion serves only the evilest of evil masters in the world - the Darth Vaders, the Voldemorts, the Devils. The eviler, the better for this guy.
9 Dr. Zoidberg
For many fans of The Simpsons, that show petered out a very long time ago (the fifth and sixth season to be exact), but creator Matt Groening’s other show - Futurama has been heralded and exalted as one of the smartest and zaniest comedies out there ever since its inception. Part of that praise is because of the insane Dr. Zoidberg.
The idea of a giant mutant Lobster as the ship’s doctor follows the sci-fi trope of having at least one alien on board but flipped the script of having the alien be the doctor – since the doc is usually human or humanoid. Obviously, for comedy’s sake, the crustaceous, cantankerous Zoidberg isn’t much of a doctor.
Another member of the One-Hundred Acre Wood gang is the beloved bouncing nutbag tiger, Tigger. Like plenty of house cats and even dogs that we all know and love, the guy loves to pounce on his friends at a moment’s notice, with a tail that's more prehensile than a monkey’s.
We all know that the wonderful thing about Tigger is that a Tigger is a wonderful thing, right? In case you forgot the last little diddy to that jingle is that “I’m the only one.” If he really looked like this, then thank heavens for that - this guy looks like a pet from the Upside Down that Dustin is keeping.
Actually, it likes our beloved Tigger might have merged with a demon from the Upside Down, it would explain the extra set of eyes and more than a few extra tails. If Stranger Things isn’t your bag (and shame on you if it isn’t), then perhaps the sewn shut mouth might evoke a far worse nightmare - a Cenobite animal from Hellraiser.
With Mickey being Walt Disney's pride and joy since 1928, the father of all that is Disney also gave the rodent a girlfriend in the very first Mickey cartoon, "Steamboat Willie." Minnie was every bit the demure debutante one would expect a girl mouse to be. But then there's this twisted b*tch.
If you've ever seen Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, or have been to a dark bar, we've all seen women like this. Perhaps from behind they might seem enticing, but spin them around and what do you get? A ghoulish, garish gal with gross gummy lips and horrific fashion sense. Those clogs actually look like the very cheese a mouse might eat.
We haven't even noticed whats on top of her head (since you've been trying to avoid her face), a bow filled with eyeballs, no doubt of the souls that she has taken over the years. Gentlemen, steer clear of this woman at all costs.
What do a princess, a donkey, an evil king, and an ogre have in common? They somehow combined to take audiences of all ages by storm when Shrek was released in 2001. Like many a great kids’ flick before it, Shrek knew how to play its jokes to be silly for little ones but thought-provoking and a little raunchy for adults at the same time. The movie added tearing down of fantasy, fables, and all kinds of folktale tropes while adding some of its own.
Here is what a real evil, nasty ogre looks like when the creature is discussed in fantasy. A creature to be feared and in some cases pitied, they’re used as giant mammoth pack mules in Lord Of The Rings.
Everyone praised Mike Myers’ voice work for the films. Imagine turning his sweet-natured Scottish brogue turned on its ear and used for evil. Myers has never played a heel before on film. Perhaps a new Shrek movie could loom on the horizon and scare the pants out of everyone.
6 Donald Duck
Donald Duck is one of the most beloved Disney characters of all time. Created by Walt Disney himself in 1934, Donald has done it all - including cartoon from World War II (“pay your taxes to fight the axis”) to a memorable piano dual with Daffy in the amazeballs Who Framed Roger Rabbit? in which the world’s most famous animated mallards obliterate each other to a portion of Hungarian Rhapsody #2 by Franz Liszt.
This picture encapsulates just how batcr*p crazy Donald is, with fangs added to his giant mallard beak. He always came across the screen like a madman, a crazy prankster who can't handle things when the tables turn on him. Besides, the guy doesn't wear pants for cryin’ out loud! How right in the head can the guy be? Not very; would you think highly of someone wandering around public in broad daylight (or nightlight for that matter) without any trousers?
5 Frosty The Snowman
After reading this article, you'll realize no cartoon is safe. No matter how beloved, in fact, the more beloved they are the better chances that someone with a talent for art and a slightly deranged mind might come up with their own dark and twisted interpretation.
Of course, that gets extended to one of Christmas’ most beloved icons - Frosty The Snowman. What if everyone’s favorite pipe smoking snowman turned into a mean, nasty abominable one? This guy is not a happy, jolly soul at all and whatever magic was in that old silk hat of his was dark evil magic.
So how does one get rid of a homicidal snowman? Pretty much what the kids in town should be doing - take a baseball bat to that hat of his that brings him to life. Either that or follow suit like the kid in this picture and melt him down in time for the holidays, giving Santa a clear path to delivering toys to children of all ages and creeds.
4 Bert And Ernie
Over the past few years, adult parodies of Sesame Street’s resident pair of bestie/roommates, Bert and Ernie have turned homo-erotic, with the pair depicted as bickering lovers. People get older; some of them decide to peel back the curtain on some of our childhood favorites.
Here, Bert’s looking a lot more than slightly ragged as a cop who is “way too old for this.” It's harrowing to think of sweet-natured sock puppets that have endeared themselves to millions if not billions of children over the years in situations that would give every single one of those children nightmares for years to come.
Ernie looks complete shook by whatever trauma has happened to these two. Perhaps he and Bert have been busy hunting down a certain pastry-addicted puppet from another entry on this list? Hopefully, he's not a victim of abuse as an old Family Guy gag once showed us.
3 The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid is one of the Mouse House’s most beloved adaptations. Since 1989, throngs of fans have flocked to see the story of an ocean princess who meets her true love and longs to be a human so she could be with him.
Oddly enough, seeing evil Queen Ursula all gussied up to look like intergalactic gangster Jabba The Hutt actually looks more frightening than the real deal. Even worse is the gallant hero, Eric, who longed and pined for his red-headed hottie to sprout some legs and join him on dry land.
2 The Walking Disney
If any set of cartoon characters gets repurposed by fan art, it’s the Disney princesses. Whether we see realistic depictions of Snow White, Ariel, and Jasmine; or hyper-sexualized versions of Tiana, Aurora, or even Nala, some fans’ imaginations have run all kinds of wild, reimagining our most beloved Disney characters.
This one takes a real twisted turn and imagines not one, but all of the Disney princesses and turns them into a pack of undead brain-eaters; a sugary sweet zombie horde! Rick Grimes and company wouldn’t stand a chance against a crew like this - even Ariel scraping across the landscape would give our favorite zombie hunters the chills.
It’s hard to imagine these days, but Saturday morning cartoons used to be every kid's jam. Before there were 8000 channels and 367 of them were solely dedicated to cartoons, Saturday mornings were the place to be. Nickelodeon decided to capitalize on the other weekend day, lazy Sunday and bam! NickToons were born.
Doug, Rugrats, and Ren & Stimpy were the first three. Ren & Stimpy told the travails of a psychopathic Chihuahua (Ren) and his simple, dimwitted cat friend, Stimpy. No, these were not your typical kids' cartoon heroes and it showed in drawings that were actually similar to this one. Extreme painted close-up shots made to gross out fans (and parents).
But this shot is downright frightening; it isn’t Stimpson J. Cat at all. Whatever you call this thing, perhaps it’s just some kind of ridiculous monster cat-like creature wearing Stimpy’s clothing. It's even got his famous magic nose goblins dangling from the poor kitty's nose.
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