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Top 10 Unnecessary TV Character Redesigns

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
These changes made the show worth forgetting. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Unnecessary Animated TV Character Redesigns. While character redesigns can be a welcome addition when necessary or when done tastefully, these shows came across as an insult to fans of the source material or the shows that came before them.
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Top 10 Unnecessary Animated TV Character Redesigns

These changes made the show worth forgetting. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Unnecessary Animated TV Character Redesigns.

While character redesigns can be a welcome addition when necessary or when done tastefully, these shows came across as an insult to fans of the source material or the shows that came before them.


#10: Looney Tunes “Loonatics Unleashed” (2005-07)


Not every Saturday morning cartoon needs an edgy, gritty reboot, Warner Brothers! The Looney Tunes as superheroes sounds… ehhh okay on paper, but it’s hardly a new concept. In the old cartoons, Bugs had become Super Rabbit and Daffy Duck had his Duck Dodgers alter ego with Porky as the Eager Young Space Cadet. This was just a sad attempt at being an equivalent to Power Rangers. Considering the number of gadgets introduced every episode, it feels like pandering to kids just to earn a toy line. Kudos to them for the more creative and light-hearted second season, but the show still sucks... though not half as much as those character designs.


#9: Bob the Builder “Bob the Builder” (1998-2004, 2015-)


Children’s cartoons of this caliber don’t typically go through significant changes, because when you mess with something like “Bob the Builder”, you’re making a big mistake. Bob's design had the charm and personality that would make any kid immediately recognize his face. The new Bob is so bland-looking, you could mistake him for a background character if it weren’t for the “B” on his helmet. He doesn’t even look as kid-friendly as the first Bob. And as you'd expect, fans and critics did not take this lightly and condemned the show for its drastic changes. “Can we fix it?” Mmmmmmmmm, maybe not.


#8: The Entire Cast "Captain N: The Game Master” (1989-91)


You ever watch a cartoon and find yourself saying, “That’s not what they look like”? Trust us, we were repeating those words throughout “Captain N”. Where to begin? Well, Mother Brain is not a goofy alien with mascara and lipstick. King Hippo is not blue. Simon Belmont is not a blonde, brawny douchebag. And last we checked, the Blue Bomber was, y'know, blue. Things got worse when the show experienced licensing issues and suffered a deep budget cut in Season 3, causing the characters to look even more basic and dull. Oh, the complications of video game-based cartoons...


#7: Tom 4.0 “Toonami” (1997-2008, 2012-)


Hey, it may not be a show like the others on here, but “Toonami” is a special case… because it’s awesome. What’s not awesome, though, was the awkward phase Tom went through before the block went dark. Not only did the block go through a change by broadcasting more kid-friendly shows, but Tom changed from a badass robot to looking more like a rejected DreamWorks character. Was this the sole cause for Toonami’s low ratings? Maybe, maybe not, but the lame changes were the last we would see of Toonami until its reboot in 2012. It’s so nice to have the old Tom back, and he looks cooler than ever.


#6: The Entire Cast "Teen Titans Go!” (2013-)



There isn't enough time to talk about everything wrong with this show, from the random dancing, the bland writing, and loud noises. But the obvious crime here is in the characters’ basic appearances and lack of detail. Don’t even get us started on the lack of any character development or compelling stories. When the original “Teen Titans” was on, you could expect relatable stories, intense action, drama AND comedy. Each Titan had problems, and you wanted to see them overcome them. There was something real, something personal. These Titans are absent of all of that in exchange for memes, trends, and utter stupidity.


#5: The Entire Cast “Ben 10: Omniverse” (2012-14)


The “Ben 10” series that came before this one managed to keep a good balance between simplicity and detailed characters. “Omniverse” dumbs down more of the animation and makes them look like they came out of a “Scooby-Doo” special. Like, what the hell is going on with Gwen? Why does Ben have mini muscles? And is that really Kevin Levin or one of the members of Gorillaz? The first “Ben 10” was fine the way it is, and the constant redesigns only give us the groans, and little else.


#4: The Maximals “Beast Machines: Transformers” (1999-2000)



What sort of Cybertron hell have we stepped into?! We know what the Maximals look like and those…those are not the Maximals!! Rattrap is not a wagon! It wasn’t enough to make this entire show look like a robot nightmare – all of the Maximals look like a new “Five Nights at Freddy’s” game. Why not just go with the classic designs? They’re so awesome on their own, and these just have this creepy, uncanny look to them. Any other Transformers series has better designs than this… and that’s including the Michael Bay film franchise.


#3: Porky Pig “New Looney Tunes” (2015-)


As we learned from “Loonatics Unleashed”, the Looney Tunes never – or rarely – need a redesign. We’ll give the show credit in not completely changing Bugs’ appearance, but when we got sight of Porky, things took a turn for the worst. Just because he’s a pig doesn’t mean you have to make him morbidly obese. And since when did he start wearing a necktie?? The old Porky was bubbly and charming in his blue coat and red bow tie – if anything, it made him one of the cutest Looney Tunes. Why this dumbed-down, simplistic change was so important, we may never know.


#2: The Joker “The New Batman Adventures” (1997-99)



Look, we’re not saying this is the worst Joker of all the “Batman” shows, although Bats himself doesn't come out much better. What makes fans feel so much contempt against these designs is because of the ones that came before them. In “Batman: The Animated Series”, the Joker was much more detailed with his blood-red smile and vibrant colors. The Joker in “The New Adventures” just felt cheap, with his outfit primarily being a solid purple and a small touch of green. And where’s the creepy smile? This Joker just debuted in the wrong place at the wrong time.



Before we get to our atrocious top pick, here are a few Dishonorable Mentions…



Angelica & Susie

“Rugrats Pre-School Daze” (2005)




The Entire Cast

“Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!” (2015-18)


#1: He-Man “The New Adventures of He-Man” (1990)



Where’s the power of Grayskull in this guy? He-Man is recognizable for the barbarian armor, luscious blonde hair, and his kickass Power Sword. Oh, and we can’t forget those sweet, massive muscles! So, what do we get with “The New Adventures of He-Man”? He’s trimmed down, wears pants, has a ponytail, and turned into a lame living action figure. Either that or G.I. Joe forgot which cartoon to be in. Ugh, even the Power Sword looks stupid! Well, hopefully his adversaries are still just as menacing – wait, why does Skeletor have eyeballs? How does that work?


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