Though the time has long passed since Saturday morning cartoons were around, we can still look back fondly on the shows we would wake up to with sugary cereal and unbridled excitement. Fans of all eras of Saturday mornings might not have their favorite shows to watch anymore, but the love of those cartoons is still alive and well, especially in the world of fan art. In fact, some fan artists who grew up with Saturday morning cartoons have created some appropriate tributes to the characters of these series by showing them grown up, as though they aged since they first premiered.
These awesome pieces of fan art show all our favorite young protagonists as adults, some simply aging up the characters, while others give a complete backstory, be it through a description or through the art itself. Wether you want to see your favorite Saturday morning hero in their teens or 20s or a gritty reimagining of cartoony protagonist, then we’ve got you covered. As fans of Saturday morning cartoons have grown up, so too have their favorite heroes in these awesome pieces of fan art. With that, here are 15 awesome depictions of your Saturday morning cartoon characters all grown up.
15. DEXTER’S LAB
Boy genius? More like teen genius… or is it early-20s genius? Whatever age Dexter, Dee Dee and Mandark are in this depiction of the Dexter’s Laboratory, they look awesome. This piece is by Isaiah K. Stephens, who has a whole series of fan art depicting grown up cartoons. This particular piece shows us what Dexter, his sister and his scientific rival might look like a few years down the line.
Not much has changed, Dexter and Mandark still wear the same thing and Dee Dee has only updated her look a bit, but seeing the characters with older appearances and modernized outfits is pretty awesome. The posing also tells a bit of a story, like Dexter’s genius is now well-known, and his inventions have changed the world while Mandark tries to compete. For more of Isaiah’s work, click here!
14. VELMA AND SCOOBY DOO: SUPERNATURAL HUNTERS
Now THIS one tells a story. There have been quite a few gritty reimaginings of the Scooby Doo gang, but this one takes the cake… or should we say takes the Scooby snack? A T-Shirt design by Travis Pitts, this piece depicts Velma and Scooby Doo as the only survivors of what seems to have been a monster apocalypse. Everything from vampires to zombies to werewolves are implied by the various supernatural hunting tools scattered throughout the drawing.
The coolest thing about this is how awesome Velma looks, like the death of her friends (as implied by the RIP on the re-dubbed “Misery Machine”) pushed her to be a survivor, and the same goes for Scooby, who once cowered in fear at the idea of monster, but now easily chomps apart Zombies. Mysteries and criminals in masks are a thing of the past, now the Scooby Gang takes out REAL monsters.
13. HUEY, DEWEY AND LOUIE
Though these designs are based on the current version of Ducktales, the spirit of the original Saturday morning versions are still present in both the reboot and this piece of aged-up fanart by Tumblr user, DonaldTheDuckDad. Huey, Dewey and Louie have pretty distinct personalities despite looking identical, and this “all grown up” version of the characters shows how their individuality developed over the years.
The artist also had a few descriptions of what the ducks might be like as adults. Huey is a stay-at-home dad for triplet girls, Dewey is an adventurer who brings back all kinds of scary artifacts for his nieces and Louie is a successful business owner who has made quite a bit of money on his own, though not as much as Scrooge, of course. For more Ducktales-related work from this artist, click here.
12. THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS
Despite the fact that it was an educational cartoon, The Magic School Bus is still thought of fondly by those who grew up watching it on Saturday mornings. Perhaps it was because it taught us about science without talking down, or maybe the sweeping adventures were just as fun as the things we learned. Whatever the magic of The Magic School Bus was, this all grown up fan art of the characters definitely captured it.
Another work by Isaiah K. Stephens, this piece shows what the kids in Ms. Frizzle’s class would look like in their teen years. Some are much more fashion conscience, some are dressed almost exactly the same. We like to think that this picture is what the class’ reunion would look like, that they decided to get together to wish Ms. Frizzle a happy retirement.
11. ADULT MUTANT SAMURAI TURTLES
“Adult Mutant Samurai Turltes!” Hmm… Nope, doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but that doesn’t make this awesome piece of fan art by Ha Huy Hoang any less awesome. Hoang, who goes by SplendidDriver on Deviantart, has given us a bit of an alternate take on the Turtles and two of their greatest foes, aging them up a bit and going with a samurai theme instead of a ninja motif.
The Turtles have longer necks, which is an interesting take on the characters, as are all of the little personal touches to their outfits that make each of them seem more individual and unique. We also love the more samurai-inspired armor that Shredder wears, which makes him look a bit like a silver Darth Vader. Lastly, Hoang gave Krang a much-needed upgrade to his android body. For more of Hoang’s work, click here.
10. PEPPER ANN
Pepper Ann might be a bit obscure to some of you out there, but plenty of kids remember waking up on Saturday mornings to catch the latest episode of this slice-of-life Disney series. Following the titular character, the series depicted middle-school life and all the hurdles that come with it. This piece of fan art shows how Pepper would look as an undergrad college student, upgrading her whole look.
The piece, which is by Tumblr user CelesteDoodles, shows that Pepper Ann changed her middle-school hair style and went with a short cut, which is just one of her many fashion upgrades. We especially like the earrings based on the circular designs of her middle-school skirt pattern, as well the artist’s use of color. For more of CelesteDoodles’ work, click here.
9. TOTALLY SPIES
Once more, we have another piece by the talented Isaiah Stephens, this time it’s an older version of Clover, Sam and Alex of Totally Spies! There’s a lot to love in this piece, since all of the changes that the girls went through as they age are subtle, but very affective in terms of design. It seems like the girls are still spies as they got into their adult years, and their equipment has only gotten cooler and more advanced.
Their suits have some really cool, subtle upgrades like the addition of what appears to be advanced tactical gear, legitimate firearms, and some glowing elements that must do something cool and highly classified. We also love all the small changes to the girls’ appearance, like Clover’s modern, trendy update to her original hairstyle, as well as Alex’s pixie cut.
8. THE POWERPUFF GIRLS
The Powerpuff Girls has inspired countless artists and creators, and there is a large pool of fan art to pick from, especially when it comes to adult versions of the girls. That said, we particularly like this piece by Maya Nord, which provides a subtle, but sleek update to the classic designs of the young superheroes. The switch from black shoes to white boots is a nice touch, as are the shorts and zippers on their costumes.
We also like small personal touches that each of their outfits have. Bubbles has smaller, more fashionable shoes for her costume, and has her zipper open a bit, Blossom has high-top boots and her zipper is all the way up and Buttercup has full-on superhero fighting boots with her zipper pulled down and plenty of awesome piercings.
7. PUNK ROCK SAILOR SCOUTS
Next up we have an awesome piece by Babs Tarr, known for her work on Batgirl and Motor Crush. Tarr has given us an awesome alternate take on the Sailor Scouts. Instead of sailor-outfit-clad warriors of justice, the pretty guardians are instead a motorcycle gang, older, tougher, and much more punk rock. There’s a lot to love about these versions of the Sailor Scouts, especially all the cool, hidden details throughout the piece.
All the decals on the Scouts’ bikes are perfect, as are the colors in Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter’s hair. We also love Mercury’s goggles as well as all the awesome tattoos. These versions of the Sailor Scouts are not to be messed with, and when Usagi punishes you in the name of the moon, it’s definitely gonna hurt.
Here we have another awesome piece by Celeste Doodles, this time it’s grown up versions of some of the Recess kids. Though it’s not the whole gang, these awesome pieces of fan art shows us what Gretchen, Spinelli, Vince and the Ashleys might look like as adults.
Just take a look at these awesome updated designs, we love the Gretchen has become a bit fashion conscience, but still keeps her signature geeky style. We also love Spinelli being depicted as an awesome, punk rock roller derby girl, and the short hairstyle definitely fits her. Vince is looking fly in his suit, perhaps he’s a pro athlete now? Lastly the Ashleys seem to have kept up their hip and trendy ways, looking as fabulous and fashionable as ever.
5. JONNY QUEST
Though it is only a head drawing, this adult version of Jonny Quest from Deviantart user Strawson is still pretty awesome. However, it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen what Jonny Quest would be like as an adult, since The Venture Bros. has shown use just how messed up a person can become from being a boy adventurer.
However, if you want a little peak into an alternate future in which Jonny became a full-time adventurer with his life and sanity in-tact, then this drawing provides that. Where the Venture Bros. version of the character was strung out and burned out, this version of Jonny Quest looks like he grew up to be just as competent and in-shape as his bodyguard, Race Bannon. For more cool stuff from Strawson, click here.
4. ED, EDD N EDDY
Now this is easily one of our favorite pieces in the whole bunch, an awesome digital painting by Deviantart user Bloochikin. This work features the Eds of Ed, Edd n Eddy as what appears to be teenagers, looking quite a bit different in thier high school years. Big Ed now has a beard, Double D is still wearing his hat but has a but more hair than before, and Eddy is rocking a goatee.
Perhaps the best part about this piece is the mood that it emits. We can’t quite place our fingers on what it is exactly about the work, but it evokes a somber feeling, like the Eds’ childhood is over, like time is passing faster than they want it too, that maybe they wish they could go back to the days of scamming the neighborhood kids. For more awesome work by Bloochikin, click here.
Here we have our final piece by Isaiah Stephens, this time it’s of one of the most classic Saturday-morning anime. Though Pokémon might not have been a Saturday morning cartoon in Japan, and that might not even be a thing in Japan, it was definitely marketed as one in America, so we’re going to count this awesome aged up fan art for our list.
As with Stephens’ other drawings, we have some cool fashion updates to the characters on top of being aged up. We are really digging Ash’s new jacket, and the Staryu on Misty’s shirt is a nice touch. This piece of fan art definitely has us thinking of what Ash, Brock and Misty must be like as adults. Is Ash the reigning champion of all leagues in the world? Is Brock a Pokémon Food tycoon? And what is Misty’s family gym up to?
2. DOUG FUNNIE/QUAIL MAN
Here we have an awesome entry in David Galopim’s “Bloody Cartoon Tournament” series, which depicts dark, gritty versions of his favorite cartoon characters. This particular piece shows what Doug Funnie would be like if his imaginative fantasy of being the superhero Quailman was actually a dark, demented hallucination brought on by schizophrenia. Thinking himself to be a real hero, Doug has become violent, attacking others and believing he has superpowers.
We love this digital painting, and the accompanying story of an aged up version of Doug is absurdly awesome, which is absurdly cool and imaginative. Just look at how vicious Porkchop looks! And the realistic depiction of Quailman’s ridiculous superhero costume makes the whole thing seem dark, demented and awesome. For more of Galopim’s work (including more gritty cartoon reimagining), check out his Deviantart Gallery here.
1. HEY ARNOLD!
Last but not least, we have a look into the future of the Hey Arnold! kids, courtesy of artist Nuri Durr. Above are just a few, but Durr drew pretty much the whole cast of kids as adults, each accompanied by their own little story telling us that their grown up life is like. In terms of visuals, we love the style that Durr used for these, and all the little changes to their wardrobe is wonderfully fitting.
As for the stories that accompany these drawings, we love how realistic they are. Arnold went off to explore San Lorenzo with his parents, returning later to work as a child psychologist in Hillwood. Gerald and Phoebe started artistic careers, dating then breaking up to pursue their passions while Helga was forced to work to help her family after Big Bob’s Beepers went under.
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