TaleSpin characters old design

TaleSpin characters old design

All animated series or films go through many changes during their creations, and Talespin is no exception...

 TaleSpin characters (old design)

Yes, your eyes are not fooling you, that's what the characters from TaleSpin looked like in their first version...Scary, isn't it?

During my searches, I have collected a few of the artworks from the characters with this old design. Let's examin the characters one by one...

 TaleSpin Baloo (old design)Talespin : Baloo and Kit

Baloo Baloo

He's probably the one that look the most similar, which is obviously because he already existed in The Jungle Book and they had to respect it. He still has his yellow shirt and a hat, although he went through many changes :

- He has claws!!! Well, he also had claws in The Jungle Book, so it shouldn't be so surprising : we can safely assume that they changed them to actual hands when they wondered how a bear could pilot a plane and handle a steering wheel with claws...

- The hat is yellow and is a bit different (it has a falcon-looking logo, which they may have replace with a circle to make animation easier)

- He has whiskers like in the Jungle Book (or whatever this is for a bear), although he lost them in the final design. We don't see it, but I wouldn't be surprised if he still had a tail too (although his tail does appear in some Talespin episodes, like in "The Balooest of the Blue Bloods", but they were mistakes from the animation production)

- His eyes seem a little smaller, and his belly...too.


Kit Cloudkicker Kit

When Kit only has a sweater and no pants in the final design, here he has pants and is shirtless! His fur is lighter, and he exchanged his blue cap to a red one. (and his hair goes through it) He also wears a bandana like in "Plunder & Lightning", although this one is blue instead of red. Finally, his nose is red like Baloo's, and his eyes are much bigger. 

Talespin : Kit piloting


Molly Cunningham Molly

Talespin : Molly scolding Kit

Wow...where to start? Talespin Her fur is orange instead of "yellowish", she has blue eyes, a pink nose. She didn't have that cute hair, and her only ribbon is pink and much more larger. She's almost as big as Kit (at least on that artwork), maybe they intended them to have a similar age? Finally, she has a pink dress...

EDIT : After second thought, I'm rewriting this part of the article : the character appearing above may not be Molly, after all! (maybe Kit's girlfriend?) Because Molly looks different on other artworks :

Talespin : Baloo escaping with Molly and Kit
















Here, she has yellow ribbons in her hair and a blue petticoat, which makes her look more like a baby.

Rebecca Cunningham Rebecca

She underwent major changes too : her hair brush is totally different, she has makeup and red lipstick. She didn't have these spots (or whatever the right word is...) around her eyes, she had a red nose too and very scary eyes and smile...Her clothes seem also more detailed. Her pants don't go to the bottom, and she had heel shoes.

Rebecca with Molly

All in all, she looked less "nicer", and who knows, maybe this design sticked closer to her business woman personality? 

Wildcat Wildcat

This is the only picture I have found with his old design.

Wildcat old design

He's still a mechanic of course, but a different model. He has orange overalls instead of white/blue, and has yellow gloves. He has orange hair with a different style, and apparently didn't have a cap.

Louie Louie

I haven't been able to find a better artwork than the one at the top of this page, but he looked very similar to his final design, logical considering he originated from the Jungle Book too. His hat looks a bit different though?


Also, the characters are not the only thing that has changed, Higher for Hire and the Sea Duck too! Take a look at this (awesome) painting below :

TaleSpin higher for hire

Higher for Hire (old design) : click on the picture for a much bigger resolution one!

We can see the main crew of Talespin, with a more futuristic version of the Sea Duck (but still yellow and red!)


To conclude : Considering the amount of *colored* artworks we can find from that previous design, we can seriously believe that this is how the Talespin characters *should* have looked! Yet, the reason for the whole redesign is still a mystery.

Sources :

- Socalspinner.com


- My personal Disney Club Vacances magazine

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November 26, 2013
Is not currently on the site
Older Spigot & Sgt Dunder

http://danalexanderdizmentia.b [...] alespin-banned-holiday-in.html

Another image using older looks (even planes are different)


January 07, 2013
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I actually used some of these elements in my artwork without even realizing it. ;)

November 27, 2011
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I am glad that Molly was re-designed to the character she became for the series.

Kit would have looked great with cargo pants (keep all his treasures in his pockets) and blue scarf.

October 05, 2010
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For some reason I prefer Baloo with his Jungle Book aspects (eg. the claws and tail) he looks cuter with a more bear like atonomy, though I admit it doesn't make quite as much sense with the other anthro characters around him. Also love the artwork here that is very faithful to the film's style.

The others, yeah more or less agree with other comments that the later designs better reflect their final personalities. Do the Molly designs remind anyone of the Brisby children from The Secret Of Nimh?

May 16, 2010
Ukraine Male Is not currently on the site
Sorry, dear Steet, you had a mistake. These covers were from German audiocassetes, not books, if I've understood right (see the logo "Disneyland Record").

February 16, 2010
Canada Is not currently on the site
Ted; my resident leader of the Kit & Karnage movement°x° ; has some more early design pictures from this link: http://disc.yourwebapps.com/di [...] igh%20Flight%20comment%20board

Source: http://disc.yourwebapps.com/di [...] igh%20Flight%20comment%20board

Some more good stuff.

February 07, 2010
Philippines Male Is not currently on the site
These are pretty interesting designs. These old designs I would say seem to amplify an aspect of their personality. As you said, Rebecca's design looked more business oriented personality. Kit on the other hand became even more, how'd you call this, street smart or tougher. Molly... well looks kinda like what her alternate costume would be. Not much impact on character.

From this point of view, my guess is that they redesigned the characters to show the other side of their personality, aside from the cost/time reduction. Like Rebecca has a more motherly look about her and Kit looks more like a kid.

January 12, 2010
Webmaster France Male Is not currently on the site
AS leader
Yep sorry, I always say "dutch" for "german", don't know why...It's corrected!

January 12, 2010
Netherlands Is not currently on the site
I had no idea about these old designs. Interesting stuff!

One thing, though. Just a nitpicky detail: in your sources you quote the "Dutch" page on TaleSpin books, but it's actually a German one (I speak both).

Otherwise, great article. :)

January 11, 2010
Webmaster France Male Is not currently on the site
AS leader
Yes, but they ALL were redesigned though. Usually they decide the characters design with concept arts and doodles, yet here it seems the characters did keep that design for a "long" time.

January 11, 2010
Is not currently on the site
The redesign isn't that much of a mystery. For one thing, it was a lot harder to animate Kit with pants (consider all the pant lines, which would cost time and money). So a redesign was necessary.

As far as Rebecca, they wanted to make her more appealing. I'm sure they threw Molly in there for a redesign for the same reason.

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