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New unrealistic body standards have emerged. And this time, it’s beloved cartoon characters that are setting the standards a little too high for us mere mortals.

Social media users have taken to various platforms to mock the children’s characters who have received a Hollywood makeover – with the likes of Barney and Dora The Explorer going from charming to chiseled and wholesome to demonic respectively.

Instagram account Iamthirtyaf shared a carousel of screenshots from X, formerly known as Twitter, showing people mercilessly mocking the cartoons and their glow ups – or live-action versions.

‘In a world of retouching and face filters and injectables and Ozempic, unrealistic beauty standards are being foisted upon us every which way til f*n Tuesday,’ the caption read. ‘And now, a before and after cartoon… glow up??’ 

Social media users have taken to various platforms to mock the children’s characters who have received a Hollywood makeover – with the likes of Barney (pictured in 2005) going from charming to chiseled in new versions

Users are sharing updated versions of the characters they loved as kids with the 2023 versions looking a little more polished – and in some cases snatched – than their ’90s iterations to social media.

Here FEMAIL has gathered a list of children’s characters beloved by millennials and Gen Z who have undergone face lifts.


Barney: Fans joke he’s had buccal fat removal and Botox

Barney, the titular character of the early ’90s children’s show Barney and Friends, looks a tad different from his purple costumed days.

The popular children’s series ran from 1992 to 2010, featuring Barney, a T-Rex who was played by an actor wearing a large purple costume.

In 2015, a revival was announced to premiere in 2017, but was delayed before a CGI-animated series aired in February 2023.

However, fans of the original series were quick to point out he looked somewhat different from the ’90s figure that they knew and loved.

‘Rhinoplasty, lip filler, cheek implants, brow bone reduction, buccal fat removal, botox, eye lift,’ Comedian Zach Bornstein listed in a post to X, posting a side-by-side comparison of the two.

The animated Barney is indeed smoother and more proportionate than his 1992 self, which social media users were quick to comment on. 

Barney’s glow-up didn’t impress fans of his original look. Pictured left is the old character and right is the new one

‘He can’t have the same 1990s beauty standards – standards have changed a lot since,’ one user joked.

‘Or, possibly just Ozempic,’ another added.

‘More unrealistic beauty standards for dinosaurs,’ one Barney fan declared.


Dora The Explorer: Viewers left disturbed by her visibly pointy teeth

Dora The Explorer and her repetitive songs have captivated children and irritated parents for decades – but now both are united in their intense dislike for her new look.

Originally airing in 2000, the series centers on Dora Márquez, a seven-year-old Latina girl who goes on an adventure each episode, accompanied by her purple backpack and monkey companion called Boots.

However, the wide-eyed innocence the animation portrays is somewhat lost in the hyper-realistic newer version of the tiny explorer, whose eyes look a little more crazy and her visibly pointy teeth are ripe for biting, as many pointed out. 

Dora The Explorer went from charming animation to crazed maniac on a mission

Dora’s new look was not embraced by many, with some declaring the precocious seven-year-old downright terrifying 

Alarmed viewers were quick to suggest her new look wasn’t serving the childish charm of the original animated series, but a rather deranged version.

‘Okay that new Dora is terrifying. She looks like she’ll eat your face while you sleep,’ one user declared.

‘Dora is scary wtf,’ another added, with one fan agreeing: ‘Dora looks like she bites.’

‘Dora’s great, but what if we went for a more “horrifically toothy, canny-valley, nightmare’ vibe?”‘ someone else joked.


Arthur: The cartoon aardvark’s not-so-subtle nose job

Arthur was a beloved TV series that aired in 1996. However, the book the series is based on had a different look in mind for the titular character.

As an aardvark, Arthur is meant to have a long nose – and originally was more anatomically similar to the actual animal he is based on.

However, in a post to X by an avid Arthur fan, it was pointed out after the first book – ironically named Arthur’s Nose’ – he received a TV makeover making him look very different from the glasses and yellow sweater-wearing aardvark we are familiar with today.

Arthur’s book series (left) showed you are perfect the way you are – once you’ve had cosmetic surgery. As an aardvark, Arthur is meant to have a long nose – and originally was more anatomically similar to the actual animal he is based on, but he got a TV makeover (right)

The irony of the book’s title wasn’t lost on any of the viewers 

The user joked there seemed to be a book missing in the iconic series: Arthur’s not-so-subtle nose job. 

The popular character kept the slim-downed look for the entire 22-year run of the series, which after airing in 1996 showed its last episode in 2022.

Fans of the TV series had no idea the beloved character originally had a very different look.

‘So much for loving yourself,’ one user said sarcastically.

‘Oh believe in yourself,’ a user quipped. ‘Once you get that nose job.’


Cleo: Geppetto’s hot pet goldfish continues to live on in live action

Neither land MirandaArm or sea creatures can escape having a Hollywood glow-up forced upon them. 

Comedian Atsuko Okatsuka was curious to see if the ‘hot fish’ in Pinocchio would still be attractive in the 2022 live-action version.

Upon watching it, she reported that Cleo the goldfish was indeed, just as hot the second time.

‘Humans had to get together in a room to make this decision for a second time,’ the comedian pointed out.

Cleo: The only fish known to serve looks rather than being served. Comedian Atsuko Okatsuka was curious to see if the ‘hot fish’ in Pinocchio would still be attractive in the 2022 live-action version – and it appears she is

Social media users shared their thoughts about the live-action version of the goldfish

The charming goldfish, which is a pet to Pinocchio’s puppeteer creator Geppetto, features red pouty lips and long eyelashes in the 1940 Walt Disney Animation.

The 2022 version is just as alluring, with commenters agreeing Cleo the goldfish is apparently just a regulation hottie – amongst all species. 

‘The lip fillers on her,’ one user responded.

‘Fish looking like it got a complex Starbucks order,’ another quipped.

‘This fish was absolutely my standard of beauty as a child,’ a third person declared. 


Lola Bunny: Busty to bustless in the 2021 Space Jam movie

In the original Looney Tunes cartoon, Lola Bunny has a fairly seductive look: donning a tiny white cropped tank and blue shorts.

The female anthropomorphic bunny, who is often depicted as Bugs Bunny’s romantic interest, had a curvy and athletic figure when first featured in 1996’s Space Jam.

However in the 2021 film Space Jam: A New Legacy, there was a noticeable difference. Lola appeared to have a breast reduction, with her chest much flatter than it was in the 1996 version.

According to director Malcolm D. Lee, the redesign was very intentional.

Lola Bunny’s seductive look had a change up in the 2021 Space Jam film, with an effort to make her less seductive

Social media users bonded over their appreciation of the original Lola Bunny

‘Lola [Bunny] was very sexualized,’ Lee said at the time in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

‘This is a kids’ movie, why is she in a crop top? It just felt unnecessary, but at the same time there’s a long history of that in cartoons.’

Fans of the original bunny were less impressed with the director’s makeover. 

‘Lola Bunny was my first crush ever,’ one user commented.

‘Na the Lola Bunny from the 90s did hit different,’ another added.

‘I am sad that somehow buxom bunnies are not okay! Real people have chests!’ one fan complained.


Simba: Emotive to emotionless when The Lion King went live action 

Simba’s live action version was a controversial one, with the 1994 cartoon version having a lot of expression, which some would argue is vital to some of the pivotal moments in the story. 

Meanwhile, the 2019 live-action film didn’t quite capture the same emotion as the original did, with one climatic scene in particular causing outrage: the stampede.

In the original animation, the lion cub looks on with horror as his father, Mufasa, is killed in a stampede.

Animated Simba’s expressions as he watches a stampede kill his father in comparison to the emotionless looking live-action version

Fans were not impressed by the live action remake of the beloved Disney Classic The Lion King

In the live action, many commenters said the emotion seemed somewhat removed, with animals obviously unable to convey emotion.

‘The live action lion king is a disappointment to any 90s kid,’ one user wrote.

‘The lion king remake was a mess and I don’t care that Beyoncé was in it,’ another added.

Someone else pointed out the obvious: ‘How TF (the f***) are you supposed to make a real lion look surprised and scared!?’


Sonic The Hedgehog: Subtle orthodontic work that saw him get human teeth

Sonic The Hedgehog was an energetic blue hedgehog since he burst onto the scene in a 1991 video game.

Once a cartoon, the popular character now has its own franchise, 

However the 2020 live-action film, starring Jim Carey, saw the hedgehog appear with a different look, which bizarrely involved a new set of human-looking teeth.

Unlike the animated version of the hedgehog, Sonic has strangely human teeth in the film series

The iconic character was much more appealing in the ’90s when his chompers were left up to the viewers’ imaginations

A keen hedgehog observer pointed out the animal’s teeth do not resemble human teeth in any way 

‘They won’t give him gloves to be more realistic but give him a full mouth of human teeth,’ one X user pointed out.

‘Why didn’t they give him actual hedgehog teeth?’ another questioned, along with a picture of what the real animal’s teeth look like.

‘Why does the gross CGI hedgehog have nicer teeth than me?’ someone else joked.


Chuck E. Cheese: Cleaned up his act from the 1970s and became a more wholesome-looking mouse

Not all the changes have been worse, with the original Chuck E. Cheese mascot looking as though he may have not been legally allowed around children.

‘The original Chuck E Cheese definitely looks like he’d tell a child to go f**k themselves while ashing his cigar on their pizza,’ one X user wrote in a post, along with images of an old Chuck E. Cheese mascot.

The rodent is a mascot for the chain of Chuck E. Cheese arcade and pizza restaurants, who has had a significant makeover across the years.

Chuck E. Cheese has had quite a makeover in his time; going from a hardworking rat in need of a stiff drink to clean-cut mouse 

Newer costumes have a very different vibe from the slightly scary look of Chuck E. Cheese in the 70s

Part of Chuck E. Cheese’s changes were to do with the fact he changed species.

He was an anthropomorphic rat, from 1977 to 1992, before making the official change to a mouse in 1993.

The Chuck E. Cheese of the ’70s gave the look of a rat who had led a hard life, and was in constant need of a stiff drink and smoke. 

The original costume had Chuck’s eyes drooping with an exhausted expression and a small red hat in between his ears, complete with a sateen waistcoat.

Newer-age Chuck portrays a more wholesome image, with a more youthful energy and adopting a vibrant green colorway.

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