Doctor Who & Firefly Disney-Fied Make Us Fall For The Art Of Stephen Byrne

By David Wharton | 7 years ago

DisneyWhoOne of the biggest surprises I’ve had from the site recently was just how much this story blew up. Don’t get me wrong, I think artist Khallion’s illustrations featuring the Doctor recruiting Disney princesses as new companions are wonderful and charming — that’s why I wrote it up. But it’s one of those stories that I never would have guessed people would respond to so strongly. Well, for all of you folks who loved those, allow me to introduce artist Stephen Byrne, who has given his own Disney-style makeover to our favorite time lord — all 13 of him, in fact.

Byrne posted the “Disney Doctor Who” on his Facebook page, and it’s a testament to his talents that it really makes me want to see an animated Doctor Who series. Not necessarily a Disney one, mind you, but how great would it be to see ongoing adventures of the various Doctors in cartoon form? Many of the former Doctor actors already regularly lend their voices to Doctor Who audio dramas, so why not take the next step and give us some ‘toons? (In fact, we very nearly did get a Who animated series a while back, but the BBC allegedly “didn’t want anything to distract from production of the tv show.” Which makes no sense whatsoever to me.)


This isn’t the first time Byrne has earned some internet love because of a cartoon-y take on a beloved science fiction series. Earlier this spring, he shared the “Disney Firefly” image above, which I can critique only for making Tiny River so adorable that it’s causing me physical pain. I would pay good money to see the River vs. Reavers scene from Serenity recreated in his Disney style. Bloodlust filling up eyes the size of dinner plates…

Of course, any creative type knows that the price of sharing your stuff online is that there will, inevitably, be people whose sole purpose is to dismiss, critique, or irrationally insult it (and you). We therefore award extra points to Byrne for his handling of complaints about how his Disney Who picture wasn’t entirely “accurate.” Here’s his brilliant response:

I would like to thank the people who took the time to point out some errors in my recent ‘Disney Doctor Who’ post. It has been rightfully brought to my attention that ‘some of the designs aren’t exactly….Up to par….2 and 4 are too short’ and ‘6 looks like a looks like clown, 2 looks like a dwarf, 4 looks like he is sick with some sort of bad cold, 1 looks creepy, and 11 has eyebrows!’. A theme emerged — ‘2 and 4 are too short’.

Well, I’ve had a look back over the art in question, and the situation is far worse than I imagined. Indeed, some of the heights of the characters are factually inaccurate, but it doesn’t stop there. Upon closer inspection, I realised that I had accidentally exaggerated facial features and poses and mistakenly made choices about character and costume designs. I somehow used a bright saturated color palette that does not exist in reality, and (in some instances) just plain used creative license with zero regards for the consequences. Worse still, to my dismay – ‘THERE IS A ROSE ON DAVIDSON INSTEAD OF A CELERY STICK?!???!’, as one viewer put it. It turns out even the font was made up.

Thankfully there is still time to remedy this mistake. Please see below the original version and the updated correct version. Thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow.
Apologies, Stephen


Well played, Stephen. Well played indeed.

You can see more of Byrne’s work below. Warning: this next image may make some of you feel faint…