Besides being played by Julia Roberts in 1991's live-action 'Hook,' Tinker Bell has been best known as Peter Pan's mischievous little pixie-dust-sprinkling friend. But even before she made her 1953 big-screen debut in the classic animated film, the impish fairy went through dozens of incarnations in the animation studios at Disney.

Last year Tink graduated to leading lady in her own movie, the 2008 self-titled DVD release 'Tinker Bell.' Now, with the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray release of 'Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure' (Oct. 27), Tink is finally getting a full-scale makeover. She's gone from ingenue to full-out action hero since she first appeared, in pencil drawings from the famed studio's "nine old men" in the the mid-'30s.

Click through our gallery to trace the adorable tiny heroine's transformation through the years (including three exclusive photos). Besides being played by Julia Roberts in 1991's live-action 'Hook,' Tinker Bell has best been known as Peter Pan's mischievous little friend. But before she made her 1953 big-screen debut in the classic animated film, the impish pixie went through dozens of incarnations in the animation studios at Disney.

Last year Tink graduated to leading lady in her own movie, the 2008 self-titled DVD release 'Tinker Bell.' Now, with the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray release of 'Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure' (Oct. 27), Tink is finally getting a full-scale makeover. Click through our gallery to trace the adorable tiny heroine's transformation through the years (including three exclusive photos).

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The Evolution of Tinker Bell
See sketches and photos of Hollywood's favorite pixie through the years.
Disney
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The Evolution of Tinker Bell

    Pencil Her In
    A very early pencil sketch of Tinker Bell, dated to the mid-1930s, begs the question, "How many pixies can you fit on a pincushion?"

    Disney

    Tiny Dancer
    Exclusive: Another pencil sketch of Tinker Bell, though undated, shows an early incarnation of the tiny fairy.

    Disney

    Blue Belle
    What a difference a few years make -- here's Tinker Bell in her first official portrait, in 1937, as a pink and blue ballet-inspired fairy.

    Disney

    Put a Ring on It
    In yet another incarnation, this one from the mid-'40s, Tink's mischievous 'tude starts to take shape. As women in the real world hit the workplace in ever greater numbers, Tinker Bell exudes girl-power sass.

    Disney

    Recline of the Times
    Here's Tinker Bell circa 1945. The ballet theme is back, and this version seems to take Tink from impish cutie to slightly aloof gamine.

    Disney

    Flower Girl
    Exclusive: In this undated color illustration, Tinker Bell returns to her garden-pixie roots, with a flower-petal hat.

    Disney

    Starry, Starry Night
    Just a year later, in 1946, this story sketch shows Tink evolving back to a younger look (if women could only discover that secret), with longer hair and a more innocent visage.

    Disney

    Days of Wine and Poses
    Exclusive: A redheaded Tinker Bell perches playfully on a wine cork in this undated image.

    Fine Young Woman
    By 1949, Tinker Bell had matured to this graceful (and Grace Kelly-esque) figure, with a demure and sophisticated updo, a simple black choker and strapless blue gown.

    Disney

    Ready for Her Close-Up
    After so many incarnations, Tink makes her big-screen debut in Disney's 1953 classic feature-length film, 'Peter Pan.' Though none of the prior versions we've seen were blonde, the final fairy we see in the cineplexes is a golden-haired tiny beauty.

    Disney



Her evolution has been top of mind for at least one very high-profile Disney exec for some time. Pixar co-creator John Lasseter told USA Today, "She's my absolute favorite character of all the Disney characters. She is so cute with her spunk and personality. The fact that Walt Disney used her to open his TV show proved how important she was to the company."

She may not be a full-fledged Disney princess, but Tinker Bell is a star in her own right, and her tomboyish update is a sign of the times. Not only does she embody modern-day girl power, but her new outfit is green -- literally and figuratively. You can't get any more eco-conscious than wearing garb created from leaves, right?

What do you think of Tinker Bell's makeover? Let us know.

CATEGORIES Movie Photos