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Covers Always Lie / Animated Films

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Inaccurate covers of animated movies.

  • The 3 Little Pigs: The Movie: Some covers show the pigs in a more Disneyesque art style. Additionally, Beemo’s shirt is often mistakenly coloured in as yellow instead of green, and Felix the mouse is shown to be grey instead of brown.
  • An American Tail:
    • The original poster and VHS cover shows Fievel walking down the gangplank of a ship with a suitcase, between the feet of two human immigrants. In the actual movie, Fievel falls overboard at sea and floats the rest of the way to shore in a bottle.
    • The DVD cover shows Tanya as she appears in Fievel Goes West, looking older and prettier with her hair in an uncovered ponytail, as opposed to her younger, babushka-wearing appearance in the original film.
  • The DVD for Atlantis: The Lost Empire for some reason (possibly censorship) shows Princess Kida wearing a dress (her left arm is covered by a sleeve). In the actual movie, she wore an outfit that was very revealing throughout most of the film, and she only wore a dress at the end.
  • The Chinese animated film Back to the Sea has a cover very reminiscent of Shark Tale, yet the actual animation is a jagged, stylistic, clearly 2-D style.
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  • The DVD cover of Balto depicts Balto as black and gray in contrast to the movie, where he's brown and cream. The cover of the reissue tried to fix this by giving him a more accurate color scheme, but also slips up by showing him with white sclerae (he actually has yellow) and giving him a too broad muzzle and nose.
  • The cover for Barbie as the Island Princess shows Ro in her blue peacock dress, but her hair is long and loose, and she is wearing a Cool Crown, when in the movie, her head is bare and her hair is up in an elaborate bun.
  • The cover of Barbie In Rock N Royals depicts Erika as a black woman, when she is in fact Latina.
  • The second Beano video, Beano Videostars, included Roger the Dodger on the original VHS cover, even though he's not on the actual video. Possibly because his checkered jersey made him too hard to animate.
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  • This poster for Beauty and the Beast shows Belle in a pink and purple version of her blue and white peasant dress, the castle has blue shingles instead of red, has the servants be outside castle grounds (which only Chip does late in the film), and the Beast's placement on the cover makes him look like the villain. It also features rose bushes, where the only roses seen in the film is the enchanted one.
  • The 2003 DVD cover of Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World showed Belle wearing her yellow ballgown, even though she never does so in any of the shorts.
  • The poster for Beavis and Butt-Head Do America shows them riding motorcycles, which they don't even come close to doing in the movie.
  • Beyond Beyond, a rather slow-moving Danish CGI movie with heavy themes of grief and death, is not an entirely kid-unfriendly movie, but one that could be hard to sit through for younger audiences. So having a cover like this, excising any of the film's darker elements, is very, very misleading.
  • The BIONICLE Miramax trilogy mostly has very mild cases:
    • The titular artifact on the Mask of Light movie's poster differs from how it appears in the film. It looks exactly like the real LEGO piece, whereas the film uses a heavily stylized, simplified design.
    • The Coliseum is featured prominently in Legends of Metru Nui and Web of Shadows, and both films' posters place it in their backgrounds. However, the Coliseum on the covers is from Bionicle's promotional CG artwork. In the actual movies, the building has a different design, most notably, it's missing the two huge triangular side-structures.
    • Web of Shadows shows Vakama heroically leading his team while blasting a beam of fire from his tool. The film is actually about Vakama betraying his team and trying to kill them, while the others fight to bring him back to his senses. And his tool never shoots fire as spectacularly, it just emits a small heat blast.
  • On the original DVD cover and VideoNow PVD cover of A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Lucy clutches Charlie Brown's arm and stares up at him adoringly, but her tormenting of him is the whole point of the movie, and she isn't nice to him for a second. The Laserdisc cover made more sense, featuring the same image, but with Lucy having a thought bubble over her head showing a dressing room door with her name on it. Anyone who knows Lucy's character knows that she'd be willing to be nice to someone for the sake of fame & fortune.
  • The Bratz Babyz' outfits presented on the cover of Bratz Super Babyz are vastly different (and more modest) from the ones they wear in the film.
  • The Brave Little Toaster, probably one of the bleakest kids' films ever made, was marketed in pretty much the same way as a very kid-friendly movie, with super-happy cover artwork full of bright colors and smiles. This goes so far that the screencaps on the back of the VHS/DVD are not even from the film. One of them shows the toaster high-fiving its master, despite the fact that they are alive always being kept a secret, a la Toy Story. The back cover also depicts a very serious scene with the title character inappropriately having a goofy smile on his face. Oddly enough, the original poster shows three darker screencaps from the film.
    • To top it all off, the European cover shows the main five characters and the younger master skipping down a road, surrounded by twinkling stars.
  • The DVD cover for Cinderella (Golden Films) is very misleading, with Cinderella drawn to look very much like her Disney counterpart in a puffy sleeved white gown, and with the Prince likewise shown with dark brown hair and wearing a costume that looks like the Disney Prince's. In the actual film, Cinderella has much bigger, poofier hair and her ballgown is sleeveless and pink, while the Prince dresses more simply and his hair is light blondish brown.
  • On the DVD cover for The Christmas Tree, the tree depicted is not the eponymous Mrs. Hopewell, but a different one located indoors that the children never interact with. The VHS cover shows Mrs. Hopewell outside, but the children look pretty cute with soft facial features, unlike the Elmer Fudd-like faces the kids have in the film proper.
  • Some Coco movie or soundtrack covers show Miguel and Héctor crossing the marigold bridge together, even though the latter can't cross it unless someone in the Land of the Living has his photo on their ofrenda. His picture doesn't end up on one until after Miguel has left the Land of the Dead.
  • The theatrical poster, VHS, and DVD covers for DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp all feature Scrooge McDuck wearing an Indiana Jones-style fedora, and while he does have a few other hats in addition to his usual top hat, he never wears a fedora once in the entire film.
  • Elena and the Secret of Avalor combines this with Never Trust a Title; the DVD cover and poster for features Elena flying Skyler front and center with Sofia on Luna barely visible in the background. In reality, it's Sofia who's the main star of the show, and Elena doesn't play a part until about halfway through. It should be noted the special was originally called Sofia the First: Journey to Avalor, but because they decided to air the spinoff early, it was vastly reworked.
  • The notorious Foodfight! has Mrs. Butterworth, the Vlasic stork, Twinkie the Kid, and Charlie Tuna front-and-center on its cover, and all of them are minor characters at best. The actual main character is depicted as a tiny figure in the lower left.
  • Almost all the promotional material for Frozen (2013) feature the main cast (Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff, Sven and Hans) standing together and smiling cheerfully, making it seem as though the movie is going to be about a team of plucky characters having a fun and magical winter adventure together. The film is actually consistently dark and melancholic, with several arguments amongst the characters; one of the six, Elsa, is depressed and acts out in increasingly desperate ways, making herself the antagonist for much of the movie, and another of the six is actually an outright villain.
  • The American DVD cover of Help! I'm a Fish, with its ugly 3D graphics, seems like it was designed to make the film look like a Mockbuster of Finding Nemo or Shark Tale, when it's actually a decent, Don Bluth-esque, mostly 2D film. Even weirder, the American cover flatly says "Alan Rickman" above the title (the original cover said "Featuring the voices of Alan Rickman and Terry Jones"), making Rickman seem like the lead role. To make matters worse, Rickman's character isn't even shown on the U.S. cover.
  • The Gold Collection cover for Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame makes what is widely considered the darkest and most adult-oriented Disney film look like a much more lighthearted film than it actually is.
    • But that's nothing compared to this early movie poster, which has the entire cast (arguably even Frollo) dancing in a conga line.
  • In The Incredibles, contrary to all the promotional material, Jack-Jack is never shown in the super suit designed by Edna Mode until literally the last fifteen seconds of the film.
  • On the VHS/original DVD cover for The Jungle Book (1967), Baloo is seen grasping Kaa by the throat, despite the fact that the two characters never interact. Also, the original poster depicts Baloo as brown, while he's gray in the movie.
  • The Legend of Sarila is a Canadian film which was renamed Frozen Land in America. Its cover makes it look like a blatant mockbuster of Frozen (2013), when in reality the films are completely unrelated besides both featuring snow and female protagonists. The film was reverted to the original title after Disney complained.
  • The covers for every film in The Land Before Time film series shows Littlefoot to be brown, when in the actual movies themselves, he is purple.
  • The back of the DVD cover of Lilo & Stitch features a picture of Stitch (in his red suit) messing with stoplights and one of Stitch scaring off the pilots of a plane, which come respectively from a Deleted Scene and the pre-9/11 version of the finalenote .
  • The cover and other promotional material for The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride features Kiara and Kovu as cubs. They're only shown as cubs for the first twenty or so minutes of the film; the majority of the movie focuses on their adult lives.
  • One VHS cover for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1979) shows Lucy and Edmund riding on Aslan's back, with the White Witch smiling benevolently at them like a good fairy. Yet another shows the four children, Aslan, the Witch and Mr. Tumnus all standing together and also has the Witch smiling benevolently. The Witch is actually the villain and a deadly enemy to Aslan and the other characters, only briefly pretending to be friendly to Edmund early on. Nor does Edmund ever ride on Aslan's back: Lucy and Susan do.
  • The Littlest Light on the Christmas Tree: The artwork and the character designs on the posters and home media covers look slightly better than the film itself.
  • Magic Gift of the Snowman: Snowden looks nothing like he does on the cover. The cover also suggests the film will have much higher quality animation.
  • The theatrical poster of Meet the Robinsons gave the impression that Lizzy (The little goth girl) is a member of the Robinson family in the future when she's actually just a classmate of Lewis in the present who is only on screen for under a minute in total. Also, the T-Rex doesn't become the Robinson family's pet until the movie's ending.
  • Promotional material for the movie Mosley often feature the title character with his son Rue as if they take on the adventure together. In the actual movie, Mosley sets off by himself while Rue stays at the farm to aid his pregnant mother.
  • The cover of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Magical Movie Night (and its title) imply that the girls are going to have a Slumber Party watching movies. Nothing like that happen in either of the three specials. (The cover also features Princess Twilight instead of human Twilight Sparkle, but that's rather common for Equestria Girls material.)
  • The back of the DVD and Blu-ray cover of My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) describes a dark force threatening Ponyville, while in the actual film, the location is Canterlot being threatened by said force which is the Storm King's army.
  • The scene from the DVD cover of The Night Before Christmas never happens in the film: Jeffrey doesn't meet Santa until the end and it's on the streets when he does.
  • Padak: This South Korean animation has this poster, which can easily lead you to think it's going to be a lighthearted fish movie in the vein of Finding Nemo. In truth, it's a very bleak and adult story of fish trapped in a sushi restaurant's aquarium awaiting their eventual demise, with a lot of disturbing imagery of fish getting painfully turned into meals. The fish characters are even savage to each other, showing they're more like wild animals than cute critters. This other poster shows main character Padak being seemingly friendly with a clownfish, but in the movie she actually eats several baby clownfish alive when she's put in a tank with them.
  • In the holiday movie Pixi Post & the Gift Bringers, the titular character wears a skirted orange jumpsuit with dark brown gloves and boots. The DVD cover and Hulu banner for the English dub Pixi Saves Christmas shows her wearing a more Christmas-themed green jumpsuit with black gloves and boots and candy cane-style sleeves and leggings, but she wears no such outfit in the movie proper.
  • The poster for Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw gives virtually no clue as to the content of the movie. It features several of the characters together on a cool car from The '50s (the license plate even says COOL, so you know it's a cool car), and... that's about it. Most of the film's major players don't appear at all, and two of the characters shown in the grouping haven't even been born at the time of the film's main story; they only appear in the framing device.
  • The Korean animated film Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs drew accusations of body-shaming thanks to its marketing, which compared the two forms the heroine would take (one a chubby young woman, the other more conventionally princess-like) and claimed that the chubby one was ugly. This actually misses the entire point of the movie, which criticizes society's standards of beauty; before her transformation, no one is willing to give the heroine the time of day, and after her transformation, they only care about her because she's beautiful and pay little attention to anything about her besides that. The lead also hates how she looks in her transformed state, and only chooses to stay in it so she can get help finding her dad.
  • Scooby-Doo
    • In Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!, Velma, Daphne, and Freddy never snowboard once in the entire movie, only Scooby and Shaggy do that.
    • On the original VHS art for Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School, the girls are depicted as present when the Mirror Monster emerges from the mirror, with Scrappy challenging him while Shaggy and Scooby watch in fear. In the movie itself, the girls are only "present" at that scene insofar as being in the same castle (though elsewhere), plus Shaggy is sucked into the mirror while the Monster takes his place. Likewise, the later VHS cover, also used for the DVD, depicts Shaggy wearing his green shirt when he wears his red shirt and jeans in the movie, and him mixing a cauldron with Scooby, Tanis and Elsa note  - in the actual movie, nothing gets mixed in a cauldron.
    • The cover for Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island features a castle in the background...that only appears briefly at the beginning of the movie. Most of the movie takes place on a plantation. Additionally, an earlier cover design, which was also used for the Scholastic children's book adaptation, depicts zombies that look nothing like those seen in the actual movie.
  • The two-disc special edition DVD of The Secret of NIMH makes it look like a cheerful light-hearted animated film, while it does have a few lighthearted comedic moments they're far and few between, the rest of the film is very dark, dramatic, and has several frightening scenes.
  • The 50th Anniversary poster for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for some reason has Snow White wearing a pink dress in place of the iconic yellow, blue and red outfit. While Snow White was meant to have a pink dress originally, this was changed in development.
  • Due to the mediocre sales of Wonder Woman, the cover artist for the DVD of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse was barred from showing Supergirl in her iconic costume. Instead, an image of a Brainwashed and Crazy Supergirl clad in a Stripperific slave outfit was used. The film's female director was not pleased.
  • While the cardboard diorama packaged with the DVD of The Thief and the Cobbler has the eponymous cobbler sharing a Magic Carpet ride with the princess, the two of them never do so in the movie.
  • The video cover to Tom and Jerry: The Movie, which depicts Tom chasing Jerry as he usually does (which they barely actually do in the movie) with Droopy in the background and none of the movie's Spotlight-Stealing Squad anywhere in sight, looks like it could be the cover to any Tom and Jerry video. Although the poster showed Aunt Figg storming in the background.
  • The original poster, VHS and DVD covers for Toy Story, along with the cover of its Disney's Animated Storybook tie-in, show Buzz Lightyear flying into the air in Andy's bedroom, dragging Woody with him, while the other toys watch in awe from the bed. In the actual movie, it's a plot point that Buzz can't actually fly. Even when he does "fly" at the climax, it's achieved by using a rocket strapped to his back to launch himself and Woody into the air, then dislodging the rocket and slowly gliding down – in the character's own words, "falling with style."
  • The cover art of the Transformers: Prime movie Predacons Rising depicts Optimus Prime facing off against Predaking. The two never even meet in the movie.
    • The 20th Anniversary Special Edition DVD cover to The Transformers: The Movie does this intentionally to avoid the movie's most infamous spoiler. However, it came with an alternate cover depicting the '86 cast who actually play a significant role in the film.
  • Turtles Forever: the original poster has Tokka and Rahzar, who turn out to be Advertised Extras.
  • The child-friendly cover of the animated Watership Down. (The original cover showed a silhouetted rabbit, which in fact is an altered version of the scene where Bigwig is snared.)
  • Winnie-the-Pooh and the Honey Tree:
    • Piglet and Tigger are shown on the poster, but they don't appear in the film (though Piglet has a cameo in the opening song). They also had designs that are much closer to the original book illustrations, and they ended up getting redesigned for their appearances in the next short Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.
    • Some early VHS releases of this short showed Pooh completely inside the honey tree. This doesn't happen until the end of the short, but even then, he only goes in halfway.
  • The cover of Wreck-It Ralph features video game characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog, M. Bison and Neff pretty prominently - in fact they're all cameos and have almost no screentime - Sonic features as Mr. Exposition, Bison asks about "going Turbo" and Neff doesn't actually have any lines at all.

Alternative Title(s): Animated Film