Kirby's Return to Dreamland looks pretty much like it did back when that Kirby GameCube game was in the works. Characters may have changed, but visual style is pretty much the same. Wondering why it took Nintendo so long to get a traditional Kirby game on consoles? It might have something to do with the different visual styles they were trying out.
These two designs are the real deal. They come from an untranslated Iwata Asks feature on Kirby's Return to Dreamland. As you can guess, both of these ideas were scrapped for what we see in the game today. I don't know about you, but I'm really digging that first one! Thanks to FighteRKirby
for the heads up!