The Enterprise-D, while retaining the general shape of the original ship, was very, very different. Even to this point in the films, we’d only seen ships that kept the hard-edged, militaristic look of the Enterprise: the Reliant was a kitbash of the Enterprise, and the Excelsior was just a newer-looking (and somewhat uglier) version of the Enterprise itself. This new Enterprise? Not ugly. Weird-looking, yes, but not ugly.
25 Days of TNG continues on Escape Pod with Day 4: Meet the New Ship, Not the Same as the Old Ship, Part 1.