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WATCH: Cartoon Characters You Didn't Know Were Actually REAL

September 11, 2016 | Sunday

There is no doubt that there are some cartoon characters that will remain immortal and be more famous than any real-life actor. In the world of script writing, creating characters, and creating a riveting storyline, sometimes the truth is stranger and more creative than anything our brains can think of. The same is true when it comes to the creation of characters. Some of the most famous cartoon characters we know are actually based on real people who gave the animators inspiration. If the characters weren’t based on celebrities, than their human inspirations will typically be pushed aside while their cartoon counterpart gets all of the attention. Whether some muses prefer it to be this way, or they’re secretly resentful of not being recognized, we will never know.

For example, the inspiration for Disney’s Aladdin wasn’t that easy. Animators went back and forth on whether to use Michael J. Fox for inspiration due to his fame from the “Back to the Future” movies, or to go with the sexy Tom Cruise because of his charming good looks. Well, of course, sex sells, so Disney went with Tom Cruise.

One of the most shocking similarities between cartoon character and real person is Edna Mode, the tiny super suit designer from Disney’s “The Incredibles”. Right down to the black frame glasses and hairstyle, Edna Mode is almost a direct copycat of the real life Edith Head, who designed costumes for many of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies and got herself over 35 Oscar nominations. Speaking of striking resemblances, have you ever seen Betty Boop and Helen Kane? They practically look like sisters! That is because Betty Boop was based on Helen Kane, so accurately that Kane actually filed a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures. Kane even had the same catch phrases and mannerisms as Boop, who ultimately became more famous than her real-life inspiration.

Also, some of Disney’s most famous princesses were based on some pretty lovely ladies. For example, Ariel was based on Alyssa Milano, who was a well-known actress starring in the television series, “Who’s the Boss?” From facial features, mannerisms, to the petite frame, Milano was the perfect specimen to base a Disney princess on. Ariel’s fiery red hair actually came from Sally Ride, who was a well-known astronaut during the time of development for “The Little Mermaid”.

Speaking of the infamous mermaid movie, animators based the villain on Divine, a famous drag queen of the time who was known for her roles in numerous John Waters films. Divine’s iconic hair and makeup made her stand out from the rest of the queens in the drag scene. Sadly, Divine would never see Ursula come to life, as she passed away in 1988 and the movie was released in 1989.
Finally, everyone’s favorite spinach-eating sailor was based on a real man named Frank “Rocky” Fiegel, who was apparently just as ugly and feisty as the animated sailor. Fiegel’s headstone even regards him as the inspiration for Popeye, making him forever immortal in the animation world.

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About Erick Abel

Erick Abel
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