Saturday summer mornings back at home with a big bowl of cereal on the couch. The TV is already on and our favourite cartoon channel is playing. It’s a classic image of how our generation spent the early mornings of our childhood. Tons of characters entertained us, all different and sometimes funny, goofy or mysterious. We all know them, but what we don’t know is how they got to the big screen. Who designed them and most importantly… who offered the inspiration for some of them? I’m back after my much-needed summer break full of new information and fresh ideas, but for now let me tell you about some famous cartoon characters which were based on real persons!
- Popeye (Frank “Rocky” Fiegel)
Our beloved tough guy who constantly eats spinach is inspired by an Illinois local who looks like the cartoon and shares a similar character. The creator of Popeye met Frank ‘Rocky’ Fiegel at his hometown and all the magic begun! Popeye has entertained many generations through the years and still does!
- Vultures from the Jungle Book (The Beatles)
One of the most famous rock bands in the history of music, The Beatles, would have been the voices behind the four vultures from Disney’s Jungle Book. After John Lennon decided not to accept the job, the deal was shut down. That did not stop the creators of the cartoon from giving the birds a classic look that was similar to each of the Beatles, along with their Liverpudlian accent.
- Aladdin (Tom Cruise)
Believe it or not, the famous ‘Top Gun’ and ‘Mission Impossible’ star has inspired the creators of Aladdin due to his youthful looks and playful spirit. After deciding that the initial idea of creating their character based on Michael J. Fox (Back To The Future) would not work out due to his ‘too boyish’ looks, Tom Cruise got the job.
- Edna Mode (Edith Head)
The superhero suit designer from ‘The Incredibles’ has won everyone’s heart with her uncompromising character and eccentric looks. Little did we know that Edna is based on a successful Hollywood fashion designer, Edith Head.
This list could go on forever! Ariel’s antagonist Ursula, various characters from the Simpsons and many others have made their way to the big screen after being inspired by real life people. Inspiration is all around us every day. We just have to be careful enough to see it!
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