11 real people who look like fictional characters

The characters in our favorite cartoons and movies have left an impression on our childhood.

But what you may not know is that the creators of these characters are often inspired by real people. Whether it’s how they look or how they act, they are able to create an appealing character, a person that sometimes young people identify with.

Here’s a selection of 11 people who have a lot in common with some fictional characters we all know.

1. Montgomery Burns and Baron Jacob Rothschild

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The famous Mr. Burns, the wealthiest man in Springfield, is an atypical character in the animated series “The Simpsons,” and he was devised based on several profiles of wealthy men. In fact, his creators were inspired by Norwegian businessmen like Olav Thon and Fredrik Olsen, as well as by the world's first billionaire, John Rockefeller. However, the most striking resemblance is with Baron Jacob Rothschild, because in addition to both being super rich, they have a very similar physical appearance.  

2. Ursula and actor Harris Glenn Milstead (Divine)

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Even Ursula has a look-alike, and it's the actor Harris Glenn Milstead. Or rather Divine, his transvestite character. He often used this identity and enjoyed playing this role in his shows. 

3. Ariel and actress Alyssa Milano

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Glen Keane, creator of the pretty Ariel, was initially inspired by his wife in creating this sweet and endearing character. Subsequently, he refined the final version of The Little Mermaid based on Alyssa Milano, who was 16 years old just like Ariel, at the time the cartoon was released.

4. Shrek and wrestler Maurice Tillet


The animators at Dreamworks were inspired by a French wrestler, Maurice Tillet, to create the character of Shrek. In fact, the wrestler nicknamed "The French Angel" was only 20 years old when he was diagnosed with a rare disease, acromegaly, which made his bones grow fast. Because of it, he became unattractive but inspired the creators of the world's kindest ogre: Shrek.

5. Betty Boop and Helen Kane

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Singer and musician Helen Kane was the inspiration of the creators of Betty Boop, a cartoon character who embodies beauty and a carefree way of life.

However, the singer had never given creators permission to use her image, which ended in a lawsuit that she lost. Judges felt that the resemblance was not so striking, since the character of Betty Boop doesn’t have the same behavior or singing style.

6. Snow White and actress Marge Champion

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Actress and choreographer Marge Champion lent her physical traits and movements to Snow White. At the time, cartoons were created by rotoscoping. This technique consisted of capturing a person’s actions, image by image, and then transcribing them into animated movements. Actually, in order to create Snow White, Marge had to wear a baseball helmet while capturing images, because the character's head was bigger than a real woman's head.

7. Aladdin and actor Tom Cruise

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Originally, the character of Aladdin was supposed to resemble the famous actor Michael J. Fox, but ultimately Tom Cruise was chosen. It is also important to note that Aladdin's pants were inspired by MC Hammer's famous “Hammer pants.” 

8. Edna Mode and costume designer Edith Head

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The fashion designer in the animated film The Incredibles, Edna Mode, was directly inspired by Edith Head. She was an excellent source of inspiration since this costume designer has won no less than eight Oscars, and has the same area of interest as Edna, fashion!

9. Maleficent and actress Eleanor Audley

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Rotoscoping was also used for the animated film, Sleeping Beauty. And it was Eleanor Audley who gave her personality and physical features to the evil witch, Maleficent. This actress also lent her voice and facial features to Cinderella’s evil stepmother.

10. Genie and actor Robin Williams

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The two directors of Aladdin, Ron Clements and John Musker, imagined this character with the face of famous actor, Robin Williams. So they gave the animator and actor the mission of creating a mischievous and humorous character, much like Robin Williams himself.

11. Wall-E and director Woody Allen

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Even though Wall-E is only a robot, the animators were inspired by several people to give him a more human-like character. They were notably inspired by actors and comedians Buster Keaton and Jacques Tati, but especially the famous director Woody Allen.

Photo credits: Walt Disney/Everett Collection/East News, Wikimedia Commons