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10 Real People Who Inspired Your Favorite Cartoon Characters

Turner Entertainment / Disney

Watching cartoons was basically a requirement as a kid. There were so many good characters who seemed to come alive in our imaginations. We had this connection to these drawings, even though they were fictional characters.

But how much do you really know about your favorite cartoons? Did you know that a lot of them are based on real people? Maybe that's why so many of them seem so real to us, because their facial expressions, mannerisms and sometimes even there voices are based in reality.

Popeye - Frank "Rocky" Fiegel

The inspiration for the character of Popeye came from a real person that creator E.C. Segar remembered from his hometown of Chester, Illinois. Apparently there was a sailor named Frank "Rocky" Fiegel who once beat up five people by himself. Fiegel was perfectly okay with this comparison, and on his grave it says "Inspiration for Popeye the Sailor Man".

Aladdin - Tom Cruise

The Disney animators made a change while creating the character of Aladdin. Original he was supposed to look more like Michael J. Fox, but after they completed the design for Jasmine they realized they needed to switch up Aladdin's look. They went with a Tom Cruise-style Aladdin and obviously it worked great!

Chuckie Finster - Mark Mothersbaugh

Nickelodeon / Devo

Mark Mothersbaugh was one of the co-founders of Devo, but he actually was the inspiration for Chuckie's glasses and his super wavy hair.

Moe Szyslak - Al Pacino

Hank Azaria does a bunch of the voices for The Simpsons, including Moe the bartender. He says that he based the voice off of Dog Day Afternoon-era Al Pacino at the beginning. Over the years it has evolved but it definitely started as a Pacino impression.

The Genie - Robin Williams

Disney wanted Genie to be played by Robin Williams so badly that they made a sample of the character doing some of Williams' stand-up.

Peter Pan - Bobby Driscoll

Disney / Wikipedia

Bobby Driscoll was actually the voice behind Peter as well as his animation model.

The Joker - Conrad Veidt

The 1928 movie The Man Who Laughs was the inspiration for the character The Joker. The smile alone pretty much proves that right?

Ursula - Divine

The Drag Queen Divine was an iconic presence in the 70s, but her look really struck a chord with the animators. Unfortunately she passed away before she could see Ursula come to life.

Ariel - Alyssa Milano

Disney / Teen Set

Alyssa Milano was what the animators thought of as "the ideal girl" at the time that this movie was made so they used her features to create everyone's favorite mermaid.

Betty Boop - Helen Kane

The look of Betty Boop actually caused a lot of controversy, because Helen Kane claimed the creators stole her look.

Which one of these characters do you think most resembles their inspiration? Let us know in the comments!

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