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12 Famous Disney Movie Characters That Were Based On Real-Life Humans

Disney is a part of everyone’s childhood.

We all grew up watching Disney animations. It played a huge part in making us what we are today. We all had our favourite movies and characters that we would idolise. These characters meant a lot to us as children. We would take into account their appearances, their attitudes, language, and their morals and corporate all of that into our own lives. We wanted to be like them very badly.

As kids, we wished we could bring our favourite characters to life. We can not do that but we can show you some characters that were based on real-life people. Scroll down below to see some Disney movie characters that were based on real-life humans:

1. The 4 vultures – The Beatles

While The Jungle Book was in production, the Beatles was one of the most popular bands during 1967. The producers of The Jungle Book had the idea that they would get to cast John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr as the voiceovers for the 4 vultures. They wanted the animals to have their own signature hairstyles and sing the song That’s What Friends Are For. However, even though the vultures were inspired by The Beatles, it remained as just an idea. Lennon explained to his manager, Brian Epstein, that Disney should cast Elvis Presley instead. In the end, the voiceovers were performed by, J. Pat O’Malley, Digby Wolfe, Lord Tim Hudson, and Chad Stuart.

2. Maleficent – Eleanor Audley

Eleanor Audley was used as the voice for Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty. Not only that, but Disney asked her to perform the scenes in the movie that the animators put to life later on. So basically, all the movements and gestures you see in the movie were performed by Eleanor in real life. She was also used as a baseline for Cinderella’s evil stepmother, Lady Tremaine.



3. Jessica Rabbit – Rita Hayworth

The star of Who Framed Roger Rabbit became famous due to her amazing figure and her attitude. Jessica Rabbit was based on the stunning actress Rita Hayworth. She was used as a base for the dancer for the animated film Red Hot Riding Hood by writer Gary K. Wolf. The movie was created by Tex Avery. During the production, Jessica Rabbit’s image changed a lot and there were lots of actresses that inspired the character, but the main inspiration was still Rita Hayworth. The director of the animated film, Richard Williams, said he ‘tried to make the character look similar to Hayworth, but with Veronica Lake’s hair.’



4. The Mad Hatter – Ed Wynn

The Mad Hatter is a very distinct character in Alice In Wonderland. The appearance, personality, and gestures of the character were based upon the actor Ed Wynn, who was also the voice actor for the character. As you can see in the image, it was the perfect inspiration for a character like The Mad Hatter.


5. Edna Moda – Linda Hunt

The story of Edna Moda from The Incredibles has been inspired by the fashion designer Linda Hunt. As you can see, even their appearances match.


6. Scat Cat – Louis Armstrong

The Scat cat was supposed to be named Satchmo the Cat. The entire idea was that Louis Armstrong would give the jazz trumpet playing cat a voice. Sadly, due to health issues, Louis could not do the part. So they got Scatman Crothers to do the part, hence the name Scat cat.


7. Dr Facilier – Michael Jackson

The Princess And The Frog’s villain is was based on the late Michael Jackson. The appearance is the same, they have the same slim figure, and even the same dance choreography. If you look again, you will see a lot of the same gestures the King of Pop used to make.


8. Ariel – Alyssa Milano

Disney wanted a character that was young, beautiful and sensitive while brainstorming for Ariel in The Little Mermaid. This is where they chose Alyssa Milano as the main inspiration. The actress actually did not know this, she told in an interview. While the movie was being produced, she was unaware that she was the inspiration for the character. Later on, she was invited to be present at a documentary and she figured it out when the producers revealed how the movie was being made. Photos of her teen years were used to create the image of Ariel.


9. Ursula – Divine

The villain of The Little Mermaid was inspired by Harris Glenn Milstead, more popularly known as Divine. American drag queen and actor, Divine, was the base line for Ursula. The personality, looks, and style were all inspired by Divine.


10. Alice – Kathryn Beaumont

Alice from Alice in Wonderland has inspired by Kathryn Beaumont. She was also the voice over for Alice. The 10-year-old was used as a model by the animators to bring the character to life.


11. Cruella De Vil – Tallulah Bankhead

In the first movie of A Hundred And One Dalmatians in 1961, Betty Lou Gerson did the voice over for the villain Cruella De Vil. Marc Davis, the head of animation, was creating the character from scratch, so he and his team used the appearance and gestures of Tallulah Bankhead as an inspiration.

12. Snow White – Marge Champion

The 14-year-old Marge Champion was one of the best dancers when she gave the audition for Snow White. The animators gave her the task of recreating the scenes so they could make the character copy her gestures. Marge was a very delicate girl. Her upbringing by her father has a lot to do with it. Ernest Belcher was her father. He taught her how to behave delicately and even bow on cue. Her posture and gestures were what made her the perfect inspiration for Snow White.


How many of these did you already know? Share with us in the comments below.


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