The greatest artists have been known to draw their inspiration from reality. Painters depict nature, sculptors portray humans, and film-makers create movies that are based on true stories. The real world is full of inspiration for artists of all disciplines.
This even includes cartoon artists!
You might think all those wacky characters are made up out of thin air, but some of them found their roots in reality. Here are 11 cartoon characters that are based on real people.
Mr. Magoo – W. C. Fields
Mr. Magoo was a near-sighted, mumbling old man who was at first not going to be based on any particular person. Millard Kaufman had designed him as an original character. After a few short films the director, Pete Burness, noticed a likeness between the character and Fields. After that, they drew their inspiration from the popular comedian.
Popeye the Sailor – Frank “Rocky” Fiegel
This animated star was drawn to look like this real life sailor. The artist, Elzie Crisler “E.C.” Segar, re-imagined this one-eyed man as the feisty fellow that always had a pipe in his mouth.
Dennis “The Menace” – Dennis Lloyd Ketcham
Cartoon artist Hank Ketcham used his own son for inspiration for this popular character. Deemed a trouble maker himself, Dennis always found ways to alarm his parents. One day, his mother yelled to his father, “your son is a menace!” after the boy made a big mess. From that day on, Hank exaggerated his son’s exploits in the world of cartoons.
Jessica Rabbit – Rita Hayworth, Veronica Lake, and Lauren Bacall
This seductive spouse was originally inspired by Rita Hayworth, and her behavior was modeled after the woman. Later, the director Richard Williams decided to shift the character to look like Veronica Lake. Eventually another director, Robert Zemeckis, would seek inspiration from Lauren Bacall. Jessica is one complicated woman – or three.
Tinker Bell – Margaret Kerry
This magical Disney character was based off the hit actress. Although the author, J. M. Barrie, created the character for the 1904 play Peter Pan, the fairy was popularized by the movie created by Disney. You can even see the resemblance in how the two stand.
Yosemite Sam – Deadeye/Red Skelton
This Looney Tunes character was originally inspired by the director, Fritz Frelang. However, later versions of the wild westerner were directly based off of Skelton.
Skippy – Percy Crosby
This cartoonist had the closest inspiration for his comedic character: himself! He drew inspiration for this twisted troublemaker from his own childhood memories – and viewers just couldn’t get enough.
Little Lulu – Marjorie Henderson Buell
This artist made a name for herself by becoming one of the few prominent female cartoonists of her day. She based her kooky character on her own experience as a young girl.
Henry: Carl Anderson
You would think coming up with a great idea like a cartoon character would take years, but some people find inspiration within moments. Artist Carl Anderson drew an impromptu sketch at the age of 67 for students at a vocational school. This character took off and became a huge success.
Archie Andrews – Mickey Rooney
This darling redhead character was inspired by another freckle-faced boy. The teen comedian and star was the inspiration for the cartoon version of Archie.
Betty Boop – Helen Kane
Everyone’s favorite female was actually created as a parody – who knew? She was loosely based off of the actress, Helen. This girl was a singer, and the cartoon character even sounded like her. The resemblance in their appearances was also clear. Helen sued the creator when the cartoon came out – apparently, she was not a fan.
Cartoons may be wild and crazy, but they are also based on our own experiences of real life. These characters weren’t the only ones to be inspired by real people, but they do have some interesting stories.
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Source: Her Moments