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12 Disney Characters Who Were Based on Real People

Disney is known for recycling their animation, but did you also know that some of their characters are “recycled” too? Funnily enough, most of your favorite characters are combinations of other famous.

Disney character Ariel in Little Mermaid real life Alyssa Milano
Disney character Ariel in Little Mermaid real life Alyssa Milano

For a very long time, Disney has been the favorite childhood memories for children. They grew up watching the Disney characters, but do know that some Disney Characters were based on real people.

#1 Snow White inspired by Marge Champion 

Disney Character Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs real person Marge Champion
Image Credit: Wikipedia & Disney

The all-time famous animated character Snow White was inspired by Marge Champion, who was one of the best dancers of twenties. She got the role of snow white because of her delicate behavior.

#2 Eleanor Audley was the inspiration for Maleficent

Eleanor Audley not only gave a voice to Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty
Image Credit: fandom

The famous character of Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty is inspired by Eleanor Audley. She also gave her voice to the Maleficent character. Animated characters like, Lady Tremaine, Cinderella’s stepmother is also inspired by Eleanor Audley.

#3 Dr. Facilier was inspired by Michael Jackson

The Princess and the Frog Disney dr Facilier real person Alan Light
Image Credit: Wikipedia

The villain in The Princess and the Frog, Dr. Facillier’s character inspired by Michael Jackson. Dr. Facilier’s clothes, style, and dance choreography are the same as those of “King of Pop”. 

#4 Ed Wynn served as inspiration for The Mad Hatter

12 Disney Characters Who Were Based on Real People 1
Image Credit: Disney

The unique and most distinctive character of The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland was inspired by the actor Ed Wynn. Wynn also gave his voice to the character.

#5 The 4 vulture inspired by The Beatles

novel the jungle book Disney ingenious cameo of Beatles
Image Credit: wikimedia

The 4 vultures character in the animated movie  “The Jungle Book” are based on the 4 real-life friends who were in the most popular band of the time “The Beatles”. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr provided the voice behind the 4 vultures.

#6 Alyssa Milano was the inspiration for Ariel

12 Disney Characters Who Were Based on Real People 2
Image Credit: Disney

The beautiful, sweet, and Mermaid Ariel’s character is inspired by actress Alyssa Milano. Fun fact about this was that Alyssa was not aware that the mermaid was inspired by her. 

#7 Edna Moda inspired by Linda Hunt

story of Edna the character in The Incredibles on the life of fashion designer Edith Head
Image Credit: Wikimedia

Edna Moda, the character in The Incredibles was inspired by actress Linda Hunt. 

#8 Alice was initially inspired by Kathryn Beaumont

12 Disney Characters Who Were Based on Real People 3
Image Credit: Imgur

Alice’s character in Alice in Wonderland was inspired by the actress Kathryn Beaumont. Kathryn gave the voice to Alice. She was one 10-year-old at that time.

#9 Jessica Rabbit inspired Rita Hayworth

Jessica Rabbit was based on the beautiful actress Rita Hayworth
Image Credit: amblin

The iconic character of Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Her character was inspired by the beautiful actress Rita Hayworth. Jessica’s character was tried to inspire by several actresses but the best suited was by Rita Hayworth.

#10 Scat Cat is based on Louis Armstrong

Scat Cat from The Aristocats was a role for Louis Armstrong
Image Credit: Wikimedia

Scat Cat of The Aristocats is inspired by Louis Armstrong. He is a jazz singer and trumpeter. 

#11 Divine served as the inspiration for Ursula

Evil Ursula from The Little Mermaid character is based on real people
Image Credit: Disney

Ursula’s character of The Little Mermaid was inspired by Harris Glenn Milstead, also known as Divine. 

#12 Cruella de Vil inspired Tallulah Bankhead

Cruella de Vil Tallulah Bankhead
Image Credit: Wikimedia

Cruella de Vil in the premiered 1961 for the first time in the movie A Hundred and One Dalmatians. Her character was inspired by Tallulah Bankhead. Betty Lou Person gave her voice to Cruella de Vil.

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Written by Supriya Agrahari

She loves to write. She had worked for many websites, throughout her career. Supriya has also written about climate change, tech, environment, relationships, cannabis, and celebrity.

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