Most of us still remember Disney characters from movies and cartoons even years after our childhood, but it’s quite a veiled fact for fans that these iconic characters were in fact inspired by real-life figures.
Be it Aladin, Snow White, Genie or any else…all are actually grounded into reality.
Let’s take a look below:
Do you remember the iconic Snow White? Well, she was inspired by dancer Marge Champion.
Champion danced in several Disney movies.
She played her most key role in the animation of Snow White. Marge went on to become one of the most successful dancers of the 20th century.
Ariel in The Little Mermaid was inspired by child actress Alyssa Milano… and surprisingly she had no idea of it.
Producers thought child actress Alyssa Milano was a match ‘mer-maid’ in heaven for Ariel.
She was just 17 when The Little Mermaid came out in 1989, but she had no idea she had inspired the character.
In an interview in 2013, she said: “I didn’t know that when it was going on.
“But they asked me to host ‘The Making of The Little Mermaid’, and it came out there that the drawing and likeness of the little mermaid was based on pictures of me from when I was younger.”
Ursula from The Little Mermaid was acutally inspired by drag queen Divine
Ursula the Sea Witch, from The Little Mermaid, has a very realistic inspiration – iconic drag queen Divine. Her real name is Harris Glenn Milstead.
Belle from Beauty And The Beast was modelled on actress Sherri Stoner.
Beauty And The Beast heroine Belle was voiced by Paige O’Hara, but actress Sherri Stoner was the one to pantomime her actions.
Disney employ live action models to act out their scripts, and help create a life-life character.
The Beatles were the inspiration behind the Vultures in Jungle Book. Jungle Book’s creators wanted The Beatles to voice the Vultures who befriend Mowgli.
The Genie in Aladdin was modelled on, as well as voiced by, Robin Williams.
Robin Williams famously voiced the Genie in Aladdin, but the inspiration went much ahead.
John Clements and Ron Musker wanted the Willaims actor on board so much that they made their blue hero look and act like him.
Many of the Genie’s best lines were improvised by the late actor.
Eleanor Audley was a live action model for Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty. Actress Eleanor Audley provides the voice for Madame Leota in The Haunted Mansion rides at Disney’s many theme parks.
But she also worked as an animator and live action model for both Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.
You must be waiting to know the character behind Aladin.
Well, Aladdin is inspired by Hollywood actor Tom Cruise. Disney animators sought inspiration from a confident leading man for Princess Jasmine’s paramour – and thought Tom Cruise was the natural choice.
The lovable rogue was originally modelled on Michael J Fox in Back To The Future, but he was dismissed as “too cutesy”.