Whether it’s a painting, a piece of literature or a fictional movie, there’s always some inspiration based on real life. This is because our brain uses the information available to us to create conclusions, analysis and works of art. Same is the case with cartoon artists. We might assume that cartoons are conjured out of thin air but that’s never the case. Here we will share with you guys the stories of inspiration behind 11 cartoon characters.
Mr. Magoo – W. C. Fields
Originally the concept of Mr. Magoo was a near-sighted, mumbling old man in general, conceived by Millard Kaufman. The director, Pete Burness, noticed that the character resembled Fields after some projects surfaced. When that thought hit him, he drew inspiration from the famous comedian and based his character officially on Fields.
Popeye the Sailor – Frank “Rocky” Fiegel
Elzie Crisler “E.C.” Segar, based pop-eye on this man who was a sailor in real life. He added a twist by imagining him with a pipe in his mouth 24/7.
Dennis “The Menace” – Dennis Lloyd Ketcham
It’s no wonder that Dennis is based on a real life character; a trouble making little boy. Cartoon artist Hank Ketcham and his wife were fed up by the unruly nature of their son so they might as well make some money off of him. 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
Jessica Rabbit is an amalgamation of 3 real-life complicated seductive women. Originally inspired by Rita Hayworth, the director Richard Williams decided to shift the character to look like Veronica Lake later on. Robert Zemeckis, another director sought yet another inspiration from Lauren Bacall.
Tinker Bell – Margaret Kerry
J. M. Barrie originally wrote the character up for the 1904 play Peter Pan but she gained all the popularity by the movie created by Disney. They even stand alike!
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
Skipper was based on the childhood of the naught cartoonist himself and people just loved it!
Little Lulu – Marjorie Henderson Buell
Little Lulu was also based upon the cartoonist herself; the very first one to have gained a name in this male-dominated field.
Henry: Carl Anderson
This particular cartoon was as good as conjured out of thin air; the 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
Helen apparently sued the cartoonist when the cartoon came out; it looked and sounded so much like her.