#1 W.C. Fields/ Mr. Magoo
Mr. Magoo was the main character first in a comic strip and then in a movie. The character is tough but sweet and lovable. Millard Kaufman, the writer of the Mr. Magoo cartoons didn’t initially or intentionally base Mr. Magoo on W.C. Fields. At first, the resemblance between the man and cartoon was just a crazy coincidence. It wasn’t until later that the creative directors decided to get some of their inspiration from Mr. Magoo from the famous comedian.
#2 Frank “Rocky” Fiegel/Popeye the Sailor
Most people know who Popeye is. He is a sailor who eats spinach and becomes incredibly strong. He is in love with Olive Oil and he often competes for her affection with the bug and bulky Brutus. Later, Popeye wins the love of Olive Oil and the two have a baby named Sweet Pea. Popeye was originally a cartoon. In the late 70’s, a full-length motion picture was released. What you may not know is that the character of Popeye the Sailor was inspired by a man named Frank “Rocky” Fiegel. Fiegel was a man from the creator, E.C. Segar’s hometown of Chester, Illinois. He was actually somewhat of a local legend. If you look at this photo, it is clear that Popeye was based on Fiegel. The two have the same body structure and the same facial expressions.
#3 Dennis Lloyd Ketcham/Dennis “The Menace” Mitchell
Hank Ketcham is the cartoonist who created the Dennis The Menace comic. Over the years, the comic has been adapted into a cartoon and a feature film. Dennis Mitchell in the comics and cartoons is a very mischievous boy who isn’t trying to be. Most of the things that he does are without the knowledge that things will go wrong. The character Dennis “The Menace” Mitchell is based on Ketcham’s real-life son. At first, Ketcham didn’t have the “Menace” part of the name. One day, when his son had done something wrong, his wife yelled, “Hank, Dennis is a Menace!” That is where Ketcham got Dennis The Menace from.
#4 Rita Hayworth, Veronica Lake, and Lauren Bacall/Jessica Rabbit
Jessica Rabbit is one of the characters in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? The animation director, Richard Williams says that not one, not two, but three women were the inspiration for the character. According to Williams, his wife, Rita Hayworth was the original inspiration for the seductive character. He then based Jessica’s hair on Veronica Lake’s gorgeous mane. Finally, upon the request of director Robert Zemeckis, some of the character’s cues were also taken from Lauren Bacall. These three women together helped the gorgeous and seductive character, Jessica Rabbit come to life.
#5 Margaret Kerry/Tinkerbell
Tinkerbell is one of the most famous animated fairies in the world. She is the sidekick of Peter Pan. Before the Disney movie and the full-length features, Peter Pan was a play. There are many people who believed that Tinkerbell was based on the gorgeous actress, Marilyn Monroe. Later, it was made clear by the creator of Peter Pan that Marilyn Monroe was not the inspiration for the beautiful little fairy. It was actually Margaret Kerry who inspired Tinkerbell.
#6 Deadeye/Red Skeleton/Yosemite Sam
Fritz Freleng is the director of many of the Looney Tunes cartoons. The beloved character, Yosemite Sam was originally based on Fritz himself. In later cartoons, things changed a bit. In those cartoons, Yosemite Same was based on Skeleton’s Deadeye. If you watch old episodes of the cartoon and then newer ones, you will see the difference between the characters.
#7 Percy Crosby/Skippy
Skippy is an old comic strip that you could read in the Sunday Funnies. The comic strip was created by a man named Percy Crosby. The main character in the cartoon, the mischievous Skippy, was actually inspired by Crosby when he was a child. He used a lot of himself when he was younger when he created the comic strip. In the end, using himself as the inspiration was a great idea because the cartoon was quite famous for a long time.
#8Marjorie Henderson Buell/Little Lulu
Little Lulu was originally a comic strip and then it was turned into a cartoon for television. Little Lulu became so popular that Little Lulu dolls were a very popular gift item for little girls. Little Lulu was created by one of the few female cartoonists in the business, Marjorie Henderson Buell. When she was creating Little Lulu, she used the younger version of herself for inspiration. Many of Little Lulu’s adventures actually happened to the creating cartoonist.
Of all the cartoon characters that exist in real life, Henry from Carl Anderson’s comic strip, Henry, was not inspired by a real-life person. The creator of the comic strip, Carl Anderson, was a teacher in a vocational training school. He was teaching a class when he made a quick sketch of a young, bald boy. Later, the sketch became the inspiration for the boy Henry in the comic strip.
#10 Mickey Rooney/Archie Andrews
Archie Andrews is a very popular cartoon character. He was the object of affection for both Betty and Veronica. They even made a CW drama series about him where K.J. Apa was the actor that played Archie. The comic strip came out well before the CW drama did and the character was inspired by the great Mickey Rooney.