Although animated characters can just be conjured up in the heads of some talented artist, it doesn't mean they aren't frequently based on real life people or characters.
For example, in a new interview for the Savannah College of Art and Design, Big Hero 6 animators Zach Parrish and Nathan Engelhardt revealed some of the inspiration behind the Disney animated superhero movie.
In particular, Parrish stated which cinematic badass he had in mind for the character of GoGo (You can watch the entire interview here, while I've included the pertinent quote below). He explained:
She was this cool, very calm, very collected, very confident girl. I did an early test of her walking to the cafe and sitting down and I was trying to think of something she could do that would be her own little thing. We talked about her being a Clint Eastwood kind of character, she doesn't speak a lot but when she does, it means a lot. And I was like, 'What would Clint Eastwood do?' Well, in a Western he'd have a cigarette and he'd kind of do that dead stare and blow smoke in your face. So, I was like, 'Well, we can't do that', so that's when we came up with the bubblegum thing. Popping a bubblegum while staring blankly at someone is kind of the same thing.
You can check out one such bubblegum popping scene below.
Want to compare this to the original inspiration? Well, here is one of Eastwood's most badass scenes:
But GoGo certainly isn't the first animated character to be based off of someone else. Here, for your perusing pleasure, are 6 more.
Sarge (Toy Story) - Gunnery Sergeant Hartman/R. Lee Ermy (Full Metal Jacket)
Sarge, the leader of the Green Army Men in the Toy Story trilogy, was originally based on the foul-mouthed drill sergeant from Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket.
In that seminal war film, he is portrayed by R. Lee Ermy, a real-life former Marine drill sergeant who actually ad-libbed much of the dialogue for his iconic introductory scene.
Aladdin (Aladdin) - Tom Cruise
Rumors have it that Aladdin, with his cocky mannerisms and massive eyebrows, was originally based on the then up and coming actor, Tom Cruise. Apparently, the Disney animators originally wanted to use Michael J. Fox's Back to the Future character, Marty McFly, as an inspiration. However, they finally set on Tom Cruise because of the added 'sex appeal.' Kind of weird for a kids film, right?
The Vultures (The Jungle Book) - The Beatles
It's no surprise that the musically inclined, Liverpudlian vultures from The Jungle Book are based on the British rock band, The Beatles. In fact, Disney originally expected the quartet to voice the characters after being approached by the band's manager. However, John Lennon later decided against the idea.
Chip and Dale - Indiana Jones and Thomas Magnum
It was fairly clear that Chip was a homage to Harrison Ford's fedora-wearing action-archeologist, Indiana Jones. However, it surprised me to know his companion, Dale was also based on another 1980s badass - none other than Magnum P.I.'s Tom Selleck. I guess the shirt was a give away.
Shrek (Shrek) - Maurice Tillet
Being the inspiration for a massive green ogre, isn't the most flattering thing in the world. Despite this, I get the impression the early 20th century French wrestler, Maurice Tillet, wouldn't have minded the comparison. Tillet was a world heavy weight champion who was particularly known for this terrible bear hug.
Edna Mode (The Incredibles) - Edith Head
Edna Mode, the diminutive superhero costume designer from The Incredibles, was quite clearly based on legendary movie costume designer Edith Head. Not only do they look almost identical, but Edna and Edith also shared the same confident and grand demeanor. Indeed, Edith Head once said,"I hate modesty."
To be honest, she didn't have much call to be modest. She was nominated for 35 Oscars, and won 8 for costume design.
Which of these characters do you think share the closest resemblance?