Real prototypes of famous cartoon characters
Did you know that the main character of The Adventures of Tintin had a prototype? And not at all the character of the Danish comic strip, on which Steven Spielberg's tape was made, but a completely real Danish scout named Palle Huld. In 1928, the 15-year-old Palle rounded the globe in 44 days and became famous throughout the world - and after a few months the artist Erzhe began to publish a comic in the press about a reporter traveler ... Huld himself, who became a popular actor in his home country who did not live to see the premiere of the Spielberg tape on the adventures of Tintin, until the end of his life he was proud that this character was written off from him. But, of course, he is far from being the only one who could boast of having left an animated "imprint" in the history of cinema. We remembered a number of famous tapes, the characters of which would not have taken place in the form in which we know them, if it were not for real personalities who endowed them with living and recognizable features.
The Bremen Town Musicians
Of course, it’s pointless to tell who the robbers sketched in an animated musical based on the tales of the Brothers Grimm: the viewer probably identified famous Soviet actors Yuri Nikulin, Georgi Vitsin and Yevgeny Morgunov to these comic villains. Of course, they meant not the actors themselves, but their cult characters from Leonid Gaidai's comedies - Trus, Balbes and Experienced. But how did they get into the cartoon?
The fact is that the authors of the tape didn’t want “bandits” gangsters, they needed bright personalities - and there were no such people on the road. The vocal parts of all the characters have already been recorded, images for everyone have already been invented (the Atamansha dancing on the barrels, for example, were written off from ballerina Tamara Vishneva, the wife of the director Well, wait! Vyacheslav Kotenochkin, and voiced by Oleg Anofriev under Ranevskaya), but robbers "grope" all did not work. The whole studio Soyuzmultfilm offered its options, but the solution was not found.
When work on the painting was already underway, the editor of the studio Natalya Abramova saved the situation - she brought to work a photo calendar depicting dancing crooks from the “Caucasian Captive”,and they all cried out: take these! It would have been difficult to disguise the fact of such borrowing (the trinity was too popular), so it was, on the contrary, emphasized: Coward, Balbes and Byvaliy were dressed in green pants, but they left hats like the ones in the Caucasian Captive. The film played a total of only plus.
Prototypes for cartoon characters began to appear already in the 30s - perhaps the first widely known example of this kind was Betty Boop, a sexy curly brunette with a high voice. The beauty, sketched from actress and singer Helen Kane, took over many of her manners, even spoke exactly like her (not to mention that the character's name unambiguously hints at Helen's “calling card” - the refrain-scat “Boop-up-do-dup (From the song That's My Weakness Now).
Kane was not thrilled by the parody and even sued the authors of the series, demanding $ 250,000 from them for stealing her image. However, the court did not satisfy the claim, having come to the conclusion that the image is not that original, so the animator Max Fleisher could take his elements from other sources.
As for originality, today the question is no longer posed: in the eyes of the audience,detached from the context of that time, Betty looks like a completely distinctive character, the embodiment of the American jazz era, a bold experiment for an adult audience. But I wonder how quickly the popularity of Betty surpassed and eclipsed the glory of Kane herself. Unfortunately, in the late 30s self-censorship of such force was established in Hollywood that the series exploiting female sexuality had to be closed. However, despite the fact that Helen survived her “parody” for many years, today no one questions who Betty Boop is. But who Helen Kane was, today few will remember ...
WALL • AND
Have you ever wondered who Pixar's WALL-E looks like? Someone will say: what else is nonsense, who can he be like? After all, he is a robot, and not even an anthropomorphic ... And you will look more closely at his habits, awkwardness, at his eyepieces, finally. Well?! That's right - those who love Woody Allen's comedies could not fail to find a funny similarity between a neurotic goggle with a sad look and a robot from the future, rusting on the abandoned Earth, like Robinson Crusoe, on an uninhabited island.
Director Andrew Stanton, backed against the wall by journalists, confirmed this version.Although, according to him, the animators took a bit from many famous movie bots and famous silent Hollywood comedians (Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin), yet “incorrigible romantic” Woody managed to pull the blanket over himself. And indeed, quite admittedly, it turned out quite well!
Kid and Carlson
Having looked through the books of the writer Astrid Lindgren about Carlson, Swedish children usually remain in the opinion that the character is perhaps not very cute - both in appearance and in behavior. In his homeland, Carlson is considered a rather harmful type. In the charming pear-shaped fat man with a huge nose, he was turned into the USSR when the cartoon "The Kid and Carlson" was filmed; at the same time the degree of mischief was reduced in his behavior. Such Carlson did not make anyone angry - if only because he was very comical. But they could not find the key to his image for quite a long time, although director Boris Stepantsev invited many famous Soviet actors to audition. It was not that. After going through all the "stars", Stepantsev complained to his friend, People's Artist of Russia Vasily Livanov, about the difficulty of finding "a handsome, moderately plump man in his prime" (as Carlson himself described in the book). Livanov looked at the sketches and remarked: “This Carlson looks like Roshal”.
Gregory Roshal was a famous director. His colleagues knew him as a soft and naive good-natured, in reality, he didn’t look like a little prankster, so at first Stepantsev didn’t appreciate the comparison properly. But when Livanov began to make scenario remarks, parodying the voice of Roshal, the image of Carlson magically formed. This is how the audience knows it today. Roshal, despite the fears of Stepantsev and Livanov, liked the “caricature” terribly - as a sign of gratitude he even sent Livanov a postcard signed by “Roshal who lives on the roof”. Carlson liked and Astrid Lindgren herself - when she visited the USSR, she wished to meet with Livanov and thank him for his successful hit in the top ten.
As for the cartoon in the sequel, Freken Boc, who was presented with the voice by Faina Ranevskaya, the authors were lucky again: copying the “housewife” from the famous actress, they didn’t really hope that she would want to voice it - a character from which side look , rather unpleasant. Ranevskaya and the truth initially took Hildur Bock with bayonets (“Well, am I really so terrible ?!”),but then I changed my anger to mercy: how many voice actors can boast that their character is similar to them physiognomically? As a result, Freken Bok turned out to be a very bright aunt, even with negative charisma. Incidentally, there is a conspiracy legend that Astrid Lindgren allegedly initially wrote off his book Carlson from Hermann Goering (since during the First World War the Nazi Reich Minister of Aviation was a pilot and flew many hours on a fighter), but this is, of course, complete nonsense.
Doesn't anyone remind you of a parrot from the cartoon "38 Parrots" based on the tale of Gregory Oster? So the Soviet censorship overlooked "sedition" ... But the art director Leonid Schwartzman conceived this character as a parody of Vladimir Lenin!
Of course, the accents were smoothed out - at least the parrot does not burr, otherwise the cartoon would never come out (although it still has a speech defect, stammering on the letter “p”), but its energy, gestures and colors, made like a parrot in the vest, really give rise to funny analogies.
The cartoon was released in 1976 - at that time you could still get a hat for such “artistic quirks”, so Schwartzman told the story of the origin of the parrot only in 2015,on the verge of the 94th anniversary. “We shot him with all Leninist habits,” the artist explained, adding that the other character is much closer to him - the boa (which, according to sharp-eyed zoologists, only pretends to be in the cartoon, but, judging by the anatomical features, is normal python). Who could it be?
The prototype for the corpulent sea witch Ursula in The Little Mermaid was Harris Glenn Milsted, known under the pseudonym of Devine, the notorious American actor, singer and travesty freak, who shocked the public comedy by John Waters Pink Flamingos.
You say: could not a man with such a reputation leaked into the Disney cartoon? He, in fact, did not take part in the creation of the film (although Devine was eager to voice Ursula himself, a heart attack cut off his life a year before the film was released). But the final image of the witch in the cartoon is beyond doubt: it is one hundred percent Milsted, sketched in detail, even a mole near the mouth is present. Considering,that portraying a woman was his creative credo (the entire filmography of Divine consists of female roles), one should not be surprised at the choice of playwright and songwriter Howard Ashman, who was a big fan of Waters films and who really inspired such a “design” character. In addition, he proposed to expand the role of Ursula, in the original fairy tale of Andersen, rather insignificant, to a full-fledged villainous party. It seems that no one lost his mind on this: the witch became one of the most vivid and memorable villains in the history of Disney's studio.
By the way, actress Alyssa Milano, with whom the little mermaid Ariel was drafted, was not aware of the last fact for a long time - only when she was invited to shoot a documentary film about the creation of “The Little Mermaid”, the girl learned that the animators saw Alissa, then 16-year-old, in one of the early seasons of the series “Who is the boss here?”, and decided to give her another “role”. Milano was shocked: you must admit that you don’t learn such things every day. Subsequently, Alyssa “confirmed her reputation” by appearing in the TV series “Charmed” in the form of a mermaid, but this is another story.
Remember the stylist Edna Maud, who sewed superhero costumes in The Incredibles? However, who does not remember Edna ... Another thing is that not everyone knows who this character was inspired by - after all, Edith Head, a 35-fold Oscar nominee, hides behind the image of a small brunette in round glasses a record among women!), unknown to the general public only for the reason that she was not an actress, but a Hollywood costume designer. Edith brought her own sense of style to several hundred paintings, in particular, she worked a lot with Hitchcock, but she appeared on the screen only once, playing herself in the episode of the series “Colombo” (1973).
Maud - a person, no doubt, legendary, which allowed her to behave quite freely, even in the presence of high-profile Hollywood people (for example, she could send a star on a diet, rather than alter a costume): ". Edith's career stretched for several decades, and although she died in 1981, the appearance of Maud in the film Pixar studio would probably have to taste Oscar bearer - in the end it is she who is credited with the phrase “endure I can not modesty.
The Sailor Popeye is a completely caricature character, which, as many believe, cannot be met in real life. But he has a prototype! Creator Popay, author of newspaper comic strips, Elsie Chrysler Segar, “licked” the image of a toothless fighter and bully with a pipe in his mouth from a friend of his Pole, whom he knew in his youth in Illinois. This man's name was Frank Figl - his nickname, however, was not Popey (“Lupoglaz”), but Rocky (“Flint”). But in the preserved photographs, he was poured out Popeye, and in real life, Figl, according to those who communicated with him, behaved accordingly, rejoicing at any opportunity to drink and fight, sometimes with several opponents at once. Frank was a local celebrity in the town, and the boys often used his hot temper: they teased him from afar, and then they flew away, because he distributed them without hesitation.
At first, the sailor appeared only as an episodic character in one of Segara’s comics in 1929, but the readers of the New York Journal liked the book so much that he returned in the next issue and then became the main character altogether. The cartoonist did not forget Frank,he lived quite poorly: when a few years later Popay began to make cartoons, Elsi repeatedly sent Figlu checks with “author's deductions” (interestingly, Hollywood Popey first entered as a “guest” in the series about Betty Boop, who also had a living prototype ).
Frank survived Segara for 9 years and died in 1947, being 79 years old. The image of Popey is engraved on his tombstone and a separate line indicates the role that Figl played in the history of American animation. By the way, Popey managed not only to be a hero of comics and cartoons, but also to light up in a movie: in 1980, a sailor of the same name made a full-length film about him, where he was portrayed by Robin Williams.
About the greenskin ogre from the cartoon "Shrek" they liked to joke that it was copied from the Russian deputy Vasily Shandybin. Of course, Shandybin had nothing to do with it, but the true state of affairs is even more interesting: after all, apparently, the real prototype of the “good cannibal” was really born in Russia.
Maurice Tiye, a French engineer whose father built a railway in the Urals, was born near Chelyabinsk in 1903. After the October Revolution, the family returned to their native France, and the pretty young Maurice, who had the nickname Angel before, started having health problems.Acromegaly found in him - a disease of the pituitary gland in which bone tissue grows uncontrollably - put an end to his lawyer’s career. Deciding to find himself in another field, Tiyet moved to the USA and became a successful wrestler there: with a height of 170 cm, he weighed 122 kg, and the public knew him as a French angel (thanks to Maurice’s example, the angel prefix became popular in wrestling of the time - many wrestlers from different countries made it an element of his pseudonym). As a champion, the stalwart was no longer shy about his gorilla-like appearance and even laughing for the sake of posing for photographers in the form of a Neanderthal in the walls of the paleontological museum.
Half a century after Tye’s death from a heart attack, when cartoon Shrek had already become the favorite of the children of the whole world, one of the former employees of DreamWorks told anonymously that while working on the animation tape, the studio’s walls were hung with photos of famous wrestlers with an unusual appearance. There was also a photo of a Chelyabinsk Frenchman with American citizenship, which newspapermen, by the way, called the “huge arena”. Officially, representatives of the studio did not confirm this information, but for those who saw photos of smiling Tiye, everything is quite obvious.From the cartoon Shrek, only the shape of his ears distinguishes him (the ears of the cannibal were invented by the author of the book of the same name, William Steig, and the animators did not dare to back down from this canon).
Would Maurice get such fame, would he become a lawyer? Of course no. An example of Tiye proved once again: it is not necessary to be handsome in order to be remembered by people from the positive side. As for the donkey from the same cartoon, then in it you, of course, easily recognized Eddie Murphy - who, in fact, was a funny hoofed dog and voiced.
Aladdin, Snow White and other Disney
If we are talking about Disney Studios, for which the use of prototypes was standard practice (at least because for many decades the movements and plasticity of characters were sketched by artists from the actors filmed on film), then it’s impossible in the last paragraph of our review to mention the most remarkable examples of such “parodying”. For example, in “Aladdin” the title character was copied from the young Tom Cruise (at first, the artists became interested in the “Back to the Future” star Michael Jay Fox, but Cruz won as more “sexy”).Also, the hero was instilled with a bit of charisma of rapper MC Hammer, who is known to adore baggy pants. The genie in the obvious way was painted under Robin Williams, who in the end voiced it, having gone away in his improvisations rather far from the replicas written for him.
Four of the vultures in The Book of the Jungle, singing with a Liverpool accent, are, of course, a group of Beatles. The cartoon was arranged “in an acquaintance” by the group manager, although John Lennon did not like the parody, and he dissuaded the whole team from the voice acting of the characters.
Who else can be considered a Disney prototype? The main character of “Anastasia” was copied from Meg Ryan, the Queen from “Snow White” - from Joan Crawford, Thomas to “Pocahontas” - from Christian Bale, Peter Pan - from Bobby Driscoll (and the fairy Ding-Din from the same cartoon - from actress Margaret Kerry), Snow White - with dancer Marge Champion, sorceress Maleficent - with voice actress Eleonor Audley. Leo Scar in The Lion King is Jeremy Irons, the main character of Pocahontas is Irene Bedard, Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians actress Talula Banked, Rango's chameleon Rango Johnny Depp. In general, the list can go on for a long time, because at any opportunity, Disney’s studio tries to give the character voiced by the star its characteristics.There are less known cases when producers and screenwriters become prototypes, such as Sherry Stoner, who worked for the main character of “Beauty and the Beast,” (however, quite often she acted as an animation model). Helen Stanley, who became the prototype of the cartoon Cinderella, played a whole gallery of characters in Disney products.
Even the chipmunks Chip and Dale on the TV series Chip and Dale to the Rescue had prototypes - the first was written off from Indiana Jones (that is, Harrison Ford), and the second from private detective Magnum (read from Tom Selleck). However, the prototypes were not always anthropomorphic - for example, the artists greeted the Barbosa Vagabond from “Lady and Vagabond” on the street (even though he turned out to be, hmm, a girl), and Bambi and Falin sketched from real 4-month-old deer living in a fence right at the studio ...
Of course, all of the above is only a small part of what could have eluded the attention of viewers in the twentieth century. And how many such hidden “cameos” are just waiting for their decryption? Today, when the actors are hung with mimicry and movement sensors and literally play animated characters, it has become much easier to recognize them in such a “disguise”. But not so interesting.So the audience always has a reason to review drawn cartoons and look at their characters a little bit in a new way - many of them have someone behind them, and maybe you even know these wonderful people.