Walt Disney Pictures has produced live-action remakes of its animated classics since 1994. That year, Jason Scott Lee gave life to Mowgli in the first photorealistic version of The Jungle Book. In 1996, Glenn Close starred in 101 Dalmatians as villainess Cruella De Vil — a role she reprised four years later in the sequel 102 Dalmatians. More recently, Cate Blanchett played the titular role in the 2015 flick Cinderella, and Emma Stone and Dan Stevens were introduced as Belle and Beast in the 2017 box office hit Beauty and the Beast.
Obviously, these live-action remakes gave fans ideas of what the characters from the animated films might look like in real life. But even before some of these live-action movies had made their way to theaters, a lot of talented artists have already reimagined Disney animated characters as real-life people in digital art form. One of these artists is Jirka Vinse, a Finnish graphic designer who became popular for recreating Disney princesses, princes and villains as if they were living in the real world.
In an interview with Huff Post India back in 2011, Vinse shared that Disney’s animated classics were a big part of his childhood and his sentimental attachment to the characters have lured him to reimagine them as real-life people. “Having grown up with a lot of these characters, the sense of nostalgia made it such a fascinating and a fun personal project to explore and carry on with,” Vinse said of his collection of “real life” Disney character portraits. “Also, I have always been interested in character design, as well as the way people look and what makes them unique in their appearances. So I was inspired by the idea of recreating these characters that we all know and love, in a way I would imagine them to look like if they were ‘more real,’ while still staying somewhat true to the unrealistic quirks in their original character designs.”
You can check out Vinse’s 55 “real life” Disney character portraits below:
#1 Aurora from Sleeping Beauty
This reimagining of Aurora perfectly captures the character’s refined face, waist-length golden hair, and violet eyes as seen in the 1959 animated film Sleeping Beauty. It also features an impressive version of Aurora’s multi-layered peasant outfit.
#2 Belle from Beauty and the Beast
Though portrayed as an independent and self-assured young woman in the 1991 film Beauty and the Beast, Belle looks a little insecure in this fan art. Did Beast do something that made her confidence dwindle?
#3 Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
This digital art impeccably captures Esmeralda’s sultry look. And though Vinse opted not to include the street performer’s signature teal and gold bodice in her outfit, the artist didn’t forget to accessorize the character with her trademark golden hoop earrings and bangle.
#4 Princess Jasmine from Aladdin
Dressed in her iconic blue cropped tube top that reveals her midriff and belly button, Jasmine looks strikingly regal in this artwork. Though this reimagining doesn’t feature the Princess of Agrabah’s sapphire-adorned headband, her chunky pair of golden earrings and elaborate neckpiece easily make up for it.
#5 Princess Ariel from The Little Mermaid
Ariel’s infectious smile in this piece of artwork captures her zealous admiration of the human world and her excitement to experience life on the surface.
#6 Megara from Hercules
Megara’s snarky facial expression and awkward body language in this fan art capture the character’s cynical attitude in the early part of the 1997 animated film Hercules. Though considered by many as the oddest among Disney female leads, Megara proves at the end of the movie that her courage and caring personality outweighs her sarcastic and flirty tendencies.
Mulan’s sweet smile in this artwork reminds us of her simple and carefree life prior to her bold decision to go under the guise of a male soldier to prevent her father from heading back to the battlefield.
Pocahontas’ strong commitment to protect her home and the forest isn’t hard to see in this fiery fan art. In addition to successfully capturing Pocahontas’ aspirations, Vinse also did a great job at emulating the character’s sun-kissed skin, long raven-black hair, and statuesque figure.
#9 Tiana from The Princess and the Frog
Though there’s nothing fancy about Tiana’s Duke’s Diner uniform, this digital art suggests that it’s probably one of her most favorite outfits. Tiana loves the hustle and bustle of working in a restaurant, and that big smile on her face confirms that.
#10 Snow White
Snow White’s youthful glow is flawlessly captured in this illustration. To emphasize how snowy white her skin is, Vinse went an extra mile to make her cheeks rosier and her lip redder than the usual.
Cinderella appears to be daydreaming in this piece of art. And while there’s nothing bad about finding oneself daydreaming once in a while, Cinderella will definitely get some punishment from her wicked stepmom and stepsisters if they caught her lost in her own thoughts.
#12 Rapunzel from Tangled
Vinse’s version of Rapunzel bears a striking resemblance to Amanda Seyfried. And even though the two share a natural blonde hair color, the locks of the Princess of Corona are without a doubt longer than the Mamma Mia! star.
#13 Alice from Alice in Wonderland
Dressed in her signature blue dress with a white pinafore apron on top, this version of Alice seems to be in deep thought — a sight that is perfectly in line with her inquisitive nature. As fans can remember, Alice’s curiosity over what White Rabbit could be late for is what actually brought her to Wonderland.
#14 Jane from Tarzan
When Jane first arrived in the jungle, her outfits weren’t suitable for the wild. But as she grows more comfortable and attached to her new environment, Jane’s clothes became more revealing just like what she’s wearing in this fan art.
#15 Tinker Bell from Peter Pan
This real-life reimagining of Tinker Bell gorgeously features the fairy’s baby-blue eyes and signature hair bun. But the real highlight of this fan art is her green strapless dress that got a leaf-like texture and detailed upgrade from Vinse.
#16 Wendy from Peter Pan
Wendy is filled with wonder in this artwork. Her beaming eyes and slightly open mouth are reminiscent of her reaction when she first set foot in Neverland.
#17 Merida from Brave
Though Vinse didn’t get Merida’s long slender neck right, the artist did a fantastic job at imitating the character’s curly red hair. The artist also accurately captured the Princess of DunBroch’s tomboyish personality through the subject’s clenched fist and gritty look.
#18 Princess Anna from Frozen
Bearing a resemblance to Oscar winner Emma Stone, this version of Anna features every defining facial attributes of the Princess of Arendelle: her turquoise blue eyes, rosy cheeks, and a light dusting of freckles.
#19 Queen Elsa from Frozen
This incarnation of Elsa looks a lot like Cara Delevingne. In fact, Elsa’s smug in this fan art is very much similar to the Suicide Squad actress’ signature smirk.
Moana’s muscular build that sets her apart from other Disney heroines is perfectly illustrated in this artwork. Though Vinse also did an amazing job at reimagining the character’s thick eyebrows, full brownish-pink lips, and wavy black hair, the artist seemingly forgot to include Moana’s most important accessory: the Heart of Te Fiti necklace.
#21 Belle Vol. 2 from Beauty and the Beast
Though Vinse’s first Belle artwork is unquestionably beautiful, most of the artist’s fans like this new version of the bibliophile princess much better. Compared to Vinse’s original Belle, this version of the character has a less prominent jawline and cheekbones, making it look more realistic than the first.
#22 Princess Jasmine Vol. 2 from Aladdin
If Jasmine looks like an innocent daddy’s girl in Vinse’s first reimagining of the character, this latest Jasmine fan art by the artist is clearly more mature and provocative.
#23 Nakoma from Pocahontas
Unlike her free-spirited best friend Pocahontas, Nakoma is depicted in the 1995 movie as someone who is always serious —a quality that Vinse precisely captured in this fan art.
#24 Prince Charming from Cinderella
Sporting his trademark cream royal jacket with gold epaulette and collar, this version of the nameless Prince Charming is strikingly handsome. With dark green eyes, light red lips, and perfectly-shaped nose the nameless gentleman can definitely charm anyone.
A Jake Gyllenhaal look-alike, this reimagining of Aladdin remarkably mimics the animated character’s slightly muscular built, black messy hair, thick eyebrows, and brown eyes.
#26 John Smith from Pocahontas
This version of John Smith is ridiculously good-looking. In fact, some fans think that he bears a close resemblance to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau of Game of Thrones, Jason Lewis of Sex and the City, and Scott Eastwood of Suicide Squad.
#27 Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid
Wearing his go-to white long-sleeved collared shirt, Prince Eric looks super cool and refreshed in this fan art. And with a charming smile like that, it isn’t hard to get why Ariel fell for him.
Since Hercules is known for his comedic personality, seeing him in a rather serious moment like this is somehow worrying. While we can’t point out what exactly he’s thinking about, our bet is he’s contemplating what it really takes to be a true hero.
#29 Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty
Prince Philip was already a young child when Princess Aurora was still an infant, making him a few years older than her. But despite the age gap between the two, Philip still passes as someone who has the same age as Aurora, and Vinse’s reimagining of the prince just shows that.
Though Tarzan’s blue-green eyes, sharp jawline, and hunky physique were extraordinarily captured by Vinse in this artwork, the artist interestingly opted for a messy shaggy hair over the character’s traditional hair in dreadlocks.
#31 Li Shang from Mulan
Li Shang’s huge arm, brawny chest, and toned abs are in full display in this fan art. And since he’s shirtless, it means that the head of the Chinese army is not on the battlefield, but is training new recruits including a disguised Fa Mulan.
#32 Captain Phoebus from The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
A look-alike of Heath Ledger, this real-life version of Phoebus seems to be a little tired, and has probably taken off her golden armor to catch some breath.
#33 Eugene Fitzherbert aka Flynn Rider from Tangled
Though this fan art doesn’t feature Eugene’s signature smolder look, the character’s cool smile and cute non-verbal cues manifest the former thief’s adorable personality.
#34 Prince Naveen from The Princess and the Frog
As a result of his privileged upbringing, Naveen grew up spoiled, lazy, and vain. While the first two qualities aren’t evident in this fan art, the third one is as clear as day.
#35 Kristoff from Frozen
For this reimagining of Kristoff, Vinse stayed true to the characters muscular build, which is a realistic consequence of his rough life as a mountain-dwelling ice harvester. The artist also stuck with the character’s defining facial features like his big nose and reddish cheeks.
#36 Peter Pan
This version of Peter Pan is such a cutie. Vinse got all the character’s main features right: his unkempt hair, mischievous eyebrows, bright eyes, and most especially his forever young face.
#37 The Prince from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Dressed in his signature blue sleeveless tunic and white long-sleeved shirt, this version of The Prince looks a lot like Shawn Mendes. He also gives off a childlike vibe that matches Snow White’s adolescent look.
#38 Kocoum from Pocahontas
This real-life reimagining of Kocoum captures the character’s muscular upper body that features a pair of bear prints on his chest. His serious personality is also apparent in this artwork through his tight set and pulled together eyebrows.
#39 Thomas from Pocahontas
Vinse’s real-life version of Thomas is a splitting image of Riverdale’s KJ Apa. The childlike innocence in his eyes is a reminder that even though he is John Smith’s best friend, Thomas is a little bit younger than the renowned English explorer.
#40 Prince Adam/The Beast from Beauty and the Beast
Dressed in a see-through long-sleeved shirt, Prince Adam is scorching hot in this fan art. Interestingly, Vinse decided not to show the character’s eyes, perhaps to highlight the prince’s other beautiful facial features such as his bushy eyebrows, lush eyelashes, pointed nose, and kissable lips.
#41 Captain Hook from Peter Pan
Captain Hook’s menacing stare and terrifying grin in this fan art make him look like the real deal. In addition to his iconic golden hook, Vinse didn’t also forget to include the pirate’s thin handlebar mustache that has become one of his trademarks.
#42 Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Though envious of Snow White, the Evil Queen is actually physically attractive. And though Vinse got the character’s red lips, green eyes, and penciled-on eyebrows right, a lot of fans think that her dark makeup make her overall look a little bit messed up.
#43 Gaston from Beauty and the Beast
This fan art didn’t only capture Gaston’s athletic build and handsome appearance. It also encapsulated the antagonist’s arrogant personality by highlighting his boastful laugh in this piece of art.
#44 Hades from Hercules
This real-life reimagining of Hades is so spot on that Vinse nailed everything about the god of the Underworld, starting from his skull-adorned black robe and wide shoulders, up to his blue hair and slender, pointy fingers.
#45 Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty
Maleficent’s elegance and wickedness are both captured in this fan art. While her dark and stylish robe make her look regal, her devilish yellow eyes paired with her horned headdress make her even more menacing.
#46 Ursula from The Little Mermaid
This real-life reimagining of Ursula got everything correct about the physical appearance of the sinister sea witch. Just like her look in the 1989 animated feature film The Little Mermaid, this version of Ursula is obese, has a light lavender skin, and a mole just below the right side of her mouth. It also features the iconic villain’s white hair, aqua eyelids, gray eyes, and red lips and fingernails.
#47 Ursula Vol. 2 from The Little Mermaid
Vinse’s new version of Ursula has more attitude than the original. Her wicked grin and judgy stare are manifestations of the character’s cunning and evil personality.
#48 Ursula’s alter ego Vanessa from The Little Mermaid
This reimagining of Vanessa has a slight physical resemblance to Vanessa Hudgens. But the similarity between the two ends there, because unlike the High School Musical actress, Ursula’s human alter ego is two-faced and shady.
#49 Judge Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
Frollo’s cruel and spiteful nature is pretty obvious in this fan art. The stern and angry look on his face sums up his aversion towards the Romani people, who he considers as the most heinous of all the sinners.
#50 Mother Gothel from Tangled
This fan art captures Mother Gothel’s obsession with youth and beauty. Without the healing and age-reversing power of the Golden Flower, Mother Gothel is an elderly woman. But with the flower’s power in effect, just like in this illustration, she reverts to her youthful appearance with smooth and flawless skin.
#51 Jafar from Aladdin
Vinse perfectly captured Jafar’s “snakey” nature in the piece of art. His malicious smug and the deceitful look in his eyes tell us that he’s someone we can’t really trust.
#52 Prince Hans from Frozen
Though Prince Hans looks kind and gentle in this digital art, fans know that this is not his true self. The real Prince of the Southern Isles is a power-hungry man who planned a coup to kill Elsa and marry Anna so he could rule the Kingdom of Arendelle as king.
#53 Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians
This reimagining of Cruella de Vil looks unbelievably realistic. From the character’s almost skeletal figure to her two-colored shoulder-length hair, Vinse impressively nailed it all.
#54 Lady Tremaine from Cinderella
While Vinse did a fantastic job at creating a real-life version of Lady Tremaine’s iconic heart-shaped hairstyle, the real highlight of this piece of art is the character’s grumpy look, which basically sums up her feelings toward her stepdaughter Cinderella.
#55 Cinderella’s stepsisters Anastasia and Drizella Tremaine from Cinderella
Though Vinse’s real-life versions of Anastasia and Drizella are more beautiful than their animated counterparts, the siblings’ sneaky and arrogant gazes in this artwork show their true egotistical and envious personalities.