AI ‘Photos’ of What Cartoon Characters Would Look Like in Real Life

What would famous animated characters from movies and TV shows look like in real life? One digital artist has created a fascinating series of AI-assisted “portraits” that provide the answers to that question.

Hidreley Leli Diao is a Brazilian artist “who loves everything related to digital art.” After discovering that artificial intelligence software can create photo-realistic portraits of people who do not actually exist, Diao began experimenting with the technology in creative ways.

Moe from The Simpsons

Moe from the Simpsons in real life


Moana in real life

Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid

Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid in real life

Tinkerbell from Peter Pan

Tinkerbell from Peter Pan in real life

“Since I discovered artificial intelligence, I’ve been challenging myself to do things I would never have imagined doing,” Diao tells PetaPixel. “With several studies and a lot of practice, I thought it was time to bring some Disney characters to human life.”

Diao says he grew up watching the Simpsons, Hanna Barbera shows, and Disney animations that made a big impact on his life. With state-of-the-art AI photo software, Diao was able to create lifelike portraits of some of his favorite characters.

Carl Frederickson from Up

Carl Frederickson from Up in real life

Ariel from The Little Mermaid

Ariel from The Little Mermaid in real life

Millhouse from The Simpsons

Millhouse from The Simpsons in real life

Jasmine from Aladdin

Jasmine from Aladdin in real life

Ned Flanders from The Simpsons

Ned Flanders from The Simpsons in real life

“When we watch some animation, it is natural to accept the cartoonish proportions of the characters without any problems, after all, we are quite used to this type of trait,” Diao writes at Bored Panda, where is a contributor. “But what if, as in a spell, they became real, flesh and blood? I tried to bring them into our world through artificial intelligence.”


Pocahontas in real life


Aladdin in real life

Rapunzel from Tangled

Rapunzel from Tangled in real life

Peter Pan

Peter Pan in real life


Mulan in real life

The software Diao used to create the “photos” were Photoshop and three different mobile AI photo editing apps: FaceApp, Gradient, and Remini.

Each portrait was created by scouring the Web for portraits containing facial features matching the characters.

“I look for images in banks and overlay the image starting with the eyes,” Diao says. “The hardest part is finding an image that matches the character I’m working on.”

Joe Gardner from Soul

Joe Gardner from Soul in real life

Mirabel from Encanto

Mirabel from Encanto in real life

Prince Hans from Frozen

Prince Hans from Frozen in real life

You can follow along with Diao’s work on his Instagram.