Actors are cast for roles for many different reasons including, but not limited to, their charisma, ability to bring a little something special to the role, preparedness and sometimes even their voice. But, how often do you hear of a voice actor getting chosen because of their looks? Long story short, that doesn’t happen. But, there seems to be a long history of animators actually modelling their characters after those who voice them. This primarily began back in the 1950s when Disney classics like Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland were in their beginning stages but it has come a long way since then. Now you don’t only see this practice in children’s films but video games of all sorts, thus bringing a new dimension to the genre as a whole. In addition, the constant advancements that the art world has succumb to as a whole means that the resemblances have come further than ever before.
That being said, what you can do if you have sheer artistic talent, a pencil, piece of paper and a live model is still really impressive all the same. Just as a side note, a live model is when someone sits in front of the illustrators/animators and serves as a means of inspiration for their characters. Sometimes it went as far as the model then being filmed so they could capture the way their body moved, thus bringing a “human” likeness to those on the screen. But, where can you find the best examples of this? Read on to find out!
20. Kathryn Beaumont — Alice (Alice in Wonderland)
Katheryn Beaumont may not appear to similar enough to the original Alice featured in the 1951 Disney film Alice in Wonderland to make a place on this list but you much remember that all of the animations were done by hand at that point, so it would be extremely difficult to get her exactly right. Being only 10 when she was cast for the role, she also proved to be a valuable asset to the illustrators who used her as a live character model in both the static and action regards. Having filmed her acting out her lines so that they could capture the way her body moved, Beaumont proved to be a vital addition to the Walt Disney family. While it may be difficult to gather from the black and white pictures of the time, she, like Alice had blonde hair, prominent cheekbones and slender nose. Their eyebrows are also almost non-existent and their lips are small but slightly puckered, the perfect combination for a character like Alice.
19. John C. Reilly — Ralph (Wreck-It Ralph)
These two lovable characters are one of the same. With their good-hearted, sweet nature and understated sense of humor, it’s easy to see why John C. Reilly was cast to play the starring role in Wreck-It Ralph. Besides, it’s not lie they look like one another or anything. Because they’re both on the heavier side of the weight spectrum but still relatively tall, their build is just one of the ways that they mirror one another. Another is their face. John and Ralph both have the chubby oval look to them which makes them very distinct. The qualities in it are the same, too. Their sweet chocolate eyes and gentle smile are ones that you can’t help but trust from the moment that you see them. The perfect pair, if you will. You can also see a sense of sensitivity shyly peeking its head through their rugged exterior while the unruly hair brings forth a sense of play that is unlike any other. While Ralph may have been the “bad guy” in Wreck-it Ralph, chances are that things will be looking up for him in the sequel and, if Reilly has just as much say in this one, it’s bound to be nothing short of a surefire hit.
18. Ed Asner — Carl Fredericksen (Up)
While taking your first glance, the resemblance may not be overly apparent but the more you stare at the two side by side the similarities slowly begin to sink in. Not only are Carl Fredricksen and his voice, Ed Asner, the same age but they both have facial qualities that can be mirrored in each other. Sure, when he first saw the character sketch he grudgingly claimed that they looked nothing alike but he may have just said that to land him the role, which it did. It may be hard to tell because of the lack of hair on Ed’s head, the abundance of lines embedded in his face and the different colored eyes but you have to remember that he’s a human being, not an animation so there will be some differences no matter what. In addition, Carl may not have the jowls that Ed does either but chances are that if they were to either both appear as an animation or in real life they would literally be a reflection of one another. It’s all in the way their lines fall, mouth sits and eyes appear experienced, but sweet. They even have the same unruly eyebrows and big ears for crying out loud. Either way, they are both as sweet as honey and you wouldn’t say no to an opportunity to sit down and hear their stories, no matter how old you are.
17. Emma Stone — Eep (The Croods)
Again, there may not be an immediate resemblance between the woman who voiced her and the character when you consider how these two women are from different times that’s probably a good thing. That being said, they both have round faces and features that are too similar to ignore. Sure, Eep may be a little more of a rough and tumble sort of gal who is still in her teenage years but that’s no reason to shrug her off either. Besides, you have to remember that hair products were not a thing back then and the sheer amount of Sun that she got probably made her darker than Emma Stone will ever be. A lot of the similarities come in the eyes, nose, hair and overall built. Their big green eyes turn into the center of attention while you’re looking at them while their proportionate button nose adds a sense of youth and complexity. They also both have a very similar shade and texture of red hair, when Stone’s isn’t died a different color and they were to succumb to the same century that is. Besides, neither one of them is overly tall but they have enough to them to keep them grounded and secure while not being on either extreme. So? Are they twins from a different time? Maybe.
16. Jennifer Hale — Female Commander Shepherd (Mass Effect franchise)
First of all, for those of you who are not familiar with the smash-hit Mass Effect and its many spinoffs, it’s an action adventure first person shooter that contains a world of possibilities. That is all thanks to the options that the game throws the player’s way. While there are so many different opportunities to customize your character, the stock version of the fan favorite “FemShep” looks pretty similar to the source of her voice, Jennifer Hale. That is because of their very striking eyes, slender nose, and overall facial composition. Their square faces are soft but strong while their features are feminine enough to be viewed as attractive while still maintaining a friendly sense about them, as long as you don’t make her go full renegade that is. So, when you consider the diversity that Commander Shepard brings to the table and how much of it lies on the shoulders of the person with the remote, Hale was the ideal choice, not only because of her transformative beauty but immense talent.
15. Kristen Wiig — Lucy Wilde (Despicable Me 2)
Yes, Lucy Wilde, a secret-agent who is teamed up with the Despicable Me franchise’s protagonist Gru, may have a nose that is way too over-exaggerated for her own good but if you were to bring that monstrosity back down to a human level she would basically be A-list actress Kristen Wiig. Sure, everyone in the movie may look like a caricature but if you were to tie the two realms together they really wouldn’t be that far of a leap from one another. A lot of it definitely has to do with their slim frames and wild red hair but their faces are strikingly similar, too. This has to do with the prominent apples of their cheeks, small eyes, long face and small lips. If the picture above isn’t enough to convince you, just imagine if Lucy Wilde were to be pulling a similar face to what Kristen Wiig is doing above. There ya go.
14. Irene Bedard — Pocahontas (Pocahontas)
Irene Bedard may have a lot more in common with this Native American Disney princess and heroine than you may think. Sure, their long raven hair, fierce but kind eyes and slim physique definitely co-relate with one another but their personality traits and certain mannerisms are the same, too! Because she served as the live model for Pocahontas, the animators were able to capture her exact facial expressions and movements, thus making her a more believable character. They’re also both strong-willed, independent women who are not afraid to look out for what’s best for their people; Bedard is an Alaskan native who is constantly looking for ways to improve the living situations for those on the reserves. Besides, you know that they definitely mirror one another when even your family members are able to spot specific things that only you do in the illustrated character that you lent your voice to.
13. Eleanor Audley — Lady Tremaine (Cinderella)
Eleanor Audley may have a tendency to play Disney villains but can you believe that she looks like two of them too! First off, the similarities between Cinderella‘s Lady Tremaine and Sleeping Beauty‘s Maleficient are uncanny. With their similar personalities and looks, the only real difference is that Lady Tremaine appears older but, considering that she’s a mere mortal, that probably makes sense. For that reason and that reason alone Lady Tremaine will be the subject alongside her voice. When you focus your attention on their facial structures, they both have a pretty long face that then comes to an end with a square jaw. Given, Cinderella’s evil stepmother may have a chin that is a tad narrower than her real life counterpart but nonetheless. If that wasn’t enough, their prominent lips with a defined cupid’s bow and huge eyes absolutely seal the deal. They become the main focus points of both of their faces and you can tell a lot about them based on that alone.
12. Liam Neeson — James (Fallout 3)
While it may not seem like they would be identical, once you see them side by side you can’t unsee the similarities; everything from their square jaws to lines in their face are almost identical! Given, there are differences in where the light hits their face and the effect that it then creates but that can easily be fixed, especially if they were to ever have the same sort of light hitting on both of them at the same time. Sure, in this particular photo, James may seem to have more of a grey skin tone but for those of you who have played Fallout 3 prior you know that everything in the Vault 101 has that kind of look anyway. But, either way, their thin lips, pear-shaped nose, high forehead and even their small, squinty eyes are mirrored in the other. All you need to do is slap a goatee on Liam Neeson and possibly fix his hair ever so slightly and suddenly he is magically transformed into your father (in the game of course).
11. Pat Morita — Emperor of China (Moulan)
Pat Morita is known for his wise leadership role in a variety of films but he never resembled a character more than this when he played in the Emperor of China. Despite the Emperor’s stern face, his gentle nature made him a great leader, always giving credit where credit was due. That being said, while Morita’s animated self may have harsher features than those that his real-life counterpart possesses the similarities are still outstanding. If you were to either add on the long white beard to Morita’s look or shave it off of the other, it would be extremely difficult to tell them apart. Everything from their ears which reside close to their skulls and have elongated earlobes to their bushier eyebrows mirror one another. The only real difference is that Disney’s rendition has a more exaggerated face and fewer wrinkles, which was common considering their artistic style so we’ll let that one slide.
10. Lester Speight — Augustus Cole (Gears of War franchise)
While Augustus Cole may not have had the biggest role in the Gears of War franchise, he was an undeniable asset to the team. Sure, the question still remains: will he make a re-appearance in the upcoming Gears of War game but it would definitely be a welcomed surprise. For those of who are unfamiliar with Gears of War, it’s an action adventure third person shooter that follows a group of soldiers who are ultimately trying to save the world from the Locust horde, all while struggling from personal battles along the way. In this story, Augustus Cole is an ex-Thrashball player who has since become a COG soldier. Given, he may sometimes forget that he’s faced with a live or die situation as he can’t help but digress into his football-esque ways but he will always get the job done. That being said, it’s easy to see why he would be the comedic relief of the story. With all that in mind, Lester Speight was a perfect match-up because he, too, used to play football on a professional level so he was really able to capture the essence of the character. But, not only do they have that in common but their appearances are strikingly similar as well. Being almost all muscle, these two African American figures have structurally developed in similar ways and they may even have the same haircut! Their facial features also mirror one another, especially in the newer Gears games as the animation came leaps and bounds since the original.
9. Jane Lynch — Sergeant Calhoun (Wreck-It Ralph)
Put it this way – while Sergeant Calhoun may not look like today’s Jane Lynch if you were to think of what she may have looked like either 10 years ago or fathomed what she would appear like in a video game it would basically be what audiences around the world bore witness to in Wreck-It Ralph. Sure, the woman in arms who is protecting the world from the Cy-Bugs in Hero’s Duty may be a little more flawless and put together than her real-life doppelgänger but, she’s an animation, what do you expect?! Her eyes and skin will obviously be brighter and her hair will always be perfect and a more vibrant blonde but that’s kind of the point. Considering that she is featured in a children’s movie, there’s not going to be any raw details, the closest you’ll get is touches of realism and maybe a dramatic death or two. In reality, they would look like the same person and maybe even have similar character traits. Sure, Jane Lynch’s partner may not have died by the hands of a Cy-Bug on their wedding day but you get the gist.
8. Laura Bailey — Kait Diaz (Gears of War 4)
Sure, Laura Bailey may have Disney roots which has made her appear to have a sweeter face than that of her Gears of War 4 counterpart Kait Diaz but the chances are that if they were to be placed in similar situations they would become mirror images of one another. That may seem like a brash assumption but look at the way that their noses look with their narrow-ish bridges all the way down to the slight buttoning once you reach the end. In the same regard, their eyes and eyebrows are almost identical, the only difference being that Bailey’s sparkle a little bit more and her eyebrows may be a tad thicker. Even their lips have the same pucker and shape. When you get to the point where if you were to eventually see Diaz smile in this post-Locust world and they would literally look like the same person you know that there’s a reason why she made the list.
7. Idris Elba — Truck (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3)
While Truck may have only appeared in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the joint impact that the animators and Idris Elba made with him is one that will stick out in the mind of Call of Duty fans everywhere. Being one of those by the book sort of guys who is still tough as nails meant that Elba was able to explore his vocal range in ways that were before untouched. However, not only did he do a top notch job with the American accent, Elba is a British actor, but the creators did a fantastic job when it came to translating Elba’s appearance into one that would be suitable for Call of Duty. This task is a difficult one for anyone who works in the animation industry but they deserve a round of applause for what they did with Truck. By making every detail similar to Elba’s actual look they really helped mold the character and voice together in ways that could definitely get awkward, especially if it’s not done right. When you’re able to safely say that every aspect of Idris Elba’s eyes are mirrored in his character then you know that you’re good at what you do and those working on the game went above and beyond.
6. Yvonne Strahovski — Miranda Lawson (Mass Effect 2; Mass Effect 3)
No, they don’t have the same hair color but that’s pretty much where the differences end. Yes, she is the real-life Miranda Lawson. No, we don’t have a problem with that. While she may be one of the best looking female characters in video games to date, we definitely have to thank the advancements that technology has seen for that. Having her on this particular list was inevitable and, let’s face it, considering that her face was literally scanned for the game it would be kind of a waste not to. What can we say? She has a nice face. Sure, if you want to be all knit picky about it there are a few differences between them such as how Miranda has a wider face and slightly smaller eyes but even these details are so minuscule that it’s hard to really care. Then again, when you have a body like hers (they’re both similar) it’s hard to keep your eyes in one spot.
5. Kristen Bell — Lucy Stillman (Assassin’s Creed Franchise)
This is a prime example of if you don’t see the similarities by simply looking at the picture above then you need to get your eyes checked because they are literally the same person. From their bright personalities that can’t help but be encouraging to the warmness that can be seen through and through, you can’t help but feel comfortable around them. However, the most impressive part of it is that they look the same, too. First of all, their oval facial structures are absolutely identical, as is everything else that resides within it. Their slightly pointed lips with a fuller bottom lip that balances out the slight harshness of her counterpart all the way up to the color of their hair and the way that it falls in front of their faces is an exact mirror image. It’s absolutely incredible! Then again, with the way that technology is going can we even pretend to be surprised anymore?
4. Anika Noni Rose — Tiana (Princess and the Frog)
When Princess and the Frog first came out, it was a huge risk on Disney’s end because, let’s face it, it was their first time ever featuring a main cast who was not Caucasian. So, when Anika Noni Rose was finally chosen to play the role of Tiana, the first African American Disney princess ever, she knew that a lot was riding on her shoulders. Then again, growing up in a very socially conscious way meant that she was up to the challenge. Tiana was a strong willed, hard-working woman with dreams of making it big one day and, according to Rose, a pleasure to play. The resemblance was just icing on the cake. While she may have been in shock and awe when she found out that the animators drew the character to resemble her person, their final result could not have worked out better. With their bright smiles and intelligent eyes Tiana’s key qualities just shine through like no tomorrow and the audience wouldn’t have it any other way. They’re beautiful through and through and just goes to show that you can obtain absolutely anything, all you need to do is dig a little deeper.
3. Bobby Driscoll — Peter Pan (Peter Pan)
Peter Pan was all about the title character and his inability to succumb to adulthood so, while Bobby Driscoll may have looked like him and was able to portray the right attitude, his tragic fate made the casting a very ironic one. Being a natural born actor with an angelic but distinct look, the choice to model Peter Pan off of him meant that you could totally pick him out from a crowd, no matter it’s size. From the apples of his cheeks, which were too exaggerated for his own good to his eyes that just sparkle an inescapable sense of innocence and fun, the 15-year-old Driscoll was the ideal choice for the boy who never wanted to grow up. It’s just pretty funny how despite the appearance of perfection that animations usually strive for they would actually opt to include distinct qualities like his buck teeth and pig-like nose. But, then again, you don’t have to look like a model to make an impact on the mind of a child, your personality trumps it all and as long as you are owning who you are there is nothing that you can’t do.
2. Rami Malek — Josh Washington (Until Dawn)
Until Dawn was released in 2015 and one of the most intriguing aspects of it was that it was ultimately a horror game that allowed you to create your own narrative, at least in one aspect or another. It revolves around a group of eight friends who reunite after a year to commemorate the disappearance of Josh’s twin sister. However, the situation goes awry after a serial killer comes into the mix. You’ll have to play the game to find out more, don’t want to give too much away now do we? Anyway, you’ll be able to recognize the all-star cast because they all served as character models but John, played by Remi Malek, stood out from the rest. Capturing even the most minute detail in his face like the slight sadness in his eyes and worry in his smile makes him unmistakable. Then again, his entire look is completely spot on, as is almost everyone in the game, so you should definitely check it out either on YouTube or, if you have a PS4, go pick it up; you won’t regret it.
1. Michael B. Jordan — Jace Stratton (Gears of War 3)
Sure, Jace Stratton may not have the biggest role in the Gears of War series but the memorable performance brought to you by the voice talents of Michael B. Jordan meant that you could recall who he was which is definitely something, especially considering the massive plot. But, one thing that is even more shocking than his ability to stand out is just how similar Jordan and Stratton look. With their oval faces which still manage to possess a strong jawline and sensitive eyes to his nose that has a slight bump near the top; the details that the illustrators were able to capture are breathtaking. When all you have to do is slab on a different hairstyle you know that he was made to play the role and there’s nothing that you could possible do or say about it. Even the chemistry between the cast was amazing. Given, Jordan may not have nearly as much muscle mass as his animated counterpart but, then again, look at how different their lives are and then try to argue that point. Chances are you’re not going to win.