What Your Favorite Disney Characters Look Like As Real People

Artist Karen Graw apparently wanted to see what Aladdin, Maleficent, Snow White, and other Disney favorites would look like in real-life, so she gave them real faces. Maybe too real.

What Your Favorite Disney Characters Look Like As Real People

At some point, re-imaginging Disney princesses in various contexts became one of the Internet’s favorite pastimes. Occasionally, Disney itself gets in on the re-contextualization, for better or worse. Now, an artist has put some of the most famous Disney characters of all into the context of anatomical realism.


Israel-based artist Karen Graw, also known as Avalonis, recently created photorealistic images of your childhood heroes’ faces. Although there have been similar efforts to place Disney characters IRL, Graw’s images are different in that they legitimately look like an artist’s gauzy depiction of flesh-and-blood people.

(L-R) Row one: Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Mother Gothel, Tiana, Charlottle LaBouffe, Esmeralda, Frollo, Quasimodo. Row 2: Giselle, Jane, Tarzan, Cinderella, Belle, Prince Adam (The Beast), Gaston, Jafar. Row 3: Mulan, Alice, Jasmine, Aladdin, Aurora, Prince Philip, Maleficent, Cruella Deville. Row 4: Meg, Hercules, Pocahontas, Snow White, The Evil Queen, Ariel, Prince Eric, Ursula.

“I wanted to know what Disney characters would look like if I saw their ID cards,” Graw tells us. “I know it’s been done before, the realistic looking Disney characters, but for me, they didn’t go far enough. I wanted to look at the characters and think, ‘Hey, these people could exist. There’s some Disney doppelgangers running around the world.’ So I tried as much as possible to de-cartoonize them.”

The artist worked for days on the images, using full-frontal face stills from the movies, but also scouring the Internet for regular people and celebrities with the desired facial features. She used a morphing algorithm program, and Photoshop, and lots of time, paying a lot of attention to facial proportions and how the noses were structured. Although the artist doesn’t reveal exactly who her models were, you may notice similar features in the public domain. Among the revelations is that Aladdin looks vaguely like The Office’s John Krasinski.

Graw’s only regret is perhaps not going far enough into the realm of reality. “I should have added pimples, skin defects, and other things that humanize the characters,” she says.

Now if only I could stop thinking of these images as mug shots.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.