Many of us will have grown up watching some of the world’s most loved cartoon characters on our screens – from Kermit the Frog to Mickey Mouse – whilst wishing they could be our best friends in real life. But have you ever wondered what some of these fictional characters would actually look like if they were human beings?
We have, and so we collated a list of some of the world’s most searched for fictional characters and turned to AI technology to discover what these iconic characters would look like if they were human children.
Does your favourite fictional character look like you would have imagined?
Minions – 60 million global searches
Topping the list as the most popular fictional characters were the Minions from Universal’s classic film ‘Despicable Me’. These cute, small yellow characters are the star of the show in the 2010 movie and speak in Minionese – a language incomprehensible to the human ear. The stars of their own film ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ (2022), the human visualisation of them can be seen with their characteristically big eyes and big smile, all complete with their iconic outfit, a yellow top and blue dungarees.
Hello Kitty – 32.8 million global searches
Hello Kitty ranks in joint second position, with over 32 million searches for the much-loved character, who is also known by her real name, Kitty White. According to her backstory, which was created by Yuko Shimizu, Hello Kitty lives in London with her family, including twin sister Mimmy, who can be seen wearing a yellow bow that compliments Kitty’s iconic pink one. In real life, AI imagined Hello Kitty to have blonde wavy locks tinged slightly with pink, with her famous pink bow sitting on top of her head.
Mickey Mouse – 32.8 million global searches
Placing in joint second position with over 32 million searches was a depiction of what Mickey Mouse could look like as a human child. The animated character, designed almost 100 years ago in 1928, is much-loved by Disney fans worldwide. AI’s design of a real-life human Mickey imagines him as a young boy with bouncy dark hair, wearing a blue waistcoat that features those iconic gold buttons.
Scooby Doo – 21.9 million global searches
Loveable pooch Scooby Doo, known for his love of solving mysteries and munching on delectable snacks, placed in fourth position with over 21 million searches. As a human, AI chose to visualise Scooby as a smiley red-headed boy, complete with a turquoise collared shirt perfectly matching the colour of his onscreen blue and yellow collar.
Minnie Mouse – 12 million global searches
In fifth position is Minnie Mouse, whose full name is actually Minerva Mouse. With over 12 million annual searches for Mickey’s long-time sweetheart, Minnie as a human child can be seen wearing a space-bun hairstyle complete with her iconic spotted bow and matching polka-dot dress.
Olaf – 6.6 million global searches
Do you want to build a snowman? Olaf the Snowman from Disney’s 2013 masterpiece Frozen is the inspiration for our next real-life character, who can be found with snow white hair and a thick winter jacket to match. Over six million people search for Olaf the Snowman each year, known for his love of summer and warm hugs.
Simba – 6.6 million global searches
Simba from Disney’s Lion King inspired our sixth illustration, with AI visualising the human version of him as an adorable young boy in the African grassland. Simba is the protagonist of the film series and is the king of the fictional Pride Rock, eventually taking his place in the Circle of Life.
Pink Panther – 5.4 million global searches
The Pink Panther is traditionally depicted as an adult (amateur) French detective known as Inspector Jacques Clouseau – but as a child our AI design envisions him as a young boy dressed all in pink, with similarly rosy cheeks and blonde wavy hair. The Pink Panther franchise started with the 1963 film ‘The Pink Panther’, however, elements and characters inspired by the films were later adapted into books, comic books, animated series and video games.
Dory – 3.6 million global searches
Finding Nemo’s amnesiac blue tang fish Dory is the inspiration for the very cute child in ninth position. With characteristically big eyes, human Dory’s eyes are pale blue, and she has wavy brown and blue hair which looks as if it’s floating underwater. Dory was one of the starring characters in Pixar’s 2003 film, and later was the protagonist of her own film ‘Finding Dory’ in 2016.
Kermit the Frog – 2.9 million global searches
In tenth place, with almost three million global searches a year, is a young boy inspired by the star and host of The Muppets, Kermit the Frog. As a human, Kermit can be characterised by a frog-green coloured cardigan and a familiarly wide smile – we only wonder what his voice would sound like in real life.
Positions #11 – #13 of our favourite fictional characters
Ranking in positions 11 – 13 as the most searched for fictional characters are children’s book favourite Mog the Cat, The Little Mermaid’s Sebastian the Crab, and Thomas the Tank Engine. Using the iconic children’s book Mog The Cat as inspiration, the image on the left shows what feline Mog could look like in real life as a young girl; and in the middle, is a young boy inspired by the Jamaican-accented Sebastian the Crab, who features in the 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid. Finally on the far right, and fittingly stood in front of a steam engine, is a visualisation of what Thomas the Tank Engine could look like as a human boy, complete with a big grin and rosy cheeks.
If our designs have inspired you to purchase some character themed toys, clothes or gifts for your little one, check out our range from Bluey and Paw Patrol to Peter Rabbit.
We sought to visualise what famous children’s characters would look like as children in the real world, as opposed to their widely recognised cartoon forms, according to AI. Using Midjourney, the experts used prompts to reveal what these characters would look like as human children. Prompts that were used were based on the below, with a range of prompts used to ensure diversity across the characters:
“What would [character] look like as a happy human child, hyperrealistic, photorealism” To create the seed list of characters to be reimagined, a long list of popular children’s characters was analysed using Google AdWords to reveal the global average annual search totals for each character, with the most popular then being reimagined using Midjourney.