Brazilian Artist Brings Classic Cartoons to Life With A.I. MagicBy Alex D
As kiddos, we explored the world in 2D through cartoons. Some of us chose Disney and others preferred Nickelodeon characters. But either way, animation was a separate and distinct world. That’s all changing, thanks to the magic of artificial intelligence. Brazilian artist Hidreley Leli Diao uses a new program to show us characters in human form. How does he do that? The first step is locating a photo with a familiar element. Then, the software takes over. He explains: “I look for images in banks and overlay the image starting with the eyes. The hardest part is finding an image that matches the character I’m working on.” From DC comics to Family Guy and everything in between, let’s examine Hidreley’s most impressive creations.
Betty Rubble — The Flintstones
A lot of women are looking for a caveman, these days. But Betty Rubble lived that dream. She was the wife of Barney Rubble. Together, they adopted Bamm-Bamm and lived in prehistoric bliss. This lucky lady also lived next door to BFF Wilma Flintstone. Could it get any better?
Odds are, no way. Life is too complicated, these days. Here is Betty as she might appear among us. Her short brown bob is cropped stylishly and he has accessorized with a blue headband. Her smile is as sweet as ever, too.
Mr. Burns — The Simpsons
We all loved to hate Mr. Burns on The Simpsons. He was old and greedy with a heart made of stone. He owned the local nuclear plant and polluted the lake. Springfield probably never knew the radioactive truth. But we did!
The man had few redeeming qualities, and we hope we never meet him in the flesh. In real life, Mr. Burns would probably look a little something like this. He’s old, wrinkly, and totally sinister. Artificial intelligence has even included his trademark overbite. It’s uncanny, unfortunately!
The Evil Queen — Snow White
In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, we learned a life lesson. Young Snow White was targeted by an evil queen who wanted to be the fairest of them all. She hatched a jealous plan to poison her competition. Luckily, she didn’t succeed.
Here, we see what the queen might look like plotting in front of the mirror. Her cold green eyes communicate evil and her mouth is slightly upturned in a smirk. She must think she’s about to win. But she’s not!
Daphne — Scooby-Doo
Scooby-Doo and the gang always chased danger. Daphne Blake was a core team member on this ghost squad. She was supposed to be a rich girl, but she liked to live on the edge. Often, she cruised around the rougher parts of town.
Here, we have the artificial intelligence version of Daphne. Her style is straight out of 1969: She is wearing her signature green scarf and her red locks are wavy. Her headband and dress are purple, just like we remember. Zoinks, she’s a looker!
He-Man — Masters of the Universe
He-Man began as a kid’s cartoon on Masters of the Universe in 1981. But in the past few decades, he’s become an adult favorite. He-Man here used his powers to fight Skeletor. This villain’s evil forces constantly threatened the realm. He never relented!
The fleshy version of the hero has arrived, thanks to technology. He-Man looks pretty intimidating. He’s got that strange blonde bob. He still has bangs. But the look in his eyes is fierce. We wouldn’t mess with him. Skeletor is a fool!
Meg — Family Guy
On Family Guy, Meg Griffin is the older sister of Stewie and Chris. Often, she has trouble getting attention from her parents. Teens often do! It’s time we give her the spotlight she deserves. What would she look like, alive?
A.I. has the answer, right here. 15-year-old Meg has baby fat left in her cheeks. She is wearing wireframes and a pink hat, just like in the cartoon. Her expression is a bit annoyed. That fits with the character, too.
Fat Tony — The Simpsons
Fat Tony is a member of the Springfield Mafia — otherwise known as the Legitimate Businessman’s Social Club. If there’s a criminal enterprise, he is likely involved. From illegal gambling to bootlegging, he knows how to get the job done.
The humanized version of Tony is significantly less yellow. His expression is unfriendly, as you might expect from a mobster. His face is weathered, like a man who has lived a rough life. A.I. knows what it’s doing. That looks about right!
Snow White — Disney’s Snow White
Snow White was one of the original Disney princesses. The Magic Mirror described Snow White as follows: “Lips red as the rose. Hair black as ebony. Skin white as snow.” Naturally, the evil queen was envious. How could she not be?
This version of the cartoon shows a girl with big, brown eyes. Her lips are red, just like the poem. Overall, this rendering does give us a new sense of the character. Her skin, however, isn’t super pale. A.I. slipped up!
Tarzan — Disney’s Tarzan
When his parents died, Tarzan was raised by apes in the jungle. He turned into a total dreamboat as a man. Could that happen in real life? In the world of Disney, anything is possible. Here is how A.I. projected his good looks in 3D.
When Jane met Tarzan, he couldn’t communicate with his words. But she said his eyes were intense and focused, like none she’d ever seen. Here, we have to agree. His piercing baby blues are staring straight through us. We are not complaining!
Nakoma — Pocahontas
Sure, Pocahontas was the star of the movie. But what about her BFF? Nakoma here was also a member of the tribe. Since childhood, these two had adventures in the forest. In a way, they were opposites, but that made them a daring duo.
Here, we see the young native in person. Artificial intelligence has given Nakoma a narrow nose and exotic eyes. Her haircut was generated with impressive accuracy. Those bangs were a key part of her look. They were her signature, in fact.
Fred Flintstone — The Flintstones
Fred was the star of The Flintstones. As a character, he was a bit impulsive and loud-mouthed. But we loved him anyway! We weren’t alone: This caveman was the husband of Wilma and the best bud of Barney. Yabba dabba doo!
This real-life Fred looks stout and pudgy. His brown hair is cropped with a side part. He has a silly smile, but it’s friendly. Sounds like the character we know and love. Technology has certainly improved since the B.C. era!
Ursula — The Little Mermaid
Ursula was the sea witch in The Little Mermaid. She was a voluptuous half-woman, half-octopus. Nothing about her seemed legit. But merfolk kept striking bad deals with her, time and time again. Be honest: Is this a face you would trust?
We think not. And why should you? Just look into these crazy eyes. We’re happy it worked out for Ariel. The prince chose her by the end of the movie and she got to keep her own soul. But in our opinion, she got lucky!
Maggie — The Simpsons
Little Maggie Simpson was the youngest child of Marge and Homer. At just one years old, we don’t know much about her personality. We just know she melted our hearts. Here, A.I. brings her to life as an adorable blonde baby.
In the series, everyone is yellow. Unless a baby has jaundice, that shouldn’t be true in real life. A.I. took that into account when it made this version of Maggie. We say it was the right call. What a smart machine!
Peter — Family Guy
On Family Guy, Peter is a middle-aged man. Drawn as a cartoon, he is rotund and double-chinned. He usually has a dopey smile. How would he look as a real-life family guy? Artificial intelligence has the answer, right here. Is he everything you hoped?
If you were hoping for a blob, you’ve got it. Peter is exactly as you might expect, but it’s jarring to see him this way. We worry about his ability to breathe with all that neck fat. Can you say sleep apnea?
Phoebus — The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Captain Phoebus was asked to round up gypsies in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Ultimately, he decides to disobey. After he falls for the beautiful Esmerelda, he knows he can’t go along with his orders. Phoebus actively fights against the plan.
Here, we see blonde hair and beard. We also see his true charm. It’s easy to animate that trait. But not all human men can project it effectively. A.I. impresses us yet again. It captured that je-ne-sais-quois, and quite nicely, indeed.
Marge — The Simpsons
Marge Simpson is the matriarch of the Simpson clan. By day, her career is homemaker and mom of three. Marge is recognizable in an instant because of her tall, blue hair. Here, we see what she might look like as a real lady.
That signature hair is there, as you would expect. But there is also something intelligent behind her sparkling eyes. Her husband knew this well. As Homer once said: “Marge, you’re as beautiful as Princess Leia and as smart as Yoda.”
Barney Rubble — The Flintstones
Barney Rubble is the jovial and easy-going caveman on The Flintstones. He’s a loyal friend to Fred and a caring husband to Betty. Barney is just an all-around good guy with a big heart. He adopted his son, Bamm-Bamm. What’s not to love?
Betty was one lucky lady. That loveable smile and thick blonde hair just makes us melt. It’s too bad he lived thousands of years ago. Men just don’t compare, nowadays. Have guys like Barney gone extinct, or are they hiding in caves?
Wonder Woman — DC Comics
Wonder Woman killed a lot of bad guys as a founder of The Justice League. She became a female hero to comic book fans. Decades ago on screen, she was played by Linda Carter. More recently, Gal Gadot starred in a remake. How did they do?
Maybe neither of them looked the part perfectly. Her real identity was Princess Diana, the daughter of Zeus and the Queen of the Amazons. That’s an incredible pedigree. Here, A.I. shows us how that mix might look in real life.
Chief Powhatan — Pocahontas
Pocahontas had a dad, and you know him as Chief Powhatan. He was noble and calm, even during trying times. He tried to keep the peace as anger broke out between his tribe and the settlers. Here he is, according to artificial intelligence.
This middle-aged Chief Powhatan is shown as a muscular man with a black mohawk. He is tan with brown eyes, as you would expect. A.I. really painted with all the colors of the wind here. All that’s missing is a feather!
Hercules — Disney’s Hercules
In ancient Greece, Hercules was the son of Zeus and Hera. He was young, handsome, and admired among the gods. You would think his life would be charmed. But Hercules was abducted from Mount Olympus by the evil Hades. What a trickster!
This version of the character is pretty studly. He has golden locks and blue-green eyes, and he’s looking right at you. He is wearing a red headband, just like the movie. We wouldn’t mind if this fellow fell to earth, actually.
Ash Ketchum — Pokémon
Ash Ketchum is a fictional boy in the Pokémon franchise. His main mission in the show was running around to catch all the critters. Usually, he succeeded. But some specimens were more elusive than others. That was part of the fun!
Here, we see him as a real boy. We can hear him now: “I’m Ash, from the town of Pallet. I’m destined to be the world’s number one Pokémon master! I can’t be defeated by the likes of you. I’m going to capture and defeat you all!”
Maleficent — Sleeping Beauty
Maleficent is the dark fairy villain in Sleeping Beauty. Unfortunately, she is the incarnation of pure evil. Due to her presence, innocent people experience misfortune in the kingdom. Case in point: Princess Aurora is tricked into pricking her finger and falling asleep. On her sweet sixteen, no less!
It was a sinister plan. As the story goes, the princess woke up when her true love kissed her lips. Maleficent didn’t get what she wanted. But look at these evil eyes, generated by artificial intelligence. Do you have any sympathy?
Lois — Family Guy
Fans know Lois as the mom on Family Guy. She teaches piano lessons, but she spends most of her time at home with Stewie. Typically, she wears a comfortable blouse and wears her hair down. Here, artificial intelligence shows that look.
Appropriately, this Lois looks like a middle-aged redhead. Her hair is bell-shaped with bangs. She has a friendly and approachable expression. We can almost hear her voice coming through the screen, for better or for worse. A.I. is getting impressive!
Vegeta — Dragon Ball Z
Vegeta is one of the darker characters in Dragon Ball Z. His background is princely, as the son of King Vegeta. But he isn’t a noble nobleman. Not only is he prideful and full of rage, but he is also a ruthless killer.
A.I. makes him look pretty intimidating, here. Why was Vegeta so mad? Once, he explained: “Spend most of your life ruled by another, watch your race dwindle to a handful, and then tell me what has more meaning than your own strength.”
Smithers — The Simpsons
On The Simpsons, Mr. Burns has an assistant named Waylon Smithers. Inexplicably, he is in love with the old crook. Smithers shared: “I value every second we’re together: from the moment I squeeze his orange juice in the morning, till I…tuck him in at night. He’s not just my boss, he’s my best friend, too.”
We will never understand the appeal of that old ghoul. But here, we can see a more human side to SMithes himself. He has a shy smile and wire glasses. He doesn’t look happy, though, if you look into his eyes. Unrequited love can do that, sometimes.
Jessie — Toy Story
Jessie is the cowgirl doll in Toy Story. She is a spunky gal and she possesses the ability to yodel. Physically, she is slender with green eyes and red hair. Throughout the movie, she wears it in a ponytail in braids.
Artificial intelligence took Jessie’s style into account here. As you can see, she is wearing a yellow blouse with a white collar. She has a wide-brimmed red hat, too. A computer successfully made the Jessie we know and love. Yodel-ay-hee-hoo!
Aurora — Sleeping Beauty
In Sleeping Beauty, Aurora caught the attention of the villainous Maleficent. Jealous of her looks, the dark fairy placed to put her under a spell. This princess fell asleep until a prince awakened her with a kiss. She was part of the original Disney lineup. She’s still a beauty icon!
Thanks to artificial intelligence, we can now see her perfection in 3D. Her white, bright smile and sparkling eyes shine through our screens. Her flowing blond hair is gorgeous. We can understand the envy. But it was still wrong, all along.
Wilma — The Flintstones
Wilma is the red-headed wife of Fred Flintstone. She really turned heads in her prehistoric neighborhood. Slender, with fair skin, she also had incredible style. She always wore pearls with her white loincloth dress. And she never forgot her lipstick.
Here, we see the 2D cartoon as a three-dimensional woman. You may say her bangs have too much volume. It is pretty vintage. But that shouldn’t be a surprise. Wilma is a woman of another era, thousands of years before our time.
Clark Kent — Superman
Looking at this man, we are taken aback. His piercing blue eyes arrest us in our tracks. We are hypnotized, and we can’t look away from his strong jaw. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s 3D Superman, generated by artificial intelligence!
As the story goes, Superman was one of the last children of Krypton. That dying planet sent him to Earth as their last hope. Besides working as a reporter, he became a founding member of The Justice League. He honored his ancestors, without a doubt.
Alfred E. Neuman — MAD Magazine
You probably recognize this fellow. But who is he? To refresh your memory, this is Alfred E. Neuman, MAD Magazine’s mascot. The publication has simply been around forever. Odds are, your parents know him, too. He made his debut way back in 1956!
That birthday puts him well over age sixty. But he doesn’t look a day over thirteen, here. A.I. has created a life-like version of the mascot. It got his freckles and red hair right. It even gave him a missing tooth. That smile is something!