The Fascinating Real-Life Inspirations Behind Disney Villains

June 25, 2014


The Disney brand is known for its attention to detail. Since the company was founded in 1923, the Mouse House has taken great care when it comes to the finer points, including those of its animated characters, changing the way fantasy films are viewed and created. Technology has evolved, but Disney still aims to base its animated figures on real people, complete with personality quirks and naturalistic mannerisms. In the past, Disney animators often studied these real-life models acting out scenes from films for inspiration. With Disney’s Maleficent in theaters this weekend, starring Angelina Jolie as the eponymous, horned villainess, we decided to explore the fascinating real-life inspirations behind other Disney villains. These are the famous men and women who shaped some of Disney’s most iconic characters.

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