We've all gazed at the television screen and wondered what it’d be like if our favorite cartoon characters were real. Perhaps it was because we wanted to have them be real-life friends, or because we wondered what they’d look like if they actually had to obey the laws of physics. Whatever the reason may be, it’s pretty common to wish that we could see what our longtime favorite 2D stars would look like if they had an extra dimension there.
Unsurprisingly, artists have wondered what their fave toons would look like as well. So, some very talented art superstars have decided to find out the old fashioned way – by painting them themselves. Check out these awesomely realistic pictures of famous cartoon characters. Would we still want to watch them if they actually looked the way they do in these pictures?
15 Eevee From Pokemon
RJ Palmer, also known as Arvalis on DeviantArt, made major waves when he began to draw a series of hyper-realistic Pokemon. Most of the Pokemon he drew were quiet terrifying, or just downright gross to look at. However, cute little Eevee still looked reasonably adorable...as did Eevee’s many different evolution paths.
According to his DeviantArt site, this absolutely stunning painting was done as a commission for a fan of Pokemon. Adding to the awesomeness is the fact that he has a lot of flavor text for each realistic Pokemon painting he does. The realistic Pokemon series became such a popular online phenomenon that Arvalis ended up releasing two separate books filled with his artwork just to keep his fans happy. From what we’ve seen, the books are in pretty high demand.
14 Buzz Lightyear From Toy Story
There are certain artists who really make you question everything you know about something – and artist DanLuVisiArt is one of those people. The DeviantArt user took to drawing a hyper-realistic Buzz Lightyear as part of a series of dark-yet-realistic renditions of favorite cartoon characters. His take on Buzz Lightyear makes the astronaut toy look incredibly hot for an action figure. Like, really hot. (Is it weird to be attracted to toys if they look that sexy? Can someone tell us what the deal is with that?)
Sexy looks aside, the artist’s flavor text captures Buzz Lightyear in a new, tragic light as a victim of being caught in a new universe, stuck in a toy body. Heartbreaking? Yes. But we’d be lying if we said Buzz didn’t look super attractive while being in such a predicament!
13 Naruto And Sasuke From Naruto
User Curi222 decided to show off his wickedly awesome Photoshop skills on his DeviantArt portfolio, and cited this as “one of [his] best works.” In this portrait, Curi222 drew the two infamous ninjas with boyish, anime-like features. It’s almost like seeing what a real-life chibi would look like. It’s still a bit cartoony, but not toony enough to actually make it seem too unrealistic.
We’re pretty impressed with this picture , and we’re not even going to front about it! Curi222 really captured Naruto’s mischief-filled smile, but still makes him look somewhat terrifying. (Because, let’s face it, he still is a ninja and ninjas are kinda scary.) And Sasuke? He still has that really serious, dark demeanor that seems to make him an ace with the fan
12 The Simpsons
The Simpsons are an iconic American pop culture family for a number of reasons, and they’re unmistakeable for a number of reasons. Still, with their neon-yellow skin, spiky hair, and giant eyes, America’s favorite family isn’t exactly the easiest to convert into a more realistic appearance. DeviantArt user Pixeloo stepped up to the “untooning” challenge that the Simpsons posed...and the end result will probably make you beg for them to stay in the two dimensional world.
Terrifyingly creepy as it is, this is what it’d look like if the Simpsons kept their physical appearances and added an extra dimension to their world. Thankfully, there have been other artists who have used ways of “untooning” the Simpsons – and that includes a live action Simpsons intro that was produced by a marketing firm.
11 The Futurama Cast
Moving on with the list is Matt Groening’s other top cartoon cast – the crew from Futurama! DeviantArt user made this crew look a whole lot more human, and really amped up the sci-fi aspect of the portrait. Unlike the more comedic, campy science fiction vibe that the actual show possessed, Soldierboy1991’s hyper-realistic crew definitely give off a darker, edgier vibe that makes them feel more like action heroes than humorous cartoon characters.
Phillip J. Fry definitely kept his New York attitude while being frozen in this universe, but the professor seems a lot more like a wizard than a delivery service owner in a lab coat. Bender still looks like he’d be the best friend to bring to a bachelor party, and it’s still possible to see why Leela thinks Nibbler’s a cute pet. But...hey, wait a minute! What happened to Amy? Was she not tough enough to survive in this universe?!
10 Finn The Human From Adventure Time
Finn the Human may be the last of his kind in this universe, but thankfully, there are enough humans around for artists to get a good idea of what he probably would look like. Even so, the animation style of Adventure Time leaves a lot to the imagination. Heck, Finn doesn’t even have a nose in the cartoon series!
Maverick sculptor and artist Zak Paz Schiller tried his hand at creating a very realistic computer draw-up of Finn, and it turned out great. What’s really cool about this work is that he actually shows a lot of the steps that he took to make Finn look so realistic on his website. According to the site, he even had to take care to add texture to the eyes and hood in order to avoid that “uncanny valley” appearance that plagues so much digital art. Cool, huh?
9 Regular Show
DeviantArt user MyNameIsMad had gone the extra mile to get as realistic as possible...by actually drawing the cartoon’s cast as realistic versions of the species that they’re supposed to be. So, Rigby lost his anthropomorphism and became a full-fledged raccoon. Mordecai, who is usually depicted as taller than his best buddy, is now a petite blue jay. That must make running a park pretty difficult, thankfully, their boss, Benson, no longer can yell at them and threaten to fire them. After all, he’s now an inanimate object.
Shortly after releasing this alternative art, MyNameIsMad has since stopped using her DeviantArt account. She has since migrated most of her work to Twitter and Tumblr, and has gotten hosting elsewhere. Even so, you can still check out her older work on the site. It’s pretty neat!
If you grew up in the 90’s, then you loved Rugrats. Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil and Angelica just made being a baby sound like the coolest thing ever. But, as fun as their adventures were on the TV, if you actually think about what the reality of it was, it’s a lot less interesting. Isaiah Stephens, an online artist who’s already gained notoriety for his super-realistic fan art of Disney characters, really brought it to light when he decided to paint a hyper-realistic version of the original five babies.
Even though it’d probably be a bit dull to babysit them, we can’t help but think they look absolutely adorable. Look at Tommy’s adorable smile. How can you hate that smile?! You can’t. And Chuckie’s curly red hair? Oh, dude, we can totally see why strangers used to make such a big deal about his hair.
7 Dexter’s Lab
Another clear sign that you remember the '90s is if you still remember the thick, quasi-Russian accent that a certain red-headed boy genius had while telling his ballerina sister to get out of his laboratory. Yep, we’re talking about Dexter from Dexter’s Lab. This much-loved cartoon character has a surprisingly small amount of fan art devoted to him, especially when it comes to hyper-realistic paintings. We just had to include at least one Dexter reference here, because he is a classic.
DeviantArt user Caleb-Brown’s take on the boy genius definitely fit the bill. This computer-done painting seems to have it all, doesn’t it? Dexter in his lab coat, Computer in the background, and DeeDee, sitting and chilling as she watches her brother work. We would love to see a rendition of Mandark by this guy, too!
6 Powerpuff Girls
Sugar...spice...and everything nice! These are the ingredients needed to make the perfect little girl.
But, hey, what about the perfect adult woman? Hyper-realistic portrait artist SourAcid wanted to know how the Chemical X-borne superheroine triplets would look once they hit their twenties. The end result is a perfect mix of tough, awesome, and edgy. We’re not too sure that Professor Utonium would approve of their outfits, their tattoos, or their new smoking habit, though. And...hey, wait....is Mojo Jojo the photographer for this?
Girls, what’s going on!? I’m pretty sure that they could give the Mayor a heart attack with that level of rebellion. Seriously though, this is some incredible pinup work, and SourAcid brought out a new way of looking at a classic childhood trio. Bravo!
5 Sailor Mercury From Sailor Moon
Back before anime was really popular in the US, most people only knew one or two major cartoon series titles that came from Japan. For girls, the biggest “Japanimation” series out there was, for a very long time, Sailor Moon. As one of the most famous anime series of all times, Sailor Moon’s visage is still fairly common in pop culture today – despite having first aired in the 90’s.
Internet artist and DeviantArt user Jared MacPhearson used his superb art skills to draw movie posters featuring each of the Sailor Scouts in their own movies. His art is really impressive, and the movie posters look so professional that they probably could fool random strangers as the real deal. Sadly, the posters MacPhearson made aren’t promoting a real movie. But, hey, one can dream, right?
4 Brock Sampson From Venture Bros
The Venture Compound wouldn’t be the same without SPHINX member and OSI agent, Brock Sampson. As one of the more popular characters in the show, Dr. Venture’s old bodyguard has seen his fair share of drama and combat as the series rolled by. Sampson’s known for four main things – kicking butt, getting as many women as he darned well pleases, smoking cigarettes, and loving 70’s rock music like Led Zepplin. (His love of 70s’ culture can also be seen in the car he drives and the mullet he sports.)
DeviantArtist DaveRapoza had decided to pay a little homage to Race Bannon’s younger protégé through his artwork, and titled this piece “What, You Don’t Like Zepp?” Rapoza’s artwork doesn’t only stop at Venture Bros, though. He also did a pretty killer series featuring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that’s worth a looksee.
3 The Crystal Gems From Steven Universe
Steven Universe has become one of Cartoon Network’s most popular shows, and for good reason. The storylines are incredible, the characters have such real personalities that you’d basically expect to be able to call them up to chat, and the artwork is incredible. The team of gem-powered space aliens that have vowed to protect the Earth from Homeworld are known as the Crystal Gems. Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl are the main three left...and they look absolutely spectacular here.
DeviantArt user Ridd-Li drew these three hyper-realistic portraits of the Crystal Gems with just a twist of Final Fantasy influence thrown into the mix. You gotta love Pearl’s knightly vibe, Garnet’s hip hop superhero look, and the way that Amethyst literally is gobbling up pizza while kicking butt. Fans of the show also might like Ridd-Li’s awesome rendition of Rose Quartz, also viewable on the account.
2 Daffy Duck From Looney Tunes
It just didn’t feel right to do an entire series on hyper-realistic paintings of favorite cartoon characters without somehow getting some Looney Tunes action into the mix. After all, they are one of the oldest groups of cartoons out there, and everyone has watched at least one episode of them. Daffy Duck is one of the oldest of the cartoon series, and he’s also one of the most hilarious. But, if you really think about it, it’d be pretty darned unnerving to see Daffy in real life.
Don’t believe it?
Digital artist SP-Hera had decided to show the world what a realistic Daffy Duck would look like on her DeviantArt account. There’s just something a little bit weird about seeing a realistic looking duck with human hands, you know? And if that isn’t unsettling, take a look at what he’s drinking. Daffy might look a bit like an alcoholic duck.
1 Ren And Stimpy
When Ren and Stimpy first came out onto Nickelodeon, it already was known as a pretty gross show. In fact, many parents actively objected to letting younger kids watch it because so many scenes were just plain wrong or weird. That being said, these guys were my favorite cartoon growing up and kinda shaped me into the warped person I am today. So, I had to add them on here.
Gross as they were on TV, the artist who chose to do a more real life version of them decided that it wasn’t gross enough. Artist Andrew Freeman, who is part of Immortal Masks, sculpted each mask to give it that grimy, gross feeling that the classic show’s closeup scenes did. Even so, this may be a bit too gross...even for me.