12 Live-Action Adaptations That Improved the Design of Their Original Animated Characters
When the live-action of a story we all like is announced, the first question that comes to mind is who will be the actor who will play this or that character and how they will look with their clothes and hairstyle. However, there are times when producers twist the story with a new look, changing the protagonist’s appearance and giving the movie or series a fresh and modern style.
1. Aquaman / Jason Momoa
Do you think Jason really looks like Aquaman? Not really... But, if you look at the adaptations of Superman with Henry Cavill and Batman with Ben Affleck, we can see that the production company that made the movies had always been very respectful of the fidelity of the animated characters.
But with Aquaman, they clearly took their creative licenses and did not respect either the look or the costume. But with this, the actor gave a new and modern personality to a character entirely forgotten in the DC universe, and both audiences and critics ended up loving him.
2. Nick Fury / Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson played Nick Fury so well in Captain Marvel that, by the end of the movie, people will indeed have begun to wonder if he might not be the mastermind secretly running S. H. I. E. L. D., and not just an actor. Regardless of his appearance, the actor easily clicked with the comic book character, finding more depth and history in him than just an aggressive side.
3. Green Lantern / Ryan Reynolds
As much as Ryan Reynolds may disown this movie, he can’t escape his past, and this big box office flop will follow him forever. Still, the character is beloved by superhero comic book fans. Before the movie became popular, the superhero was already a significant character in the Justice League series. And his appearance was different from the actor who played him years later.
4. The Fairy with Turquoise Hair / Cynthia Erivo
The Fairy with Turquoise Hair does not have a big role in Pinocchio, but she is one of the essential characters in its animated version in 1940. When producers thought of turning the classic into a live-action, there must have been many options for the role of this beautiful fairy. And no doubt, the directors saw that Cynthia Erivo could use her stunning voice to show this character’s sweet and maternal side.
5. Zuko / Dev Patel
6. Tinker Bell / Julia Roberts
The only thing Julia Roberts and the 1953 animated character had in common were their pointy ears, since not even the clothes were similar. But the live-action version was directed by Steven Spielberg and was not produced by Disney, so they took many liberties when adapting the story. For example, the actors were no longer children but adults who interrupted their daily life duties to return to Neverland for a new battle against Captain Hook.
7. Motoko Kusa / Scarlett Johansson
In the case of Ghost in the Shell’s live-action adaptation, the problem was not that the protagonist did not look like the animated character, but that the choice of Scarlett Johansson left the audience surprised. Since the original story was being adapted from a Japanese anime, audiences expected Motoko Kusanagi to be played by an Asian woman.
However, most fans were happy to see Scarlett playing the character in Japan. Since it was a Hollywood version, they did not expect them to choose someone from another continent. And despite the controversial casting, the film received several accolades for its makeup and special effects.
8. Doctor Eggman / Jim Carrey
Does Jim Carrey look anything like Doctor Eggman? No, not at all. Was he perfect for the role? Without a doubt! The actor returned to the big screen to play the villain of the beloved 90s game and made the audience fall for the story’s bad guy instead of merely rejecting him. We all loved him and couldn’t help but laugh with him in each of his improvised scenes.
However, in the second part of the story, production decided to be more faithful to Doctor Eggman’s cartoon, making Jim Carrey shave his hair and wear a funny mustache.
9. Heimdall / Idris Elba
The actor’s skin may not be similar to that of the comics in which the character appears, but Idris Elba’s performance has nothing to envy the animated version, as his appearance on screen alone commanded respect.
10. Elfs / Ismael Cruz Córdova
Indeed, the elf personified by Ismael Cruz Córdova does not look much like the one described in the original novel, its animation, or later adaptations. However, playing this magical race was a dream come true for the actor. That’s because when he was a child when he wanted to play an elf with his friends, they told him he couldn’t since he didn’t look like them because of his Latin origin.
“When I heard about the character on the show, I felt it was a mission,” added the actor, explaining that he wanted today’s children, whatever their culture, to be able to identify with the fantasy beings they admire so much.
11. Pearl Slaghoople / Elizabeth Taylor
The great Elizabeth Taylor played the role of Fred Flintstone’s mother-in-law in the film The Flintstones. By this time, the actress had not acted in six years. The studio agreed to donate money from the film’s premiere to the Taylor AIDS Foundation. The film was the last of her career as a cult actress. And while she doesn’t look much like the uptight, cozy version of the character, can anyone say she’s not gorgeous?
12. Fairy Godmother / Helena Bonham Carter
Helen doesn’t look anything like the fairy godmother of the classic animated version of the story. But the actress herself thinks she has a lot in common with this character. In an interview, she said: “Unfortunately I can’t transform things, like pumpkins into vehicles. But the scattiness and the absent-mindedness definitely.”