Brazilian Artist Brings Childhood Toons to Life With the Magic of AI

by Maya Brown

Back in the day, we only knew the two-dimensional realm of cartoons. Disney and Nickelodeon showed us a world apart from reality, and we loved it. But with the advent of AI, that's all changing. Brazilian artist Hidreley Leli Diao has harnessed the power of a new program to show us what these beloved characters would look like in human form. The process involves finding a photo with a recognizable element and then letting the software work its magic. As Hidreley himself 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 beyond, let's take a closer look at some of Hidreley's most impressive creations.

The Evil Queen — Snow White

A valuable lesson can be gleaned from the classic tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The unfortunate Snow White was singled out by a malevolent queen. Fuelled by envy, the queen schemed to poison her adversary, only to be stopped in her tracks.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Behold now, an image on Instagram by Hidreley, depicting the queen in her plotting phase, her eyes cold and piercing green, her lips twisted in a wicked smirk. She was convinced that victory was hers, but fate had other plans for her.

Marge — The Simpsons

Marge Simpson is the mother and matriarch of the Simpson family, with her career revolving around being a homemaker and raising her three children. She is easily recognizable thanks to her tall, blue hair.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

In this remarkable photo rendering, we can see that Marge's signature hair is present, as expected. But there is more. We also see a sense of intelligence behind her sparkling eyes, which her husband, Homer, knew well.

Ursula — The Little Mermaid

In The Little Mermaid, Ursula was the infamous sea witch. She had a dubious appearance as a voluptuous half-woman, half-octopus. Despite her untrustworthy demeanor, merfolk kept making bad deals with her time and time again. It's hard to imagine anyone trusting this face.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Looking into Ursula's crazy eyes in this real-life depiction, if you dare. It's clear that she's not to be trusted. Thankfully, things worked out for Ariel in the end as the prince chose her, and she was able to keep her own soul.

Betty Rubble — The Flintstones

These days, the ladies are on the lookout for their very own caveman. But it turns out that Betty Rubble was living that dream on The Flintstones. As the beloved wife of Barney Rubble and the proud mother of Bamm-Bamm, Betty enjoyed prehistoric paradise.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Nowadays, life is just more complicated. But thanks to the magic of technology, we can see what Betty might look like if she were among us. Her stylish short brown bob and blue headband are perfectly accessorized with that sweet smile we all love.

Daphne — Scooby-Doo

Scooby-Doo and the gang were always on the hunt for adventure. Daphne Blake was a key member of the ghost squad. Despite her rich-girl background, she loved living life on the edge, often venturing into rough parts of town to get her adrenaline fix.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Here’s what she might look like in real life. Her signature green scarf and flowing red locks are perfectly recreated, and her purple dress and headband are just as we remember them. Zoinks, we’ve got a stunner!

He-Man — Masters of the Universe

He-Man started as a beloved children's cartoon on Masters of the Universe in 1981, but over the past few decades, he's grown into a favorite among adults as well. With his incredible powers, He-Man was always ready to take on his arch-nemesis, Skeletor.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Let’s admire what He-Man might look like in real life. With his strange blonde bob and fierce gaze, he's definitely an intimidating sight to behold. Only a fool would challenge this muscular hero. Silly old Skeletor doesn't stand a chance!

Meg — Family Guy

Meg Griffin is the older sister of Stewie and Chris on Family Guy. She often struggles to get attention from her parents. But now, it's time for her to shine! Thanks to A.I., we can see what she might look like in real life.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

With a bit of baby fat left in her cheeks, Meg looks every bit the angsty teenager. She has those wireframe glasses and pink hat, just like in the cartoon. Her annoyed expression is a perfect fit for the character we know and love.

Fat Tony — The Simpsons

When it comes to realistic portraits, A.I. never disappoints. This time, the subject is Fat Tony from The Simpsons. Two-dimensional Tony gets a human makeover. The infamous mobster is looking less yellow but still as intimidating as ever.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

His stern expression and rough features are a testament to a life of crime. You can almost see the wisps of smoke and hear the sound of gunfire in the background. It's a good thing he's not pointing that finger at us!

Snow White — Disney’s Snow White

Snow White was known for her beauty: The Magic Mirror famously described her as having "lips red as the rose, hair black as ebony, skin white as snow." Of course, this made the jealous evil queen want to get rid of her.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

This rendering of the first Disney princess shows her with big, brown eyes and red lips as described in the poem. However, her skin isn't as pale as expected. Despite the minor deviation, this version does provide a new perspective on the character.

Maleficent — Sleeping Beauty

Maleficent, the notorious antagonist in Sleeping Beauty, is portrayed as a wicked fairy who embodies pure evil. Her mere presence in the kingdom causes innocent individuals to experience misfortune. Princess Aurora was tricked into pricking her finger and falling into a deep slumber.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Maleficent's plan was sinister, but her plot was ultimately foiled when the princess was awakened by true love's kiss. Looking into artificial intelligence-generated images of her menacing eyes, it's difficult to conjure up any sympathy for Maleficent.

Tarzan — Disney’s Tarzan

The post features an image generated by artificial intelligence of Tarzan. Remember him? He was raised by apes in the jungle after his parents died but grew up to become a handsome man. His tragic backstory made him a beloved Disney hero.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

This AI-generated 3D model shows his chiseled jawline and defined muscles. Those are sure to make many swoon. And those blue eyes? They definitely convey his intensity and strength. No wonder Jane fell for him. We’re feeling the urge, too!

Nakoma — Pocahontas

Pocahontas was the main character, but let's not forget about her best friend. Nakoma was also a member of their tribe. Since childhood, these two had many adventures in the forest, and despite being opposites in some ways, they made a daring duo.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Thanks to artificial intelligence, we can now see Nakoma as a young Native with a narrow nose and exotic eyes. Her haircut has also been generated with impressive accuracy, with her bangs being a key part of her signature look. We love her style!

Fred Flintstone — The Flintstones

The star of The Flintstones was none other than Fred here. He had a tendency to be impulsive and loud-mouthed, but he was still beloved. Not only was he the husband of Wilma, but he was also the best friend of Barney. Yabba-dabba-doo!

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Here, Fred appears stout and pudgy with cropped brown hair styled in a side part. His friendly smile is a bit silly, but it's reminiscent of the character we all know and love. It's amazing how technology has advanced since the B.C. era!

Maggie — The Simpsons

Maggie Simpson, the youngest child of Marge and Homer, has always been a heart-melter. Since we don't know much about her personality, it's always been her adorable appearance that captured our hearts. This AI depiction of her as an adorable blonde baby is endearing.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

In the series, everyone is yellow, which wouldn't be the case in real life unless a baby had jaundice. However, the AI has taken that into account and created a version of Maggie that's more realistic. It was the right call!

Peter — Family Guy

In the TV show Family Guy, Peter is depicted as a middle-aged, cartoon character who is overweight, has a double chin, and a dopey smile. However, have you ever wondered how he would appear in real life?

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Thanks to an image posted on Instagram by Hidreley, we can see that Peter looks like a blob in real life, just as we might expect. Seeing him in this way is unsettling. It's worrying to see the amount of fat around his neck!

Clark Kent — Superman

Our attention is immediately captured by the sight of this man, with his piercing blue eyes and strong jawline. We can't help but feel entranced by his gaze. It's not a bird or a plane, but a 3D Superman created using artificial intelligence.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Superman was one of the few surviving children of Krypton, sent to Earth as a last hope for his dying planet. He went on to become a reporter and founding member of The Justice League, all while honoring his Kryptonian heritage.

Phoebus — The Hunchback of Notre Dame

In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Captain Phoebus was tasked with rounding up gypsies. However, after falling for the beautiful Esmerelda, he decides to disobey his orders and actively fights against the plan. Plenty in his position made other choices at the time.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

In this version by Hidreley, we see Captain Phoebus portrayed with his blonde hair and beard, showcasing his true charm. While it's easy to animate this trait, not all human men can effectively project it. Once again, artificial intelligence has impressed us!

Barney Rubble — The Flintstones

Barney Rubble is the cheerful and laid-back caveman from The Flintstones, known for his loyalty to Fred and caring nature towards his wife, Betty. He's an all-around good guy with a big heart, even adopting his son, Bamm-Bamm. It's hard not to love Barney!

source: Instagram / Hidreley

In an image posted on Instagram by Hidreley, we can see that Betty was indeed a lucky lady. Barney's lovable smile and thick blonde hair are enough to make anyone melt. It's a shame he lived thousands of years ago!

Wonder Woman — DC Comics

Wonder Woman is a founding member of The Justice League and has slain numerous bad guys. She is a female hero to comic book fans. Decades ago, she was portrayed on screen by Linda Carter, while more recently, Gal Gadot starred in a remake.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Here, we see an AI-generated depiction of how Wonder Woman's mix of being Princess Diana, daughter of Zeus, and Queen of the Amazons might look in real life. Her incredible pedigree as a demi-goddess and Amazonian royalty shines through in this AI-generated image.

Chief Powhatan — Pocahontas

Chief Powhatan was the father of Pocahontas and was known for his noble and calm demeanor. He stayed cool even during trying times when anger broke out between his tribe and the settlers. Here, we can see an AI-generated depiction of the middle-aged chief.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

The image shows a muscular man with a black mohawk, tanned skin, and brown eyes all the features you would expect of a Native American chief. The AI algorithm has really captured his essence with all the colors of the wind.

Hercules — Disney’s Hercules

Ah, ancient Greece — a land of myth and legend. And speaking of legends, let's talk about Hercules. Young, handsome, and son of two of the gods, you'd think his life would be all sunshine and rainbows. But the evil Hades abducted him!

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Now, when it comes to the modern depiction of Hercules, let's just say he's quite the stud. Picture this: golden locks, blue-green eyes, and a gaze that could make even the toughest mortal weak in the knees. And that red headband? Classic.

Ash Ketchum — Pokémon

Ash Ketchum is a fictional character within the Pokémon franchise, portrayed as a young boy with the primary goal of catching all the creatures in the show. While he managed to capture most of them, some were more difficult to find.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Here, he is introducing himself: "Hello, I'm Ash from the town of Pallet. My ultimate ambition is to become the world's best Pokémon master! No opponent can defeat me. I will capture and conquer all of you!"

Mr. Burns — The Simpsons

Ah, Mr. Burns. The lovable villain we all loved to hate on The Simpsons. With his heart of stone, insatiable greed, and ownership of the local nuclear plant, he truly embodied evil incarnate.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

And now, thanks to the wonders of artificial intelligence, we can see what he might look like in the flesh. With his trademark overbite, wrinkled skin, and sinister expression, this rendition of Mr. Burns is uncanny to say the least.

Lois — Family Guy

Lois is known to fans as the mother on Family Guy. Her typical attire consists of comfortable blouses and wearing her hair down. With the help of artificial intelligence, we can see an image of this particular look.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

This Lois looks appropriately middle-aged, with red hair styled in a bell shape with bangs. Her expression is friendly and approachable, and we can almost hear her voice coming through the screen. Again, it's impressive how advanced artificial intelligence has become!

Vegeta — Dragon Ball Z

Vegeta, a character in Dragon Ball Z, is often portrayed as a dark and brooding figure. Despite his princely background as the son of King Vegeta, he is not a nobleman. He is prideful, full of rage, and a ruthless killer. What a combo!

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Here, Vegeta looks incredibly intimidating. But why is he so angry? In one instance, 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 a devoted assistant named Waylon Smithers, who is inexplicably in love with his elderly boss. He has a shy smile and wears wire glasses, If you look into his eyes, you can see the sadness of unrequited feelings. 

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Smithers once 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."

Jessie — Toy Story

Jessie is a beloved character in Toy Story. She is a cowgirl doll with a spunky personality and the unique ability to yodel. Physically, she is slender with green eyes and red hair that she wears in braided ponytails throughout the movie.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

In the image generated by artificial intelligence, Jessie's style is accurately portrayed. She is wearing a yellow blouse with a white collar and a wide-brimmed red hat, just as she is often depicted in the film. We can almost hear her yodel-ay-hee-hoo!

Aurora — Sleeping Beauty

Aurora, the princess in Sleeping Beauty, drew the attention of Maleficent, the villainous character, due to her striking beauty. Fueled by jealousy, Maleficent cast a spell on her, causing her to fall into a deep sleep.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Thanks to artificial intelligence, we can now appreciate Aurora's beauty in 3D. Her stunning white smile, sparkling eyes, and flowing blond hair are breathtaking, and it's easy to see why Maleficent felt envious. Still, what a villain!

Wilma — The Flintstones

Wilma, the wife of Fred Flintstone, is a striking figure in her prehistoric community with her red hair and fair skin. Her incredible sense of style sets her apart. She is often seen wearing pearls with her white loincloth and never forgets her lipstick.

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Now, we can observe a three-dimensional portrayal of Wilma from the original 2D cartoon. Some may comment that her bangs have excessive volume, but this is simply a reflection of the vintage era that Wilma belongs to, thousands of years before our present time.

Alfred E. Neuman — MAD Magazine

You're likely familiar with this familiar face, but do you remember who he is? This is Alfred E. Neuman, the beloved mascot of MAD Magazine. Chances are, your parents also know him well, as he made his debut way back in 1956!

source: Instagram / Hidreley

Despite being over sixty years old, this lifelike rendition of Alfred generated by artificial intelligence makes him look no older than thirteen. The computer has captured his signature features perfectly, including his freckles, red hair, and even a missing tooth. What a mad lad!