Deep Dives Level Up Newsletters Saved Articles Challenges

13 cartoon characters reimagined as creepy humans, with the help of 3D art

What does Dora, SpongeBob, Winnie the Pooh, Homer and Marge Simpson have in common? They’re all adorable little cartoon characters who have shaped our collective childhoods into the progressive adults we are today. The cartoons that the younger generations binge-watch in 2022 could never hit the legendary milestones achieved by the shows of our time—which some of us still stream to wholesomely relive our nostalgic past. But 3D artist Miguel Vasquez is here to change that, once and for all.

Vasquez, who is an expert at making hyper-realistic versions of our favourite cartoon characters, is backed with one single mission in his professional life: “to disturb people” with his “unsettling” creations. The art he births is hence nightmare fuel that you just can’t unsee.

I bet you’ve only known the yellow, three-fingered Minions who chatter rather unintelligibly in their blue overalls. But have you ever imagined the banana-loving iconic jellybeans as living and breathing humans existing among us? Well, if you’re having a hard time fostering that mental image, Vasquez has got you covered. Buckle up, fellow cartoon lovers, you’re in for one of the most terrifying rides down memory lane—one that even 50 drops of your lavender essential oil won’t help erase from your consciousness.

1. Patrick Star from ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’

Let’s start things off with our favourite coral pink starfish from SpongeBob SquarePants. Voiced by Bill Fagerbakke, Patrick Star is SpongeBob and Squidward’s naive neighbour who literally lives under a rock in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom, Pacific Ocean. On the show, Patrick is a Krusty Krab part-timer and an occasional Chum Bucket worker. Here, however, he looks like an eerie mix of Jackass alumni Steve-O and Homer Simpson.

“This is the ideal male body,” Vasquez captioned his Instagram post. “You may not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like.” I can already feel my sleep paralysis demons plotting their next move.

2. Woody Pride from the ‘Toy Story’ franchise

Ah, if it isn’t the vintage pull-string cowboy rag doll from the Toy Story franchise! If you remember Sheriff Woody, chances are that you won’t forget him anytime soon now. In Vasquez’s version, the Disney-Pixar protagonist is depicted as a three-foot-necked human who would likely go around telling people he meets that “you’ve got a friend in me.”

This Woody would put a snake in Andy’s boots without a second thought before sending him off to college and bidding him a “so long, partner!” It also makes one wonder if the peculiar-looking actor Steve Buscemi was the 3D artist’s inspiration for the creepy art in question.

3. Winnie the Pooh from ‘Winnie the Pooh’ franchise

If you believe Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is the upcoming slasher film guaranteed to ruin your childhood, you’ve clearly never set your eyes on the anthropomorphic teddy bear’s presidential campaign photoshoot. Sporting a crop top that only rivals Lola Bunny, Vasquez reincarnates Winnie as a rather textured person with human ears. Forest animal-feasting Winnie could never.

4. Piglet from ‘Winnie the Pooh’ franchise

Oh d-d-dear, little “Will” William the Pinky Piglet here is what nightmares are made of. With saggy skin, beady eyes and an eerie smile, gone are the days Piglet was the acorn-obsessed rosy best friend of Winnie the Pooh. Today, the anthropomorphic character sports the Regina George-inspired ‘boob-holed’ striped jumpsuit and belongs on Reddit’s r/Eyebleach.

5. Ed from ‘Ed, Edd n Eddy’

Ed, Edd n Eddy is probably one of the top Cartoon Network shows that have made a mark on its now-majorly-millennial audiences. The misadventures of the three pre-adolescent boys known as ‘The Eds’ triggered roaring laughter among many as the trio swindled their peers for cash to buy themselves a handful of their favourite treat: jawbreakers.

The characters almost never leave their neighbourhood and adults are never seen in the Canadian-American animated series. That being said, this is what Ed—the group’s “portable working machine” and muscle—would look like in real life. Well, at least he has a decent hairline here.

6. Edd from ‘Ed, Edd n Eddy’

You know we can’t just leave Ed hanging without mentioning his loyal boys. It’s time to meet “Double D” Edd, the neat freak and brains of the group who is usually the mastermind behind their petty scams. But wait, Pete Davidson… is that you?

7. Eddy from ‘Ed, Edd n Eddy’

Now onto the trio’s self-appointed and, let’s say, ambitious leader. Eddy is a professional con artist with a strong determination to make it in the world, no matter how many times his ideas fail. Now, all thanks to Vasquez, Eddy’s pearly whites will never fail to haunt us in our dreams.

Fun fact: Ed, Edd n Eddy is the longest-running original Cartoon Network series to date—with a record time of ten years, ten months and four days. Legendary all the way!

Oh, and by the way, the 3D artist has also blursed us with a full-body render of the trio. Babies and theybies of the 90s, meet the Eds:

8. Stuart the Minion from the ‘Despicable Me’ franchise

Do you hear that? They’re the internal screams of someone who never thought a one-eyed short Minion with combed hair could be the protagonist of an R-rated horror film. Props to Vasquez for the terrifying details on the banana though!

9. Phineas Flynn from ‘Phineas and Ferb’

Centred around two stepbrothers, Phineas Flynn and Ferb Fletcher, their sister, Candace, and their pet platypus-turned-undercover agent, Perry, Phineas and Ferb is the American animated sitcom that dominated summer vacations worldwide. Depicted as an incurable optimist, we’ve all wondered what Phineas would look like in real life with his triangular face and sketchy haircut.

Well, if there’s someone who can put your nostalgic thoughts to rest forever, it’s Vasquez:

10. Ferb Fletcher from ‘Phineas and Ferb’

Okay, this may just be the artist’s least cursed creation to date—and that’s saying something.

11. Homer Simpson from ‘The Simpsons’

33 years since its conception, every character from the American sitcom The Simpsons has been etched into our collective memories. And, like any other iconic series, the animated cast can be narrowed down to a few visual traits. For donut-loving Homer Jay Simpson, these characteristics include his receding hairline, flappy snout and aversion to exercise.

Vasquez’s version of Homer does a skillful job in bringing the famous Springfield citizen to life—in turn making him seem like a human who you could actually meet in real life. One can imagine this Homer saying “D’oh!” after minor mishaps and spending the night hungover at Moe’s after major inconveniences. That being said, I’m not looking forward to meeting this Homer in real life anytime soon.

12. Lisa Simpson from ‘The Simpsons’

Alexa, how can I delete my childhood?

I take back what I said about Homer. Here’s the entire Simpsons family for reference:

13. ‘Little Miss’ book series by Roger Hargreaves

Little miss sleep paralysis demon. That’s it. That’s the description.

18 cartoon characters reimagined as creepy humans, with the help of 3D art

Remember the simpler times when we used to binge-watch Cartoon Network on a school night? “I wish SpongeBob was real!” most of us would holler at the playground, while day-dreaming about visiting the cartoon character in his cute little pineapple house under the sea. Several years later, your childhood visions may have motivated you to check out artworks that reimagine Disney princesses as modern women or even hotdogs—all in the guise of nostalgia.

Well, buckle up fellow cartoon lovers, it’s time to kiss your nostalgic desires—along with your peaceful sleep schedules—goodbye forever. Enter Miguel Vasquez, a 3D artist obsessed with making hyper-realistic versions of our favourite cartoon characters. The catch? The entire purpose of his art is “to disturb people.” Here are 18 of Vasquez’s most popular creations—guaranteed to make you pat the artist on the back and say “mission accomplished.”

1. Sid the Sloth from ‘Ice Age’

I bet you’ve only known the wholesome yet goofy Sid who flails his arms around and manages to screw up every mission the Ice Age crew embarks on. But have you ever wondered what the iconic sloth would look like as an actual human being living among us? Hint: think someone with saggy skin, oddly-defined pectoral muscles, crusty eyes bulging out of their sockets and snotty nose dripping onto a set of misaligned and mouldy teeth. Vasquez did Sid dirty. Period. But we’re all here for it.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

2. SpongeBob from ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’

I’m pretty sure this is not what our 7-year-old selves had in mind while wishing upon a shooting star to meet SpongeBob in real life. Yet here we are, presented with an unsettling 3D illustration of the popular sea sponge—who looks eerily similar to Donald Trump. Scratch that, maybe Howie Mendel in his cosplaying era back in his school years?

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

3. Scooby from ‘Scooby-Doo’

Okay, this may just be Vasquez’s least cursed creation to date—and that’s saying something. Based on the character and protagonist of the animated television franchise under the same name, Scooby-Doo looks like the Scooby snack Shaggy would often feed him. Apart from his low-key resemblance to Steve Harvey, that is. “When you’re doing the dishes and touch soggy food,” Vasquez went on to caption the 3D artwork. Meme culture, here’s your new “What the dog doin’.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

4. Bugs Bunny from ‘Looney Tunes’

Iconically munching on a carrot with gloved hands, Looney Tunes’ favourite anthropomorphic grey hare looks like he gulps psychedelic mushrooms for breakfast. Eh, what’s up, doc?

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

5. Mr. Krabs from ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’

“Ahoy Spongebob! I’m suffering from nicotine withdrawal, gimme a pod me boi,” rightly sums up this artwork of Mr. Krabs from SpongeBob SquarePants. “It’s all about shock value,” Vasquez said in an interview with The i. “I put a lot of work into the details. A character’s bloodshot eyes can make them that much creepier, or menacing look.” Well, mission accomplished, mister Vasquez.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

6. Charlie Brown and Snoopy from ‘Peanuts’

Sleep paralysis demons, where you at? Based on the famous characters from the long-running comic strip—written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz—Charlie Brown and Snoopy look baked in their hyper-realistic version like Bugs Bunny. The best part? The more you look at Charlie, the more he looks like Michael Cera. Potential cast if The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show ever makes a live action of the iconic duo, I guess?

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

7. Patrick Star from ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’

Of course, Patrick is on the list. If you’ve been wondering what the pink sea star would look like as a Chuck E. Cheese employee, this is it. With ice cream dropped splat on his forehead (bonus points if you scroll to see it dripping into his mouth), single-toothed Patrick believes mayonnaise is an instrument and you cannot, in fact, “stop the unstoppable.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

8. Spongebob and Patrick Star

Brb, Googling how to delete my childhood.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

9. Dora from ‘Dora the Explorer’

Remember how we used to tirelessly yell “behind you, Dora!” whenever the characters from Dora the Explorer asked for directions or urged us to spot something on our TV screens? I don’t know about you guys but watching the animated series now gives me anxiety. How many times do I have to repeat myself? Or worse yet, in the age where we pull down our masks to hear better, am I actually annoying the local supermarket worker by asking them where the chips are—multiple times? Well, this time, Dora ain’t playing around. And Swiper, you better stop swiping.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

10. Squidward from ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’

In the interview with The i, Vasquez admitted how he was initially an art school student at Chaffey College but got really frustrated with the curriculum. “I felt like I could learn more at home but didn’t know what to do at first,” he said. “I suppose you could say I dropped out, but it doesn’t feel like the right word. I wanted to leave to dedicate more time to my art, and felt like I was learning more at home.”

After leaving college, he started spending time sketching out the characters he had been previously drafting absent-mindedly. “I had started drawing these characters at school when I got bored, because it seemed like no-one had quite got the dimensions for what these cartoons would look like in real life,” the artist said. “I wanted to show how strangely disproportionate and creepy they would actually look.” Well, all Squidward needs in this artwork is a shower cap and bubbles.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

11. Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith from ‘Rick and Morty’

Who knew Michael J. Fox and Willem Dafoe could make such a good intergalactic duo? Armed with a bottle, portal and laser guns, Vasquez captures Rick and Morty in their true elements in this article. Perfectly disturbing, just like the animated sitcom in question.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

12. Finn and Jake from ‘Adventure Time’

You’ll never binge Adventure Time the same way again. With missing teeth and a balaclava, here’s what Finn the Human would look like in his yearbook photo. His death grip on Jake the Dog (with well-defined pecs, yet again) is worth noting here.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

13. Plankton from ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’

This is what Plankton from SpongeBob SquarePants would look like if he was one of the odd monsters Will Smith fights in Men in Black. Pecs? Check. Bloodshot eyes? Nailed them. The secret formula for Krabby Patties? Got it. At the end of the day, however, I’d be absolutely terrified to meet mildly-ripped Plankton out on the streets.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

14. Squidward… but make him a GigaChad thirst trap

In an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, Squidward is rushed to the hospital when SpongeBob accidentally slams the door on him. He undergoes surgery to have his face fixed but things don’t go as planned. Instead of looking like his old self again, the surgery makes him—drum roll—incredibly handsome! Enter ‘Handsome Squidward’, whose dazzling beauty makes everyone in Bikini Bottom fall head over heels for the hunk. With five different versions of Handsome Squidward, Vasquez has got everyone thirsting in the comment section. I never thought I’d say this in my life, but have you ever seen a sea cucumber packing a sea cucumber before?

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

In case you’re looking for a video of Handsome Squidward checking you out, Vasquez has got you covered. PS: I can’t wait for the anthropomorphic fanfiction of the character on Wattpad now.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

15. Homer and Marge from ‘The Simpsons’

At the time Vasquez gave the interview for The i, he was yet to create female characters. “I have a really good idea for Marge Simpson in the pipeline,” he told the outlet. Well, who’d have thought how The Simpsons character would turn out? Now the question is, when will Vasquez add Lisa and Bart to this unsettling family portrait? Also, I can’t help but see Bruce Willis the more I look at Homer. What do you think?

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

16. Nintendo’s Kirby

For Vasquez, his inspiration to create creepy characters was triggered after his artwork of Nintendo’s Luigi went viral on Instagram. “I realised that these characters were getting a lot of attention,” he said. “I started focusing a week at a time on perfecting them. They do look like something that lives and roams in this world.” I never thought Kirby could haunt my dreams with single nail bed for hands and legs.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

17. Toad from ‘Super Mario’

Ever wondered what old video game characters would look like if they were recreated with realistic graphics? Let’s just agree that if we played Super Mario with this Toad, our childhood memories would’ve been nightmare-filled rather than nostalgic. As for Vasquez, this is exactly what he aims for with his artwork. “I love seeing the reactions,” he shared. True, even if you love or loathe them, you’d definitely share these images with a friend at the end of the day. “It’s just bringing to life what the original creators gave to the cartoon characters,” he added. Wonder what Princess Peach thinks about this Toad though…

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)

18. Patrick Star… again

Just going to leave this blursed image here.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miguel Vasquez (@marvelous_mikee)