Many of us have fond memories of watching Saturday morning cartoons in our jammies as kids.
Personally, I used to love shows like The Rugrats, The Wild Thornberries and Recess, and would feel thoroughly cheered up by the running jokes, cheerful theme music and – of course – the familiar characters.
This technicolor, two dimensional world of cartoons has provided generations of kids with neatly wrapped up story-lines and comfortingly wholesome themes of friendship and belonging, adventure and family.
Of course, cartoon characters rarely bare any true resemblance to reality, adding to this sense of lighthearted escapism.
People don’t really go around with eyes the size of saucers and teeth that could puncture a car tire. And if Arnold really did have a head shaped like an American football, there would probably be far greater cause for alarm.
With this is mind, most of us have perhaps never considered what Kermit the Frog would look like if he truly was a worrying large creature with bulbous eyes and a grin stretching across his entire face.
And it’s safe to say very few of us indeed will have pondered over what crafty mouse Jerry (of Tom & Jerry fame) would look like if chased into the 3D realm, his expressive sneakiness suddenly becoming insidious.
Enter Miguel Vasquez, a talented 3D artist who re-imagines what your favourite cartoon characters would look like in reality.
So far, Vasquez has turned his skills to icons such as Homer Simpson, Goofy and Mike Wazowski. His Mr Krabbs from SpongeBob SquarePants is particularly nightmarish; all tombstone teeth and claws capable of snapping your arm off.
Vasquez’s artwork has triggered feelings of disquiet amongst those of us who used to merrily chuckle into our Coco Pops at the silly antics of these characters.
With their drool specked smirks and scaly flesh given life, it’s unlikely even the most ardent fan of The Simpsons would be too pleased to see these monstrosities peeking round their bedroom door.
Commenting on a picture of a leering Patrick Starfish, one horrified person gasped:
Forget Momo, this is 100x more freaky!
Another person was left traumatised by a creepy depiction of Ed, Edd and Eddy, shuddering:
MY CHILDHOOD IS NOW SLOWLY FADING AWAY FROM ME
And this is apparently exactly the sort of weirded out reaction Vasquez wanted from his fans, who doesn’t exactly seem the type of artist who would be content with a nice, floral watercolour.
Commenting on one of his Frankenstein creations, Vasquez remarked:
When people say my 3D artwork is ugly, disgusting, and disturbing, but that was the plan along.
Speaking with UNILAD, Vasquez said:
My interest in creating creepy renditions of popular cartoon characters was simply inspired by the lack of fan art of “real life” cartoon characters on the internet. I would always search up on google images of what Spongebob or Homer Simpson would look like in real life.
Some were good, but not in the grotesque style I was expecting. Once I got a hold of 3D modeling softwares and the knowledge of using it properly, I then proceeded to give it a try at creating a cartoon character.
I somewhat failed pretty bad at creating a creepy looking Squidward bust only because my skills weren’t fully developed yet or were sub-par at the time. Two years into 3D modeling, I then decided to give it a shot with a humanoid Spongebob and Patrick sketch. I showed it to my friends and they all loved it!
Once I posted up my images of “real life” Spongebob and Patrick, the internet exploded with shock and laughter. Ever since then I’ve been creating my own unique look of what a cartoon characters would look like in our world with a creepy twist to it.
My overall favourite piece I have done has to be to Homer Simpson. I think I nailed his proportions correctly. My renditions of Spongebob and Patrick has a special place in my heart only because that was one of the first creepy sketches I’ve ever done and the exposure it got me was overwhelming.
One thing is for sure, Vasquez’s fantastical imagination will change the way you watch cartoons forever…
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.