It must be difficult to play cartoon characters, especially when it comes to those that millions of people grew to love as children. Fortunately, there are skilled performers who were created to bring fairytales to life. We can’t thank the celebrities in this article—Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother, Emma Watson as Belle—enough for helping us relive our favorite stories.

Here at Hiptoro, we tracked down 11 performers that played some of our favorite cartoon characters in motion pictures and asked them about their memorable performances.


Emma Watson as Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

In one of her interviews, Emma discussed playing Belle as follows: “I think that I just feel really lucky. For me, Belle was my childhood heroine; [the animated original] came out 2 days after I was born. And then, in my early teens, it was about idolizing Hermione. So to be given the chance to play my 2 childhood idols is probably a very unique and rare experience for an actress.”


Angelina Jolie as Maleficent in Maleficent.

The actress admitted in one of her interviews that it took her a long time to master Maleficent’s voice, and her children assisted her in doing so. “The accent and everything about her was discovered when I was giving my kids baths. I think I tried 17 different things on them. They would say, ‘What are you doing? Mom, stop talking so weird.’ One day I just got really nutty and did [the voice] and they fell over laughing. I did it all night long and I finally found it.”


Alexander Skarsgård as Tarzan/John Clayton in The Legend of Tarzan.

The actor claimed that by taking on this job, he hoped to please his father. “That’s pretty much the only reason I wanted to do the movie — to make my father happy. That’s how I was introduced to Tarzan, kind of fell in love with the character and the jungle by watching those movies with my dad when I was a kid.”


Emma Stone as Estella/Cruella in Cruella.

Emma tried to mimic the horrible Cruella laugh in the following ways: “There was a lot of practicing in the shower because it’s actually embarrassing to practice laughing in front of people. […] The laugh is a very vulnerable thing to do in front of anybody else because if it’s wrong, you don’t want someone to go like, ‘That’s your Cruella laugh?’ It’s a process!”


Mia Wasikowska as Alice in Alice in Wonderland.

The actress said when asked if she resembled Alice: “I hope so. I don’t know. […] I feel like the things that she goes through are similar to what I’ve felt at some stage in my life and that I think a lot of people, young women, feel also.”


Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland.

When questioned about why his character occasionally uses a Scottish accent, the actor responded: “Tim Burton and I, early on, were talking about how this guy was actually made up of different people and he would be the extreme sides of these people. So, I wanted to go extremely dark and dangerous with the Scottish accent. I hope I arrived at it. I like wearing skirts too [laughs]!”


Helena Bonham Carter as Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland.

The actress admitted that it surprised her when Tim Burton proposed her play this role: “It was like a proposal of marriage. […] It was a complete surprise! I know people think it’s disingenuous when I say that, but it’s true. They won’t understand this, but each time [he has a film], I truly don’t expect Tim to ever want to work with me again.”

Lily Collins as Snow White in Mirror Mirror.

The actor admitted that she was genuinely delighted to portray the part: “Snow White was my favorite fairy tale [growing up], and when I first read about the project, I was like, ‘I have to get in on this.’ It’s such an iconic character.”


Helena Bonham Carter as Fairy Godmother in Cinderella.

The actress said when asked if she and Fairy Godmother had any traits: “Unfortunately I can’t transform things, like pumpkins into vehicles. But the scattiness and the absent-mindedness definitely. I mean she’s obviously magical and slightly not there — and a lot of the time I’m slightly not here.”


Lily James as Cinderella in Cinderella.

The blue dress the actress wore on the set made her fall in love: “I felt completely transformed. And that’s what fairytales are all about: transformation. When I put that dress on, I felt like I could be a princess.”

Naomi Scott as Jasmine in Aladdin.

When she was a little kid, the actress claimed she admired Jasmine: “I loved that character. She was my favorite Disney princess and she made me feel empowered. She spoke up, she wanted to fight for the choice to marry. But in our movie, she’s way more active.”


Which of these performers did you think did the best job of convincingly portraying a cartoon character?