Namely, Japanese moviegoers are saying Vanellope looks like AKB48 member Ami Maeda. Yes, their eye color is different, but their eyebrows, hair and facial expressions seem similar, no?
Maeda herself sees the resemblance. "Even today, while walking outside, I was told I looked like Vanellope," she said on Japanese TV. "I said, 'Oh, thanks!'"
According to Walt Disney Japan, there's certainly a possibility that Maeda was an influence.
While Sarah Silverman voiced the English version, Walt Disney Animation Studios seems to have looked to Japanese fashion and anime for Vanellope's character design. What's more, AKB48 contributed to the soundtrack, performing the song "Sugar Rush". So maybe!
Compare for yourself!
ディズニー・ジャパンも認めた。アニメ映画『シュガー・ラッシュ』の興行成績にAKB48前田亜美が貢献 [Girls Channel]