come alive

[come alive] or [come to life] {v.} 1. {informal} To become alert or attentive; wake up and look alive; become active.

When Mr. Simmons mentioned money, the boys came alive.

Bob pushed the starter button, and the engine came alive with a roar.

2. To look real; take on a bright, natural look.

Under skillful lighting, the scene came alive.

The President came alive in the picture as the artist worked.