Most of us in America grew up to a parade of Disney movies.
They gave us warm fuzzies when we were young, but they also left us with some strange ideas about reality. For instance, the concept of “happily ever after.”
When we grow up, we’re forced to realize the world just simply doesn’t work like that. But, even though we rationally know this, it’s still jarring to us when we come face to face with reality.
Have a flip through this eerie catalog from imgur by Jeff Hong as he re-imagines some not-so-happily-ever-after endings for our beloved Disney characters.
As I flipped through them, I was struck by how much they got to me—why should images of cartoon characters in these situations bother me as much or more than images of real people in the very same state?
I think the root of it is that it denies me any route to escapism.
These images force us to take a new look at issues like pollution, animal testing, racism, homelessness, and urbanization using characters with whom we already feel a strong emotional connection. We imagined ourselves in the original Disney stories, we cheered for the heroes and identified with them. Now they’re in our world, now they’re the suffering people and animals we all too often ignore.
When we watch fluffy films, we know they’re not real, but we still love the fantasy. Maybe it’s time our fantasy and reality grew closer together, like in these images. Maybe then, we might actually change something, instead of running off into fairy land in our heads.
What do you think?
Author: Kathryn Muyskens
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Imgur/Jeff Hong