Disney movies are darker than their reputation for family wholesomeness might have you believe. If you show your child a Disney movie, odds are you will have to explain to your child that you can and will die—like Bambi’s mom or Simba’s dad or Elsa and Anna’s parents—but you’re not going to, hopefully. Forcing parents to explain their own mortality to children is a twisted enough concept that Tim Burton could probably get behind it.
He’s taken on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland in the past decade, so clearly Burton has no qualms putting his stamp on beloved children’s stories. While he managed to sprinkle some of his patented dark dementia into the proceedings on both occasions, along with a wacky-haired Johnny Depp, he mostly honored the originators’ vision. A new series of images explores what might happen if he took on the entire Disney catalogue, and gave it the full Burton.
Illustrated mashup master Andrew Tarusov is back with a worthy follow-up to his Disney-princesses-as pin-up girls project and his depiction of cartoon characters as senior citizens. In his new series, classic Disney film posters like 101 Dalmations and Pinocchio take on the impossibly round-eyed, shadow world aesthetic of Tim Burton—especially his animation style. In this world, the cliff’s edge where Simba is blessed in The Lion King now has the coiling shape of the cliff in the Nightmare Before Christmas poster.
Considering that Burton’s early original creations like Frankenweenie and Edward Scissorhands have the feel of bizarro-world Disney movies already, it’s a rather fitting tribute the director himself might approve of. Hopefully, he won’t approve of it so much, though, that he’ll be inspired to cast Johnny Depp as the genie in a live-action Aladdin.