Art Seen

11 Pictures Show What Disney Characters Would Look Like Dealing With Modern-Day Issues

"Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes."

In the past, we've seen artists imagine what Disney characters would look like if they were older, what their Instagram profiles would look like, and even what they would look like as beloved '90s popstars. We've also loved the illustrations that depict our favorite Disney couples as parents and what they'd look like if they were doing regular human things, just like us

Designer and illustrator Tom Ward, "who loves all things pop culture," decided to reimagine these iconic characters dealing with some of the societal issues we face today. His project ALT DISNEY is a series of illustrations which aims to "transport iconic Disney characters into an alternative existence in the modern world." Many of the illustrations show a particular social issue plaguing our society today. "Themes include tech obsession, animal cruelty, green issues, sexuality, and more," Ward told A Plus. 

For example, Ariel can be found looking concerned by the polluted sea while Simba finds himself trapped as a circus lion. 


"I wanted to bring to life the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way," Ward said. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes. I always appreciate visuals that feel familiar but say something new." 

To choose the themes for each image, he asked himself a variety of questions about the Disney characters he wanted to depict. 

"Like, 'What would Baloo be doing in today's world?' or 'What if Prince Charming didn't want to dance?' My answers helped me work up ideas for each character," Ward said. "Even magic carpets need a good vacuum now and again. And Pinocchio's nose extending had to be the cultural phenomenon that is the selfie stick." 

By looking at these issues through the beloved lens of Disney characters, Ward hopes to bring some more awareness to them. 

"I thought the series could give me an opportunity to communicate some issues I feel strongly about such as cruelty to animals," he said. "The images are colorful but some have a darker message while others are more lighthearted like the mobile phone and gay pride illustrations, so I hope people enjoy the mix." 

You can check out some of the illustrations below:

1. Cinderella and Prince Charming

Courtesy of Tom Ward

2. Pinocchio and Geppetto

Courtesy of Tom Ward

3. Alice

Courtesy of Tom Ward

4. Ariel and Scuttle

Courtesy of Tom Ward

5. Baloo and Mowgli

Courtesy of Tom Ward

6. Peter Pan

Courtesy of Tom Ward

7. Dumbo

Courtesy of Tom Ward

8. Arthur

Courtesy of Tom Ward

9. LeFou and Gaston

Courtesy of Tom Ward

10. Genie, Aladdin, and Princess Jasmine

Courtesy of Tom Ward

11. Tigger, Simba, and Shere Khan

Courtesy of Tom Ward


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.