CULTURE & ARTS
07/12/2017 03:45 pm ET

Artist Gives Classic Disney Characters A Modern And Honest Twist

Poor Jasmine.

If classic Disney characters lived in modern times would life still be happily ever after?

Tom Ward, a U.K.-based illustrator, explores what Disney characters’ lives would be like if they lived in 2017. And for some characters, like Gaston and LeFou from “Beauty and the Beast,” modern life seems a little bit freer.  

But for others, like Jasmine from “Aladdin,” uh, well, not so much.

“I wanted to bring to life the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way,” Ward told HuffPost. “Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes.”

Ward, who admits to being a big enough fan of the beloved animated films that he has a “Disney playlist on Spotify,” uses iconic characters to communicate issues he feels strongly about, such as cruelty to animals and pollution.

“The images are colorful, but some have a darker message while others are more lighthearted,” he said. “So I hope people enjoy the mix.”

Ward says he comes up with concepts for each illustration in the series by asking himself simple questions about each character.

“I asked myself questions like, ‘What would Robin Hood be doing in today’s world?’ or ‘What if Prince Charming didn’t feel like dancing?’” he told HuffPost. “My answers helped me work up ideas for each character. 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.”

Cell phone usage is a topic of great interest for Ward.

“I think my favorites are the simplicity of the mobile phone-related images like Pinocchio, Cinderella and Arthur from ‘The Sword in the Stone,’” he said. “And the message that we are slightly obsessed with our phones.”

No, we’re not. Now excuse us while we check to see if Prince Charming has a profile on Tinder.

See a few more of Ward’s pieces below, or keep up with Ward and his work on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

HuffPost

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