In the latest reinterpretation of Disney characters with a social agenda, Redditor GrumpyPunkCat created “Disney Unhappily Ever After,” with the promise to crush your childhood dreams and stomp on your happy memories. The series juxtaposes your favorite Disney character’s with the ills of modern society, and they’re a big bummer for kids like me who grew up on Disney movies and have made peace with their many shortcomings.
This series finds Alice in a darkened alley, buying her special potions, Pocahontas working in a casino, Dumbo in a abusive circus, Ariel the victim of an oil spill, Mulan with a face mask against pollution, Aurora the victim of an assault, Tiana experience segregation, and Esmerelda homeless. It’s fairly depressing all at once, and I’d imagine it’s meant to pierce those rose-tinted glasses Disney movies use to view the world.
I don’t know about these–it’s not a big secret that the Disney machine is a screwed up fun house mirror of societies ills filled with racism, class issues, and until recently, the pervasive trope of a damsel in distress being saved by a prince, but these pictures make me thing of the dude at the party who begins every sentence with “actually.” It’s not that these points should be swept under the rug–Disney is so big and entrenched in our culture that it’s necessary that Disney is criticized. But this series just seems hamfisted, or perhaps we’ve just seen too many Disney reinterpretations for it to pack a punch. We’ve hit the critical point of Disney reinterpretation over-saturation, and it’s time to pick a different way to skewer society.