If only life was like a Disney film – a world filled with big-eyed innocents whose innate goodness always triumphs in the end, and where even the evil witches have pretty good skin. Jeff Hong knows all about those kind of fantasy worlds, as he helped create them during his time as an animator for Disney on films including Mulan and The Emperor’s New Groove. But he also knows that the “pristine fairyworld” that Disney is so skilled at creating is a far cry from reality.
Unhappily Ever After is Hong’s way of adding a bit of unflinching honesty into the equation. Removing his characters from the Disneyverse – sometimes a cruel place but rarely fatal – and placing them in the much harsher environment of real life, Hong hopes to highlight social and ecological plights. So it is that with a few deft lines, Alice is no longer in Wonderland but in Junkieland, a bright young girl prematurely aged and now looking well past the first flush of youth as she stares at her medicine bottle. Belle is worried about losing her looks, Mulan struggles with the air quality in modern China, and as for poor Bambi… Hong questions whether these human failings really will go on forever, or whether man has the capacity for change; see the full collection on his Tumblr page.