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Kasami-Sensei

10 Downright Dangerous Disney Princesses

Kasami-Sensei
Kasami-Sensei

Disney Princesses have come a long way since the passivity of Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora. They are gradually becoming more assertive and self-directed, chasing a man (Ariel), reading books (Belle), saving their country (Mulan), mediating international relations (Pocahontas), building a business (Tiana), and even not marrying a man they just met (Anna). But contemporary non-Disney artists are taking them way beyond those things. In these mashups, Disney Princesses can be badasses.

1. Kill Team Princesses

These women are no damsels in distress! Artist Johnni Kok made some Disney Princesses into dangerous characters called Kill Team Princesses. These aren't drawn to be children's role models; this is fantasy art! See all six princesses in the series, (Ariel, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Belle, and Rapunzel) and check out Kok’s other women warriors at his DeviantART gallery.

2. World of Warcraft

Spanish artist Libertad Delgado Rodríguez (DeviantART member LiberLibelula) put the princesses into the game World of Warcraft in the series Disney Meets Warcraft. Shown here is Mulan as an Orc wearing the armor of Pandaria. Also see Snow White as a Dwarf from Forjaz, Esmerelda as a Blood Elf, the Draenei Cinderella, and more.

3. Gargoyles

Artist Brianna Cherry Garcia mixed two Disney franchises to create Disney Princesses as gargoyles, specifically the gargoyles from the ‘90s Disney cartoon Gargoyles

4. Marvel Heroes

Garcia more recently melded two sisters with two brothers: Marvel’s Thor and Loki and Frozen’s Elsa and Anna, titled Thunder and Frost. Like she says, “It just made sense.” Of course it does, but the rest of us didn’t think of it, and certainly can’t draw them as well. Check out her Hawkeye Merida, too!

5. Avengers

Christopher Stoll (DeviantART member ThinkingMakesItSo) did an entire series of Disney Princesses playing the roles of The Avengers. Pocahontas was the obvious choice for Captain America. You’ll get a laugh out of Snow White as The Hulk, and a surprise to see what Disney character plays the token female Avenger, Black Widow.

6. Warriors

DeviantART member Sadyna created a series of illustrations called Warrior Princesses in which they become armed and highly skilled in the various methods of warfare. They still retain a feminine air, which only masks how dangerous they can be! Shown is Fantasy Guardian, Aurora of Sleeping Beauty fame in full armor, ready to lead the way into war. Others hail from various fantasy worlds, such as Cinderella as an android and Snow White as an archer.

7. Fitness Workouts

Activate Apparel offers a series of t-shirts showing Disney Princesses running, exercising and lifting weights. We saw Mulan in military training, and you know Ariel swims every day, but it’s a little jarring to see Cinderella and Bella working out!

8. Gender Swapped

If we are going to toughen up Disney Princesses, why not go all the way and illustrate them as men? That’s exactly what artist Sakimi Chan did! They aren’t all princesses -there are just as many Disney villains in the series. Shown here is Cruella De Vil as a guy, which even inspired a cosplayer. See ten such characters here and more at Chan’s Tumblr blog (warning:auto play music) and DeviantART gallery.

9. Zombie Fighters

DeviantART member Kasami-Sensei reimagines Disney Princesses (as well as other Disney characters, and those of Pixar and Dreamworks, too) as characters in the world of the TV show The Walking Dead. The series is called The Walking Disney. Snow White, Aurora, and Cinderella were apparently cheerleaders before the zombie apocalypse, but they’ve become experienced defenders.

Merida looks a little worse for wear, but that’s to be expected. At least she’s upgraded her medieval bow and arrow to a modern compound bow!

10. Game of Thrones

There are enough characters in the TV series Game of Thrones to accommodate all the Disney Princesses and other female Disney characters without having to gender swap any of them. Sam Tsui (DeviantART member DjeDjehuti) cast them all remarkably well in The Wonderful World of Westeros. You can see individual portraits of each in the gallery. Giving Mulan’s dragon Mushu to Elsa as Daenerys Targaryen is perfect.

For more Disney Princess mashups, see 20 Artistic Takes on Disney Princesses.

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Art
5 Things You Might Not Know About Ansel Adams

You probably know Ansel Adams—who was born on February 20, 1902—as the man who helped promote the National Park Service through his magnificent photographs. But there was a lot more to the shutterbug than his iconic, black-and-white vistas. Here are five lesser-known facts about the celebrated photographer.

1. AN EARTHQUAKE LED TO HIS DISTINCTIVE NOSE.

Adams was a four-year-old tot when the 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck his hometown. Although the boy managed to escape injury during the quake itself, an aftershock threw him face-first into a garden wall, breaking his nose. According to a 1979 interview with TIME, Adams said that doctors told his parents that it would be best to fix the nose when the boy matured. He joked, "But of course I never did mature, so I still have the nose." The nose became Adams' most striking physical feature. His buddy Cedric Wright liked to refer to Adams' honker as his "earthquake nose.

2. HE ALMOST BECAME A PIANIST.

Adams was an energetic, inattentive student, and that trait coupled with a possible case of dyslexia earned him the heave-ho from private schools. It was clear, however, that he was a sharp boy—when motivated.

When Adams was just 12 years old, he taught himself to play the piano and read music, and he quickly showed a great aptitude for it. For nearly a dozen years, Adams focused intensely on his piano training. He was still playful—he would end performances by jumping up and sitting on his piano—but he took his musical education seriously. Adams ultimately devoted over a decade to his study, but he eventually came to the realization that his hands simply weren't big enough for him to become a professional concert pianist. He decided to leave the keys for the camera after meeting photographer Paul Strand, much to his family's dismay.

3. HE HELPED CREATE A NATIONAL PARK.

If you've ever enjoyed Kings Canyon National Park in California, tip your cap to Adams. In the 1930s Adams took a series of photographs that eventually became the book Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail. When Adams sent a copy to Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, the cabinet member showed it to Franklin Roosevelt. The photographs so delighted FDR that he wouldn't give the book back to Ickes. Adams sent Ickes a replacement copy, and FDR kept his with him in the White House.

After a few years, Ickes, Adams, and the Sierra Club successfully convinced Roosevelt to make Kings Canyon a national park in 1940. Roosevelt's designation specifically provided that the park be left totally undeveloped and roadless, so the only way FDR himself would ever experience it was through Adams' lenses.

4. HE WELCOMED COMMERCIAL ASSIGNMENTS.

While many of his contemporary fine art photographers shunned commercial assignments as crass or materialistic, Adams went out of his way to find paying gigs. If a company needed a camera for hire, Adams would generally show up, and as a result, he had some unlikely clients. According to The Ansel Adams Gallery, he snapped shots for everyone from IBM to AT&T to women's colleges to a dried fruit company. All of this commercial print work dismayed Adams's mentor Alfred Stieglitz and even worried Adams when he couldn't find time to work on his own projects. It did, however, keep the lights on.

5. HE AND GEORGIA O'KEEFFE WERE FRIENDS.

Adams and legendary painter O'Keeffe were pals and occasional traveling buddies who found common ground despite their very different artistic approaches. They met through their mutual friend/mentor Stieglitz—who eventually became O'Keeffe's husband—and became friends who traveled throughout the Southwest together during the 1930s. O'Keeffe would paint while Adams took photographs.

These journeys together led to some of the artists' best-known work, like Adams' portrait of O'Keeffe and a wrangler named Orville Cox, and while both artists revered nature and the American Southwest, Adams considered O'Keeffe the master when it came to capturing the area. 

“The Southwest is O’Keeffe’s land,” he wrote. “No one else has extracted from it such a style and color, or has revealed the essential forms so beautifully as she has in her paintings.”

The two remained close throughout their lives. Adams would visit O'Keeffe's ranch, and the two wrote to each other until Adams' death in 1984.

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Dan Bell
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Design
A Cartographer Is Mapping All of the UK’s National Parks, J.R.R. Tolkien-Style
Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park
Dan Bell

Cartographer Dan Bell makes national parks into fantasy lands. Bell, who lives near Lake District National Park in England, is currently on a mission to draw every national park in the UK in the style of the maps in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Kottke.org reports.

The project began in September 2017, when Bell posted his own hand-drawn version of a Middle Earth map online. He received such a positive response that he decided to apply the fantasy style to real world locations. He has completed 11 out of the UK’s 15 parks so far. Once he finishes, he hopes to tackle the U.S. National Park system, too. (He already has Yellowstone National Park down.)

Bell has done various other maps in the same style, including ones for London and Game of Thrones’s Westeros, and he commissions, in case you have your own special locale that could use the Tolkien treatment. Check out a few of his park maps below.

A close-up of a map for Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park in central England
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Cairngorms National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Cairngorms National Park in Scotland
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Lake District National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Lake District National Park in England
Dan Bell

You can buy prints of the maps here.

[h/t Kottke.org]

All images by Dan Bell

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