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Kasami-Sensei

10 Downright Dangerous Disney Princesses

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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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Ape Meets Girl
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Pop Culture
Epic Gremlins Poster Contains More Than 80 References to Classic Movies
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Ape Meets Girl

It’s easy to see why Gremlins (1984) appeals to movie nerds. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Chris Columbus, the film has horror, humor, and awesome 1980s special effects that strike a balance between campy and creepy. Perhaps it’s the movie’s status as a pop culture treasure that inspired artist Kevin Wilson to make it the center of his epic hidden-image puzzle of movie references.

According to io9, Wilson, who works under the pseudonym Ape Meets Girl, has hidden 84 nods to different movies in this Gremlins poster. The scene is taken from the movie’s opening, when Randall enters a shop in Chinatown looking for a gift for his son and leaves with a mysterious creature. Like in the film, Mr. Wing’s shop in the poster is filled with mysterious artifacts, but look closely and you’ll find some objects that look familiar. Tucked onto the bottom shelf is a Chucky doll from Child’s Play (1988); above Randall’s head is a plank of wood from the Orca ship made famous by Jaws (1975); behind Mr. Wing’s counter, which is draped with a rug from The Shining’s (1980) Overlook Hotel, is the painting of Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II (1989). The poster was released by the Hero Complex Gallery at New York Comic Con earlier this month.

“Early on, myself and HCG had talked about having a few '80s Easter Eggs, but as we started making a list it got longer and longer,” Wilson told Mental Floss. “It soon expanded from '80s to any prop or McGuffin that would fit the curio shop setting. I had to stop somewhere so I stopped at 84, the year Gremlins was released. Since then I’ve thought of dozens more I wish I’d included.”

The ambitious artwork has already sold out, but fortunately cinema buffs can take as much time as they like scouring the poster from their computers. Once you think you’ve found all the references you can possibly find, you can check out Wilson’s key below to see what you missed (and yes, he already knows No. 1 should be Clash of the Titans [1981], not Jason and the Argonauts [1963]). For more pop culture-inspired art, follow Ape Meets Girl on Facebook and Instagram.

Key for hidden image puzzle.
Ape Meets Girl

[h/t io9]

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Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
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presidents
Barack Obama Taps Kehinde Wiley to Paint His Official Presidential Portrait
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Kehinde Wiley
Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Kehinde Wiley, an American artist known for his grand portraits of African-American subjects, has painted Michael Jackson, Ice-T, and The Notorious B.I.G. in his work. Now the artist will have the honor of adding Barack Obama to that list. According to the Smithsonian, the former president has selected Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait, which will hang in the National Portrait Gallery.

Wiley’s portraits typically depict black people in powerful poses. Sometimes he models his work after classic paintings, as was the case with "Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps.” The subjects are often dressed in hip-hop-style clothing and placed against decorative backdrops.

Portrait by Kehinde Wiley
"Le Roi a la Chasse"
Kehinde Wiley, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Smithsonian also announced that Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald has been chosen by former first lady Michelle Obama to paint her portrait for the gallery. Like Wiley, Sherald uses her work to challenge stereotypes of African-Americans in art.

“The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former president and first lady,” Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a press release. “Both have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century.”

The tradition of the president and first lady posing for portraits for the National Portrait Gallery dates back to George H.W. Bush. Both Wiley’s and Sherald’s pieces will be revealed in early 2018 as permanent additions to the gallery in Washington, D.C.

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