If you thought the Internet had created every funny, weird, random, emotional or downright depressing reimagining of Disney characters possible, think again. Reddit user GrumpyPunkCat has created a series of image edits called “Unhappily Ever After.” The gallery of pictures shows various Disney characters placed in brutally honest modern-day (or close to modern-day) situations designed to thoroughly depress you and make you question your entire childhood. If you haven’t had your daily reminder that the world sucks, here it is for you in vibrant technicolor.
Take, for instance, the image above, in which Ariel is caught in an oil spill. Or the one below, in which Dumbo is the victim of animal abuse in the circus:
Or this one, which features Pocahontas and her fellow Native Americans in a casino:
Or this one, with Tiana in the segregated South:
If that’s not sufficiently depressing, check out the rest of the gallery, featuring Alice as a drug addict, Esmerelda as a homeless woman, Cinderella possibly the victim of assault, and Mulan with her face covered by a surgical mask. They appear to be specifically designed to reach into your chest, grab hold of whatever semblance of innocence is left in you, rip it out and stomp on it. I know there are problems with Disney movies, both in their unrealistic and generic depictions of happily ever afters and in their approach to gender and race and other social issues.
But sometimes I just want to watch a fluffy, cheerful Disney movie I liked as a kid and pretend that things really do work out like fairy tales. Is that so much to ask, Internet? As impressively put together and affecting as these images are, do we really have to turn everything idealistic and optimistic and happy into such a downer these days? Yes, we do? Well okay then.