Sunday, September 07, 2014

The Disney Treatment

An NPR segment introduced me to a really cool art project.  Rejected Princesses puts a Disney spin on real-life women who were heroines or villains.  Jason Porath was a Disney animator.  One day, he and his buddies were sitting around, talking about how Disney would portray women that were too brave, capable, deadly, or otherwise too awesome for the typical princess role.  Disney, of course, isn't doing any stories on women who were Russian tank commanders, leaders of ancient fighting forces, or British spies.  So now Jason is doing it.


This attractive young lady, Tomyris, for example, was a widow in what is now Kazakhstan.  When the leader of the world's largest empire tried to marry her to expand his empire, she spurned his advances.  When he tried to take over by invading, she mustered up an army, kicked his ass, cut off his head, and publicly defiled it so badly that her name was a household word for centuries.  Not exactly Disney's idea of a pretty young thing who needs a prince to take care of her.

These images are well-researched.  Tomyris' outfit is authentic, as is the helmet of the defeated, decapitated, and defiled emperor, and so is the landscape.  Jason really knows how to tell a story with his images, something that I can really appreciate but cannot do nearly as well as he does.

Jason posts a new story every week.  I'm still digging through all the cool ones that he's already done.  Go take a look and check it often!

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