A Wisconsin artist named “Pugletto” is taking a stand. Too long has she seen iconic Disney animals reimagined as white individuals, regardless of where the film is set, or where the source material comes from.
"I was actually scrolling through Deviantart one day and just got really frustrated about the amount of Simbas with white skin and flowing red hair.”
Disney’s already received a lot of flack for its lack of diversity in representation (which is funny, since Disney does a whole lot better in that regard than mainstream media). It doesn’t help if audiences are just assuming that their animal characters are Caucasian, too.
"The way I see it, is The Lion King is a story that takes place in Africa... [so] I reimagined the characters as humans the way they would look if they were from Africa."
Not only does Pugletto demonstrate a tremendous amount of sensitivity in her work, she also captures the nuances of the original character. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill, wishful fan art. This is true to the original characters, the original visions.
And it’s not just Simba’s racial heritage that gets highlighted. Pugletto reimagines the inter-class romance between Lady and the Tramp as an mid-century interracial love story.
The Duchess and Thomas O’Malley of The Aristocrats get a similar treatment, with Pugletto still remaining faithful to O’Malley’s ginger hair.
And the list goes on, from Jenna and Balto
To Baloo and Bagheera:
From Timon and Pumbaa
To the hyenas that we love to hate: The Lion King's Banzai, Shenzi, and Ed .
Here's the whole Lion King gang:
Not enough of an art fix? Check out Pugletto's tumblr.