Here’s What Your Favorite Disney Movies Would Look Like If They Were Directed by Tim Burton

Classic Disney movies are typically filled with color and charm, but what if they were remade with the nightmarish vision of someone like Tim Burton? Well, one Los Angeles-based artist’s curiosity got the better of him, and he decided to do just that. Check out these sensational gothic re-imaginings of your favorite childhood tales.

The character in this poster is clearly Snow White, the raven-haired beauty whose 1937 film helped propel Walt Disney Studios to international success. But something’s not quite right with this picture: bats, spiders and leafless trees aren’t things we normally associate with the iconic ingenue.

Likewise, there’s no mistaking this character: Pinocchio. But with his vacant, hollow eyes and dark shadows the famous puppet looks more like the villain of a horror movie rather than the hero of a family friendly classic. And look – even Jiminy Cricket’s been Burtonized!

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Disney fans shouldn’t be alarmed, however: these aren’t real posters for a new series of macabre remakes. Instead, they are the handiwork of L.A. artist Andrew Tarusov, who has used his creative talents to illustrate his deep appreciation for the work of director Tim Burton.

Burton – who coincidentally started his career working for Disney – is known for his dark yet playful approach to his characters and mise-en-scène. And Tarusov, a great admirer of the iconic director, decided to produce his own take on the Burton approach, with incredible results.

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“I love Tim Burton’s style – how it looks vintage, stylish and cute,” the artist explained to BuzzFeed. “Everything is made as a horror movie, but at the same time it’s not horror. It could be any genre.”

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Building on Burton’s trademark style, then, Tarusov incorporates several references to the auteur’s oeuvre in each artwork. For example, this Lion King graphic references the spiral motif found in the poster to 1993’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.

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Horror iconography also features prominently in Tarusov’s take on Sleeping Beauty, which references both the original 1931 Frankenstein as well as Burton’s own film Frankenweenie.

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Explaining his method, Tarusov told The Huffington Post, “I tried to combine colorful and happy Disney characters with Burton’s view. I either took some of my favorite moments from each movie, or I based my idea on the characters’ distortion.”

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Tarusov doesn’t say whether or not his series was inspired by the news that Burton is planning a remake of Disney’s Dumbo, but this poster envisages the new movie to great effect. Tarusov does, however, reveal a love of both the idiosyncratic director and the studio’s animated films. “I’m a big fan of Tim Burton’s style and Disney movies. So [when the idea] happened, I began to draw immediately.”

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This isn’t Tarusov’s first brush with Disney, however. In fact, a series from the artist last year re-imagined what the studio’s classic characters would look like in the throes of old age. This cantankerous Donald Duck, for example, is particularly spot-on: his cigarette and walker capture the grumpy character’s decrepit advance perfectly.

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Tarusov’s images demonstrate a great deal of imagination and artistic flair – the result, no doubt, of a great deal of experience and training in art and design. Because Tarusov first began drawing at the tender age of three, and he also spent a total of ten years studying painting and animation.

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Tarusov is originally from Rybinsk in Russia, but he moved overseas when his wife began studying in the United States. And although he currently works in advertising, his primary passion is his artwork, which he uploads and sells online.

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Tarusov counts Disney, old movies and rock ‘n’ roll among his influences, but his biggest inspiration actually comes from the pin-up models of the 1950s. And the artist has even managed to combine his love of pin-ups with his love of animation, leading to a popular series of sultry Disney belles.

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Featuring the likes of Snow White, Rapunzel and Beauty and the Beast’s Belle, these adult-only creations are definitely not for kids. But the risqué creations became an instant viral success online, and helped Tarusov’s work reach an even broader audience.

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“Actually, it was just a joke,” Tarusov sheepishly admitted to Project Nerd when asked about his cheeky drawings. “I realized that Disney characters are extremely popular in America and foreign Internet. So I decided to [reimagine them] in my usual way.”

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It’s not just Disney and Tim Burton that Tarusov turns his eye to either: his website is filled with alluring doodles of iconic horror characters, such as Morticia from The Addams Family.  And he’s even done a series of pin-ups based on several characters from Game of Thrones too.

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In the spirit of the pin-up tradition, Tarusov has also released his work in the form of calendars, which he funds through Kickstarter and Patreon. And he has even received offers from publishing companies who want to print and sell his pieces.

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In terms of future work, however, Tarusov is very guarded: he plans to release a new picture set soon, but has kept tight-lipped on the subject. He also wants to venture into the field of comics, and he’s working on bringing out his own art book too.

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But with his incredible skills, Tarusov could actually find himself working as a production designer on future Burton projects. Wait – hasn’t Beetlejuice 2 just been announced?

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