Even though Disney characters are strong personalities with their own values, most of them are a little... vanilla on the outside. Considering their audience, of course, there's nothing wrong with it. But what if Belle, Tarzan, and all the other beloved peeps were to star in something edgier?
Artist Lexis Vanhecke has been recreating Disney characters, and after going through her makeovers, they look like grown-up teenagers. But in a totally good way. Proving their rebellious years weren't just a phase, Vanhecke's characters grew up holding onto their wild, nonconformist souls, captivating millions of people online. Sharing her work on TikTok, the artist has already accumulated over 16M likes and 1.2M followers.
Lexis is a 23-year-old Ohio woman who recently graduated with a BFA in fine art and painting. She told BuzzFeed that she is actually an oil painter and she's just experimenting with digital art. "I downloaded the application Procreate and started making portraits on there before coming up with the idea to insert a picture and draw on top of it."
One of the reasons why Lexis makes these transformations so seamless and believable could be the fact that she's really familiar with the characters. "I've always loved Disney, so I decided to give that a try," she said. "Other creators also had the idea to give a makeover to Disney characters, so I wanted to put my own personal spin on it. Although the other accounts I've seen have definitely given stylish makeovers, I've never seen anyone put an edgy spin on the characters, so I decided that would be my thing."
"When it comes to whether or not I consider my characters 'sexy,' well, it depends. I remake the characters in a way that I, personally, find fun and stylish. I do have a lot of children following me, so I don't want them to get too risqué. But, it depends on how you look at it! A lot of my adult viewers do find the beards, piercings, and tattoos sexy! However, my drawings aren't so sexy that they would be considered inappropriate."
Lexis thinks her videos are doing so great because she is merging both fashion and art, and that interests many. "When I begin a video, I don't have an end goal in mind. I think up the makeover as I go. So, in a way, it's a surprise for me to see the end result as well, which is super fun!" she said. "People can see their beloved characters as they would look in a different time or place, and I think the curiosity of seeing more characters is what keeps them coming back and following my account."