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Disney on a Budget

While hanging out in their Wonderburo anti-squat studio after a shoot one afternoon, Food Stylist Erik Vernieuwe, Stylist Adrien Gras, Make Up Artist Sabine Peeters and Photographer Kris De Smedt looked around at all the old pieces of fabric, props and background paper floating around and decided to have some fun.  

Sabine threw on an old mermaid tail and Erik squeezed into a random muscle suit, then slapped on a Santa Claus beard on for good measure. Soon, Kris was snapping photos and and they were striking poses. While looking through the footage to find the perfect pic to post, one of them said, "this really is the little mermaid on a budget!" and thus Disney on a Budget was born.

Since that afternoon six months ago, the friends have recreated over a dozen Disney movies. Adrien joined in for the second shoot and all the ones after, bringing with him more items, more clothing and more opportunities to re-imagine everyone's favorite childhood movies. Spontaneously taking the photos after a shoot or a few drinks together, the pictures capture what the classic characters might be like if they lived in Belgium today. Some of the more liberal recreations include The Incredibles complete with a cameo by Mr. Potato Head, Peter Pan and Wendy pictured with a bitter, chain-smoking Tinkerbell and Alice at the Mad Tea Party featuring the Mad Hatter channeling his inner Flavor-Flave.  I

Love Belgium recently had the pleasure of talking with Kris from the Disney on a Budget team about his favorite photo to shoot, their creative process and what comes next.


What has been your favorite movie to recreate so far? Why?

The Incredibles. We really threw that one together in five minutes and still like that picture a lot. It took us longer to remove the black make-up than it took to get dressed up and put on some costumes. Also, the giant Mr. Potato Head as the baby. 

I love how some of the classic characters have been re-imagined. What inspired you to make Tinkerbell a smoker?

I never thought of Tinkerbell as a nice character, and since I was her in the picture I just went with the whole 'What would she look like now' vibe. An old bitter chain-smoking fairy haha! She turned out a bit too Patsy Stone. 

What is your all-time favorite Disney movie?

Alice in Wonderland

For each photo, do you try to act our a specific scene in the movie? Or do you just embrace the characters and strike a pose? 

We each still have our own character in the pictures. Adrien usually goes all out, Sabine can strike a killer pose and Erik usually looks bored or in a bad mood. The way we are. The way we are. Sometimes we look at pictures from the movie and try to recreate it but most of the time it looks really crappy and we end up choosing the picture that more or less feels right, not necessarily the one that could come straight out of the movie. 

Where can people find your photos? Are they only available to view through Facebook?

Yeah, on our Facebook pages and Instagram. Not even very organized I think. They're just there, somewhere. 

What have been some of the most memorable responses you've had to your photos?

Sabine got yelled at in the street 'you're that one from Disney on a budget!' She wrote a book and has been on television, but this is what she will be remembered for. Adrien gets the best reactions on Facebook. It's funny to see how people were really waiting for the next one to come out. 

What movie do you plan to recreate next?

Not a clue. We stopped doing them for now. We felt it was becoming too much of a thing we 'had' to do. Who knows? We might pick it up again. Never say never is our motto.


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