Disney movies all end with a happily ever after. The princess finds her Prince Charming, evil is vanquished, and they get to ride off triumphantly into the sunset. But what happens after that? A costume designer and photographer have teamed up to show what our favourite Disney princesses would look like once they’ve grown up to be the queens they should be, and the results are stunning, thought-provoking, and more than a little emotional.
“I was hoping to show them that these princesses are not just meant to dress up prettily, but they each have a responsibility,” costume designer Nephi Garcia told Buzzfeed. “A sense of realism, you know. I want to show the world that they are independent and mature. That they’ve had a fulfilled life.”
In contrast to the youthful exuberance of their younger selves, the grown-up queens are magnificent, refined and regal. You can see it in their posture, their eyes, and even their outfits. And if that wasn’t emotional enough, all the younger and older characters are played by actual mother (or mother-in-law, in Snow White’s case) and daughter pairs.
“We aimed to touch more on the sentimental aspect of the characters and tied it in with such an important part of everyone’s lives, the relationships we have with our mothers and others. It was more than just a concept to try out but a heartfelt message that many can personally relate to,” said photographer Tony Ross.
Take a look at the amazing photos below. (And I’m not crying, you’re crying.)
“I added a sense of whimsicality and youth in the younger characters’s dresses, and for their moms, I made sure to add maturity, leadership, and a key element that connects the younger person to the elder. Like Belle, for example, she was holding the magic mirror on the younger photo, perhaps the scene where she was looking for her father. On the older version, I wanted her to be hugging the mirror and give the look that she wishes she could see her father one more time,” Garcia explained.