You haven’t seen the characters of The Lion King this fashionable or this anthropomorphic, thanks to artist Marco Bernard.

Bernard, a freelance illustrator based in Los Angeles, told PopSugar that he came up with his Pridelands artwork project while watching ’90s Disney cartoon TaleSpin on Disney+ and Netflix anime show Beastars. He said that in Beastars, “there was a group of vicious lions, and I wondered what it would be like for Scar to be the leader of those lions,” he said.

In his Instagram descriptions of his artwork, it’s evident that self-isolation due to COVID-19 also fueled Bernard’s Lion King inspiration. In one post, he wrote, “Dear Diary, it’s been 3-lem days of Quarantine. I’ve lost my mind. This is what happens when you watch #beastars and #Talespin.” In another, he wrote, “Dear Diary, Day Umpteen of Quarantine thoughts. The internet has gone out of control. Therefore forcing me to [lose] control. I know I need to stop but y’all won’t let me. Dammit #Beastars. LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE.”

The art, featuring the characters in contemporary clothing (including Nala in Beyoncé’s Adidas x Ivy Park line and Simba in a suit Donald Glover would love), hit a chord with people on social media, becoming a viral hit. Bernard told PopSugar people have started writing fanfiction based on his art.

He called the online response “incredible,” saying, “I feel like in the world of COVID-19, people have a little something to look forward to with my drawings.”

You can see more of his artwork on his Instagram, and you can support his work on ko-fi.




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Photo: Marco Bernard/Instagram

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