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Artist gives a modern twist to Disney’s most beloved characters to explain today’s world

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. “Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes,” he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life “the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way.”

In Ward’s “Alt Disney” series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

Not all the news is bad though. LeFou form “Beauty and the Beast” has finally come out of the closet and his crush, Gaston, appears to be pretty accepting of the revelation.

Although, was it really such a shock?

Ward believes that his illustration of Artur from “Sword and the Stone makes” a particularly strong point. “I also think the message of Arthur from The Sword in the Stone sitting on his phone has some resonance today,” he said. “He’s too engrossed in his phone to experience other opportunities and realize his true potential in life.”

You can see more of Ward’s work on Instagram. Click through the photos to see the slideshow.

1. Pinocchio’s selfie

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2. LeFou is out and proud. 

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3. Prince Charming is addicted to the ‘gram.

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4. Poachers have devastated Dumbo’s herd.

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5. The kings of the jungle forced to work for human amusement.

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6. Freedom is a bear necessity.

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7. “One more wish. Can you make the Xbox vanish?”

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8. Phone addiction robs us of the wonder that’s right before our eyes. 

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9. We’ve become prisoners to safety. 

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10. The hunt-ed is now the hunt-er.

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11. Life “Under the Sea” is a lot less fun in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. 

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12. It’s a lot harder to find anything that’ll make you wanna chase the White Rabbit these days. 

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Kanye West Vows To Help Taylor Swift Obtain Her Masters From Scooter Braun

In the midst of his Twitter tirade against Universal over his own record contract, Kanye West has made an overture sure to send shockwaves throughout the music industry. Despite an ongoing feud that’s left the two artists in a constant passive-aggressive power struggle for the past decade, Kanye has offered to help Taylor Swift obtain control of her master recordings from Big Machine Records, citing his friendship with her former manager Scooter Braun as leverage. “I’M GOING TO PERSONALLY SEE TO IT THAT TAYLOR SWIFT GETS HER MASTERS BACK,” he tweeted. “SCOOTER IS A CLOSE FAMILY FRIEND.”

Over the past few days, Kanye’ tweets have brought industry standards and practices into focus — especially with regards to the terms of their contracts, which many artists have felt are unfairly titled in favor of labels. Kanye posted his own contract — and several of its amendments — page-by-page in order to illustrate to followers how complex the language and terms can be. While doing so may have undermined his point — his contracts are very favorable, relatively speaking, and he’s had the leverage to renegotiate multiple times over the past decade and a half — it also renewed interest in the inner workings of the recording industry.

Taylor Swift knows a thing or two about trying to drum up support for a crusade for ownership of her hard work. When Taylor Swift left Big Machine for Republic in 2018, she did so without the master recordings from her first few albums. After announcing that she was never given the opportunity to purchase her masters back (an accusation that Big Machine founder Scott Borchetta denies), she went on her own quest for restitution, noting that she planned to re-record her old catalog and completely cut ties with her former manager and label.

While Kanye and Taylor have had their fair share of friction over the years — in fact, enough for both entertainers’ labels’ entire rosters — Kanye’s vow could be the catalyst in finally putting their rivalry to rest for good, if he follows through. Kanye has unfortunately been known to half-ass his plans (see: his entire 2020 presidential campaign, for instance) and he’s just as likely to reverse course in a fit of pique if Taylor wears Pumas around him. But as two of the biggest pop stars in the world, for either or both to have complete control of their music could change the way the entire industry does business in the future.

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Shia LaBeouf Was The Scene-Stealing Stoner King Of The ‘Fast Times At Ridgemont High’ Table Read

Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt reenacting the famous pool scene (you know the one) was the headline, but the highlight of the virtual Fast Times at Ridgemont High table read was Shia LaBeouf as Spicoli. It’s almost too perfect. Of course Shia was a great Spicoli. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised that if Shia had access to a time machine, his first stop would be to 1982, so he could convince director Amy Heckerling and writer Cameron Crowe to cast him, and not Sean Penn, as the ever-stoned surfer dude.

Penn was actually in virtual attendance, along with Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Henry Golding, Julia Roberts, and, uh, Dane Cook, which makes LaBeouf’s performance all the more impressive. Did I mention that he spent the entire table read in his (?) car while shirtless and smoking? His dedication to his craft did not go unnoticed. Journalist Tara Bitran spoke for all of us when she tweeted, “Shia LaBeouf did not have to go as hard as he did as Jeff Spicoli in the #FastTimesLive table read. But boy did his commitment make him a total star of the show. He even had the original Spicoli Sean Penn in fits of laughter, as well as Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey.”

I have already watched this two-second clip at least 15 times.

Was he smoking weed or a weed-like substance? He’ll never tell (it was probably weed).

The Fast Times virtual table read raised money for CORE and REFORM Alliance. The whole thing is worth a watch, but be sure to at least stick around to Shia’s entrance.

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Maya Rudolph’s Inspired ‘Big Mouth’ Performance Finally Landed Her An Emmy

All eyes may be on Maya Rudolph’s widely expected appearances as Kamala Harris on an unprecedented five consecutive Saturday Night Live episodes ahead of the presidential election this fall, but another outstanding Rudolph performance has won her an Emmy this week.

Thursday brought word that Rudolph won the 2020 Emmy for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance for her role as Connie the Hormone Monstress on the Netflix adult animation show Big Mouth. In a muted year for the Emmys, and buried in the mid-week Creative Arts ceremony, it wasn’t as widely celebrated as it should have been, but still, at least the Netflix and Big Mouth Twitter accounts were thrilled.

It’s certainly well-deserved, as her pronunciation of “bubble bath” alone is worth approximately a developing nation’s gross domestic product. But it’s also a pretty spectacular run for a character that, according to Rudolph, was supposed to be a one-off until she blew the creators of the show away with Connie’s unique vocal abilities and characterization.

And as many pointed out, it seems surprising that it took this long for Rudolph to win an award like that.

Rudolph had actually been nominated for three Emmys for her work on Saturday Night Live as a guest, The Judge on the final season of The Good Place, and, of course, Connie. But it seems the Hormone Monstress is the role that stuck.

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Weekend Preview: It’s Almost Emmys Time, Netflix And Hulu Are Dropping New Shows, And ‘Antebellum’s On VOD

If nothing below suits your sensibilities, check out our guide to What You Should Watch On Streaming Right Now.

The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards (Sunday, 10:00pm ABC) — Without question, this shall be the most unpredictable Emmys ceremony, so please stop by for our coverage of the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted event. We still tried to predict how this will go: probably a lot of Succession, Watchmen, and Ozark love.

Antebellum (VOD film from Lionsgate) — Amid the pandemic shuffle, this film’s hoping to clean up on VOD with Janelle Monáe in a mindbending horror-thriller. Our own Mike Ryan thinks it’s a terrific movie with a twist that you may not see coming.

Ratched (Netflix series) — This isn’t the Nurse Mildred Ratched origin story that One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest viewers might be expecting, but it’s an entertaining-if-messy watch. Sarah Paulson gives it her all, and Cynthia Nixon makes an extraordinary turn as a public servant (and lover of Ratched). Overall, it’s a stylish and twisted devotional, one that has been rolled around in true Ryan Murphy fashion.

PEN15: Season 2 (Hulu series) — Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle are doing it again — playing 13-year-old versions of themselves — in this exaggeratedly surreal show that’s found a cult audience. This season may not be as funny as last year, but it’s still as good as fans expect.

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous (Netflix series) — The cautionary tale continues. Somehow, watching characters ooh-and-ah over cute little baby dinosaurs, who rapidly reach adulthood and terrorize all who dare to tread upon Isla Nublar, never gets old. Steven Spielberg and Colin Trevorrow executive produce, DreamWorks animation handles the visuals, and Amblin Entertainment helped make this a rollicking adventure… with an obligatory cameo from Blue.

Becoming (Disney+ series) — LeBron James produced this docuseries that focuses upon celebrity upbringings and what it means to go home. Expect to see a variety of entertainers, musicians, and athletes in this first season, including Anthony Davis, Caleb McLaughlin, Candace Parker, and Nick Cannon.

ALL IN: The Fight For Democracy (Amazon Prime documentary) — This film digs into the insidious (and real) issue of voter suppression within the United States. Featuring insidght from Stacey Abrams, the former Minority Leader of the Georgia House, all kinds of shenanigans (probably including gerrymandering) will be explored.

The Boys: Season 2 (Amazon Prime series) — This season’s gone weekly from here on out while diving deeper, and Episode 5 sees the female Supes “getting it done” while Butcher takes a trip back home, and Stormfront makes Starlight increasingly uncomfortable while crossing boundaries.

The Devil All The Time (Netflix film) — Robert Pattinson portrays an unholy preacher while Sebastian Stan steps into a crooked sheriff’s shoes, and Tom Holland’s simply trying to stay out of the line of fire while evil forces surround him. It’s a battle between the corrupt and the so-called just that should provide a nice midweek viewing break. This Antonio Campos-directed story spans the period between WWII and Vietnam and co-stars Jason Clarke, Riley Keough, Bill Skarsgård, Eliza Scanlen, and Mia Wasikowska.

Here’s the rest of this weekend’s notable programming:

Room 104 (Friday, HBO 10:00 p.m.) — The fourth season of the Duplass Brothers’ bizarre playground continues to churn the weirdest of the weird inside a nondescript motel room.

Lovecraft Country (Sunday, HBO 9:00 p.m.) — If you’re feeling this 1950s-set dark fantasy series at all (and why wouldn’t you?), this week’s episode finally digs into those strange phone calls that Atticus keeps making to North Korea. Hopefully, he’s paid that phone bill by now.

Love Fraud (Sunday, Showtime 9:00 p.m.) — Richard Scott Smith’s victims embark upon a road trip to stop him for good in this critically acclaimed Sundance Film Festival limited series that feels like the lovechild of Dirty John and Tiger King.

The Vow (Sunday, HBO 10:00 p.m.) — A mother tries to pull her daughter out of the NXIVM organization, but authorities aren’t much help in that department, so parents approach the New York Times.

Desus & Mero (Sunday, Showtime 11:00 p.m.) — The illustrious guest is Janelle Monáe.

And in case you missed these selections last week:

Unpregnant (HBO Max film) — A 17-year-old Type A student, Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson), deals with a never-taken-lightly decision by taking a 1000-mile road trip with her former BFF, Bailey (Barbie Ferreira), and it’s a wild ride that neither of them suspected was afoot. The value of renewed friendships with a dash of both Thelma And Louise and Fast And Furious make this an unexpectedly funny film with costars including Alex MacNicoll, Breckin Meyer, and Giancarlo Esposito, and Betty Who.

Woke (Hulu series) — This show is the comedy series that Lamorne Morris (and the rest of us) deserves with a little bit of everything. It’s surreal, it’s funny, it’s serious, it’s got talking toast and trashcans, and it’s in good hands with director Maurice “Mo” Marable. The quest to “keep it light” never felt so real as Keef (based upon the life and work of artist Keith Knight) experiences a rude awakening and transformation to follow.

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Joe Rogan Apologizes For Spreading A West Coast Wildfires Conspiracy Theory: ‘I Was Very Irresponsible… It Was A Really Stupid F*cking Mistake’

Joe Rogan is calling himself out for spreading a harmful conspiracy theory about the West Coast Wildfires on his wildly popular podcast. That episode arrived shortly after Rogan learned that Trump wants him to moderate a 4-hour, no-holds-barred debate between himself an Joe Biden. So of course, the spreading of misinformation whipped up quite a storm upon a storm following Thursday’s Joe Rogan Experience (which recently moved over to Spotify) podcast episode with author Douglas Murray.

Here’s the clip in question, as posted to Twitter by Media Matters researcher Alex Paterson. “They’ve arrested people for lighting forest fires up there,” Rogan said while discussing the Portland, Oregon fires. “They’ve arrested left-wing people for lighting these forest fires, air-quote ‘activists.’ This is also something that’s not being widely reported, you know, that people have actually been arrested for lighting fires up there.”

As the New York Times had already reported, those claims had been debunked as false. Further, the Portland division of the FBI tweeted about the matter last week: “Reports that extremists are setting wildfires in Oregon are untrue. Help us stop the spread of misinformation by only sharing information from trusted, official sources.”

Rogan hasn’t yet returned with another podcast episode, but on Friday, he took to Twitter with an apology:

“I f*cked up on the podcast with Douglas Murray and said that people got arrested lighting fires in Portland. That turns out to not be true. I was very irresponsible not looking into it before I repeated it. I read one story about a guy getting arrested for lighting fires… turned out to be true, but the other shit I read about people getting arrested for lighting fires in Portland was not true. I repeated it without looking into it and it was a really fucking stupid mistake that won’t happen again… I’m sorry.”

Given that his podcast reportedly scores at least 200 million listeners, Rogan surely realized (upon more investigation) that this was a grave matter, and a correction was in order. Good on him, and hopefully, he’ll also address the subject in a future podcast episode for people who missed his Twitter edition.

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Lil Tecca And Lil Uzi Vert Flirt With Silver Women In Their Stripped-Down ‘Dolly’ Video

Lil Tecca is freshly legal — to buy cigarettes and vote, anyway — and has a new album, Virgo World, out today, so why not celebrate with the video for “Dolly” from the new project? The song is produced by TXBITHETEENVGER, C4Bombs, and BRackz and features a verse from Tecca’s outer-space predecessor Lil Uzi Vert as the two rappers reference everything from Fortnite to MDMA in the lighthearted track.

The video, directed by Cole Bennett of Lyrical Lemonade, is equally lighthearted and simple, shooting the two rappers in front of silver curtains as the pose, mug, and dance around with a group of women dressed up like B-movie space aliens, with silver outfits and green hair and makeup. A few of the women are nearly nude, instead covered in silver body paint with green wigs, looking exactly like an 18-year-old’s fantasy of sexy aliens from a 1950s sci-fi movie.

Virgo World is Lil Tecca’s debut album on Republic Records, following his 2019 mixtape We Love You Tecca and his breakout summertime hit “Ransom.” “Dolly” is the third video from the project after “Out Of Love” and “Royal Rumble.”

Watch Lil Tecca’s “Dolly” video featuring Lil Uzi Vert above.

Virgo World is out now via Republic Records. Stream it here.

Lil Uzi Vert is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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Influential Witch House Group Salem Return After Ten Years With A Storm-Chasing ‘Starfall’ Video

Salem, the Michigan band credited as being pioneers of the witch house genre, have been mostly silent for the past decade. Their debut (and so far only) album, 2010’s King Night, was influential in indie circles, and it found its way onto multiple year-end best album lists. They haven’t release a new one since then, though.

However, there were signs of life earlier this week with the release of their new Stay Down mixtape, which isn’t exactly the sort of mixtape listeners are used to today. It contains some original compositions, but it’s also blended with music from Prince, Frank Ocean, Tchaikovsky, and others. Today, they followed that effort up with “Starfall,” a more traditional stand-alone track that is their first official release since King Night.

For the video, the band’s Jack Donoghue and John Holland linked up with veteran storm trackers to chase storms between Tulsa, Oklahoma and Dallas, Texas during tornado season. Subsequently, the video is full of stormy skies at intensity levels that most people don’t get to experience.

Press materials indicate the song is “a signal of additional work to come,” so for the first time in a long time, Salem fans have something to look forward to.

Watch the “Starfall” video above.

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Rubi Rose Ringleads A Racy House Party In Her Bootylicious ‘Pogo’ Video With K Camp

Rubi Rose is the people’s champ, racking up views in the millions for her racy videos over the past year. After breaking out with “Big Mouth” and doubling down with “Hit Yo Dance” and “Pretty MF,” she truly hit her groove over the summer, dropping the video for “He In His Feelings,” a ferociously feel-good power anthem for go-getters and heartbreakers. After appearing in Cardi B’s massive video for “WAP,” Rubi followed up today with a raunchy video of her own for her latest single, “Pogo” featuring Milwaukee hit maker K Camp.

With a bouncy, piano-driven beat produced by Musa, “Pogo” finds the Kentucky-born rapper once again brags about her desirability, sneering, “Rubi bouncin’ like a pogo, n**** / I’m not your ho, though, n**** / When you see me, I be solo, n*** / All that cuffing is a no-no, n****.” In the video, Rubi and her girl gang descend on a house in a seemingly quiet neighborhood, kicking in the door, taking over, and throwing a raucous house party complete with lowriders parked on the lawn (a theme shared with Flo Milli’s “Send The Addy/May I” video which also dropped today).

With her stock rising and fans clamoring for a full project from the velvet-voiced newcomer, it’s only a matter of time until Rubi makes good on her high-profile co-signs as a rap radio/playlist permanent fixture.

Watch Rubi Rose’s “Pogo” video above.

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Lykke Li Transforms ‘I Will Survive’ Into A Haunting Piano Number With Her Cover

Lykke Li has kept relatively quiet since her 2018 album So Sad So Sexy and her August 2019 Yola Dia festival. She resurfaced yesterday, though, to offer a new spin on a classic: Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” Li took the energetic disco track and turned it into a more haunting piano affair, just vocals and piano drenched in spooky reverb.

Li shared a message alongside the song’s release, writing on Instagram:

“i wasn’t going to put this one out but then so many of you asked for it after seeing it… this is something i made for another thing in the heatwave, quarantine, alone at the piano at night with the crickets singing. believe it or not i actually don’t know anything about technology so this was the first time i ever opened garage-band, it’s even the first i ever fully accompany myself on the piano, i can’t really play piano, i usually just write on it but if there’s something this quarantine has done is to bring me back to where i started. singing, playing, for joy, for therapy, for survival. my songs, other songs i love. i know so many people are suffering right now and there’s been so much loss. loss of life, loss of family, loss of love, loss of work, loss of hope, loss of dreams, loss of air! i feel you all and i feel for you all. and i really hope we can all survive this together. love, lykke.”

Listen to Li cover “I Will Survive” above.