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Bambi, Simba and other beloved Disney heroes shown skinned and bloodied in anti-fur campaign

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Disney has taken on a dark side with the release of a series of gruesome caricatures for a provocative new anti-fur campaign.

The artwork shows Simba from The Lion King, Bambi and Thumper from Bambi and other adored Disney characters cowed, bleeding and unhappy with black eyes and cuts after having their fur stripped away.

Simba from the Lion King

Simba from the Lion King is a pitiful prospect

The project, titled Furry Tale Gone Bad, is the brainchild of an anonymous Middle Eastern artist who goes by the name of Saint Hoax

He created the artwork as an awareness campaign "to question the fate of the world’s most beloved characters if they had been part of the fur trade industry."

Under each shocking drawing reads the caption: "Furry Tale Gone Bad: Animals are beaten, electrocuted or even skinned alive for their fur. Boycott fur." 

One of the 101 Dalmatians

One of the 101 Dalmatians - if Cruella de Vil had had her wicked way

Saint Hoax has declined to reveal his real name over threats he received for an earlier project when he painted Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah in drag. He says he hopes the spread of his Disney images will make people think twice about buying real fur this winter.

"Disney characters are beloved by almost everyone,” he told the Daily News. “We grew up watching and loving these characters. Seeing them vulnerable and skinned helps people understand the cruelty of the fur industry.” 

"Although these characters are meant to be animals, they tend to remind us of humans because they're are given personalities, emotions, background stories and often voices. For that, seeing them bloody and tortured speaks to people that aren't generally sympathetic towards the usual skinned animal photos."

Abu, Aladdin's kleptomaniac monkey

Abu, Aladdin's monkey, is a sad sight indeed minus his fur

Saint Hoax began his project about a month ago, by examining real photos of skinned animals used in the fur trade. He then transferred the effect to popular Disney characters, and added in bruised and teary eyes to create further empathy.

The illustrator has been involved in a number of other high-profile campaigns, including last year's "Princest Diaries", a series which raised awareness of sexual abuse by manipulating images of some of Disney's best-loved princesses. 

He used images of Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine from Aladdin and Ariel from The Little Mermaid all being attacked by their respective fathers, in a campaign that was created after Saint Hoax learned that a friend was raped by her own father when she was just seven years old.

A skinless bunny

Thumper, Bambi's best friend, is far from fluffy - or happy

More than 55 million animals are either bred and killed in fur factory farms or trapped in the wild for their fur around the world each year, according to UK anti-fur charity Respect For Animals

This includes animals trapped in the wild in the USA, Canada and Russia, harp seals clubbed to death or shot off the east coast of Canada for their fur and fur factory farming (most prevalent in Denmark, China and the Netherlands). 

What do you think? Is a campaign like this worthwhile or should you never mess with a Disney character, no matter how great the cause? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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