They say they all lived happily ever after—but what really happened to the Disney princesses after their dreams came true? According to UT sophomore Jon “Paint” Cozart, Ariel is swimming through oil spills, Aladdin has been taken by the CIA, and Pocahontas has been fighting off the English, French, and Spanish settlers—and their respective diseases.
Cozart’s “After Ever After” video is just one of 15 comic YouTube videos he’s created over the last seven years. The film major, who took voice lessons for a year in high school, started creating YouTube videos for class projects when he was younger, but he says they’d only get about 100 views in a year. “After Ever After” has racked up more than five million views in fewer than 10 days.
Cozart says he came up with idea with a friend, and he was excited that he’d finally have an excuse to sing the Disney songs that he loves. He says the audio took him about a month to record and edit, while the video took about five hours to film and an additional five hours to edit. “The hardest part is finding the time to make the videos,” he says. “I’m a full-time college student, I’m in some theater shows at UT, and I’m part of an improv troupe.”
Though the process is time-consuming, Cozart says it’s completely worth it. “It’s been amazing, and there’s been incredible reactions,” Cozart says. “I’ve been getting emails and comments from people all over the world. Everything has just been overwhelmingly positive.”
With more than 13 million views, Cozart’s most popular video to date is “Harry Potter in 99 Seconds,” which retells the series through two-part harmony.
Cozart isn’t entirely sure what his next video will be, but he has no shortage of ideas. Possibilities include his own spin on a song from the movie Pitch Perfect, or a video featuring the rest of the Disney princesses.
He plans on making YouTube videos for as long as he can, and aspires to one day direct feature films. “It’s a long shot, I know,” he says. “But I think if anyone can do it, I can do it.”
Listen to the Alcalde podcast with Jon Cozart below.