Hyungkoo Lee looks beneath the skin of a whole host of Disney and Looney Tunes characters, imagining what their skeletons might look like underneath.

But the Seoul-based artist doesn’t stop at building these realistic-looking constructions. He then displays them in character, giving us a series of tableaux in which Tom chases Jerry, Sylvester reaches out for a flying Tweety Bird, and the Road Runner is (true to form) perpetually running. It’s like a dinosaur museum…with fictional characters.

Sure, they’re pretty creepy and bound to upset small children, but we’re too impressed to care.

These striking photos are from Lee’s exhibition ‘Animatus’ at the Natural History Museum of Basel in Switzerland, back in 2008. He uses the techniques of palaeontology to build these models, incorporating both biological and cartoon elements. The results are fake animal skeletons that are at once real and unreal: giving us the exaggerated cartoon head of Donald Duck, on a body that is more like that of an actual duck.

 ▼ A kind of minimalist Donald Duck


 ▼ And Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Incidentally, did you know the family’s surname is “Duck”?


The artificial skeletons are made from resin-coated steel, and look startlingly realistic…well, except for the awesome cartoon elements.

 ▼ Felix the Cat


But far and away our favourite thing about Lee’s work is the poses he puts the models into, adding life and movement to his skeletal creations.

▼ Like this sprinting Wile E. Coyote…


▼ …and the Road Runner, stuck on the road for evermore.


 ▼ Or Tweety and Sylvester!


 ▼ Goofy looking, well, goofy.


▼ And Tom and Jerry in a permanent state of chase.


 ▼ Here’s Bugs Bunny!


▼ And if you’re wondering where his floppy ears got to…this anatomical plan might help.

You can check out more of Lee’s recent work on his website, or follow him on Facebook. We certainly will be.

Source: Artist Database
Images: Hyungkoo Lee via Artist Database
Related: Hyungkoo Lee (Official Website)