I don't know why no one has any comments about this. It is MARVELOUS!! And I wish I had the time / talent to pursue it myself (well, except that it's already been done by that guy). ;-)
Yeah, the moment someone has an idea and explores it like this, they pretty much own it. That's what's great about being a student. You might get this as an assignment, "take these small kid drawings and do a polished finish on them." And tear into it without worrying about plagiarism etc. You're supposed to be copying ideas when you're a student.