The Evolution of Disney Character Costumes

There are a lot of Disney characters that can seem timeless, but in truth, it is important to note that said characters remain timeless because there are significant amounts of time, effort, and other resources expended for the purpose of keeping them in that state. For proof, look no further than how Mickey Mouse has changed over time, which is a rather interesting story that has been detailed in a YouTube video by a YouTuber named Disney Dan.

How Has Mickey Mouse Changed Over Time?

First, the video showcased the Mickey Mouse costume that was used at the premier of Snow White, which consisted of little more than someone in a unitard with a pair of shorts, a pair of gloves, and what can be called a rather striking cloth mask that looked a lot more rat-like than the rounded curves of the modern character. Unfortunately, the version that was available by the time that Disneyland opened up was arguably worse, seeing as how it wasn’t designed for theme park use but rather borrowed from the Ice Capades. As a result, the costumes needed holes for the performers to see what was happening, which were situated at not just the eyes but also various other parts of the head. The result was more than a little bit unsettling because the holes were very much visible to those who saw the costumes.

Amusingly, Disney’s first effort to come up with a costume of their own wasn’t that much better. The holes were gone from the head of the costume, but the new look was no better because it paired a rather sinister smile with the sort of arched eyebrows that one would expect to see on villainous characters in cartoons. Unsurprisingly, that particular version disappeared soon enough so that it could be replaced by something much closer to the modern character, which has since seen more minute changes to arrive at the present. This doesn’t mean that there haven’t been stumbles since that time, but for the most part, the versions of the costume that were used in the second half of the 20th century were recognizable as the modern character.

Of course, Mickey Mouse isn’t the sole character to have seen significant changes over time, which is why interested individuals should check out Disney Dan to see more of his lessons on Disney history.


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