Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mickey & Minnie Mouse: Evolution of a Costume

Many have noted how off-model and scary looking the original Disneyland costumes were for the animated characters. Shot #1 shows where they came from: The Ice Capades. For opening day, these were the costumes seen in the park and on TV sets all across the country. Yes...somewhat unsettling!

Here, comedian Jerry Colonna attempts to make a connection between Bob Hope's children, Tony & Linda and Scary Minnie!

This undated shot shows some progress (the slats above the mouth are gone), but Minnie still looks extremely freakish!

By 1960, even more improvement is visible, despite the fact that Minnie appears to have had an overly agressive eye-brow lift!

This February 1962 shot of Mickey is really odd; looks like the California heat may have melted the poor guy’s face:

Minnie looks more like she stepped out of Munchkinland in this 1962 photo:

UPDATE: I saw a comment over on reddit.com by Vertical Event about how he "hated" that this post jumped from 1962 to 2010. Stupidity like that makes me wonder why I bother doing this. However, for every moron, there are at least a few hundred cool peeps that I hear from. And yet, I took the moron's comment to heart and improved this post. Hopefully it will help purge the hate from his heart.

July 1964:

December 1967:

From my first visit in 1970:

From August 1977:

The Fab Four in 1988:

By 2010, the characters added the ability to blink (well, in Florida at least; compared to these vintage shots, you can see just how far they have come.

See more Disneyland character photos on my main website.


Anonymous said...

In at least a couple of her incarnations, Minnie bears a horrifying resemblance to Wallis Simpson ... http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/largerimage.php?LinkID=mp07859&rNo=1&role=art

Daveland said...

THAT is hilarious - good catch, anonymous!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Dang, Anonymous is right, that is a horrifying remembrance, poor duchess.

Re: Undated shot - Freakish is putting it nicely.

In the 1960 shot I see the "Shining Twins" are back, just when my nightmares of them had ended!!!!

Major Pepperidge said...

Some of those old costumes were kind of grotesque, but I love 'em!

Katella Gate said...

Thanks for doing this little costume retrospective. They earliest costumes are *truly* horrifying. It looks like somebody's taken a butcher's cleaver and mutilated Micky's corpse.

And yes, Minnie does look like the Wallace. Maybe that explains why Minnie's autobiography is called "Secrets of the Chinese Brothel."

The Viewliner Limited said...

Mice on Ice... now that's a scary thought! Great pics Dave. Much appreciated.

Unknown said...

Two-legged Dumbo will haunt my dreams.

Skinny Arbuckle said...

you're awesome.

Amy said...

Wow, I've never seen those costumes in the first picture. Yipes. They are terrifying. It's been quite a road to the current ones.

spacepotato said...

Terrific stuff Dave! Interesting to see Minnie (in the second to last photo) wears a hat that one of the 60's/70's Little Pigs wear. I miss the 70's version of the Madhatter but I can see why the chracters would morph over the years. I wonder what advances there will be in another 50 or so years?

Daveland said...

Holograms - then they won't have to take any breaks!


I love this post! I am always curious how those costumes evolved! They really did look like a nightmare in the beginning, but I really think today's costumes are the best! Also, I noticed that they made Minnie and Daisy's faces smaller than Mickey and Donald's. It does help bring out the more feminine look instead of just being a Mickey costume with eyelashes. Great post!