Minnie Mouse 1937
One of Minnie Mouse’s first appearances was at the red carpet event for the premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in December of 1937. The costume is very similar to the Minnie Mouse plush toy that was being sold at the time (which is now listed on eBay for $975). Her head is very cone shaped and reminds me more of a handmade Halloween costume rather than a professional costume. Minnie’s actual first appearance was in 1934 in The Oakland Tribune which featured a picture of Mickey and Minnie meeting Santa Clause.
Minnie Mouse Today
Minnie’s look today is has come a long way. She looks more like her well known modern cartoon design and just has an overall more high quality costume that helps guests feel more of that Disney magic. Her outfit that park guests will see regularly had slight updates in 2016. Minnie is now rocking a makeup free face and her bow was made bigger and floppier among other small tweaks. Although not an official park outfit, Minnie Mouse recently showed off her new polka dot pantsuit designed by Stella McCartney for Disneyland Paris’s 30th Anniversary. The anniversary took place during Women’s History Month 2022, so a Minnie style pantsuit was chosen to symbolize the progress of the new generation of women.
Mickey Mouse 1961
Probably the most cartoon-looking costume, this version of Mickey was designed by Disney Imagineer John Hench. With shorter bodies and larger heads, the character performers actually saw out of Mickey’s large black top hat and used their hands to wiggle and twitch his large ears and nose. Unfortunately, this costume design prevented the character performers from moving Mickey’s arms. Worried this would negatively affect how the park characters interacted with guests, Walt Disney decided to scrap this costume design after one year.
Mickey Mouse Today
Like Minnie, Mickey also got some small upgrades to his default park outfit in 2016. Face wise, Mickey’s eyes are taller and his mouth is rounder. The costume looks completely different from the 1961 design but it still has a nice cartoon look to it.
Donald Duck 1937
Donald Duck also attended the Snow White and the Seven Dwarves premiere with Mickey and Minnie. The overall shape and of Donald isn’t drastically different from what we see today, but his closed beak and wide eyes gives him a detached and empty-feeling expression.
Donald Duck Today
Donald Duck’s design didn’t go through many drastic redesigns like Mickey and Minnie. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, as the saying goes. All of Donald’s redesigns over the years were made to get his appearance juuuuust right. Small tweaks to head and body proportions, changes to the texture of his “feathers,” and giving him a more well-fitted outfit to fix the baggy look of his original design were all added gradually over the past 80+ years.
In this photo here, we can see a smartly dressed Goofy with a red button up shirt, one single buck tooth (opposed to his usual two that are on either side of his mouth), and no whiskers. This design was most likely based on Goofy’s “George G. Geef” character of the 1950s, which portrayed him more as an everyday family man.
The Goof we see today is one that fits the “goofy” personality of the beloved character. Drawing inspiration from the Goofy shown in the 1930s cartoon, this design has been around for many years and will probably be used for many, many more. Similar to Donald, Goofy’s appearance has only gone through small changes to fine tune the look and help bring the character to life.