It’s difficult to know where to start when it comes to Disney Animals. Some of the older Disney movies may have featured more animals than nowadays (many ‘live action’), but with the Jim Henson portfolio and Pixar Studios added into the mix, the options might seem endless, however availability can be an issue. It just depends on who or what you choose.
You may find it best to start with some of the off-the-shelf & licensed character costumes. Many of these are now available for both adults and children. Props & Frocks has a large section of animal costumes for hire, just ask at the front counter. We also stock a large range of animal face bop masks that are an easy way to get the desired animal look you require.
From the books by A A Milne the tales of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet & Eeyore have captured the imagination of generations of both children and adults. Costumes for Winnie the Pooh and Tigger are available. For girls, you can also find little ballerina dresses for Winnie and Piglet. Costumes specifically for Eeyore, with his distinctive look, are more difficult to find, although there are a few Donkey costumes and accessories on the market, thanks to the likes of Shrek (which of course is not part of the Disney franchise) and children’s nativity animal costumes at certain times of the year.
The traditional Disney animal characters are well represented, although there is more of a variety available for Mickey Mouse, who since his first arrival back in 1928, has donned at least three different looks (originally red shorts, then the more formal tailcoat, with a brief intermission as a Sorcerer/Wizard in Fantasia). Costume variations for other characters such as Minnie Mouse, Goofy the dog and Donald Duck tend to be more limited.
Disney’s Lion King offers up a few animal characters, some of which are available on the market. The Lions, Simba and Nala are the two obvious choices, whilst the warthog Pumbaa is a slightly more off-the-wall suggestion. Other traditional animal costumes available from the African plains do not tend to be dedicated Disney ones. Thanks to the use of Meerkats in a certain well known advertising campaign, Meerkat costumes for both adults and children are now available. There are also a number of characters from the Madagascar series (again not part of the Disney Franchise) who could be used to denote animals from the African plains, most notably Zebras, Giraffes and Hippo’s.
When it comes to the Muppets, in theory there should be lots of scope for animal costumes. In practice, the main costumes currently available are for Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Animal, Fozzie Bear and Gonzo the Great (although we are not too sure if the latter counts as an animal. Any ideas?)
General Disney Animals
Bears – Aside from Winnie the Pooh, bears feature in a number of Disney stories. There is Baloo from the Jungle Book, the Gummy Bears, Brother Bear and Lots-O-Huggin’ Bear from Toy Story 3.
Birds – The obvious birds may be the Donald Duck’s family, complete with Scrooge McDuck and Donald’s nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie. Then of course owls feature in a number of Disney Movies, from Bambi, through to The Sword in the Stone, Winnie the Pooh and Sleeping Beauty.
Cats – Naturally, there are two different variations on the cat theme, the cats that are perceived as pets and the wild animal big cats. Disney’s film The Aristocats features the ‘tame’ pet, whilst films such as The Lion King, Tarzan and the Jungle Book feature lions, tigers, panthers and other big cats. There are plenty of cat costumes on the market including some jungle Morphsuits.
Chipmunks – Possibly the most famous chipmunks prior to the recent ‘invention’ of Alvin and Co. were Disney’s cheeky twosome Chip and Dale (written as Chip ‘n’ Dale). Not so well known, but the thinker ‘outside the envelope’ might mix them with some other well-known Chippendales.
Dogs – Possibly the most generally recognised breed of dog from the Disney Studios is the black and white Dalmation from the 101 Dalmatians films (which did also feature other breeds). However, there are a number of other films and cartoons featuring dogs, such as Lady and the Tramp. In terms of dog characters Pluto and Goofy costumes may be more difficult to find.
Elephant – Aside from Dumbo, the elephant features in a number of other Disney creations including the Jungle Book and the Lion King.
Fox – Seen as the eponymous hero in Robin Hood, dressed in the traditional Lincoln Green ensemble.
Frog – We may have already mentioned Kermit the Frog, but there are a few other frogs that appear in Disney cartoons and movies. The role of the Frog Footman was brought to the fore in the Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland and the fairy story of the Princess and the Frog was recreated, ‘updated’ and set in New Orleans during the jazz age.
Gorilla – The Gorilla is still probably the most popular costume choice when it comes to general animal costumes. There are plenty on the market and the Gorilla Run continues to foster an interest in these creatures. The Disney film Tarzan is probably the one most associated with Gorillas.
Monkeys – Another jungle animal which crops up in a range of Disney productions. Not as easy a costume to find as a Gorilla, but costumes for monkeys tend to be more accessible than ones for Orang-Utans.
Mouse – Aside from the obvious Mickey and Minnie, there was also Basil the Great Mouse Detective, who dressed in the style of Sherlock Holmes.
Pigs – Three Little Pigs is one of Disney’s earlier short films, based on the children’s story of the same name.
Rabbits – We have a number of rabbit costumes, mainly for Easter, but rabbits do crop up in a number of Disney films. Characters such as Thumper from Bambi may be slightly too difficult to portray, but why not check out the range of mascot costumes at Props & Frocks? Aside from full fur fabric suits there is always the option of the White Rabbit or Mad March Hare in Disney’s variations on the Alice in Wonderland story. They certainly have their own fashion styles.
Rat – From the Disney/Pixar stable, Remy and family from Ratatouille can be an interesting idea, particularly if going as a group. There is at least one version of a rat costume on the market, but you might need to go to several sources if wanting to do a group, or order well in advance.
Skunk – Although the skunk may feature in a number of Disney movies, it’s not a costume we have ever been asked for – something to do with the smell?
Racoon – Racoons feature in many Disney films – even those supposedly set in Britain, where it is not a native species. Perhaps it is the roguish demeanour or the mask-like facial markings, but it is a potential off-the-wall choice.
Wolf – From the 1933 film, the wolf is seen as the arch-nemesis of the Three Little Pigs. There are a few wolf costumes on the market.