Mickey & Minnie Mouse
In our continued exploration of Disney’s characters we must, of course, talk about the Main Man (or Mouse) – Mickey (and his constant companion, Minnie). Originally called Mortimer (and voiced by Walt Disney himself), he made his debut in the cartoon ‘Steamboat Willie’ in 1928 and has been with us ever since. These days he takes more of an executive figurehead role in the Disney Organisation aka ‘The House of Mouse’, although in addition to his extensive TV work on the Disney Channel, there is talk of his making a comeback in a series of short cartoons.
From the costuming point of view, options are a little limited: As Mickey has grown up, he has graduated from short trousers to a tailcoat (although he did dabble in some sorcerer’s robes and pointy hat for ‘Fantasia’). The current official outfit is based upon the tailcoat outfit, although the only mouse-like accessory which actually denotes Mickey are the famous round ears (apparently one of the most internationally recognisable trademarks) on a headband. Mouse ears continue to be a popular costume accessory.
There are potentially better opportunities with Minnie, whose relationship with Mickey has been a subject of long speculation (are they actually married?). Here the trademark look is deemed to be the red and white spotted skirt with black and white bodice seen in the 50s/60s (although a few of the ‘lookalikes’ on the market favour a more red and white spotted ensemble, possibly for copyright reasons – you don’t mess with the Mouse in such matters). White gloves or ‘cartoon hands’ (not always ‘in the pack’) might also be useful. You also get a mouse-ear headband (albeit with a dress-matching ribbon bow). For a more mouse-like look, some will wear a black nose (foam or painted) and perhaps some whiskers.
For a more dedicated Minnie look, you can use a black unitard or catsuit under the costume, a black open-face balaclava over the head and paint yourself a Minnie Mouse face – the key elements being a whitened face, higher eyebrows with some eyeshadow and a wider, extended smile with small, cupid’s bow-style lips at the centre of the mouth.