When you think of a Disney animated film, there is always a great story at the heart of it. We are told this story through the dialogue and songs of the characters, who are animated before us on screen. Beyond those basic storytelling necessities, a character’s costume can also help express his or her thoughts or feelings.
Our favorite Disney characters’ clothes, just like ours, are an outward representation of their inner selves. As these characters go on their journeys, their costumes become a way to represent the changes they are going through. And because it’s a Disney movie, these transformations have just a touch of magic that make them extra stylish. Here, in no particular order, are a few of our favorites:
We all cheered (and sang along) when Elsa used her powers to create her icy blue gown during “Let It Go.” She created a dress that reflected herself inside and out, freeing her from the fears she had. When Elsa finally gets to be true self, we can’t help but get a little misty-eyed at just how happy she is.
Cinderella’s dress transformation is one of the most iconic pieces of Disney animation. It continues to be a favorite because of what it means for the titular character. Cinderella finally gets her chance at a truly happy moment, and that beautiful dress and glass slippers represent that dream coming true.
You probably never noticed this, but Jane’s wardrobe changes act as a symbol for her falling in love with Tarzan. Don’t believe us? When we first meet Jane, she’s wearing her traditional gown that’s really not suited well for the jungle. After she meets Tarzan, her fashion continues to shift from a sensible skirt and top combo, to the effortless tied off skirt and white tank (it’s more jungle appropriate). In the end though, when she has to choose between going home to England and staying with Tarzan, she symbolically ditches that yellow gown (i.e. life back in England) and goes full out jungle ensemble. No matter what outfit though, we will always love Jane’s style.
Tiana has quite a few costume changes, but our favorite transformation of hers is during Charlotte’s masquerade ball. Her swamp dress is really great, but what makes this blue number so wonderful is that her bestie, Charlotte, picked it out for her. Even when Tiana was at a low point, Charlotte did her best to cheer her up and transformed Tiana into the beautiful princess that she is.
We can’t talk about style changes and not include Mulan. As she discovers her true self, Mulan goes from the hyper-feminine matchmaker look, to wearing army gear and disguising herself to save her father. We are always awed by Mulan’s bravery to take her destiny (and her hair cuts) into her own hands.
It’s been well documented that we love Aurora’s Briar Rose ensemble. However, we also really enjoy Aurora’s signature ball gown. Even though she had to leave her life in the forest behind, she accepted her place as the princess of her kingdom. Plus, she got to dance into the clouds with Prince Philip and that’s pretty cool.
Rapunzel and her hair… it’s like peanut butter and jelly, you can’t imagine the one without the other. Yes, we may have gasped when Flynn (a.k.a Eugene) cut off her amazing golden locks, but he helped free her from Mother Gothel. Rapunzel makes a great brunette and her new ‘do emulates her adventurous and creative personality.
When Giselle steps out at the ball in a modern, sleek purple dress, she truly sheds her fairy tale style behind to embrace the world that is home to her true love (spoiler alert: It’s McDreamy… we mean Robert). We also adore the fact that she started Andalasia Fashions, proving Giselle never gave up her true sense of style.