8 of Disney’s Most Fashionable Characters
In the newest episode of the Celebrations Magazine podcast, our usual gang of merry makers sat down to discuss the intersection of Disney and fashion. Among the areas covered in the conversation were the most stylish Disney heroes and villains, as well as our favorite Disney accessories.
It was a wide ranging conversation, with some answers that will probably surprise listeners. Unfortunately, our time was limited and some characters had to be left out. Not to fear! The Celebrations blog is here to discuss ten more of the most fashionable characters in Disney history.
Dodger (Oliver and Company)
Sometimes fashion is all about the attitude behind the accessories. Dodger, the slick and charismatic Jack Russel Terrier in the 1988 film Oliver and Company, is probably the embodiment of this ideal. His entire ensemble consists of nothing more than a pair of sunglasses and a red neckerchief.
It also didn’t hurt that Dodger was voiced by musical legend Billy Joel. The Piano Man helped imbue the character with his own sense of swagger and charm that perpetually puts fans in a New York State of Mind.
Scat Cat (The Aristocats)
Jazz has a style all its own, and that style can be described in one word: cool. Just picture Miles Davis or Chet Baker. Their fashion sense was as sleek and hip as the music that they played. Scat Cat, from the 1970 film The Aristocats, is cut from the same cloth. Dressed in a black bowler hat with a red bow tie, he looks like he should be blowing his horn in a smoky night club.
Though originally intended to be known as Satchmo Cat (and to be voiced by Louis Armstrong), Scat Cat was ultimately voiced by Scatman Crothers. As an actor and musician who got his start performing in the speakeasies of Terra Haute, Indiana, he was perfectly suited to bring the swingin’ Scat Cat to life.
Miss Bianca (The Rescuers)
Miss Bianca, one of the two leading characters in Disney’s 1977 animated film The Rescuers and its 1990 follow up, The Rescuers Down Under, is pure sophistication and grace. Perpetually dressed in a matching toque hat and scarf adorned with a bow, she has the simple elegance of classical Hollywood.
There’s good reason for that. Miss Bianca’s voice was provided by actress and socialite Eva Gabor, sister of Zsa Zsa and Magda Gabor. Outside of her acting career, she had a successful career as a businesswoman, selling things like clothing and beauty products.
Jack Skellington (The Nightmare Before Christmas)
From Al Capone to Clark Gable, the pinstripe suit has been a classic fashion choice since the days of prohibition, when it became the unofficial look of the speakeasy era. Jack Skellington, from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, embraces the pinstripe and its a perfect compliment to his long, natural lines (he is a skeleton after all). His bat bowtie is the ribbon on top that brings the whole ensemble together.
Behind the scenes, Skellington was voiced by Christopher Sarandon (best known for his roles in Fright Night and The Princess Bride) and Danny Elman (frontman for Oingo Boingo and the man who wrote the music for The Nightmare Before Christmas). Jack comes across as a perfect synthesis of Sarandon’s classic sophistication and Elfman’s eclectic sense of the bizarre.
Professor Rattigan (The Great Mouse Detective)
Menace requires its own sense of style. Of course, there are poorly dressed villains, but a true super villain doesn’t just try and take over the world. They attempt to do it with a sense of panache. Take Professor Rattigan from The Great Mouse Detective. He COULD try and execute his evil machinations wearing sweatpants and an old t-shirt from the office team building exercise a few years back, but that would be beneath him. No, he sports a top hat, white gloves, a cravat, and a black and gray suit. Not to mention his fabulous black and red cape.
Its a look that was truly worthy of the man behind the rat, the one and only Vincent Price, who spent his career blending terror and elegance through numerous classic horror films, particularly those built around the works of Edgar Allen Poe.
Ellie Fredricksen (UP)
Oscar de la Renta once said, “Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.” With that in mind, it’s safe to say that Ellie Fredricksen from Pixar’s UP is one of the most stylish characters in the company’s history. Picture when we first meet her. She’s dressed in an aviator helmet and goggles, a yellow polo shirt, and a pair of old overalls covered in a variety of bottle caps. None of it matches and she looks AWESOME.
The voice of Ellie was provided by Elie Docter, the daughter of UP director Pete Docter. As a curious side note, Elie Docter also served as the inspiration for the character of Riley Andersen in Inside Out.
While Cruella and the Baroness (portrayed brilliantly by Emma Stone and Emma Thompson respectively) get most of the attention when it comes to the fashion in Disney’s 2021 live-action film Cruella, it would be a crime to overlook Artie (portrayed by John McCrea).
The owner of a vintage clothing store, Artie’s look is straight out of the 1970s glam rock scene. He seems to draw particular inspiration from David Bowie’s characters Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane. However, according to McCrea, inspiration was also taken from Marc Bolan, the late singer of the band T. Rex.
When it comes to fashion and style, sometimes less is more. Think of Audrey Hepburn’s famous “little black dress” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. That said, sometimes more is more and it just works. That’s the case with Tamatoa, the enormous coconut crab who lives in Lalotai (the Realm of Monsters) in Moana.
His entire look is built on excess, his body encrusted with more gold and jewels than you’d find on Liberace’s rings. Maui’s hook is the piece that completes the extravagant look.
And because he seems to be a recurring theme in this conversation (his name pops up in the podcast as well), its worth mentioning that actor Jemaine Clement, the actor behind Tamatoa’s voice) based his performance off the starman himself: David Bowie. The lesson? If you want to be fashionable or oh so shiny, try being a little bit more like Bowie.