Skinny Disney Characters Take On The Runways

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The classic Disney characters–Mickey, Minnie, Donald–have never been drawn as what one would call “skinny”; while their princess counterparts are a different story, our favorite mice and their friends have remained largely the same over the years, with a few tweaks from the original black-and-white incarnations.

All that is about to change, however, as Barney’s New York has teamed up with Disney to give the iconic figures a makeover for an ad campaign called “Electric Holiday”, which includes a 3D film in which the newly waif-like characters head to Paris for fashion week. High-end designers Lanvin, Dolce & Gabbana, and Balmain have all offered up their threads for the new models to wear, which can be seen below.




The changes have some people wondering whether or not it’s a good thing for children, who are used to a much different body-type on their beloved Disney friends. But the creative forces behind the project say they had a long discussion about how to pull off the ad campaign.

“When we got to the moment when all Disney characters walk on the runway, there was a discussion,” Barneys creative director Dennis Freedman said . “The standard Minnie Mouse will not look so good in a Lanvin dress. There was a real moment of silence, because these characters don’t change. I said, ‘If we’re going to make this work, we have to have a 5-foot-11 Minnie,’ and they agreed. When you see Goofy, Minnie and Mickey, they are runway models.”

The holiday campaign will premiere in the windows of Barney’s Madison Avenue store and will feature a moving light show as well as the film.

Skinny Disney Characters Take On The Runways
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  • jenna

    I am absolutely disgusted by this. I have been a lifelong Disney fan, vacationed there last year actually, and always look to them as a safe and happy place. This has killed that for me. It’s bad enough no one feels skinny enough anymore but even doing it to characters who have stayed the same for decades is outrageous. They do look just like runway models, emaciated. Not a happy Disney fan anymore.

  • M3llowY3llow

    lmao. Minnie looks like a crackhead. Goofy looks gay. Daisy looks like a coked out hooka. Great job w/ skinny characters. If runway models were this thin there would be an outrage. Ppl would say they are sick. Good thing they targeting white kids w/ this nonsense.

    • renathekid

      Yes, because children of other nationalities don’t know what a Disney character is.

    • Sarah

      So you’re saying that litte black boys and girls don’t know who Minnie or Mikey Mouse are? Not even Asian or Mexican kids either? That’s not racist…

  • anabel

    I think its pretty ridiculous that people are enraged by CARTOONS being DRAWN differently.

  • D

    Yes, because we can all just change our bodies when we “dont look good in a Lanvin dress”. I am re-drawing myself as we speak.

    • English Teach



    like girls don’t already have enough body image problems, let their childhood icons make them feel even worse! Thin is not necessarily the same as healthy and neither is fuller figure equal to slob and heart attack candidates. moderation is th word of the day.

    • Jennifer

      I couldn’t agree with you more. It seems like the message the media likes to send is that if you aren’t stick thin you must be fat. I have lost count how many times Ive heard girls as young as 8 say they are “fat” just because their bellies aren’t perfectly flat and sadly none of these girls are anywhere near fat, they just aren’t model thin When I hear them I can’t help but think why should they worry about being super thin, they are still growing and developing. Its because everywhere they turn the message is the same, “not thin enough.” Just look at all those Special K commercials. Its always some woman who is already thin trying to fit into her “high school” jeans.



  • laressa

    this makes me sick. they should of just left the characters alone instead of trying to make them what society thinks they need to be. I am deffinately not going to let my daughter watch this.

  • r

    Ok, forget for a moment that the characters are iconic. The ad campaign is horrific to look at. What is even remotely eye-catching, just looking at them make me ill. Is promoting anorexia really what Disney wants?

  • Joe

    Hmmm, interesting to read some of the comments here. One can only imagine that those people commenting on how horrible this is, must truly have a weight problem. Have you been to Disney lately. It’s nothing but a herd of fat asses.

    • Sarah

      I’m 16, 5″3, and 107 pounds and this is still horrible! You don’t have to be overweight just to see how gross those pics look, especially Minnie…. that was frightening first thing in the morning…

      • Mich

        Really? Pick up a child development book and read how the young mind works. Then you’ll see the impact changing colorful “non-realistic” cartoons will have on young minds. Frightful, depressing, withdrawn children growing up to be the same adults.. You’d be amazed at how the images young children grow up seeing help determine their behavior as adults and how they see the world. Cartoons need to be positive and uplifting in early childhood..fun and fancy free and harmless to the subconscious.

    • jojo

      You’re a fucking douche bag. It’s fucks like you that make other want to be extremely skinny. Sorry no one else can be perfect like you, you fucking troll. You’ll be fat one day because cunts like you who make fun of fat people get really big and the fat people who were made fun of turn out to be beautiful so fuck off!!!

    • lola

      You’re a rude, ignorent jackass!

    • Mike

      Absolute best response … this is why I read article comments, to see who has the best sense of humor. Classic!

  • robin

    Disney should be ashamed of them self.

  • Manlyman

    Once again, did I just waste precious time in my finite life reading this tripe and then reading a bunch of whiny little busy bodies complaining about the Disney Characters? THEY ARE FRIKIN CARTOONS!!! Get over your little crusades as making everything important makes nothing important

  • paul

    Crum is right..the is made crummy

  • Tamara

    PETITION: http://www.change.org/petitions/vp-of-corporate-social-responsibility-stop-the-use-of-disney-characters-in-barney-s-ny-campaign

  • http://webpronews Elisa Rodriguez

    There is thin and then there’s the swizzle stick. This is not thing, if they were any thinner they’d be invisible. Lets me realistic.

  • Mich

    If an artist wants to have fun drawing this for their own artistic ingenuity then so be it, but I too am disgusted by the thought of these becoming reality for the Disney characters. They will NOT be a good influence on children. Children’s cartoons need to be bright and cute. They see images differently than adults and this will change the way they grow up to see the world. It’s bad enough we have airbrushing on magazines to flub reality, we can’t go changing innocent and fun cartoon characters to one’s who will make children uptight and possibly scared. Early childhood age children will become withdrawn if asked to watch these new characters!

  • kelly russell

    I beleive people are over thinking the pictures. They seem more for the adult Disney fans and NOT aimed at Children. I believe them to be more ‘works of art’ instead of something that draws the kids in. Children will ALWAYS look for Winnie the Pooh to be stuff and fluff and they will always love the original Daisy and Minnie.

    Stop thinking too much. This is a non issue.

    • Robin

      There are thousand of adault women out there that this does harm. as does all of the other skinny ads. Every where you look you are being told that you need to be skinny to look good. You must not live in this world.

  • rg

    Allright! Anorexia has finally infected Disney. Can’t believe Disney had anything to do with this. Walt would not approve.

  • WHA?

    Look its Kate Mouse!! HAHA

  • Suzie

    All the models in NY… All the actresses in California… and now Disney… anorexic!

    Way to go Disney! That will promote acceptance! Everyone must be alike! (heavy sarcasm).

  • April

    Did anybody read where this is going to be shown? I mean seriously, how many people shop at Barneys with their children? I think the kids will be alright.

  • Siobhan

    This is so wrong on so many levels. I’m disgusted that Disney has approved this. Generations have grown up with Disney and shared their favorite characters with their own children. There is no way I will share these ridiculous looking characters with my children. I’m sticking with the originals.

  • Julia

    So you have to be 5’11” to look good in or wear Lanvin? Did anyone bother to tell that to 5’4″ Julianne Moore, 5’5″ Jennifer Lopez, 5’6″ Meryl Streep, 5’7″ Keira Knightley, 5’8″ Rihanna or 5’8″ Anne Hathaway before they graced fashion pages in Lanvin? I don’t think so.

  • Tawnya

    This is wrong on so many levels. How can you take away such important characters that mean so much to little kids and put in them the same judgement and expectations on looks that everywhere else is trying to beat into the heads of young kids. Its sick and im disgusted with Disney and anyone else who is involved. Every last one of you should be ashamed of yourselves.

  • lizziebob

    I think Disney is just subliminal porn. Yuck run away!!!

  • Mother of 2

    Honestly, this makes me sick. Isn’t it bad enough that our children have to watch disney actors grow up to be drunken,irresponsible,party animals? Now they are even changing our beloved animated characters and promoting eating disorders and unhealthy lifestyles? This is just too much, I don’t ever want my children to see these versions of Mickey and friends. It’s disgusting to me that this had happened. Especially as someone who struggled with body image issues FOR YEARS because of what the media and general public portray/believe to be beautiful. And here I was thinking that as a nation we were moving forward. It’s a shame.

    • Vi

      You are so very right in what you say! I agree 100% and anyone in their right minds would too!

  • Will King

    Looks OK to me. Wouldn’t matter how they made them. There would be always some people out there finding something about it to complain about. Too Skinny or too Fat.
    This is just a cartoon People!! Our kids will be OK! Leave it alone!

    • Mother of 2

      obviously you dont know how impressionable young girls can be. guaranteed a bunch of little girls will want to chop and bleach their hair now too because “hannah montana” did it.

    • Bobbi

      you are an idiot!

  • Joe

    lol, why does minnie look like a drag-queen?

  • http://Barbiesdoyouowmany globalnetes

    All I have to say is how many Barbies do you see running around???????What a stupid idea. Children that watch this are not quite into what their bodies look like. You got it wrong Disney……..sad

  • Vi

    Give me a break! Does everything innocent, good & decent in our society have to be tainted by society’s Madison Ave. standards?? As it is, children have been robbed of their childhoods & sexualized beyond belief. Common sense is out the window & Hollywood expectations have engulfed our everday life. Walt D. would be horrified at how his creations have been perverted!

  • Tommy

    These images are well done, YET are NOT what I would like to see. I wonder if Walt would like these,… NOT.

  • Kelly

    I recall an episode on “Phineas and Ferb”, another show on Disney, which Candace tries to be a model for a strict company, which promotes their products with girls whose looks are impossible to achieve. Phineas and Ferb make a spray to make things grow, which Candace steals and puts more than directed. She grows like a giant. The company then wants her. There’s also another character who wants to have her for his freak show.

    Candace learned a lesson from it on being happy with who you are and left them both alone. So why is Disney flipping sides on “Be Happy About Yourself.”

    I just grew a half inch and am now 5’2″. I have a healthy BMI score of 27 (which was checked by my doctor yesterday) and although I think my thighs look big, I just tell myself in the mirror I look good.

    Girls need confidence. Not standards.

  • Bobbi

    When do they get Boob jobs and face lifts? I certainly don’t want to see a Fairy Godmother in designer cloths! She would upstage Cinderella and I would imagine that would not sit well with Prince Charming…. it would be “Off with her Head”!

  • some one

    disney is dumb why would they do that i thought they were better then this not a good thing very very very bad we got to many skinny models lets leave disney alone

  • Andrea

    Seriously!!!! As if having to face ultra skinny models isn’t bad enough when they are teenagers, we are now making cartoons into ultra skinny versions of themselves??? Maybe Disney should work on promoting healthy lifestyles instead of fashion. Partner with the IFIC instead of Lanvin!

  • Daisy

    This is terrible… has it come to this?? kids are going to think that you have to be skinney guess we are going to have more cases of eating disorders. I cant believe Disney did this terrible just terrible. Let kids enjoy their childhood let them enjoy cartoons whether the character is big or not its cartoons people. What did someone write to Disney and said their chartacters need to lose weight its cartoons geez!

  • Daisy

    This is terrible… has it come to this?? kids are going to think that you have to be skinney guess we are going to have more cases of eating disorders. I cant believe Disney did this terrible just terrible. Let kids enjoy their childhood let them enjoy cartoons whether the character is big or not its cartoons people. What did someone write to Disney and said their chartacters need to lose weight its cartoons geez!

  • Colleen

    No No No No! Why are Disney characters being used for fashion ads anyway? This is STILL sending the wrong message to young girls that you must be 5′ 11″ and stick thin to look good in clothes. Ridiculous!!! The Disney characters need to stay true to their original lovable form, not some twisted vision of what some designers deem beautiful. Just stupid!

  • Patty

    Get real, Disney is Disney. These are out of bounds and look silly.
    It’s alright to push healthy eating, but these are definitely NOT healthy eaters!!

  • Marty

    HUH? Those monstrosities don’t even look like Minnie or Daisy (Goofy was always tall and skinny)!!!

    I think that Minnie, Mickey, Donald and Daisy were all DRAWN to be well modeled “small people”. Neither fat or skinny, but shaped more like little kid’s body (probably to relate to their real market.)

    This whole thing is not only silly but UGLY!

  • Donna

    How disgusting! I am shocked Disney would allow this let alone join in on this. Shame on Disney and Barney’s! Shouldn’t we be teaching EVERYONE that NO ONE is perfect. Everyone is special in their own way. Big, small, skinny and fat. Why should they revamp cartoons!?!? Leave the Disney characters alone!

  • Steph

    This Is So Gay…


    well at least they left donald duck alone :/

  • Cherie

    “The standard Minnie Mouse will not look so good in a Lanvin dress.”

    If Minnie will not look good in a Lanvin dress, then there is something wrong with the dress, not with Minnie. Walt would have known that. How sad that the current generation of Disney folks do not.

    • Carla

      That is exactly what I thought!

  • http://downs_linda@yahoo.com Linda

    I learned in psychology class that the reason Mickey is so popular is that he looks like a baby, i.e., round head, huge eyes, chubby body. That is the reason for Disney characters’ popularity. Next, in this class, we learned that villains look like rats, i.e., long pointed noses, skinny faces. DON’T DO IT, DISNEY.

  • Cin

    I think they should not tolerate modifying cartoon characters for the sake of wearing designer clothes. Supermodels are not the average persons body type. Disney should not cross this line. Barneys should know that kids cant afford designer clothes and use Disney to reel them in. What a shame.

  • Stephanie

    This is not going to work…I saw the pictures and was instantly horrified. Why do they have to mess up everything classic? What kind of message is this sending to our girls who love minnie and daisy?

  • Crystal

    How could Disney degrade their beloved characters in such a way! Disney is supposed to be about loving who you are and representing that to children. Props to anyone who takes a stand against this as I agree with a previous comment that Walt Disney would have known better! Either let the clothes fit the character or get yourself some other characters to destroy!

    • Brandi

      Look at any one of the Disney princesses… They all look like they have eating disorders. Now apparently the animal characters need to have eating disorders, too.

      • Brandi

        grr it replied to the wrong person… my previous comment was in response to crystal.

        • Brandi

          damnit… rawash not crystal… derp 😐

  • Rawash

    This is just Disney’s subtle way of promoting eating disorders.

  • Cartier

    I hope people realize that fashion ads are geared more towards adults and not children. The fact that kids would even see this is secondary, no child will be contemplating buying Lanvin or D&G or even shopping at Barney’s New York. #MakingABigDealOverNothing.

    • Sarah


  • Cartier

    This ad is not meant for kids.

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