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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.

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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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  • Chelsey

    Walt disney would be so ashamed!

  • francisdurga

    your idea is nuts. your charictors made you what you are. I guess you think santa should be a string bean. Please leave it alone.Mickey and crew are just fine and don’t need to promote your stock.If you do this my family and I will pull are stock from you. Thanks Fran durga

  • Maya

    I like goofy’s look, and frankly it’s no better than allowing children to be as obese as you idiots have made them. instead of sitting your kid in front of this film, go make them get off the couch and do something.

  • erinrh

    This makes me sick….if minnie wouldnt “look good” in a lanvin dress then dont put her in one…this sends a horrible message to little girls that are already bombarded with images of way too skinny stars. Disney is susposed to be the one thing that doesnt change to suit ‘the times’, its susposed to be timeless….walt disney is rolling over in his grave!!!!

  • CRYS

    This disney thing is rediculous!!! i have never been so outraged at an advertisment!!! Disney how could you?!!!!! Im going to tell everyone i can not to support this. Leave the classic disney charcters just the way they are!!! Please do not ruin what walt disney created!!! Imagine what he would say to all of you about this!

    • Crissi

      You say this isnt ment for kids to see?! how will they not see it in the display windows?! hmm How? I am a long time fan of disney but this has taken it too far. this just makes me sick!! people keep making negitive comments, let our voices be heard and tell disney DO NOT do this!!

  • sara Lee

    I am speaking as a mother with an Anorexic Child and I am furious!!!!!!!!!
    My family and I will no longer patronize, buy, or accept anything from the Disney Company’s stores or amusement parks.
    From doing some research, I have found that Disney has become partially owned by a Chinese Consortium. So Disney is NO LONGER an American owned company, hence no longer truly cares for American Children, just the money. China wants their money from hardworking Americans and dont care how they get the money. So our Children are being subliminally told be skinny or Disney doesnt like you???? Horrible Horrible Role Models. All Americans need to boycott Disney!!!!!!! A Child’s Health could depend on it. But most Americans dont care for anyone but themselves…and it’s a pity because they are doing EXACTLY what these Foreign owned companies are counting on. Americans’ selfish Microcosmic view of their lives.

    Disney enjoy hurting children…America is your playground.

    • CC

      You know what, I’m sorry about your kid, really I am. But god take your raging bullshit somewhere else.

    • Dave

      Ummmmm Disney…. owned in china ? BHAWHAHAHAHahahahaha. when didi this start / Sisney i san American owned company. it aslo ownes ABC, ESPN, and several broadcasting companies. It also owns several other companies.

      THe fact that most, if not all or the disney toys are made in China, perhaps has added to teh URBAN LEGAND, that Disney is owned my the Chinese.

      Sara, do not believe everything you hear. Not every rumor you have heard is true. Just because a friend of your brother’s wife, who heard it from her cousin’s ex-husband, who overheard his dentist talking to the mechanic, who got it first hand informaqtion from the mailman’s hooker, who got if from looking over teh shoulder of the guy on the internet at Starbuck’s, does not mean it is 1005 true.

      Disney is American Owned.

  • dee

    Minnie looks like a hooker, every little girls role model.

  • http://yahoo Mark

    Disney is not partially owned by a company in China. Disney is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, so anyone can own Disney (like me). I’m sorry for your daughter’s troubles, but don’t blame them on Disney.

  • mmhh hmm

    this is dumb

  • henry lostaunau

    relax those are not the beloveved disney characters its just thier heads pasted on anorexic bodies. oh yeah i think i can see goofys wienerdog too.-teehee

  • adam

    This is absolutely ridiculous what the hell is wrong with you guys is nothing sacred all this ad tells me is eating disorders are cool cuz my favorite Disney characters are anorexic guess what I like my girls with curves and guys shouldn’t look like little punk b****** that is all

  • Tiana

    Am I the only one who thinks this is dreadful and disgusting?
    Too Tim Burton for it’s own good.

  • Deborah

    EEEEWWWWW! Seriously. Eeewwww. Wrong on every level.

  • Sue

    I am disgusted by this. SO WHAT if a typical body won’t look good in the designer clothes?? It’s the designer who needs to change to meet the regular, average, normal-sized population. Stop feeding into the anorexic disorders with this over rated, runway style. It’s unrealistic. Leave our iconic cartoons the way they are…. or simply use Roger Rabbit’s girlfriend (what was her name?). She can’t help the way she looks, she’s “just drawn that way.”

    • sarah

      Or you could look at it this way -

      Children seeing their favorite characters at an attractive weight could give them motivation to get into shape.

      The “regular, average, normal-sized” population is not regular at all, they are heavy to fat. Hopefully kids see this and want to look like Minnie or Daisy. Daisy has some bangin ass legs. Look at those ankles. I would rather see your gorgeous collar bone sticking out than your third chin resting on you chest. Hopefully I’m not giving you an eating disorder while you’re reading this, but seriously. Bones are beautiful. The only people that will tell you that big is beautiful is a big person. Or a weird dude. Sorry!

      • sarah

        Also*

        I am 5’8, 123 pounds. Sure I could be heavier, sure I could be lighter. I don’t look sick skinny. I have curves & a visible collar bone. There is nothing wrong with “being skinny”. It has somehow turned into what you “don’t want to look like”. That is insane!! You could add years onto your life being in shape. Do you know how many diseases obese individuals are prone to?? How many medicines you will have to take to keep your sugar, cholesterol, etc under control? Eat a healthy diet now and you won’t have to worry about any of that :)

        • kissy

          yea i dont agree with the disney characters look. but for people to say mean things about skinny people is wrong. i mean being 5’5 100 pounds with size 32 C cup breasts and a 22 inch waist with a 26 inch hip seems to be working just fine! i think people who choose to be fat and unhealthy just like to bash thin people cause they need an excuse and i think they are secretly jealous anyway haha

        • Crystal

          “Bones are beautiful.”

          Are you serious? I think you need some help if that’s your mentality.

        • haley gibbons

          being healthy has nothing to do with this just saying. this is not how mickey was created and it should not be changed!

        • what even

          Come back with a Ph.D in Nutritional Health and then I’ll believe your can of bulls**t.

          And by the way, being 5’11″ and 80lbs is NOT AN ATTRACTIVE WEIGHT, you petulant quimbreath.

          • sarah

            Lol. Who said anything about 80lbs at 5’11″ being attractive? Certainly not I.

      • bleh

        yeah no one wants fat girls, but honestly our normal is normal. this skinny is disgusting and REAL guys like girls with some meat on their bones. bones ARE NOT beautiful so stop trying to make yourself feel better, while your at it, just go ahead and starve yourself to death. one less piece of shit on our planet. how fucking dare you say that weird guys don’t like fucking sticks…when kids listen to people like you, your pretty much responsible for some destruction of our generation

        • sarah

          Right. I do have meat on my bones & I am considered underweight for my height. My hip bones & collar bone stick out. I have boney elbows, knees & ankles. I have breasts & a thick ass. I’m not sure why I’m even giving you the satisfaction of a reply when you don’t even know the correct use of you’re & your. Kids should want to grow up to be skinny, not sloppy. Not to mention these are CARTOON CHARACTERS. Any real person that is rail thin like that would look sickly. Which is not attractive.

      • cajjas

        I’m sorry but no. The average person is fat, yes, but no one looks like these pictures. No one. NO ONE. Not even people who are starving to death are that thin. And I’m NOT knocking thin people, I think svelte girls are pretty, but no one even had BONES that thin.

  • chris

    These are cartoons for little kids. Walt’s probably rolling in his grave. Disney’s sold out, sad day. :(

  • An

    Talk about Disney selling out! I find this characters creepy and SCARY! ME NO LIKEY!

  • nichole

    I am so ashamed that Disney has allowed this to happen.. what happened to every person is beautiful? guess you have to look like a skelton to look beautiful now a days that’s a shame. For you people who say a little weight is disgusting, then shame on you. You are selfish and are so stuck up. I’m not the skinnest person but I like how I look and no little girls should be worrying about their weight at age 7. They should be focusing on school and friends. Disney should be ashamed of it’s self. I’ve lost respect.

    • kissy

      yea i dont agree with the disney characters look. but for people to say mean things about skinny people is wrong. i mean being 5’5 100 pounds with size 32 C cup breasts and a 22 inch waist with a 26 inch hip seems to be working just fine! i think people who choose to be fat and unhealthy just like to bash thin people cause they need an excuse and i think they are secretly jealous anyway haha

      • cajjas

        Some of them do, but people pick on fat people more, especially since half the time they don’t know anything about the fat person they’re criticizing. I would love to be skinny but I don’t talk mean about skinny people.

    • Jon F

      If every person is equally beautiful then why all of the hatred? There are thin people in the world as well.

      • Laney

        We aren’t talking about people, the article is referencing cartoon characters who are being depicted as anorexic waifs. There’s nothing wrong with being skinny but there is such a thing as being TOO skinny, dangerously so. Just as there is such a thing as being too obese to an unhealthy extent. What people are “hating” on is the concept of lovable, cherished, classic characters (that many people have grown up with and love) being turned into hideous caricatures of their normal selves for the sake of “fashion”.

    • haley gibbons

      i totally agree

  • Kathy

    Can somebody say bolemia? This is disgusting!

    • Emily

      Clearly you cannot say ‘bulimia’.

  • Megan

    Are these Disney characters or toothpicks?

  • Angela

    Yuck. Sickening and ugly. Not impressed in the least.

  • Donna

    These are awful. Walt is rolling over in his grave or if you believe the frozen thing melting. Huge Disney fan collected Mickey my whole life some things are meant to be left alone.Sad and disrespetful to Walts vision.

    • Jon F

      Walt Disney imagined iconic characters but he also was a noted racist. He came from another time and grew on different ideals. Maybe you should just reflect your own opinion instead of creating false testimony for a man who is long deceased.

  • Ashley

    REALLY…SERIOUSLY This is what people wanna teach our children. Yeah it makes perfect sense instead of instilling morals like good manners and helping others lets instill a sense of anorexia in our children that will fix the world…… Disgusting.

  • disappointed parent

    This is seriously disgusting! As a professional in the Psychology field I would like to say that I will no longer partake in the Disney phenomenon if this is the case! There goes my trip to Disney World next year!

  • Laney

    They don’t even look like the characters we’ve come to know and love. They look…sickly thin and creepy… in a very bad way. If this is what is now considered “fashionable” and “chic” I’d rather be lame and will instead enjoy the adorable characters as I grew up with them. Not these pseudo chic, anorexic monstrosities thanks…

  • http://yahoo brion

    Very reckless,Disney.Very reckless.

  • Aly

    Well, even more evidence that Disney has lost it. What kind of messages are they sending out to kids and the public in general? This is just beyond ridiculous, and disappointing.

    • reality check

      Uh,,,tell you kids it is a cartoon. Do your kids also want a big nose like Goofy or huge ears like Mickey? Stop your wining stupid parents.

      • bug

        reality check? how about the kids who play killing video games and actually go out and kill someone because of it. How about those little kids who dress like their favorite disney characters? Young children are affected by this much more than adults because we call tell the difference in reality and fantasy. children are impressionable and this is sending out the WRONG message.

  • bug

    i totally agree that this is disgusting. I tried posting on paulding.com and got bashed for caring about this issue. I guess people think since its a cartoon that their children wont try to be “like them” which is def. not true. Its disgusting.

  • Anna

    I don’t know if anyone realized this but kids are gonna have body issues whether or not a cartoon character is skinny. Kids always compare themselves with their peers when they start maturing. I sometimes have body issues but that’s because I’m human and I have flaws and sometimes compare myself with others. To sum up kids will have body image issues if they have low self esteem and constantly compare themselves with others.

    • bug

      so lets make it worse where now they are having to deal and compare with disney characters. Awesome.

  • disneygirl365

    it is of fashion my but for adults i believe who in turn have a child-like spirit. yes, we all love the disney characters from back in the days but if you look mickey, minnie, goofy and donald etc have gpone through the change of age and as it is it is time to revamp their style for the new coming age. as a concerned parent myself i did question how it would effect my kids but you know something as a parent i can teach then what is reality and what is fictional so you can too get off the old disney train and hop on the new on and learn to change people

    • http://yahoo.com Tom

      Someone might have already mentioned this, but these characters have changed before. Remember the 1930s Micky Mouse and Goofy, etc … they were all in black and white with big black dots for eyes. Not that I didn’t like them then, not like I don’t like the look that we’ve been used to now, I’m simply saying that this sort of thing is bound to change in order to keep up with the changes in the world, technology, era, fashion…besides this, I think this art is beautiful. They’re fabulous interpretations, unique from what I’ve seen before. I love it. Kids won’t be pressured by a cartoon, if they are, wow O_O

  • Emily

    Gross.

  • haley gibbons

    this is absolutly horible. minnie mouse looks like a hooch. im sorry but this is not the way that they were designed and they should not be changed they should remain the same as they were createrd. changing them in such dramatic ways is disrespect full and i know everybody i know agrees. i, like others that i know will not be making any purchases withthese characters on them. this is not the mickey and friends we all know and love and it is obserd that anybody would try to changes thes perfect charaters

  • Sue

    OMG! Those are horrible!

    “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.”

    Then change the dress Morons!!! This is Minnie Mouse people! Not Heroine-Crackhead Mouse! All the characters look horrible!

  • LOL

    Do you know why thin is in, in the fashion industry?

    What matters is the clothes that the models are wearing.
    And they were afraid that the more curvy and voluptuous women would draw to much attention to their bodies, not the clothes.
    So essentially, a model is figuratively and literally just a walking coat hanger.

  • Diana

    I think it’s a warped concept that will not put Disney in a good light. They look like something out of a nightmare and the kids are not going to feel so comfortable about their favorite characters anymore….Poor judgement!!! Perhaps the fashion industry and Disney should remain separated…but it’s all about making the almight dollar. Bad Idea!

  • Hannah

    I can’t believe some of these comments! The problem with this isn’t the weight, because everyone is beautiful whether you’re big or skinny, this is about taking one of the most loved cartoons of all time and morphing it into something it’s not.
    Micky Mouse has always been aimed at and made for children, and making it into an adult friendly thing is only going to backfire.
    I know they just want to make it fit the times better, but these characters have always been the epitome of innocence for me, and now they most certainly are not.

  • tom

    How very disturbing….. childhood fantasy icons distroyed and looking like sickly sad creatures….

  • Marie

    People here are just criticizing to much now a days. To fat, that’s a problem, to skinng and that’s a problem. Body types are beginning to be the one thing in today’s society that we just look at and automatically judge right there and then. So what if these characters are thin, it’s a drawing! It’s meant to be dramatic, not to cause drama like this. It’s not even sending a bad message to children, so if I’m skinny does that mean I’m a bad influence on children? I bet if these characters were large all the talk would be about the same thing expect talking about the opposite, which is obesity. Then that would be the issue. No matter what either fat or skinny, society is never going to be happy about either. Why is it that these characters are anerxic? Why do people think of eating disorders when they see ‘skinny’? The answer is, people are to quick to judge. Stop over analyzing an issue that’s not even there. Don’t like the character’s makeover, then don’t look at them, stop complaining.

    • Jimmy

      The characters are seen as anorexic because if you compared them to a real person they WOULD BE ANOREXIC. Some of these characters are short and chubby and they have been modified to fit an idea of beauty. This message will not be lost on young children who will think of these characters as glamorous because of the setting. If they had designed new clothes for the original characters they would see the originals in a glamorous setting and the message is anyone can be glamorous. But to be glamorous these lovable characters had to have a massive make over. Now children will know that when they needed Minnie to be “beautiful” they made her tall and uber skinny rather than leaving her short and chubby. They could have created some new “model” characters to add to the bunch, but no they performed plastic surgery.

  • Cassie

    Is this really what we want young children to look up to??? Its bad enough that they are seeing unrealistic Hollywood girls on tv and magazines. Cartoons are something that are suppose to make kids happy! What is this going to do to them? Kids will now feel horrible at a younger age than they do already. This is some messed up society that we live in!

  • Sophia

    I see that it is so much easier for them to change the characters to fit the clothes, then make clothes that actually fit normal bodies.

  • towbeezgrl

    very, very dissappointed in disney……this is awful….

  • Meghan

    HORRIBLE IDEA! They’re telling kids they need to change in order to “look good”. WTF?

    • Briana

      Well is it so harmful when “looking good” is healthier regardless. Kids would not be put in a “self esteem issue” if parents took charge and kept their children healthier.

      • Maureen Hughes

        It is not a matter of just looking good. These altered versions of the Disney characters convey the idea that in order to “look good,” you must have an artificially skinny body type, which most people do not have naturally. People cannot affect their family’s genes; thus, they certainly cannot change their height, facial characteristics, body frame, or bone structure in order to look good according to the fashion industry’s standards. The only thing that it can achieve is making children, particularly young girls, feel insecure about the way the look. According to the article, “the standard Minnie Mouse will not look so good in a Lanvin dress.” How about making a Lanvin dress that looks good on the standard Minnie Mouse?

      • liz

        How does anorexia look good???

  • kristen

    It ain’t right.

  • irish

    I agree terrible idea! Here comes more wieght problems in up coming generations … just what we need. Frankly, the figures look unnatural!

  • Laura

    How awfull we just don’t have to buy into this by not. Buying anything with the skinny Disney characters or going to their shows

  • Lisa

    My concern here is my 5 year old grand-daughter looking at these and thinking that’s not Minnie! Disney has set the bar for these characters. So what happend? Minnie feel she was too fat? Goofy isn’t supposed to be some cool rapper, he’s supposed to be “goofy”. That is his character. So now we have beloved Disney characters that are no longer what we know them to be. This is actually quite disturbing, and since when do mice and ducks have human bodies? I’m sorry, but we love the characters the way they are!

  • christina mcdonald

    Lets just tell the children they are supposed to look like tall, anorexic adults. Those are not the disney characters, they look awful

  • giggy

    This is the biggest INSULT to Walt Disney
    I have ever witnessed. Shame on you!!!!

  • Lurdiak

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • wilma spike

    I can’t believe Disney would lend their name to this image. It’s a slap in the face not only to children thinking they should look like this, and don’t, but to the original characters and Walt Disney himself. I hope these get withdrawn before they make their way into any kids hands – or minds!

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