NOT COOL–Sexy Disney Campaign

“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.” –Dennis Freedman, creative director

So, what he’s saying is that a chubby, furry, cartoon animal doesn’t look good in a dress designed for a human? Who would have thought. 

There are levels of weird in this project that I’m almost afraid to descend to. Essentially, this department store is preparing a campaign that involves taking popular children’s animated animals and trying to make them into runway models. Apparently the best way to do this is to plop cartoon heads on elongated, stick-thin humanoid bodies. As I look at the Daisy Duck image, I wonder: how do those legs support that big bow? Without snapping like toothpicks.

Why was this ever a good idea? Better yet, who the hell is the target consumer here? Adults who watch the Disney Channel? Or the little kids that read Vogue? 

But the aspect that I truly object to more than anything is the sexualization of a children’s character. Freedman doesn’t even attempt to hide it. Minnie doesn’t look skinny enough, so we took some “creative freedoms” with her body image.

If I were a child, I would be deeply confused when I saw a familiar face on these pictures. I would assume that Minnie and Daisy had been kidnapped by aliens with crazy E.T.-long limbs.

That makes more sense than the truth, which is that these relatively innocent Disney females have been turned into sexual objects for the camera and the male/consumer gaze.

And let’s not forget Goofy.

Dear Gods. He was always out of proportion, but this is just awkward. His waist is TINY. And his legs are a wee bit more plausible, but not really considering the size of his head and shoulders. The scarf plus his disdainful expression really seals the deal. That’s what Freedman thinks women like to see? Oh, sir. Where’s the butt? The rippling pectorals? Not even one manly chest hair?

These images, instead of being sexy selling points, are confusing, anatomically impossible hybrids, grotesque enough that even Steven King would shudder to dream them up.

The best part? They’re making a short film, too!

I can’t wait.

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