Many of us have been under Disney's spell from a very young age. Their skills and achievements are quite enchanting: hundreds of gorgeously animated films, multiple severely detailed theme parks, and a constantly evolving cast of some of the most lovable, memorable characters of all time.
Personally, though, I think Disney’s biggest “wow” factor is their insane portfolio of magical makeovers. Here are my favorites
SERVANT CINDERELLA TO BALL-GOING CINDERELLA
The classic Disney-magic makeover! Cinderella spends most of her youth as a devastatingly beautiful and poorly treated servant girl (though she still manages to keep her hair in a perfectly groomed bow underneath all that dust and soot).
Luckily, she bumps into a master stylist (aka fairy godmother) who trades Cinderella’s hard-working look for something more glamorous. Cinderella’s hair is swept into a perfect top-knot and secured with a crisp headband; her eyeliner darkens slightly, and her lips are tinted a bright, kissable red, just in time for the ball.
BLONDE RAPUNZEL TO BRUNETTE RAPUNZEL
Most people would say the tragedy in Disney’s Tangled is the (sort of) death of Flynn Rider, but I would argue the real horror is when Flynn Rider sacrifices Rapunzel’s hair! WHY, why did she sacrifice her hair? What was once a record-breaking mass of perfectly silky blonde magic was reduced in one foolish moment to a short, brown, uneven shag!
Not to say that Rapunzel isn’t super cute as a choppy-haired brunette, but come on. She was able to make a huge braid with flowers weaved into it! She could to swing from trees on her hair! She healed people and reversed aging with her hair. RIP Rapunzel’s perfect, 100% natural blonde locks.
KUZCO HUMAN TO KUZCO LLAMA TO KUZCO LLAMA IN DRAG
Not only is there a plethora of hilarious adult-aimed jokes woven into The Emperor's New Groove script, but the art is wonderful and there and so many good beauty moments.
Take Emperor Kuzco the selfish protagonist. As the result of a little mix up in the potions department of his evil advisor, he goes from a perfectly groomed human with a great gold hat and turquoise earrings to a buck-toothed llama without losing his edgy haircut. This is a true interspecies makeover success, but it gets better.
He then has to pass as a woman. A human woman. From a llama. Apparently, this is executed quite easily with some red lipstick, blue eyeshadow, false lashes, and a quick llama perm.
THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL TO UGLY OLD APPLE PEDDLER
A lesson in vanity if there ever has been one. Snow White’s evil stepmother is so jealous of her wrinkle-free, red-lipped stepdaughter that she wants her heart. Literally. Why she doesn’t just kill Snow White with magic while she is living in the Queen’s castle we will never know.
Instead queen uses a pretty crafty un-beauty potion (“The Peddler’s Disguise”) to uglify herself beyond recognition. One sip from a horrific cocktail and it’s as if all of those skincare regimens she’s kept up for years have done nothing. She’s gnarled, she’s wart-covered, toothless... and clearly she’s a makeover master.
THE BEAST TO HANDSOME BEAST TO HANDSOME HUMAN
Did you ever notice the beast never gets a name other than The Beast? Anyway, this guy undergoes some extreme makeovers that would involve a lot of special effects makeup and surgery without the help of curses and enchanted roses and such.
Originally a young man, Beast is forced to live out his youth as a messy, scary, hair-covered adolescent monster (like most teenage boys). When he meets Belle, however, he begins to clean up his look, and on one magical evening, finds himself washed and primped (with a ponytail held by a hair bow to prove it).
His groomed look captures the heart of Belle, and before long, the Beast is returned to his perfect princely state. All I can say is, THAT HAIR!
MULAN TO PING
Mulan’s cross-dressing makeover is perhaps the most realistic on my list. She removes her intricate makeup and straps on a huge suit of armour, hiding her feminine features to the best of her ability. She takes her hair shoulder-length with the swing of a very well-aimed sword and ties the remaining strands into a traditional warrior bun.
Though it’s not shown on screen, I’m pretty sure Mulan must’ve borrowed her mother’s brow pencil for the occasion as well: just look at the difference in shape and thickness!
Luckily, Mulan doesn’t have to deal with attempting to draw on facial hair, for which she would’ve needed a lot more time and tools.
URSULA TO VANESSA
Not only can Ursula make people skinny with a magical spell and give mermaids legs, she can completely change herself from a glamorously evil tentacle-legged sea witch to a beautiful human maiden with a name and everything!
Though I can admire the charms of the thick-haired, wide-eyed Vanessa, I still think Ursula has a way better beauty look going on. Her plump red lips, perfectly drawn on brows, thick lashes and constantly swept-back white hair are enviable, wouldn’t you say? Plus as a human she doesn’t even have her sexy Marilyn-Monroe-esque beauty mark.
TIANA TO FROG TO FROG PRINCESS
Tiana starts as a hard-working young woman with a simple but super-pretty look. Her wispy curls and natural makeup are totally working for her… and then she is turned into a frog.
As a frog, Tiana still keeps her look together pretty well--as well as she can without a nose or lips or hair or ears. Basically, she wears eyeliner.
Later, as a princess, she is radiant and happy to be a human with a face again. She pairs a dark eyeshadow with a plum lipstick and her signature loose curls at the front of her updo.
MERMAID ARIEL TO HUMAN ARIEL
Ariel is clearly the prettiest mermaid under the sea, but when she trades her adorable seashell bra for a pair of wobbly legs, she quickly becomes a fish out of water.
Though she keeps up her super-glam appearance even when she’s unable to speak or find clothing, Ariel struggles to get a handle on beauty routines. She combs her hair with a fork at the dinner table to the horror of her hosts, and loses her man to a creepy brunette (see Vanessa above) who wears a voice-carrying seashell for a necklace.
The land does seem to have it’s perks, though: out of the sea, Ariel is able to accessorize with earrings and delightful hair bows and barrettes.
JAFAR TO CREEPY OLD MAN
How can someone as tall as Jafar shrink himself into someone as hunched over and tiny as the creepy man who takes Aladdin to the Cave of Wonders? What is up with that? Jafar isn’t even magical until later!
He also manages to transform his wiry black goatee (and eyebrows) into a big bushy white beard (and eyebrows), and replace his perfect white teeth with mouth full of wobbly broken-piano-key teeth, save for one which is GOLDEN.
Animated Giselle to real life Giselle
Enchanted might be my very favourite. A Disney princess gets a real-life NYC makeover, a transformation that closely follows the development of her understanding of the world and the disappearance of her naiveté.
Initially, Giselle is an animated beauty in pretty pink lipstick with flowers in her hair. She meets a prince, falls in love, and falls into our world of non-animation, busy grumpy people, and money. Giselle clings to her princess aesthetic even in New York, making dresses from curtains and calling animals to help her bathe.
But with the discovery of a credit card and shopping, Giselle cleans out her homemade wardrobe to make room for designer dresses and hair-straightening products. She emerges as a modern woman with slightly darker makeup, a perfect blowout from a high-end salon, and a purple velvet cape that I want to own SO badly.
What are some of your favourite Disney makeovers?