Disney regal types get a royal toon-up
In Disney’s new musical comedy “Enchanted,” which opens Wednesday, the real world and the animated world collide as Giselle (Amy Adams), a fairy-tale princess from the cartoon kingdom of Andalasiam, finds herself in contemporary New York City due to the machinations of an evil queen (Susan Sarandon).
Costume designer Mona May, who created the stylishly witty wardrobes for “Clueless,” “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion,” “The Haunted Mansion” and “The Wedding Singer,” was brought onto the project early on “when the animators were working on the faces and the body designs,” May says. “We knew we had to translate the costumes from two-dimensional drawings to live-action human proportion.”
May’s edict from director Kevin Lima was to reinvent the perfect Disney animated princess. “We have all grown up with these images of princesses and evil queens by watching Disney movies,” she says. “The key [to the designs] were to keep it Disneyesque to the core but bring a little bit of fashion in there and humor and make it something new.”
When Giselle first pops out of the manhole cover on a busy street in Times Square, she’s wearing her wedding dress of overly puffed sleeves, petticoats and ornate designs. The dress is so grandiose, she can’t fit through doorways.
“When you look at princesses, they always have the tied waist and big skirts and fluffy sleeves. Kevin wanted to have a humongous contrast to the flat drawings, so her dress is exploding with layers. It was a very, very thought-out process. There are petticoats after petticoats and hoops.”
For James Marsden’s ornate costume as the supercilious Prince Edward, May had to figure out “how not to lose him in the craziness of the outfit . . . where he still looks handsome.”
So she transformed Marsden into a walking doll. May gave him a padded chest “that goes into a very small waist. We gave him a butt pad and he even has a crotch enhancement. The costume and the padding gave him this posture -- his back is straight, the sleeves are up and never collapse.”
And she decided to make Sarandon’s evil queen Narissa a high-fashion diva.
“If there is an evil queen and she has all the money in the world, [that would mean] she’s gone to Paris shows, she knows what’s happening,” May says.
“Also, for her to walk into this world of New York City, she wouldn’t look out of place. She is so cool and so hot. She’s just strutting like a runway lady!”
-- Susan King
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