Friday, December 15, 2023

Costumed Characters, April 1960

Here's a fun pair of scans from 1960 featuring some of the slightly-weird costumed characters of those early days. The weirdness is what makes them fun in my opinion! 

First up is this cute picture of a little girl posing with one of the Three Little Pigs. Maybe you know which one it is! The pig to the left is clearly the Practical Pig, he loves Oshkosh B'gosh overalls and brick pianos. The Monorail track is overhead, but we must be in Fantasyland, because the Matterhorn Chalet (and Screechy the Richfield Eagle) can be seen behind the lady with the red vest.

I guess it's too much to expect a three year-old to stay at the park until midnight, so the family was heading out to their car - when LO! Mickey and Minnie were there! I kind of love this costume version, it is cute and has a lot of charm, even if it's a little "off model". 


Nanook said...

"... a little girl posing with one of the Three Little Pigs. Maybe you know which one it is!"

That's 'Kosher Pig'. (Sorry).

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

Yes, definitely fun but......... Practical Pig gives me the creeps. I think it's the too-human proportions (regular body, smallish head); not at all like the cartoon character. Maybe if he was wearing a hat?
The Pigs' eyes look like they might move from side to side. If so, did the CM move them? Or did they just roll back and forth like novelty googly eyes?
I think the little girl in front has been taking posing lessons from our saucy friend, Ginny.

Major, I agree with you about this version of Mickey and Minnie. Nice, friendly-looking, in a somewhat primitive way; which is endearing.
The guy in the checkered shirt was caught in an awkward walking pose. And I can't figure out what the guy in the black shirt is carrying. Is it his jacket? Why would it be at that strange angle?

Nanook, are you sure that isn't 'Halal Pig'? (Also sorry).

Character photos are fun, Major. Thanks.

TokyoMagic! said...

That's the little pig that went wee, wee, wee, all the way home. Or maybe he just went wee.

Mickey's shorts are looking a little raggedy around the waistband area. And is that a white costume department label sticking up out of them or is Mickey stashing something in his a pack of cigs?

JB said...

Tokyo!, I think it's a stick of spearmint gum.

TokyoMagic! said...

JB, I think you are right! Mickey was always worried about having "cheese breath." He stopped hiding gum in his shorts, once they invented "Binaca." And that of course led to Minnie's most famous line of all time, "Mickey, is that a can of Binaca in your shorts......"

JG said...

Those pigs will haunt your dreams…

I suppose in 1960 before slasher movies, this wouldn’t have been a problem. Obviously the costumes were approved and sent out in the world, so they were seen differently than we do today.

The pig mask eyes have to be where the wearer looks out, but they look solid. Not sure how that works, maybe a painted scrim? Notice the character gloves like pigs feet, not the universal white glove hands they all wear today. My grandad loved pickled pigs feet. Mmm pigs feet.

Red vest lady has a big purse and a brass ammo can with her coolie hat. Great outfit, wonder what’s in the ammo can? 0.50 cal?

Kid leaning on the trash can in pic 2. Even then a shortage of benches. Jeff Goldblum is lugging his windbreaker. Mickey looks a bit disheveled but he has passed the white glove test. Rain coat lady noticing the cute kid having her picture taken.

Great little vignettes with happy people. Thanks Major!


Melissa said...

Picture 1: I absolutely want a pair of those blue and white pants the older girl is wearing! My eyes keep being pulled back ad forth between those crunchy pig trotter gloves and the tiny coolie hat Mrs. Redvest is carrying.

Picture 2: I'm with you, Maj; these mouse costumes are cute! I'm not sure I've ever seen this version, in between the original nightmare fuel and the look we're all accustomed to. Is that lady in the white cheaters checking out Mr. Blackshirt who's heading toward the camera?

"Those pigs will haunt your dreams…"

Wait, don't pigs haunt everybody's dreams?

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I didn’t know there was such a thing! ;-)

JB, the pigs are kind of tall and skinny, they obviously thought so too, since they were redone to be more cartoony in their proportions. I don’t believe that the eyes moved, but I can’t say for sure. And hey, if I was photographed randomly, I’d probably look weird too. In fact, I’d definitely look weird. i think that guy has a sweater in his hands, but… hard to know.

TokyoMagic!, oh, here come the “wee wee” jokes. I thought I’d left those behind long ago! Those shorts are couture, they were made by Mousier Jacques of Paris.

JB, not Juicyfruit? It’s my favorite!

TokyoMagic!, I as more of a “Certs” guy, though to be honest I just ate them like candy. Lifesavers without the holes. I’ve never had Binaca! Do they still make it? Now you might use those weird strips that melt in your mouth.

JG, I admit that on a dark night with the appropriate lighting, these pigs could look pretty scary. As far as I can tell, the eyes are the only place the CM would be able to see out of, and they aren’t that big, so you’d think that even on a good day they’d be mostly blind. Oh weird, that really does look like an ammo can in that lady’s hand, what the heck. I wouldn’t expect a lot of benches outside the park, though there were some - I just scanned a photo of some people resting at a curb, waiting for dad to pick them up (presumably).

Melissa, those pants help that girl blend in to the foliage so that she won’t be eaten by lions. I’m sure that lady is looking at the giant mice, as you would expect!

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-
"I absolutely want a pair of those blue and white pants the older girl is wearing!"

You ain't kidding... those are pretty 'wild' for 1960-! That gal should be wearing a pair of 'proper' pedal pushers.

DBenson said...

Time to break out the Laurel and Hardy version of "Babes in Toyland" (aka "March of the Wooden Soldiers"). Now THERE'S nightmare fodder, what with scary, black-eyed little pigs who bite and Mickey played by a monkey in a creepy costume (Hal Roach got permission, so "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" is heard). Not to mention the Boogey Men and that one toy soldier losing his head and lumbering on.

For me, the classic odd Disney costumes were the ones where the wearer's eyes were semi-visible through a window in a hat above a massive rubbery face, and those nonfunctional arms. Then there was Pooh with a small hunny pot affixed to the top of his head, and I faintly recall an open-mouthed Pluto revealing the wearing's head inside, covered in a black mesh mask. Do you talk to the real face or the painted eyes?

Melissa said...

"And hey, if I was photographed randomly, I’d probably look weird too."

Heck, I look weird when I'm photographed on purpose!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, if elected President, I will be sure to put a ban on crazy pants! VOTE FOR ME!

DBenson, oh believe me, I remember that Laurel and Hardy stuff, it really was so creepy. I assume it was intentional? Nobody could look at those characters and not have nightmares. Apparently Hal Roach and Walt were friends, there are photos of them together, along with Laurel and Hardy. I always kind of get a kick out of being able to see the CM’s face through the mesh of those old costumes, when the sunlight was just right, you could see some poor sweaty guy squinting right at the camera.

Melissa, ha ha, SAME.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Those pigs are just plain creepy. I can't even say what they look like, but "DON'T TOUCH THE KIDS!"

Mickey and Minnie are cute. How do we know it isn't Mickey and Minnie who are leaving the park early??

Thanks, Major.