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When did the Princesses start wearing wigs?

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  • When did the Princesses start wearing wigs?

    OK this is a weird question but I was looking at Frogberto's photos and I noticed the wigs the Princesses are all wearing wigs.

    I asked a former Princess I work with and she told me that when she was a certain Princess, that she had to come in hours before to have her hair done (she looks so much like the Princess in question at 40 that it is amazing!), anyway, she didn't know when they stopped using face characters that actually looked like the character in question.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the CM Face Characters at Disneyland are amazing performers, but I wonder how many Snow White's have long blonde hair underneath their dark wigs...

    Anyone?

  • #2
    Re: When did the Princesses start wearing wigs?

    I question if ANY have actually brown/black hair like Snow White.

    Reason is that I've seen a fair amount of blonde Snow Whites as soon as their wig is off for the day backstage.

    All I think is "What? They couldn't find a natural brunette to do that?"

    Not that I think about this whole subject too seriously.

    But I do admit, I'm not in the entertainment department so I'll leave that *officially* to them to verify.

    Bye.

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    • #3
      Re: When did the Princesses start wearing wigs?

      Originally posted by MegaDisney View Post
      OK this is a weird question but I was looking at Frogberto's photos and I noticed the wigs the Princesses are all wearing wigs.

      I asked a former Princess I work with and she told me that when she was a certain Princess, that she had to come in hours before to have her hair done (she looks so much like the Princess in question at 40 that it is amazing!), anyway, she didn't know when they stopped using face characters that actually looked like the character in question.

      Don't get me wrong, I think the CM Face Characters at Disneyland are amazing performers, but I wonder how many Snow White's have long blonde hair underneath their dark wigs...

      Anyone?
      Just speculation but I'd guess that:

      1. It would make it even more difficult to cast for the parts if they had to match hair color also.

      2. Extensive repeated styling would be detrimental to the Cast Members' hair

      3. They'd have to pay for the time spent styling it and perhaps other considerations when it's so much easier to do the hair maintenance off-head and have the CM just place it on.

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      • #4
        Re: When did the Princesses start wearing wigs?

        I'm sure the wigs must save the CMs a lot of time when getting into character. Plus, look at the hair styles people have nowadays. Women add highlights to their hair. We see girls with purple hair, short hair, long hair. Guys have short hair, choppy hair, spiky hair, long hair. Even some of the male characters will have wigs. It's probably so much easier to put a wig on someone who can still portray that character than it is to find someone who portray that character AND have the right hair for it.

        If you want to see a wig overload, look at the YouTube video in my signature.

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        • #5
          Re: When did the Princesses start wearing wigs?

          Also in the case of Snow White, generally a woman with jet black/ dark dark brown hair will not have super snowy white skin. The wig allows for a more accurate portrayal of the character.
          Last edited by joannabanana; 07-05-2007, 09:40 AM. Reason: typo. oops!
          "Can't sing but I've got soul." -U2

          "I've got soul, but i'm not a soldier" -The Killers

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          • #6
            Re: When did the Princesses start wearing wigs?

            Originally posted by Koutesu View Post
            I'm sure the wigs must save the CMs a lot of time when getting into character. Plus, look at the hair styles people have nowadays. Women add highlights to their hair. We see girls with purple hair, short hair, long hair. Guys have short hair, choppy hair, spiky hair, long hair. Even some of the male characters will have wigs. It's probably so much easier to put a wig on someone who can still portray that character than it is to find someone who portray that character AND have the right hair for it.

            If you want to see a wig overload, look at the YouTube video in my signature.
            I don't know this for sure, but don't entertainment Cast Members still have to adhere to Disney Look standards unless their character specifically requires something different ? That would seem to exclude some of the extreme hair colorings and stylings that you mention.

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            • #7
              Re: When did the Princesses start wearing wigs?

              Originally posted by JeffYardDog View Post
              I don't know this for sure, but don't entertainment Cast Members still have to adhere to Disney Look standards unless their character specifically requires something different ? That would seem to exclude some of the extreme hair colorings and stylings that you mention.
              Their wigs would cover their actual hair, so I doubt they would get too much trouble. If the hair is too extreme and there's no way to still look professional, then they would probably run into trouble.

              Funny how if the Disney Princesses were to go into the same flower garden as Alice like she did in the movie, they would probably get run out of the garden because of their roots.

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              • #8
                Re: When did the Princesses start wearing wigs?

                I don't remember a time when face cahracters did not wear wigs. Possibly the exception would be Alice. Most character's hairstyles ustilizing the actresses own hair would not last long on stage in the heat or humidity or wind. Wigs are much more resistant to the elments as well as children's inquisitive hands. Add the advatnage of not having to cast according to hair as well as facial resemblences, wigs are the best choice for the stage. In a past life I happen to have been a wig maker and stylist for theatre. Just in case you were wonderin'.
                Sig by Poisonedapples!

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                • #9
                  Re: When did the Princesses start wearing wigs?

                  Haven't they always worn wigs? I have a picture of myself and Cinderella in the early 80s, and she's wigged. Not that the 80s were the dawn of time, but you get the idea. Maybe they didn't on opening day? I'll have to check my Treasures DVD. Also, Koutesu, it doesn't matter whether their hair would be visible to the public or not: everyone who works in Disney theme parks has to adhere to their guidlines. Recently, small highlights have been allowed. But hair color can only be a color that grows naturally on a human head. And you're not allowed to have an extreme haircut, either. They show you like to training videos on the dresscode alone, I think.
                  Oo-de-lally!

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                  • #10
                    Re: When did the Princesses start wearing wigs?

                    I am pretty certain that they have always worn wigs and there is a specfic reason for that, which is so that the characters are as consistent as possible.

                    I know that this reason is for sure, because all Santas have fake beards. A good friend of the family is Santa for South Coast Plaza and other malls during the holidays, and he has a real beard. He decided one year recently to apply for Santa at Disneyland and they turned him down. (South Coast Plaza is an excellent item to have on his resume). The reason was that they did not want the Santas to have real beards because it would be harder for them to control the consistency of the various Santas, for example in the parade and a meet and greet Santa.

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                    • #11
                      Re: When did the Princesses start wearing wigs?

                      1) Saves Money. Not long time to do hair, dont have to hire someone to do the hair.

                      2) Saves time.

                      3) with Disneyland's turnout rate, im sure wigs are better to use...
                      ~ A Cute, Little, Fuzzy, Silly, and Chubby Cast Member ~

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                      • #12
                        Re: When did the Princesses start wearing wigs?

                        Originally posted by joannabanana View Post
                        Also in te case of Snow White, generally a woman with jet black/ dark dark brown hair will not have super snowy white skin. The wig allows for a more accurate portrayal of the character.
                        True there...I actually have jet black hair and when I wear my Snow White headband...I've been asked if that my hair is a wig or my real hair, it's the headband that makes it look authentic. But I don't have snowy white skin. Lots of freckles...

                        And I've always known them to wear wigs.

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                        • #13
                          Re: When did the Princesses start wearing wigs?

                          Originally posted by Duffy View Post
                          1) Saves Money. Not long time to do hair, dont have to hire someone to do the hair.

                          2) Saves time.

                          3) with Disneyland's turnout rate, im sure wigs are better to use...
                          Sorry, I have to weigh in on this...

                          The Disneyland Resort currently employs 3 dozen full-time Cosmetologists to style the wigs for both Parks: Parades, Characters, the "Fantasmic!", "Princess Fantasy Faire", and "Aladdin" show(s) *, as well as for all special Entertainment Events; they also assist with and teach the make-up to the kids in the Parades and Characters Depts (for the MadHatter, etc.). These Hair Stylists do an amazing job, and an incredible amount of work each day, and literally "make the Magic happen" in helping to recreate the characters.

                          * there is also a full-time MakeUp Artist employed to put the Genii into his make-up each day...

                          The Face Characters have worn wigs for as long as I can remember; back when I worked in the Park (in the late 70's), the "Head Alice" (Shelly) used to curl her own hair with hot rollers every day for her time as Alice in the Park, but all other face characters wore wigs. Of course, back then we still had the wonderful "Golden HorseShoe Revue" performing several times daily, and R**** used to ride around on his electric cart to apply Betty's / Slue Foot Sue's wig, and tidy up the wigs on the Can-Can girls...

                          This (a) adds uniformity to all of the characters in the Park(s) (hence, Cinderella in the Parade will look very similar to the Cinderella seen in the Park), (b) allows ease in the transition of cast members in portraying several characters, and does cut down on the time needed to get ready each day, and (c) adds to the "animated" look of each character portrayal: watch a Disney movie and you'll understand that few humans have the amount of hair given to Ariel, Jasmine, Aurora, etc. It almost always make it much easier to cast an actor / actress when they don't have to match the character hair-wise as well...
                          Last edited by EvilQueen; 07-05-2007, 02:44 PM.
                          "I've got the heart of a child..." - I keep it in a box, next to my bed...

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                          • #14
                            Re: When did the Princesses start wearing wigs?

                            I fail to see how it matters to be honest. a little girl's face will light up wig or no wig.
                            All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them. - Walt Disney

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                            • #15
                              Re: When did the Princesses start wearing wigs?

                              I didn't say it mattered.

                              I was just curious, again not as to why (I think that is farily obvious) but when they started.

                              I can tell you that between 1970-73, when my ex-Princess co-worker was there, the Princesses did not all wear wigs.

                              I was wondering when the practice became the regular...

                              Comment

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