“The Little Mermaid” is a timeless classic from Disney that captured the hearts of millions since its release in 1989. The story of Ariel, a mermaid princess who falls in love with a human prince, was a masterpiece with stunning visuals and unforgettable characters. Ursula, the iconic villain of the movie, was a sea witch who made a deal with Ariel to help her achieve her dreams. Ursula’s costume design has gone through several changes over the years, from the early sketches to the final product.
The early sketches of Ursula show a different character than the final product we have come to know and love. At first, Ursula was envisioned as a sort of scorpion-like creature with a long tail and a sharp, angular head. Her design was inspired by the mythical creature, the Gorgon, which was known for its snake-like hair. This initial design was as a concept for a sea monster, and the character was not yet developed.
However, it was soon decided that Ursula should be more of an octopus-like creature to fit in with the underwater theme of the movie. The designers wanted Ursula to have tentacles that would move and flow as she moved, giving her a menacing yet graceful appearance.
The design process for Ursula’s character was a long and meticulous one. Once the decision was made to make Ursula an octopus-like creature, the designers began the process of creating her costume. The initial sketches showed Ursula with a black and white color scheme, but it was eventually decided that she should have a more vibrant color palette.
The designers settled on a black and purple color scheme for Ursula’s costume. The black represented her evil nature, while the purple added a touch of royalty to her appearance. It was decided that Ursula’s tentacles should be her most striking feature, and her costume would revolve around it.
The costume was designed to be both graceful and menacing. Ursula’s tentacles were made of several layers of fabric that would move and flow as she moved. The designers also added a corset and a large collar to give Ursula a regal appearance. The corset was designed to give her a curvy and voluptuous figure while still retaining her intimidating presence.
The final look for Ursula was a combination of different elements that were carefully crafted to create a unique and iconic villain. Ursula’s makeup was also carefully designed to add to her character. She was given a bold red lip and purple eyeshadow that added to her menacing presence. The design team wanted Ursula to be a character that had a commanding presence, and they succeeded in doing so.
Changes in Re-releases
Over the years, Disney has re-released “The Little Mermaid” several times, and with each release, there have been some changes made to Ursula’s costume design.
In the 1997 re-release of the movie, the color of Ursula’s skin was changed from a pale white to a more blue-green color. This change was made to make her look more like an octopus and to better fit in with the underwater theme of the movie. The change in skin color also made her more menacing and terrifying.
In the 2006 platinum edition DVD release, Ursula’s costume was updated with new digital animation. The designers added more details to her costume, such as individual suction cups on her tentacles and gemstones on her necklace. The changes made her tentacles appear more lifelike and realistic, and the gemstones added more vibrancy to her costume.
In the 2019 live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid,” Ursula’s costume took on a more realistic appearance. The designers used CGI to create her tentacles, which had a more snakelike appearance than in the animated version. Her costume also had more intricate details, such as a cape made of seaweed. The seaweed added an extra element of underwater realism to her costume.
Ursula’s costume design has gone through several changes over the years, from the early sketches to the final product. The designers carefully crafted each element of her costume to create a unique and iconic villain. With each re-release of “The Little Mermaid,” there have been some changes made to Ursula’s costume design, but the overall look has remained true to the original character. Ursula’s costume design is a testament to the creativity and talent of the Disney animation team, and it continues to inspire cosplay enthusiasts and fans alike. Ursula remains an iconic Disney villain that will continue to be remembered for years to come.