Many of the Disney movies are set at different times throughout history. Some of them are slightly more recent than others, but most of them are set in the distant past, in a faraway land. In order to emphasize this, the princesses in these Disney movies often have incredibly elaborate and beautiful dresses and hairstyles that are fit for a princess in the time period of the movie.
Although the characters in our favorite Disney movies may have beautiful wardrobes, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the most historically accurate. Disney gives a lot of hints or outright says the time period and place these movies are set, so it’s easy for talented artists around the Internet to piece together how these characters would have dressed if they were real.
To see 10 drawings of historically accurate Disney princesses, keep reading!
Shoomlah drew this art of Ariel in her iconic green dress, but gave her a much more historically accurate twist. Drawing Ariel in a historically accurate way isn’t easy, considering the fact that just about everyone is dressed out of a different time period. But, Shoomlah decided to put Ariel’s story in the late 19th century because of the puffy green shoulders on the sleeves of her green dress.
In order to make Ariel more fit for the Victorian era, this artist emphasized the massive shoulders on Ariel’s dress, toned the color down a little to something that could be achieved with natural dyes, and put Ariel’s iconic red hair up in a very Victorian updo.
Wickfield drew this art of Jasmine from Aladdin in a way that makes her iconic teal outfit a lot more historically accurate. Aladdin is technically based on a folktale from sometime in the 9th century and is from a series of different folktales set all around the Middle East.
This artist chose to place this drawing of Jasmine in the Middle East in the 13th century. Although Jasmine’s stomach-bearing tube top and flowing pants are stylish and great for a princess in the desert, they’re not all that accurate. Women wore loose-fitting, modest clothes and upper-class women would wear veils of varying lengths.
SilverVanadis is the artist behind this drawing of Pocahontas. Although many other princesses have time periods and locations that are hard to nail down, Pocahontas being very loosely based on a real historical figure and very real period of time makes it easy.
What we know about Pocahontas, real name Matoaka, was the daughter of Chief Powhatan and lived in what is now Virginia in the 17th century. As a Powhatan woman, she would likely have worn her hair long and braided, worn a deerhide skirt around her waist, and had elaborate tattoos all over her body. During the winter, she would wear a hide cape around the top of her body over the long strings of jewels she wore.
TomatoFaced had it fairly easy with narrowing down the time period and setting for Beauty and the Beast. Belle makes it very clear that she’s living in a small village in France and that the story takes place sometime in the 18th century, approximately the time that the original story was published.
Belle’s unforgettable yellow dress was fairly accurate for the time period. It was puffy and elaborate, but the fashion of the mid-1700s was definitely a lot more extreme. Her waist would have been pulled in more with her skirt being incredibly full and detailed to emphasize the silhouette.
6 Snow White
CoucyI is the talented artist behind this historical re-imagining of Snow White. Snow White was Disney’s first feature-length animated film and is set in Germany in the mid-1500s. Although Snow White’s light and flowing yellow, red, and blue dress is beautiful, it’s not exactly what a 16th-century German woman like herself would have worn.
Instead, her dress likely would have been made of heavier material and would have had a silhouette that emphasized her shoulders and hips while bringing in her waist. A neckline that is either high or has a high collar would be common and her hair would’ve been pulled back.
Shoomlah is the talented artist that did this historical version of Aurora, the princess from Sleeping Beauty. At one point in this film, Prince Philip mentions that someone is being old-fashioned and that it is the 14th century, meaning that the movie takes place sometime during the 1300s.
Aurora’s single-piece dresses and long, flowing hair are nice, but not what a 14th-century princess would have been wearing. Instead, she would have worn multiple layers to make up her dress, likely with patterns or accents, and would have worn a veil over her hair. Her off-the-shoulder neckline in both this art and the movie is inaccurate, but it’s a staple for Aurora’s silhouette.
Margot Ceelen has done a variety of different historically accurate princess drawings, including this one of Cinderella. Cinderella’s story as we know it today was published in the early 19th century, so this artist gave her a makeover that’s fitting for that time period.
Although Cinderella’s blonde updo and massive blue dress are nice to look at, they’re not particularly fitting for the fashion of the time. Cinderella’s dress likely would have been elaborate with largely padded hips, but not as full as in the movie as that level of extreme skirt size didn’t come into fashion until the middle of the 19th century.
Niobesnuppa definitely had their work cut out for them drawing Rapunzel with her trademark long hair. When this artist decided to put Rapunzel not only in more accurate clothing, but also made the art look like a painting of the time.
Tangled is loosely based on the story of Rapunzel which takes place in Germany in the late 18th century. Fashion of this time favored tight-fitting dresses with somewhat full skirts and sleeves that stopped just below the elbow. Most women in this time wore their hair up and under a hat, but we’re not sure that Rapunzel could fit all of hers in one of the styles of her day.
Wickfield did this drawing of Moana. As we all know, Moana is set in a fictional Polynesian country, so it wasn’t easy for this artist to narrow down exactly where or when the story is set. But, they took inspiration from western Polynesian cultures in the 1st century based on hints from the film.
Both women and men in Polynesian cultures in this time period would have avoided wearing shirts and women like Moana would have instead worn multiple layers of sarongs, likely made of a paper-like cloth known as barkcloth. Polynesian tapa cloth is often patterned, so it’s likely that at least one layer of Moana’s would have an intricate pattern on it.
Fairlightedzoe is the talented artist that did this historically accurate drawing of Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. While most Disney princesses have relatively accurate costumes, Tiana is one princess who suffered from Disney’s determination to put everyone in a massive, puffy dress.
Since Tiana was living in New Orleans in the 1920s, we know that she likely would have been drawn to the “flapper” fashion of the time. Instead of her large skirt on her green dress, she likely would have worn a shorter skirt with a low waistline, thin straps, and a chic headband.
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