Paper Thin Disguise: Animated Films
- Both subverted and invoked for laughs in Monsters vs. Aliens: The monsters try to rescue Susan from an alien ship by dressing as clones of the evil alien overlord. The disguise consists entirely of a vest, with the evil alien overlord being a purple tentacled creature, and looking nothing like the monsters. Link stops the clone escorting Susan, saying that he, Gallaxhar, demands the prisoner be released, leading to this, because they are incredibly stupid:
Clone: Clearly you are defective beyond repair. Guards, take them to the incinerator!
(All cower in fear)
Clone: Well? What are you waiting for? You two, (motions to Bob and Dr. Cockroach) take them away.
Dr. Cockroach: Seriously?
Clone: Yes. And here's a security pass in case you run into any trouble. Would you like a gun?
Bob: Yes, thank you. (takes the gun and shoots the clone)
- In Disney's The Jungle Book, Baloo the Bear impersonates a primate by putting some leaves on his head and two large coconut quarters on his lips.
- And just before that, Bagheera has successfully passed himself off as part of the ancient ruins by assuming the same pose as a row of jaguar statues, even though he's nearly solid black and the statues are all a light shade of gray.
- Mulan: All Mulan has to do to pass for a man is put on some men's clothing and put her hair up. As The Nostalgia Chick wisely said when Mulan's cover was blown: "Just put your hair back up, it's like the gender equivalent of Clark Kent's glasses."
- Megamind has a standard yet humourous approach to this with the minion-fish in his great big metal body - where he becomes the new hero's "space step-mom" by putting on an apron and a wig.
- In Team America: World Police the gang has Gary disguise himself as a terrorist; he goes through a montage of what seems like extensive plastic surgery only to reveal that they just painted his face brown and glued some hair to his face.
- Played with in Disney's version of Robin Hood. Prince John figures out Robin's disguise as a stork (which itself is actually pretty convincing), while the Sheriff claims he can see through any disguise Robin could cook up (which he doesn't). Earlier, Prince John and his guards fail to see through Robin and Little John's gypsy costumes, though it does make John more perceptive to catch on to Robin the second time around. Hilariously, none of the bad guys see through Robin's blind beggar disguise, although Trigger suspects something.
- Aladdin: Just a change of clothes is all it takes for people to not recognize Aladdin as Prince Ali. One would think that Jasmine, who spent quite some time with the street rat, would have noticed that the boy she met in the market was the same as this guy. It isn't until she catches him without his turban that she suspects something. Though Jasmine did have legitimate reason to think Aladdin was dead.
- In Home on the Range cattle rustler Alameda Slim works with the Willie Brothers to heist cattle. They're henchmen who are so moronic (with IQs of under 60) that without fail, no matter how many times Slim demonstrates before their eyes that he can put on the hat and the glasses and it's still him, they react with shock that a stranger has suddenly appeared before them. Every. Single. Time.
- In Hoodwinked, two instances:
Red Puckett: Granny? It's me, Red. Is everything okay?The Wolf: [in falsetto voice] Oh, oh, yeah. Sure thing. Come on in. [lowers his face mask as Red turns in his direction]Red Puckett: What? [walks towards him cautiously] Who are you?The Wolf: I'm your grandma.Red Puckett: Your face looks really weird, granny.The Wolf: I've been sick, I... uh... [puts his hands over his chest and tries to mime coughing, poorly]Red Puckett: Your mouth doesn't move when you talk.The Wolf: [taps his mask] Oh, uh, plastic surgery. Grandma's had a little work done. Now come on over here. Let's have a look at you. [Red steps closer]Red Puckett: So, what's going on, "grandma"?The Wolf: Oh, this and that, doing a lot of quilting. So, you got the loot? [Red notices his hands]Red Puckett: Whoa, what big hands you have!The Wolf: Oh! All the better to scratch my back with! [does so]Red Puckett: And what big ears you have!The Wolf: [becoming increasingly irritated] All the better to hear your... many criticisms. Old people just have big ears, dear.Red Puckett: And Granny... what big eyes you have!The Wolf: [exploding] Are we just gonna sit around here and talk about how big I'm getting?! [leans in closer to Red] You came here for a reason, didn't ya? So tell ole Granny what you've got in the basket!The Wolf: All right! [tears off the mask; Red screams and backs away]Red Puckett: You again?! What do I have to do, get a restraining order?!
- The story itself is based on Little Red Riding Hood, so naturally the Wolf has to impersonate Granny (because he is trying to get information on the Goodie Bandit out of Red), which he does by donning a plastic face mask and apron costume. He doesn't believe the disguise will work, and is about to consider handing the Granny role over to Twitchy (who being a squirrel would absolutely fail to impersonate Granny properly) when there is a loud knock on the door, and the Wolf hurriedly throws Twitchy into a closet:
The Wolf: You're an actor, right? So this is your big part. This is the role of a lifetime. Make them believe in you. Don't act like an evil henchman; be an evil henchman. Okay, you got it and you remember what you're gonna say, right?Kirk: Right![Boingo has just loaded the hostage Red into the tram. As soon as he has locked the doors with a padlock....]Kirk: Uh, Mr. Rabbit?[Boingo turns around to see Kirk, wearing Dolph's clothes and a ski mask that fails to hide his beard]Boingo: Dolph! Where have you been?! You nimwitted Eurotrash with the, what is that, a ski mask?Kirk: Uh, I, um, yah...Boingo: I like that! See, that's scary! Yeah that's good. [turns his attention back to the tram car, as Red tries to scream through her gag]Kirk: Um, b-boss...Boingo: [exploding with impatience] WHAT?! Say it! Spit it out! What's goin' on?!Kirk: Um... boss, uh, Paul's Bunion Cream has the soothing formula-The Wolf: [interrupts, dressed in utility worker's clothing] Hi there! What he means to say is that I'm the building inspector.Kirk: Yah, yes!The Wolf: I just need to tap the pipes; see if your wiring's up to par.Boingo: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold it, you're not... no, you can't touch anything in here.The Wolf: [pauses] Let's walk.
- When Flippers interviews Red and she reaches this point in her story, and he asks her if she fell for the disguise, Red says, "No. Not really."
- The discovery that the Wolf is using Granny's own licensed merchandise probably didn't help, because Red's probably seen the supplies for the Granny costume lying around on previous visits.
- The Wolf and Kirk infiltrate Boingo's cable car terminal lair to attempt to rescue Red. They take Boingo's talking henchman Dolph out, and dress Kirk up in Dolph's clothes. Because Boingo has seen Kirk, he also puts on a ski mask to hide his face.
- What makes this disguise paper-thin is the fact that Boingo doesn't notice that "Dolph" suddenly has become much heavier and also grown a very long beard (which Kirk's ski mask fails to hide).
- The minions from the Despicable Me films tend to wear a wig (beard is optional), clothes (with or without a hat), and absolutely nothing to disguise the fact that they're tiny, bright yellow, three-fingered creatures, some of whom only have one eye in the center of their face.
- Also, a pyramid is stolen in the first film, despite being one of the wonders of the world. And how the person who stole the pyramid hide it? He has it in his backyard, painted blue with white clouds on it. Will work well unless it's cloudy outside.
- How do the heroes of The Lego Movie infiltrate Lord Business' base? Batman simply goes to the meeting as Bruce Wayne, Emmett and Wyldstyle wrap themselves in tin foil to disguise themselves as robots, and Unikitty gets glasses and a tie doodled on her. The peak of the Paper-thinness comes from this dialogue:
Unikitty: (prancing on the table) Business business business. Numbers. (whispers) Is it working?Robot: ...Yes.Unikitty: YAAAAY-
- In Home, a single Beauty Mark is sufficient to make Oh look like "a completely different Boov", to the point that its subsequent removal is treated as a Dramatic Unmask that results in one of the on-looking Boov fainting in shock.
- The ''Shrek series uses this frequently.
Rumpel: Oh, please! That is your father painted green!
- The first film Shrek disguises him as a knight which, when the visor is open, clearly shows his green forehead, yet Fiona doesn't realize he's an ogre until after he takes the helmet off.
- The second one, when sneaking into the Fairy Godmother's factory, Shrek disguises himself as one of the workers (all of whom are gnomes). The entire uniform only covers his head.
- [Shrek the Third: takes full advantage of this
- Subverted Shrek Forever After where Rumpel doesn't buy Pinnochio's trick to for an instant
Pinocchio: No! It's Shrek! Honest!
(Pinocchio's nose grows so long it pokes Rumpel in the eye)
Rumpel: OW! Take them away!