- Both subverted and invoked for laughs in Monsters vs. Aliens: Susan's fellow monsters try to rescue her from Gallaxhar's ship by dressing like other members of Gallaxhar's clone army. The disguise consists entirely of a vest, with Gallaxhar 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 B.O.B. 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?
B.O.B.: 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 leopard 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. Fair, the "men's clothing" in question is described as armour, which would do much to hide her figure, but that doesn't explain how she fools anyone when they walk in on her bathing. 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.
- From Disney's animalized version of Robin Hood:
- Prince John figures out Robin's disguise as a stork (which itself is actually pretty convincing), while the Sheriff of Nottingham claims he can see through any disguise Robin could cook up (he can't). Though Prince John figures out who Robin is more because of his archery skill in the tournament and Maid Marian's affection for him (Marian was the only one who actually saw through the disguise). Note that Prince John never saw through Little John's less convincing disguise despite sitting right next to him.
- 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: Did somebody order... a prince?Jasmine: ALADDIN!!!Aladdin: How the fuck did you know it was me?Jasmine: Because it is you, you're just wearing different clothes!
- 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. To be fair, Jasmine did have legitimate reason to think Aladdin was dead.
- Lampshaded in the parody musical Twisted.
- Jasmine herself is worse. Her "disguise" she uses to go about her subjects incognito is a hooded cloak, nothing more, with her tiara underneath. Justified in that she had by her own admission never set foot outside the palace before.
- The Great Mouse Detective: Raitgan taunts Basil's less-than-convincing disguise when he catches Basil in his lair.
- Home on the Range: Cattle rustler Alameda Slim works with the Willie Brothers to heist cattle. They're henchmen who are so dimwitted that without fail, no matter how many times Slim demonstrates before their very 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:
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 a thief out of Red). He does so by donning a plastic face mask, an apron costume, and a falsetto voice. After a few takes trying to get the right voice, the Wolf decides to hand the Granny role over to Twitchy (who being a squirrel would absolutely fail to impersonate Granny properly). Except, Red shows up unexpectedly, forcing the Wolf to stash Twitchy in the closet and assume the role. He tries to do a hasty impersonation, but Red sees through it instantly (as she says in her police statement). She just plays along, criticizing his disguise until he snaps and just takes the thing off:
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.
- The fact that the Wolf was using Granny's own licensed merchandise probably didn't help his case, because Red's certainly 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 goon Dolph, knock him out, and dress Kirk up in his clothes. Because Boingo has seen Kirk, he also puts on a ski mask to hide his face. Somehow, Boingo doesn't notice that "Dolph" suddenly has become much heavier, is now talking in a Bavarian accent instead of a thick Schwarzenegger accent, and also grown a very long beard (which sticks out from underneath Kirk's ski mask). Nor does he recognize the Wolf despite the Wolf having dressed up as a utility worker with hard hat and clipboard.
- Despicable Me
- The Minions 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.
- In the opening of the first film, Vector steals one of the Egyptian pyramids, despite being one of the wonders of the world, and replaces it with an inflatable replica. Where does he hide it? In his backyard, painted blue with white clouds on it.
- How do the heroes of The LEGO Movie infiltrate Lord Business' base? Batman goes to the meeting as Bruce Wayne (later movies reveal only Master Builders know they're the same person, so this one is justified), Emmett and Wyldstyle wrap themselves in tin foil to disguise themselves as robots (the robots are metallic-grey minifigs, but still a bit of a stretch), and Unikitty gets glasses and a tie doodled on her (...yeah, can't BS that one). 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. Note that this only works on Boov; Tip was preparing a complete makeover and was annoyed when he was satisfied with the mark
- The Shrek series uses this frequently.
Shrek: We're here for the mascot contest.
- The first film sees Shrek disguise himself as a knight which, with visor being open, clearly shows his green forehead. He's even wearing fingerless gloves that expose his green fingers. 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, sees Shrek posing as one of the workers (all of whom are gnomes). The entire uniform only covers his head.
- Inverted in the third movie, where Donkey and Puss pass Shrek off as a guy in an ogre costume in order to gain entry into the Worcheteshire gym to fetch Arthur (who is to be the next heir of Far Far Away).
Guard: (scoffs) This is a costume? (grabs Shrek's cheeks and stretches them) Looks pretty real to me.
Puss: If he were real, then would he feel... this? (sticks his claws into Shrek's butt; Shrek winces, trying very hard to suppress his pain)
Donkey: Or this? (kicks Shrek in the groin; Shrek groans)
Shrek: (straining) If it were real, that would've been agonizingly painful!
Donkey: (about to kick Shrek again) Now watch this!
Shrek: (shoves Donkey and Puss aside) That's quite enough, boys.
(The Guard allows the trio to enter the gym)
Rumpel: Oh, please! That is your father painted green!
- Subverted in Shrek Forever After where Rumpelstiltskin 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!
- Toad's washerwoman outfit in The Wind in the Willows (1995) shouldn't have fooled anyone.
- Downplayed in Meet the Robinsons. When Wilbur takes Lewis into the future, he insists that he wear a hat over his uniquely spiky blond hair; though he won't explain why, it's to hide the fact that Lewis is the past self of Wilbur's own father. Granted, they have no reason to suspect a time-traveler in their house, but you'd think Lewis might still be recognized by his own wife and parents, especially since his outfit is identical even after thirty years, but nope, they're in the dark until Wilbur finally knocks his hat off.
- In All Creatures Big and Small, Finny the Nestrian and his father are rejected from boarding Noah's ark simply because their species isn't on the ark's animal list. In an attempt to get onto the ark anyway, the Nestrians make and wear costumes of Grymps, a cat-like species that managed to get accepted into the ark. The costumes quite blatantly don't look like actual Grymps, but the costumes work regardless, and the Nestrians are permitted onto the ark.
- The Incredibles makes a big deal about protecting their identities despite the fact that all they wear are tiny domino masks. Bob/Mr. Incredible is especially thin given his build and his inability to control his strength when angry/frustrated.
- In Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, Dennis and Winnie disguise Dennis's massive puppy Tinkles as "Bob" using a massive trenchcoat and relatively tiny hat. Played 100% straight - nobody recognizes "Bob" until the end when he ditches both.
- In Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw, Cooler disguises himself as a cat simply by wearing a pot with a face painted on it and a brush over his tail.
Paper Thin Disguise / Animated Films