Originally Posted by Tom Morrow
I don't think this will be a serious problem. Disney has been very skilled at crafting distinctly original (read copyright-able) character designs. It's a concern that goes all the way back to the loss of Oswald's rights in the 1928.
Walt Disney not only wanted to own all his characters securely, but to create unique designs for them in order to protect the images especialy those in public domain. For example, anyone can depict the character of Snow White in any medium they choose; but must not depict her wearing a particular dress with a blue bodice, yellow skirt, red puff-sleves and a high white colllar because that particluar design is owned by Disney.
Main characters in Disney films often only one or two costumes during an entire film. Disney princesses have one peasant outfit and one formal, often quite similar to eachother. The fewer the variations, the easier the character's image is to protect. It's easy to accept in animated films, but this is even true in some of the live-action films. Julie Andrews' costumes for Mary Poppins are a mix-and-match ensemble of the same few pieces in different colors throughout the entire film (except the Jolly Holiday sequence); and Bert has only two costumes. It's all very strictly controlled in order to associate Disney designs with a particular character in the public mind; partly to control their character copyrights.
Disney has been a power-player in the rights game for a long time now. They'll certainly re-visualize these characters. I think they know not to put Glinda The Good in a pink taffeta fairy-ballerina-princess costume.