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Famous Onscreen Wardrobes



As children, our wardrobes are magical places that have the potential to be horrifying. Lying in bed at night, our imagination runs wild with what possibilities could be beyond the doors, or what could be waiting in the shadows. Film captures the wonder of wardrobes, with fantasy realms, monsters both friend and foe alike, or for the adults, a chance to return to their childhood toys. These are just some of those wardrobes that film transports us through.

Luxury furniture retailer, Instrument Furniture, has created a wonderful infographic with 15 of the most famous items of furniture from a range of popular films. We took a look at five of our favourites… the full infographic is available at the bottom of the article.

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe:

C.S. Lewis’ words come to life in the film adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia, wherein the wardrobe whisks the children away to an enchanted land that is on the brink of war. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe tells the tale of the Pevensie siblings, evacuated from London during the second world war, discovering a wardrobe that leads to the magical but troubled land of Narnia. Mixing classical adventure elements with a variety of folk and mythic iconography, the land of Narnia is truly a child’s paradise. But similar to the titular wardrobe, the film has two functions, its fantastical world serving also as a series of trials and tribulations that are akin to those of growing up. The wardrobe itself is about the beginnings of adulthood as a young adolescent, a door to another, unfamiliar world that they must navigate by coming of age. The film’s magic is just as enchanting as the wardrobe at its center.

Monsters Inc

Monsters Inc recalls the feeling of being afraid of what is behind your closet door as a child, but as evidenced by this film’s final scene, it also evokes the warming love of your parents coming in to make sure that you’re safe. Sully, John Goodman, a scream legend in the monster world, comes across Boo, who manages to creep into the monster world and cause panic. Sully soon realises that Boo is not as harmful as he thought. For the parents in the audience, Sully’s putting back together of Boo’s door and reentry through it is that attempt to hold onto the childhood innocence that their kids are losing as they grow up. The door itself is a window into the preserved child in all of us, regardless of age, that behind the fears that we once held or might hold in the future, is a big blue monster with a lot of love to give. 

The Kingsman

The Kingsman’s fashionable and arsenal-laced wardrobe is for the child in all of us who loved to pretend to be James Bond, or any badass spy for that matter. Loaded with pinstripe suits and umbrellas that double as pretty useful weapons, this wardrobe is all about the passing of the baton from one spy generation to the next, from Eggsy’s father to him. Kingsman: The Secret Service provides an alternative view of being a secret agent. After a rough upbringing and losing his father at a young age, Eggsy, portrayed by Taron Egerton, discovers that his father was part of the elite secret service. Similar to the way in which the film as a whole plays with and subverts James Bond style spy films, the introduction into the world of the Kingsman is a sensory overload of gadgets and gizmos that puts a fresh spin on the toys of the spy genre, letting us relive those simple childhood joys behind the wardrobe’s closed doors.


As with many Spielberg films, E.T. is all about see through the eyes of a child. As such, the film is about experiencing the alien, foreign territory of the adult world, as Elliot is a child of divorce, his alien buddy offering emotional reprieve. . When E.T is left behind on earth, a young boy called Elliot, played by Henry Thomas, finds and saves him. Whilst hiding him and saving him from Government agents, Elliot develops a strong emotional connection to E.T.

E.T. himself is Elliot’s emotional anchor, a friend in a world that seems increasingly friendless. In this sense, E.T. is one in the same as the stuffed animals he blends in with as Elliott’s little sister investigates his closet, a friend in times of need for a child. His discovery by his younger sister bonds her and Elliot together in their broken home, as they both want to protect the creature that reminds them of their toys but returns that emotional investment back to the kids in the film, and I’m all of us.

Hot Fuzz

A cinephiles dream, Danny’s wardrobe is a treasure trove of action film classics that ensconce his closet walls. These are films that Wright borrows from and pastiches, the larger than life characters and situations offering this English small town cop a view into a world where his actions matter, rather than the crushing banality of small town life that the film so hilariously satirizes. Hot Fuzz, released in 2007, shows highly skilled police officer Nicholas Angel being transfered to the small quiet town of Sandford. He soon discovers that he might be the perfect officer to help save the small town from itself and those living in it. The wardrobe is infinitely metatextual, as the film goes beyond referencing the films that are definitively highlighted. But most importantly, Nick Angel’s reaction is still hilarious and Wright’s callbacks to the films in the wardrobe are both love letters and wonderful parodies.

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