The Top Ten Disney Princesses
Cinderella is perhaps the most iconic princess in the Disney world. Having the mark of being Walt's favorite, her castle is also the Disney logo and she not only has three animated movie but now a real action movie as well. Her picture perfect ending is something we all have wished for at one point or another and she is full of kindness, charm, and everything else being a princess is supposed to be. So why is she last on this list?
Because she's too perfect and therefore completely unrelatable. Where's her anger or her attitude? Or anything that makes her human? While I admire her remarkable restraint at not punching someone in the face, I almost wish she would. She doesn't get any real temper until the third movie (which, let's face it, was written to give her a real love story and not just one fantastic dance to lead to marriage). Her stepsister, Anastasia, is a much more interesting and complex character in my opinion, and I would watch a movie starring her over one starring Cinderella any day.
Ariel is actually the first Disney princess after the flop of Sleeping Beauty in the fifties. She has more attitude and guts than the original three, and she makes mistakes that probably a lot of us would make. Her quirkiness is cute, and she does show bravery by saving the prince from drowning in the beginning of the film.
Her low ranking on this list comes from a lot of things. First, for having such a fantastic voice, she barely sings. She has one song which isn't even the best in the film (you cannot beat "Poor Unfortunate Souls"). Also, she makes a deal with the devil in order to get together with a guy that she met once. Despite being more realistic than her older counterparts, she is really just a bratty teenager when it comes down to it. Just think about some of her lines. "I am sixteen years old! I am not a child anymore!" and "Betcha on land they understand. They don't reprimand their daughters." Despite having a great movie, Ariel herself is not the greatest princess.
Similar to Ariel, Jasmine is also a defiant teenager. But since she is required by law to be married off to a random prince, her anger is understandable. She has all the kindness of a Disney princess, but a little more of an edge than several. She's also the most sexually confident. Let's not forget about that scene where she seduces Jafar to distract him while Aladdin steals back the lamp. She's the only one of the Disney princesses who used her feminine wiles to fight bad guys. Which is a plus in my book, because she used her own role as a prize to be won to her advantage. Overall, Jasmine is pretty awesome.
But Jasmine isn't groundbreaking. While she is somewhat useful in the first movie, she is totally useless in the second movie. She is damsel in distress first and foremost and despite all of her complaining about not being able to marry for love, she chooses Aladdin after a couple of hours cruising on his carpet. Despite being surrounded by princes and royal advisers full of greed and deceit, she is incredibly naive when it comes to Aladdin. It's a good thing that Aladdin turned out to be a decent guy because making a professional thief the heir to the kingdom could have gone horribly wrong.
Bookish, nerdy girls rejoice! Belle is the original book nerd and she rocks despite the entire town shunning her because she likes to read and has a brain. Not that she spends too much time caring about what other people think. And she certainly won't do something as drastic as marry Gaston for their approval. In fact, throwing him out of her house is a nice touch. She is really brave and has an attitude without looking like a bratty teenager. Willing to put herself in harm's way to save her father and perceptive enough to see past things like looks, she's definitely one of the cooler princesses.
Belle still needs to be saved twice in the movie. Once by a teacup and another by the Beast. Even though she does some rescuing of her own-- first her father and then the Beast (by giving him the will to live at the end of the movie)-- it's much more subtle than the times she gets rescued. Also even though she's supposed to be eccentric and weird (there's an entire song to tell us she doesn't belong, despite her beauty) she is actually really normal. No quirky or awkward moments with her at all. In fact, she is almost as poised as the original three Disney princesses, which makes her much less relatable than she could have been.
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Elsa is another awesome Disney princess (well, queen, for most of the movie). Considered one of the most feminist princesses, she is very headstrong and very smart. She's also pretty funny and sends great messages like being yourself instead of what other people want you to be. The fact that she is still single at the end of the movie-- despite being the oldest official Disney princess at the ripe age of 21-- makes her really unique in the land of Disney. She is also one of the only new Disney princess to be featured in ABC's Once Upon a Time.
My biggest problem with Elsa-- and Anna too, for that matter-- is that they are so overpromoted. The market is practically saturated with their merchandise, which makes me tired of seeing them and also makes them overrated. Yeah, Elsa is pretty badass, but she is certainly not the most badass princess out there. Despite being queen, she's run out of her castle by a visiting duke and expected to rule a kingdom without anyone finding out that she freezes stuff when she's stressed out. (Last time I checked, ruling a kingdom is a pretty stressful job). Even though she's one of the more complex Disney princesses and dances on the line between heroine and antiheroine, Elsa is overdramatic, kind of dumb (which she does get from her parents, I guess), and certainly overrated.
Anna is a really funny and cute Disney princess. Her lack of understanding the world can be explained by the fact that she's had practically no human interaction to be seen or heard of since she was little. Her quirks are pretty relatable and she does well being an eccentric, weird girl. Unlike Aurora, Cinderella, or any other princess we've seen sleeping, she's not a pretty sleeper. In fact she looks human. She's headstrong but not stupid and she has a great if misguided love duet. She's more relatable than Anna and her unconditional love of her sister is incredibly admirable. Aside from Elsa, she's the only new Disney princess to be featured in ABC's Once Upon a Time.
My main problem with Anna is that, again, she's very overpromoted. Even though her character is great and she's charming, she's everywhere and on everything and therefore I'm tired of seeing her. While her naivety is understandable, it's still annoying. And I'm still confused about why Anna doesn't have friends or isn't allowed out in the world. She doesn't have supernatural powers. Considering how headstrong she is and curious about the outside world, she should have broken out of the castle at least once before her sister's inauguration day.
Princess Kida is pretty freaking awesome, okay? She is technically not a Disney princess because of the mixed success of Atlantis: The Lost Empire and its sequel. But she's a strong, fierce warrior princess and unlike most Disney princesses who marry strong, muscular men, she goes for the nerdy guy, which makes me like her even more. Even though the Atlanteans as a race are victimized in the movie, Kida herself is not a victim. She's willing to sacrifice herself to save her people and she's determined to find out how to restore Atlantis to its former glory, even against orders from her father.
Going against Kida is the fact that she's not an official Disney princess. And her second movie really wasn't that good. I honestly wasn't really exposed to Kida until this year, after I got curious about some of the older Disney movies I've never seen. She's the princess I have the least experience with, honestly. But really, I can't find much fault with Kida at all. She's pretty awesome. And definitely underrated.
Mulan is another awesome princess (kinda). I love Mulan because she is incredibly tough and awesome. She has a lot of the same messages as Elsa about being yourself, but she's less dramatic than Elsa. She's willing to sacrifice herself to save her father from war, and she outsmarts an entire enemy army. Twice.
Mulan is probably my favorite princess from growing up. But she's not actually a princess. She's part of the Disney princess franchise but in the movie she is neither born of royalty or marry royalty. Aside from that, she's pretty awesome.
Gotta love Merida. Nobody can get herself out of arranged marriage with as much style as her. Not to mention without breaking the rules (technically she found a legal loophole). Her wildness and passion is really awesome and you have gotta love the hair.
While I don't have a problem with Merida herself, I didn't really like her movie as much as most Disney princess movies. It didn't feel like there was as much plot as there could have been, and aside from Merida, her mother, and her brothers (who didn't get nearly enough screentime), the characters in the stories were really undeveloped. However, the Celtic culture in the movie was great.
Rapunzel is my favorite Disney princess! She is seriously underrated! Not only is she really quirky and very human (actually her personality is a lot like mine), but she's also really smart. In this version she can break out of her tower at any time. But she doesn't really want to, except to see the lanterns. When she decides that she is going to break out, she tricks her mother into leaving for three days to give her plenty of time and blackmails Flynn into being her guide instead of wandering into unfamiliar territory herself. Also a master of manipulation, Rapunzel sweet talks a bar full of ruffians into letting her and Flynn go and Maximus into not arresting Flynn. And also her parents into accepting the fact that she's the lost princess since no one questions the fact that a wanted thief brings them the lost princess who doesn't really look like the baby kidnapped all those years ago.
Rapunzel rocks. I have no problem with her. Tangled does defy science and logic a lot. But hey, it's Disney. And I can accept that.
Who's your favorite princess? Let me know in the comments.
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