In the decades since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Disney Princesses have taken on a life of their own. Posters, books and other media that presents the Princesses as their own exclusive club. Occasionally, the young ladies included in this club varies depending on the source, however, a few always make the cut. Snow White, Aurora, Belle, etc. All undisputed princesses. But within the Disney Princess world, trouble is brewing…
Disney appears to have very loose guidelines on what makes a princess an official member of the Disney Princess lineup:
1) Did the princess’s movie make us money? Yes? She’s in!
2) Does the princess reach a demographic that could make us more money? Yes? She’s in!
Fan based images online often include girls that are not even close to princesses, such as Alice (Alice in Wonderland) or Wendy (Peter Pan). At least Alice MET a queen during her story. Mulan does meet the emperor during her story, however Mulan herself is in no way royalty but she is included as an official princess! (And, so we’re clear, Anastasia is NOT a Disney movie!)
Before the Princess Club ever began, there were a couple women that should have been included. And since, there have been even more. Allow me if you will to run through the proper princess lineup of the official Disney canon, basing it on only one rule:
1) Is the girl a daughter, step-daughter, or daughter-in-law of royalty by the end of the story?
- Snow White (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 1937)
Snow White is born a princess and also marries a prince in the end. Though the evil queen may not like it, Snow White is officially a princess.
- Cinderella (Cinderella, 1950)
After World War II, Walt Disney got back to a story that had a good chance of making money for the hurting studio. The poor girl, treated as a slave by her step-mother and step-sisters, falls in love with a prince after knowing him for about three minutes. But, of course, she marries prince, making her a real princess.
- Tiger Lilly (Peter Pan, 1953)
Tiger Lilly has a legitimate right to be angry. Not even a consideration for the princess lineup by most people. And why not? She is the daughter of the Chief and actually called Princess Tiger Lilly by the cast. If Pocahontas gets to be a princess, so does Tiger Lilly!
- Aurora (Sleeping Beauty, 1959)
Briar Rose has all of the traditional elements of princessness. Born a princess, marries a prince. Done and done.
- Eilonwy (The Black Cauldron, 1985)
Definitely an overlooked and ignored princess. She is a princess from the moment we meet her. She is beautiful and strong. She has kind and charitable qualities that make her a good role model. The only reason she gets ignored is that her movie was not popular.
- Aquata, Andrina, Arista, Attina, Adella, Alana, and Ariel (The Little Mermaid, 1989)
We all know that Ariel is the mermaid daughter of King Triton and also marries the human Prince Eric, apparently when she’s 16. Definitely a princess… in both species. But where’s the love for her six sisters?
- Belle (Beauty and the Beast, 1991)
Belle is my favorite princess. She takes the time to get to know her man for who he is, not what he looks like. Doesn’t rush into marrying him like some fish-girls I could mention. The beast turns out to be a prince, so that makes Belle too legit to quit.
- Jasmine (Aladdin, 1992)
She is a princess from the start who falls for a dirty homeless boy with a pet monkey. Even though she is not named in the movie’s title, she has emerged as an official Princess. If Aladdin had been made today, they likely would have tried to make it an all-inclusive title, like Lamped.
- Pocahontas (Pocahontas, 1995)
Just as with Tiger Lilly, the daughter of an Indian chief is a princess.
- Megara (Hercules, 1997)
Herc was the son of Zeus, king of the gods. He is a prince, making Megara a princess. Again, she gets left out due to the poor performance of her movie in theaters.
- Kida (Atlantis: The Lost Empire, 2001)
Her father was the king of Atlantis, so she is the princess of Atlantis. She may have just been too underdressed to be on the Princess posters. She never gets a ball gown either. But technically, she wears more clothes than Ariel! Again: Unpopular movie = ignored princess.
- Tiana (The Princess and the Frog, 2009)
No pretending anymore. We’re just going to come right out and tell you: This is a princess movie! Sure, the original story is the Frog Prince, but that’s not going to get the little girls flocking to the theater! Nevertheless, Tiana hooks up with Prince Naveen, making her a princess.
- Rapunzel (Tangled, 2010)
Two princess movies in a row from Disney! Rapunzel is a kidnapped princess, daughter of a king and queen. A full-on princess from the start.
- Vanellope (Wreck-It Ralph, 2012)
After running around as Glitch for the entire movie, she is revealed to be the “rightful ruler of Sugar Rush, Princess Vanellope.” Convenient, but still a princess.
- Elsa and Anna (Frozen, 2013)
Elsa is technically queen by the end of the story, so it’s hard to know where to put her. But they both begin as princesses.
So that’s the full and complete list. As I said, it includes the OFFICIAL canon, so no Pixar. Otherwise, Merida (Brave, 2012) would make the list (technically, Atta and Dot too!). And Mulan doesn’t make the cut either.
So, did I miss anyone? Do you know a forgotten princess that should make the list?
Who is YOUR favorite princess?