Disney Princess is a kingdom of fantasy where dreams begin, where enchantment never ends, and happily-ever-afters happen every day. The eleven current members of Disney Princess are Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, Rapunzel and Merida.
Snow White is the first and original Disney Princess. A main character in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ first animated feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Snow White is a beautiful, young princess born with skin as white as snow, hair as black as ebony, and lips as red as the rose. Snow White is forced to seek refuge in the home of seven dwarfs, where she hides from her stepmother, The Queen, who is jealous of her beauty and seeks her death. Snow White is often described as a kind, optimistic, and happy person who sees the good in everyone.
Cinderella is the second Disney Princess and the title character in Disney’s 12th animated feature film Cinderella, released in 1950. She is often considered the “Leader of the Disney Princesses”. Forced into servitude by her evil stepmother and cruel stepsisters, Cinderella dreams of going to the ball. When all seems lost, her fairy godmother allows her to attend, where she meets and falls in love with the Prince.
Princess Aurora is the third Disney Princess, and first appeared in Disney’s 16th animated feature film Sleeping Beauty (1959). Aurora has hair of sunshine gold, lips that shame the red rose and is often described as beautiful, kind, shy and sophisticated, as well as a hopeless romantic. At first, she is seen as a little naive and insecure as a result of being sheltered for most of her life, but unlike Snow White, she is much quicker and stronger. In later media, she is shown to have matured and become more self-assured, independent and confident.
Ariel is the fourth Disney Princess and the title character in Disney’s 28th animated feature film The Little Mermaid, released in 1989. Daughter of King Triton and one of seven sisters, Ariel is the princess of the undersea kingdom Atlantica (according to later media in the franchise). Fascinated by the human world and tired of life under the sea, Ariel makes a deal with a sea witch, trading her voice in return for the ability to walk on land.
Belle is the fifth Disney Princess, first introduced in Walt Disney Picture’s thirtieth animated feature film Beauty and the Beast (1991). Frustrated with her provincial village life, book-loving Belle longs for adventure. When her father Maurice is imprisoned by a hideous beast, Belle sacrifices her own freedom in return for his. At first frightened by the Beast’s physical appearance and repulsed by his selfishness, insolence and cruelty, Belle learns to appreciate him after he rescues her from a pack of hungry wolves, expressing her gratitude by tending to his wounds. While the Beast’s love for Belle gradually results in him adapting a more friendly and civil manner, Belle befriends him, eventually managing to fall in love with him which ultimately transforms him back into a handsome prince.
Jasmine is the sixth Disney Princess and the leading lady of Disney’s 31st animated feature film Aladdin (1992). Jasmine hungers for independence, tired of the restrictions laid before her by her father. She becomes besotted with Aladdin while he is disguised as a prince after he takes her on an amorous ride on a magic carpet. Aladdin’s genie companion is summoned and rubbed by Jafar who uses the genie’s magic to tyrannically overthrow the Sultan and employ a scantily-clothed Jasmine as his personal maidservant. Luckily, after Jafar’s defeat, the Sultan permits Jasmine to wed Aladdin despite his lack of royal heritage.
Pocahontas is the seventh Disney Princess and first appeared in Disney’s 33rd animated feature film Pocahontas (1995). Pocahontas is displayed as a noble, free-spirited and highly spiritual young woman. She expresses wisdom beyond her years and offers kindness and guidance to those around her. She loves adventure and nature. In the film, she appears to have shamanic powers since she was able to commune with nature, talk to spirits, empathize with animals and understand unknown languages.
Fa Mulan is the eighth Disney Princess and first appeared in Disney’s 36th animated feature film Mulan (1998). Though not an actual princess, she did marry a general of the military. Mulan, atypical and unlike most previous female roles, is courageous and more self-reliant. She also does not fit in with the expectations of a young Chinese girl of the time; despite her natural beauty, she is clumsy, outspoken, and independent rather than graceful, silent and demure. Her meeting with the matchmaker ended in chaos because of this, (with help from a certain cricket), and the matchmaker claimed that even though she had the looks of a bride, she would never find a match. However, her courage, intelligence, and determination helped her through her adventures.
Tiana is the ninth Disney Princess character, appearing in Disney’s 49th animated feature film The Princess and the Frog (2009). Tiana is notably the first African-American Disney Princess, portrayed as being a hardworking, ambitious, and beautiful young woman who has no love interest (at the start of the film). Living in New Orleans, Louisiana, during the 1920s, Tiana strives to achieve her goal of opening her own restaurant. However, she is transformed into a frog after trying to break a spell cast by a Bokor on Prince Naveen that had changed him into a frog also. Throughout the film, the pair must embark on a quest to find a way to break the spell.
Rapunzel is the tenth Disney Princess. First appearing in Walt Disney Picture’s fiftieth animated feature film Tangled (2010). A princess born with long, magical golden hair, Rapunzel, stolen from her parents at infancy, is raised by Mother Gothel, a vain woman who exploits her hair to remain young and beautiful. Incarcerated in an isolated tower for eighteen years, Rapunzel enlists the help of a wanted thief named Flynn Rider to see the floating lanterns in time for her eighteenth birthday.
Merida is the eleventh Disney princess, first appearing in the Pixar film Brave (2012). Merida is the 16-year old daughter of Queen Elinor, who rules the kingdom alongside King Fergus. Queen Elinor’s expectations of her daughter make Merida see Elinor as being distant while also causing friction between the two. Despite Elinor’s desire to see Merida as a proper royal lady, Merida is an impetuous girl who wants to take control of her own destiny. Merida has honed her skill in archery, and is one of the most skilled archers ever seen. She is also skilled in sword-fighting and cross-country horseriding on her horse, Angus.