What are the criteria?
We will only be looking at the people who have been officially inducted into the Disney Princess group at a coronation ceremony in Walt Disney World. Meaning we will not be including Frozen (as they are NOT Disney Princesses) or Moana (as she has not been inducted as of right now!)
This is based off my personal opinion and personal ranking of these movies based off how I have interpreted Disney Princess movies and feminism in of itself. I understand if you guys disagree with me but this is my personal opinion based off stories and morals of each and every movie.
Additionally, I do understand that these are all children movies and should not be taken so literally however I completely disagree that it does not matter because of the fact that these are children movies. In fact, I think it matters more as it can influence their opinions of themselves and how they or women in general should be treated which is very disheartening thing to hear.
I have had this debate with many of my friends, mostly because of our feminist qualities but this is my comprehensive list that ranks every single Disney Princess (from Merida to Snow White) and the order on their feminist qualities.
11. The Little Mermaid.
The Little Mermaid, features the young princess, Ariel, who loses in being a feminist character. The entire story line is that she sees a man who she falls in love with and decides to go onto land to make the prince fall in love with her (without her voice) and that the man has to love her back in order for her to receive her second life’s dream, to live on land. This entire movie heavily implies that looks are the only things that matter when it comes to wooing a guy and also has the heavy implication that in order for you to achieve your dreams, you must be in a relationship to do so.
Cinderella was very hard for me to locate on this list, simply because my original opinion was going to make this much lower on this list until I truly began thinking about what the message Cinderella presented was. I put it basically everywhere on the list until I finally put her in the 10th spot. Cinderella follows the story of a maid who is being essentially abused by her stepmother and stepsisters when she finds out about the ball. When she goes to this ball, in a completely made over look, she meets the prince of the ball and they fall in love instantaneously. Simply because of her looks and dancing skills and then can not even remember anything about her so he decides to have every single girl in the entire kingdom try on her shoe. He couldn’t remember her eye color, her hair color, or anything else. It implies that you must be beautiful in order for somebody to love you and also that you must have a man in order to have a better life.
Tangled is honestly an incredible disappointment in my opinion, she is one of our newest Disney Princesses to be announced (along with Merida and Tiana) and yet, she is one our worst examples of being a feminist. She is portrayed to be a weak character who is only capable of painting, cleaning, and sewing and is yearning for a dream but must have a man save her from a tower in order for this dream to actually come alive.
8. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was actually the first Disney Princess movie to ever be created back in the 1930’s so it’s not really surprising that Snow White doesn’t get very high on this spectrum. This time period, in general, believed that women were weaker than men and absolutely had to have a man in order to live a normal life. This one, among a few others on this list, simply implies that in order for you to live, you must have a man or a “true loves” kiss. Additionally, beyond this, her main role is to be a cleaning lady among seven men who are clearly using her for this as she has no other talents.
7. Sleeping Beauty.
Sleeping Beauty shares the same mistake that Snow White has, the implication that you must have a man in order to survive with true loves kiss. However, she beats Snow White as she does not have a whole lot of screen time in the movie (which is only kind of odd considering she is the title name.)
Aladdin was one of the harder ones to locate exactly on this list, as one of the few Disney Princesses who’s name is not in the title sequence (unless you count Repunzel in Tangled), she has fairly little screen time however we do get to see enough where is capable of being placed. She is an incredibly defiant person, going against her father’s wishes when he wants her to marry Jafar and does not immediately fall in love with Aladdin and even gets angry with him when she finds out that he is lying to her however her downfall is unfortunately after Jafar gets ahold of the Genie and basically creates her into a damsel in distress that must be saved and is sexually objectified in the process.
5. Beauty and the Beast.
Beauty and the Beast is actually one of my personal favorites among the Disney Princesses because of the book smarts and how much I felt that I could relate to her and if we were in regards to the live action movie, she would probably be pushed up a little higher on the list. (I actually want to discuss Beauty and the Beast soo badly) but here are some of the reasons why she gets to be in the top 5. First and foremost, she is the love interest to the beast and in general, it seems as though that may be her only purpose in the story which is why she does not get to be any higher however she gets to stay here because she is not the one who made the mistake, like many movies portray, and she shares no curse throughout the entire movie. It was clearly and completely the Beast’s fault for the entire movie as to why there is a curse. She is also defiant of the people’s views, clearly ignoring their opinions in regards to her interests and taste and completely ignores Gaston’s attempts simply because she is “beautiful.” She proves that there is more to a girl beyond a pretty face.
4. Princess and the Frog.
I actually struggled in placing Tiana, she is such an amazing character and makes amazing leeway in regards to African American’s as being the first African American Disney Princess which consistently made me want her to be higher on this list until I remembered that this is list for feminist. It was really hard to place her because her situation for the most part wasn’t her fault and she actually had really big dreams that she was actually trying to get to. Unlike Belle, she didn’t just yearn for an adventure, she went after her dreams. But she doesn’t get any higher because she still ended up with a man at the end which greatly influenced her ability in opening up the restaurant of her dreams.
What’s really hard to understand about Pocahontas is what she actually wanted throughout the entire movie and while it could be argued that she wanted the American’s to leave above all else, I also saw a sway in this decision as the movie went on. However, she is in the top five for being one of the more feminist Disney Princess because she was consistently defiant against wishes and stayed true to herself above all else. (Let’s just forget that Pocahontas 2 exists, okay?)
Mulan, while she does have a romantic interest, she still proves herself to be a strong and independent character. She clearly goes against the gender quo and even poses as a man so that she can save her father. She proves that women are strong, brave, and confident human beings.
Merida, from Brave, wins for the most feminist Disney Princess because Merida is completely against the fact that her family wants her to get married and even laughs at the idea of the strength contest and then completely beats all of them. Merida is the reminder that a girl can do anything that’s typically something only a guy could do and is also one of the few movies (and the only one on this list) where there is not a single romantic potential love interest throughout the entire movie. Brave is the reminder that a girl does not have to have a boy in her life to complete her dreams and goals for her future.
Buy The White Butterfly, here!
Buy The Girl in the Cage, here!
Check out my other Disney Related Content!
Check out a post I made about Feminism!