While Disney has created several iconic characters on both film and television, we think nothing comes close to the stunning Disney Princesses. Both children and adults are continually enamored by stories of true love, women empowerment (yeah, we hear you, Mulan), and the eventual triumph of good vs evil.
Over the years, these Disney heroines served as role models to every growing child. Here’s our list of the best Disney princesses of all time, along with a little recap on how they lived happily ever after.
Top 15 Disney Princesses We Absolutely Love
1. Ariel - The Little Mermaid
We all know Ariel as an adventurous and curious little mermaid who’s always been fascinated with life on land and be part of “your” world. Just take a peek at her collection of trinkets, gadgets, and gizmos a-plenty in the movie.
However, she can be reckless and impulsive at times, like giving up her lovely voice to Ursula, the sea witch villain. All for true love, of course. In the end, she learned her lesson, got her voice back, came to a truce with her father, and finally embraced who or what she really is. Oh, and she ended up with Prince Eric, too, by the way.
2. Belle - Beauty and the Beast
Belle was what we could call a rebel in her own way. Back in the days when women were expected to stay home, clean, and keep the husband happy, Belle was running around, borrowing books and helping her father with his inventions. She was smart, courageous, and definitely had a mind of her own. Some of the people in the village called her crazy. In the movie, she had dreams not cut out for the provincial life.
We like how Belle sees beyond somebody else’s flaws. Take, the Beast, for instance. He wasn’t just horrendous-looking, he was mean, coarse, and unrefined.
But Belle’s love and acceptance changed him in the end. The film gave us some of the best sidekicks, too - like Lumiere and Cogsworth.
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3. Anna - Frozen
The forever optimist, Princess Anna (now, Queen) of Arendelle, teaches us one thing that’s often overlooked in this fast-paced life - family is everything. After losing their parents, Anna was ignored by Elsa (who also had to deal with her own monsters) for years.
Despite being shut out and even publicly humiliated, Anna continued to repair her relationship with her sister. She was willing to sacrifice her life, all because she believes that family is worth fighting for until the very end.
4. Rapunzel - Tangled
Despite being isolated in a seemingly tall tower, with an erratic mother, a sly chameleon, and her outrageously long golden hair for company, Rapunzel is far from the depressed teenager that you’d expect. On the contrary, she’s quite energetic and full of zest.
Rapunzel looked forward to when her life would finally begin. Flynn Rider found her as fate would have it, and after hitting Flynn with a frying pan, they took off to see the "light" (for a price, of course). All's well that ends well, too, as it was soon discovered in the movie that she was the lost princess of the island kingdom of Corona.
5. Jasmine - Aladdin
As the daughter of the Sultan of Agrabah, Jasmine was kept protected inside the palace and was forbidden to go beyond the walls. In the film, Jasmine loved her doting father so much, but there’s just so much an independent and intelligent princess can do to help her kingdom.
She often refused to follow the ridiculous practices. Hence, the occasional rebellion. On one of her quests outside the palace, Princess Jasmine met Aladdin, the street rat. Love blossomed when Aladdin showed her the world, and well, you know the rest.
Ah, the perfect epitome of women empowerment - Fa Mulan. This warrior Disney "princess" is fearless and badass, displaying her strength and wit despite her mother's constant reminder to act like a refined woman. She was quite a character. When her ailing war veteran father was called on to defend China once more, Mulan took his place unbeknownst to her family.
In the movie, she disguised herself as a man named Ping and trained in the same way as the men (gender equality, folks), ultimately becoming the star of the class. Mulan brought honor to her family when she helped defeat Shan Yu through her quick-thinking ways.
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7. Tiana - Princess and the Frog
Tiana is the first African-American Disney Princess who graced our screen, making her one of the most iconic princesses in history. She started as a hardworking waitress who had dreams of opening her own restaurant and sharing good food through her late father's recipes. She was almost there until the arrival of Prince Naveen of Maldonia.
When the playboy prince was turned into a frog, he sought Tiana’s help to turn him back. Of course, since Tiana was no princess, the magical curse just got worse, and they both became frogs. In the film, the couple had to overcome quite a few obstacles. Falling in love along the way was to be expected, though.
8. Merida - Brave
Princess Merida is a feisty Scottish redhead princess characterized as a confident, headstrong, and resourceful protagonist in the film Brave. While Queen Elinor expected her daughter to become a proper royal lady, Merida acted quite the opposite towards her mother. Merida enjoyed “rucksack” adventures with her horse, Angus, carrying her bow and arrow everywhere she went.
Based on the story, she was a skilled archer, even better than most of the kingdom’s warriors or the men who asked her hand in marriage. Merida’s impetuousness caused strained relations with her mother, but it was also she who found a way to mend their bond torn by pride.
As one of the most well-loved and iconic Disney princesses of all time, Cinderella was kind, friendly, and optimistic. Oh, and did we mention animal lover? When her father died, Cinderella was forced to serve her wicked stepmother and ugly stepsisters.
In the Disney film, you’ll find Cinderella either cooking in the kitchen or mopping the floors. With the help of her fairy godmother (let’s not forget the glass slippers, too), Cinderella found her prince, and they lived happily ever after.
10. Snow White - Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Snow White was regarded as the girl with skin as white as snow and lips as red as roses. These characteristics made her stepmother slash Evil Queen envious of her beauty to the point that she wanted the character dead. The mercenary the Queen hired took pity upon Snow White and spared her life, leading her to come across the seven dwarves who welcomed her to their home.
The story doesn’t end there, though, as the Queen soon found out that Snow White was hiding in the forest. She guised herself as an old hag and offered the cursed red apple to the innocent girl. Everyone thought Snow White was dead until true love's kiss waked her up.
11. Princess Aurora - Sleeping Beauty
Another Disney princess awoken by true love's kiss is the infamous Princess Aurora or Briar Rose, the name her "aunts" gave her. In the beginning, Aurora was seen as a naive and shy yet sophisticated young lady, which could be the result of her being sheltered all her life.
Born a royal, Princess Aurora was entrusted to fairies after the evil Maleficent cursed her as a baby. Her fairy "aunts," Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, also continually reminded her of the number one rule - never talk to strangers. But Aurora she meets the handsome Prince Phillip, she was instantly drawn to him.
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With Moana's love for adventure and the seas, there's no telling how far this teenager can go. Her grandmother pegged her as somebody who stands out from the crowd. As the Village Chief's daughter, she was expected to act with a level head as she will eventually take over the responsibilities. While Moana initially tried to act as a proper chief-in-training, the idea of voyaging often plagued her mind.
The village also continued to suffer from a lack of resources, so she had to do something. Right after it was revealed that the ocean chose her to restore the heart of Te Fiti, Moana focused her mind on the quest. Her love for her parents, the people of Motunui, and her dream of voyaging were what fueled her to continue despite the obstacles.
Pocahontas is the free-spirited child of Chief Powhatan, the leader of a Native American tribe. She is independent, resourceful, and very open-minded to the point that she befriended an English man named John Smith, something that was overtly forbidden by her father.
Pocahontas and John Smith’s friendship blossomed into love, much to her father’s dismay. The difference between the traditions and values of the settlers and natives almost destroyed her home. Through her love for John, Pocahontas brought unity and peace before any battle can unfold.
14. Elsa - Frozen
Elsa started as a princess, but when her parents died in a tragedy, she became a Disney queen at a young age. Elsa is born with the power of ice and snow, something that her family was proud of in the beginning. However, when Elsa's power caused Anna's accident, she feared that her powers would destroy the people she loved. In the movie, she was kept isolated by her parents for most of her life, missing out on a lot of things.
Elsa's anxieties would soon get the best of her as she had trouble controlling her powers. To protect her sister and the kingdom, she went deep into the forest where she could live alone forever. With Princess Anna's help, she overcame her worst weakness and just let it go.
15. Vanellope Von Schweetz (Bonus Disney Princess) - Wreck-It Ralph
Known as someone with a glitch, Vanellope is a talkative and energetic kart-racer in the candy-coated game Sugar Rush. As one of the top racers in the competition, she often refers to herself as the "princess" of Candy Land.
She usually acts like an average child in the movie, with her immature sense of humor and overly exciting nature. Let's add annoying, too. However, beneath those childish antics is a sweetheart, as seen when she formed one unique friendship with Ralph.
Which Disney princess is the best role model?
We think Belle is the best role model among the Disney princesses. She’s smart, resourceful, determined, and loving to both family and friends. While all the Disney princesses have positive qualities worth emulating, she was the only princess who encouraged reading and learning.
Who is the most loved Disney princess?
All the Disney princesses are loved, but Princess Ariel just might be the most loved of all the princesses. Her sweet and charismatic character won the hearts of every Disney fan around the world. Plus, she’s a mermaid who can sing and then some.
Who's the smartest Disney Princess?
Tiana from Princess and the Frog is the smartest Disney princess among the princesses on the list. She is an independent and career-driven woman who envisions herself owning and managing her own restaurant someday. That means she understands how to run a business and how to be on top of her game all the time.
The Most Popular Walt Disney Princesses Today - Wrapping Up
Whether you’re a fan of the Walt Disney classics like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, or prefers the more recent films that star Rapunzel and Anna, there’s no doubt that these Disney princesses gave important lessons on life and love for every kid growing up. They’ve become role models.
When it comes to being a Disney princess, there’s more to being just a damsel in distress. There’s kindness, compassion, and bravery to stand up for what’s right. It’s all about girl power.
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