We love the Disney princesses! They are smart, brave, kind, generous, caring, adventurous, and fair — just to name a few things. (Leave us a comment below if you’ve got other adjectives for these animated icons!)
But who is the best of the 12 official Disney Princesses*? That’s what we’re looking into today! Our rankings are based on screen presence, virtue, power song, and sidekicks (you are the company you keep, after all!).
(*The Official Disney Princesses are according DisneyPrincess.com, an official Disney site. The lineup does not include Anna, Elsa, Elena, Sofia, or others. Don’t shoot the messenger!)
12. Princess Aurora
Sorry, Sleeping Beauty, but you were catching zzzz’s for too much of the movie. Seriously, Aurora only has about 18 minutes of screen time and 18 lines of dialogue in the entire movie (even though she’s the title character). We love her song (“Once Upon a Dream”), and her sidekicks, the Three Fairies, aren’t half bad (granted they aren’t great). However, Aurora’s lack of on-screen presence leaves us no choice but to put her in last.
11. Snow White
Snow White is the OG princess, and for that we are forever thankful. But her song (“Someday My Prince Will Come”) is far from our favorite, and I’m going to be honest — her high-pitched voice is nails on a chalkboard for me. (Phew. It feels good to finally get that off my chest.) She also doesn’t have clearly defined sidekick(s); is it the dwarfs? the forest creatures? IDK!
Snow White (the film) is revolutionary, and the Disney company wouldn’t be where it is today without it. But as a stand-alone character, she’s just not our fave.
(Cue the yelling in the comments below!)
I know, I know: Ariel is one of the most iconic princesses. People love her bright red hair, and she’s a mermaid, which is obviously pretty awesome. “Part of Your World” is one of the best Princess songs, and Scuttle and Flounder are nothing if not adorable.
All that said, I used to love Ariel when I was younger. But now I can’t help but focus on the fact that she literally changes her body and gives up her voice for a dude she saw for five seconds. He’s got great hair but come on, girl — have some self-respect.
A true Princess is someone the little princesses can look up to, and Ariel’s ideologies don’t work anymore (and, really, they never should have).
9. Princess Jasmine
Sure, she’s spunky, and we love her fire (and her sidekick Rajah, even if he doesn’t do much.)
But Jasmine is the only princess who is the secondary character in her love story — she’s also the only one who’s in a movie where the title isn’t about her. She gets more screen time than Aurora but still not enough for our liking (just looking at the original movie, no sequels or live action included.) Jasmine doesn’t even have a song we can look at; her only singing is on the (albeit amazing) duet “A Whole New World.”
Jasmine has a lot of potential, but when compared to the other leading ladies, she falls a little short.
We know Brave isn’t the most popular princess movie, but this ranking is based just on the princess, people!
Merida isn’t conventional; she doesn’t have a love interest, and instead of fighting for a man, she’ll be shooting for her own hand! In fact, we’d argue Merida shot arrows so Moana could raft.
But Merida doesn’t go about solving her problems in the most effective manner, turning her mother into her a bear and all. Not that every princess makes the best decisions all of the time, but listening to a creepy witch in the forest really ranks up there with the worst of the bad choices our gals have made. Plus, Merida doesn’t have a song that she sings (even though we love “Touch the Sky” from the soundtrack), so we can’t fairly rank her much higher.
We had to include at least one of Walt’s princesses in our top half, and Cinderella was the easy choice!
Her sidekicks (namely the Mice) are not only cute but incredibly helpful! And Cinderella’s such a crafty sweetheart making little outfits for them. Her song “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” is such a mood. And while she’s not as 3-dimensional as some of the newer-age gals, she’s iconic, classic, and has such a good heart.
Have you even heard “Just Around the Riverbend?” It’s fantastic! That right there puts Poca in the top sector of our rankings. Throw in Grandmother Willow, Flit, and Meeko, and you’ve got some real Princess power.
Pocahontas is strong-willed and selfless, yet often forgotten. But not on our list! We love her music, we love her friends, and we love her powerful lady vibe. You go, Pocahontas!
Moana is the second princess on our list that doesn’t have a love interest, and we love that about her. She’s not afraid of a challenge, and she values her family and her people.
Her sidekicks are pretty awesome too (specifically Pua), and her power song, “How Far I’ll Go” is one of the best! Moana is a fabulous role model for little princesses, showing that you can do anything you put your mind to — even return a lava monster to her rightful sense of self.
4. Princess Tiana
There’s a lot to love about Tiana. For starters, she’s the only Princess with a business plan, and we can appreciate that.
Tiana is a go-getter, who works hard — in fact she’s probably got the best work ethic of any on the list. She isn’t worried about dating or messing around, she wants to make her father proud and open her own restaurant.
In fact, Tiana’s rigidness is probably her biggest flaw. That said, we enjoy her song (“Almost There”), plus Ray and Louis (her sidekicks) are pretty great. They just aren’t as great as the next spot in our rankings which is why Tiana takes fourth.
At first glance, Rapunzel may seem like a naive blonde chick whose best feature is her (incredible) hair. But don’t be so quick to judge!
Rapunzel, despite being locked away for basically her whole life, is really quick on her feet. She’s handy in a pickle and darn useful with a frying pan. She’s surprisingly strong-willed, she’s quirky, and she’s kind and caring.
Two big points in her favor are her delightful song (“When Will My Life Begin”) and adorable and funny sidekicks (Pascal and Maximus.) Rapunzel is worthy of bronze in our book!
Belle is probably the most beloved Princess of the bunch — and with good reason! She’s okay with being different, she’s well-read and smart, and she knows real beauty is on the inside. Her solo song (“Belle – Reprise”) may not be the longest — but it’s powerful and strong, and we love that run through the field a la Maria in Sound of Music. Her sidekicks are some of the best — name a better duo than Lumiere and Cogsworth. We’ll wait.
Honestly it was really hard to choose between Silver and Gold, but ultimately the top spot goes to…
I mean, she saves China — need we say more?! (We needn’t, but we will.)
Mulan checks all the boxes. Her power ballad “Reflection” is arguably the best solo princess song (or at least top two.) Her sidekicks are a perfect trio — Crickee is good luck and adorable, Khan is strong and useful, and Mushu is easily the funniest princess sidekick around. And on-screen presence? SHE SAVES CHINA. That was worth saying again.
Mulan is everything a Princess should be — she’s brave yet humble, strong yet sensitive, and daring yet smart. We love you, Mulan!
So there you have it — our ranking of the Disney princesses! Who comes out on top on your list? Let us know in the comments!
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