The Definitive Ranking of the Disney Princesses!

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 cartoon icons!)

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©Disney

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!)

Here are (our) definitive rankings of the Disney Princesses, from worst to best.

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.

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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!

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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.

10. Ariel

(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.

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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.”

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Jasmine has a lot of potential, but when compared to the other leading ladies, she falls a little short.

8. Merida 

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.

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©Disney/Pixar

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.

7. Cinderella

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.

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6. Pocahontas

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.

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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!

5. Moana

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.

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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.

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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.

3. Rapunzel

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.

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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!

2. Belle

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.

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Honestly it was really hard to choose between Silver and Gold, but ultimately the top spot goes to…

1. Mulan

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.

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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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Molly is a lifelong Disney enthusiast, and former Walt Disney World Guest Relations Cast Member and tour guide. Her Walt Disney World favorites include Festival of the Lion King, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Fantasmic!, Mickey-shaped pretzels and rice krispie treats, and anything with Buzz Lightyear! She lives in Orlando with her husband (who she met in Guest Relations) and their two rescue dogs, Kronk and Cruella de Vil (Ella for short!)

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22 Replies to “The Definitive Ranking of the Disney Princesses!”

  1. With the exceptions of Mulan and Rapunzel, I think this lost is almost 100% backwards. I also will argue until my dying day that Cinderella and Belle are the worst printe princesses.

  2. My top princesses are cinderalla, tiana, and jasmine. They should be in the very top and idk why you underestimate them so much. Cinderalla struggles her whole life and had a good personality, tiana was realistic unlike the rest of the princesses(dealing with real life problems while maintaining a positive mind), and what was wrong with princess Jasmine???you said your rankings were not based off the movie only the princess but you told about the movie not her. Mulan should not be #1 and Moan didn’t do anything tbh. I think your whole top 7 is wrong. These 3 women were the strongest in my opinion and thats what made them better.

  3. I agree with you Based on strong characteristics that are good examples … however please explain how Mulan is a princess? Her family isn’t royal and she doesn’t wed a prince. 🤷‍♀️

    1. Yeah but than is pocahontas also not a prinsess, so no she is not a real prinsess but she is better she is a Disney prinsess. Witch means, being brave, loving and caring

    2. Jeah your right she isn’t a prinsess, but pocahontas isn’t either. There better then a prinsess there a Disney prinsess because there Loyal, strong, loving and caring. ❤️❤️

  4. My favourite Disney princess is Cinderella. She’s so kind, sweet and beautiful. I hope and think she should be the first.

  5. I 100% agree with you list. But to answer some of your questions, why it confused and irrigated me that Aurora didn’t do much some fans of her movie has pointed out that the movie name is “Sleeping Beauty” and that what Aurora does. Snow White has a starring role in her movie, so does Cinderella, Belle’s orginal name was Beauty but because not really a name, Disney called her Belle meaning Beauty and they sing in the song called well “Belle” so was Airel as far I can tell (I can’t the books to be defenal) but I think Hans Christian Anderson just called his character the Little Mermaid without any name or aleast someone told that once, Addalin is the main character in his movie not “Jasamine” because while Disney made Princess Stories they weren’t actually coined until Andy Mooney after spotting some Little Girls dressed up as Princess when he was with his family at Disney on Ice and reliesed how significant they had become, gave them they on franchise. He also intitsly added in Tinkerbell but she was removed to gain her own franchise, the Disney Fairies. At one point (I don’t when) but Jane was added in but removed because she had the same dress colour as Belle and looked a little bit simillar to her, honestly I am glad they are removed because they weren’t Princesses, it they were just going to add it every girl/woman to Princess Franchise it won’t be a franchise but you Disney Princesses were once just Fairytales Stories that didn’t focus that much on the Actual Princesses, I mean I can of Justifly Snow as she a child and she went from being Royality to cooking and cleaning for 7 Dwarves without once Complaining but Aurora is too Boring to me. But then I had actually seen they movies in a long time.

    You second Questions. Snow White main Sidekicks are the 7 Dwarfs. They even made up part of the title. “Snow White – and the 7 Dwaves.” The Prince is actually ameant to be more in the Background and I don’t know they just feel too focused for me, however Disney did supposedly want the Prince to a main Character with a lot more ooh to him but he was the hardest character to animated so they cut down his role significantly.

  6. Ariel should’ve been higher! She had wanted to be human since before she saw Eric! She’s already had her whole collection of human trinkets and sand part of that world. You could say he was the catalyst, but she had already wanted to be human anyway!

  7. Everyone will hate me for this but I am not a Belle fan. She promises to take her father’s place and after repeatedly disobeying the rules of the castle and getting in trouble for it, bails on her promise. Tiana and Moana were strong characters and I believe the best role models for girls. A close second Mulan and Pocahontas even though they ultimately disobeyed their parents.

  8. Love this list!!
    Merida is my fave for a million reasons even though the mom/bear thing is a bummer.
    Her dialogue is so strong and that HAIR!!
    Rapunzel is my other top, again for her dialogue and also her humor.
    I have always liked Auroa, but you nailed it about lack of presence, which I never really thought about.

    My 16yr old totally has Pocahontas as her number one, my 7yr old says Auroa(all because her dress is pink) and now because of your list I must watch Mulan! Not sure how I’ve never watched it!!

    Give me all the girls who use their words!!!

    And also….7 sleeps till we are WDW bound.

  9. I really enjoyed reading this & found the reasoning very interesting. When I was a little girl I wanted to be Snow White. I thought she was beautiful & had lovely songs. Then Beauty & the Beast came out when I was an adult. Belle is amazing. Unlike the traditional fairy tale where her father offers her as a gift to Beast so he can escape (what type of parenting is that?!) our Disney Belle goes to rescue her father. She’s clever, strong & feisty. It made me realise that Snow White was too keen to be liked. I mean, she’s a princess & ok, things were bad at home but she ran away (only when told to by the woodcutter) & then goes & skivvies for 7 dirty & untidy men! Not my idea of a great escape. Thanks for the article Molly.

  10. I don’t normally disagree with you,Molly, but you are completely wrong about this list! Everyone knows Ariel & Belle tie for Greatest Disney Princess of All Time! Wonderful animation, greats songs, awesome sidekicks, brave , determined “bright young women, sick of swimmin’ Ready to stand”! Belle fell in love with her captor who wasn’t even “human” so I think that cancels out Ariel falling for Eric at first site. Also, this feminist idea that loving a man makes you a weaker woman is all wrong. We (all people) were made to love, you can still be strong & independent and be in love.

    1. The fun thing about Disney princesses is everyone can have a favorite! 🙂 I definitely don’t think don’t think being in love makes you weaker — my top choice Mulan ended up in love with a man and she’s still strong and independent! I just don’t love that Ariel completely loses herself and literally gives up her voice for a man. But I do love “Part of Your World” — I used to reenact it as little girl on a pile of pillows as my “rock” at the end of the song. Thanks for reading!!

  11. How does one spell that sound you make when you stick out your tongue and make it vibrate against your lips? Is it called a raspberry? Anyway, that’s what I think of this list.

    Many criticize Snow White for dreaming of her prince, but look what she accomplished on her own, despite the powerful queen being against her, and she does it all with grace, love and charity, along with a bit of discipline where the Dwarves are concerned.

    Her voice was chosen to match the standards of the day and shouldn’t be judged by today’s standards.

    She embodies hope when there is none, optimism in the face of certain doom, and a can-do spirit that reminds me of Rosie the riveter. Her dreams come true because of her loving and helpful nature and because of her kindness, not because of the prince; she would have been fine without him. All who knew her loved her (except the evil queen), so everyone is her sidekick.

    She will always be number one in my book, and I bet in Walt’s book too, followed, in my opinion, by Cinderella and Belle.

  12. Well I’m 63 years old. My grandmother took me to my first movie ever,and that was “Sleeping Beauty”so I would say myfavorite is Aurora. She can’t help that animation was different in the 1950s,that films were shorter. Next is “Cinderella ” and for me the “glass slipper” still fits! After 43 years too. And he is still my Prince Charming. But I do agree about”Snow White”. Never my favorite,and I totally agree about the singing.”Belle “is my favorite,she is the definite choice of my later years,and a character my small grandaughter can certainly look up to.

    1. I agree. Mulan deceived officials to take her father’s position as a warrior. She never set foot in court and went home to her village when the fighting was done. She’s more Karate Kid and I love that.