Disney Princess Franchise
Disney Princess Lineup
The Coronation of Princess Merida - At Walt Disney World
Disney Princesses Quiz - How Much Do You Know?
A Princess Empire
When I was a little girl I remember being enchanted by the princesses of Disney. Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Cinderella from Disney's Cinderella, Belle from Beauty and the Beast - but the Disney Princess Franchise hadn't become as big or popular as it is today.
Almost every little girl in North America knows at least one Disney Princess, it has become an animated entity that continues to grow. From the old classics like Snow White to the more modernized princesses like Rapunzel, the Disney formula for their princesses has varied, from the shut in and mistreated Princess Cinderella to the sassy Princess Tiana.
The Disney's Princesses Empire is a $4 billion dollar franchise that was pioneered by Andy Mooney - the former chairman of Disney Consumer Products. Mooney joined the Disney Company in 2000 as president of DCP, and in 2003 he was made chairman. Andy Mooney recounts his demand for the Disney Princess franchise as being at a Disney on Ice performance in 2007. He noticed that most of the little girls standing in line with their parents at the event were dressed as princesses. Not Disney princess dresses, but in "generic princess dresses".
A Disney Princess is either married into royalty, born into royalty or they are considered a princess due to their significant portrayal of heroism in their film and/or of a very high status in their country/region. And because Disney virtually owns Pixar, Merida was added to Disney's Princess lineup. I would also like to add that I will be adding my own princesses to the Disney Princess lineup because if Mulan is in the line up, so should a few others as well. Let's explore these Disney Princesses and learn more about them in this hub.
Disney Princess Tribute
Walt Disney Speaks About Snow White
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - 1937
Walt Disney wanted to create a full length animated feature film with a character that children already knew, so he brought the story of Snow White to life on the big screen in 1937. The first character design sketches resembled Betty Boop and Disney didn't approve of her look. The sketches were too cartoon-y, but Disney wanted something a little more realistic-like.
Walt Disney made Hamilton Luske the supervising animator for Snow White and charged him with making Snow White look more realistic than Disney's previous animated works. Despite naysayers protests that a full length animated feature film was career suicide, Walt Disney listened to his inner dreams and made Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs a reality.
On December 21, 1937 it premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre with a standing ovation with an audience filled with the same naysayers that called Snow White "Disney's Folly". Snow White has captivated children for decades, even though it's Disney's oldest feature film princess, she still continues to be at the top of little girls lists of favorite Disney Princesses to date.
Snow White is considered the compassionate one of all Disney Princesses. The story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs world renown, but the most beloved tale - in my opinion - is that of Disney's retelling. Such a moving tale and such a moving princess to be remembered for eons to come!
Rare Knowledge About Cinderella
- There are two subliminal messages for Mickey Mouse's head in the movie. One is in the details on the carriage that ushers Cinderella to the royal ball. The other is while Cinderella is washing the floor - as the bubbles ascend, three come together to create the head and ears for Mickey Mouse.
- Cinderella's pet cat, Lucifer, was modeled after one of the animator's pet calico cat.
- Out of 309 women who auditioned for the voice of Cinderella, Ilene Woods won even though she had no idea she was auditioning. Her friends sent off a recording of her and she got the part!
- Prince Charming's name is never mentioned in the movie!
- The correct spelling for Cinderella's fairy godmother's spell is: "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo".
- A tagline for Cinderella when it first came out was: "Midnight never strikes when you're in love."
- In 1951, Cinderella was nominated for an Oscar for "Best Original Song", "Best Sound Recording", and "Best Scoring of a Musical Picture". Though, it didn't win either category.
- Cinderella's wedding dress had consistency problems. During the ceremony Cinderella wore just long sleeves, but when they leave in the carriage her shoulders magically has large puffed sleeves.
- On several occasions Walt Disney has stated that his favorite piece of animation was when Cinderella's torn dress is magically changed into her gorgeous ball gown.
- Verna Felton, the voice of Cinderella's Fairy Godmother, has lent her voices for several other Disney animated feature films such as Aunt Sarah in Lady and the Tramp, an elephant in The Jungle Book, the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, the Matriarch Elephant in Dumbo, and also as one of the three fairies in Sleeping Beauty, Flora.
Cinderella - 1950
Cinderella is the well known fairy tale about a girl who came up in one of the worst surroundings and became a beautiful princess. As a child, I remember singing along with the songs in Cinderella, spinning my dresses I wore thinking I could be just as graceful and pretty as she. The story enchanted me, and I loved to watch and rewind it over and over again.
Marc Davis and Eric Larson both animated the beautiful Cinderella. Walt Disney based his version of Cinderella on the French version by Charles Perrault. Cinderella is 19 years old and was made a slave by her stepmother years prior right after Cinderella's father died. She grew up beautiful with strawberry-blonde hair, fair complexion, and wide blue eyes. She lived in the very top of the house in the attic and shared the house with her stepmother and two step sisters.
Despite being forced to become a servant, Cinderella was always very kind, generous, hopeful, and very romantic. When her stepmother receives a letter from the palace, Cinderella inquires if she can attend as well. Though her stepmother agreed, she later sabotaged Cinderella's chance at going to the ball, which deeply devastates Cinderella. Cinderella's Fairy Godmother shows up and makes it possible for Cinderella to attend the ball.
At midnight Cinderella's gown and carriage that she took to the ball converts back into a pumpkin and shredded dress. However, at the ball, Cinderella danced with Prince Charming and - when she had to leave abruptly - left a slipper behind with the lovesick Prince vowing to fit the shoe with every maiden in the kingdom until he finds the love of his life he danced with that wondrous night.
If you've been living under a rock I won't spoil the ending for you, but you must know that this is definitely seen as a must see for children. The magic, the hopefulness, the love, the caring, everything about this movie would keep kids and adults enchanted forever.
Princess Aurora/Briar Rose
Sleeping Beauty the Making Of
Sleeping Beauty - 1959
As much as I am an animation fanatic, I have yet to watch Disney's Sleeping Beauty all the way through. It was a little slow paced for me, but I know a lot of people who says that Sleeping Beauty is their favorite of all Disney Princess movies. Princess Aurora is also known as Briar Rose.
The story is of Princess Aurora who - on her sixteenth birthday - gets pricked by a sewing spindle that was cursed by an evil witch and puts the whole kingdom to sleep until a dashing young prince finds her and kisses her to wake up the whole kingdom.
The adventure and fantasy of this movie captivates children and adults alike, and unlike many other Disney Princess movies, even boys can enjoy the heroism of the Prince as he tries to save his true love from peril. Sleeping beauty opened on January 29, 1959. It's the first animated film to be photographed in the Technirama widescreen process, and Sleeping Beauty was also the first time Disney Studios experimented with the Xerox process.
Sleeping Beauty was the first Disney Classics video to be digitally processed in Hi-Fi stereo after it went to VHS, Laserdisc, and Betamax. Sleeping Beauty was nominated for an Academy Award for "Best Scoring of a Musical Picture" and a Grammy Award for "Best Soundtrack Album", but won neither award.This was the last Princess animated feature film that Walt Disney worked on before he died on December 15, 1966.
Daughters of Triton
Buy The Little Mermaid Movies Today!
The Little Mermaid - 1989
Hands down one of my favorite princess movies as a child was Disney's The Little Mermaid. Ariel is the fiery, rebellious, adventurous, yet courageous sixteen year old youngest daughter of King Triton (Alana, Adella, Andrina, Aquatta, Arista, and Attina. To find out more about Ariel's sisters and her daughter, Melody, feel free to visit the hub: Disney's The Little Mermaid). Fascinated with the world above - our world - Ariel finds knickknacks that belonged to humans and kept them in a cave.
In the original Disney's The Little Mermaid, Ariel trades her voice to get the chance to live on land for three days. Ariel falls in love with Prince Eric and they live happily ever after by the sea at Prince Eric's palace.
As of 2013, Ariel is the only princess with a child. Ariel has three movies and a television series. Disney's The Little Mermaid was the first Disney underwater animated feature film.
How the Beast Became a Prince
Beauty and the Beast - 1991
In my opinion Belle is one of the prettiest princesses in the Disney Princess Franchise, Belle actually means beautiful in French. Belle is an intelligent, caring, self-less, and generous girl who loves to read. One day her father, Maurice, gets lost in the woods and wanders into a castle that's hidden deep in the woods. Thinking it was abandoned, Maurice soon comes head to head with the owner of the castle who immediately throws Maurice into his castle's dungeon. When Belle searches for him and tries to help him escape, a beast appears and Belle agrees to take her father's place in the dungeon.
Belle learns that even though outward appearances may be hard to look at, a person's inner beauty is what matters most of all. Another one of my all-time favorite Disney movies. Belle was the second Disney Princess to not have royal descent only after Cinderella in 1950. Belle, along with Aurora are the only two princesses who weren't protagonists in their original stories, but shared a protagonistic role in Disney's version. Belle made a brief cameo during the songs "Out There" and "Topsy Turvy" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame along with Pumbaa and Carpet in a shot of a village square.
Of all the Disney Princesses, Belle was the first to have brunette hair, and the first to remain a brunette throughout the franchise. Character designers wanted to make Belle's eyes grey instead of the beautiful brown we know of today.
Aladdin - 1992
Thank you, Ariel, for paving the way for more independent Disney Princesses like Princess Jasmine. Jasmine is very quick witted, adventurous, and determined. The story follows Aladdin, a pauper, as he tries to impress the - unbeknownst to him - Princess Jasmine so that she would agree to marry him. Jasmine falls in love with Aladdin and goes through great lengths to assure his safety.
There are three Disney Aladdin movies and had a television show, all which features Princess Jasmine. She is the first Disney Princess to have a more unimportant role in her original Disney movie. Aladdin is a great movie for the whole family to watch - with or without children.
Jasmine is considered the first minority princess as she is of Middle Eastern descent and is also the first Disney Princess to wear pants, the first Disney Princess to marry someone who isn't a prince, and the second youngest Disney Princess because she is 15 at the beginning of the original Disney's Aladdin movie, though she is 16 by the end of the movie.
Colors of the Wind
Pocahontas - 1995
Pocahontas is the second "minority" Disney Princess and one of the least mentioned and underrated Disney Princess in the franchise. The story of Pocahontas is legendary, its the first Disney Princess movie to be based on historical events instead of a fairy tale or folklore. Pocahontas is the first - and currently only - Disney Princess to have two love interests. Though Pocahontas ends up with John Rolfe in real life, most media tries to put Pocahontas with John Smith, including the Disney Corporation.
Though it isn't shown in any of Pocahontas' movies, later in life, Pocahontas changed her name to Rebecca after becoming a Christian. Pocahontas was the first Disney Princess movie to be set in North America. Pocahontas is the only Disney Princess to date that has tattoos, she is also the only Disney Princess that isn't depicted wearing a tiara - either in the film or franchise -, and is also the first Disney Princess that had to deal with racism as a major source of conflict.
Legend tells that Pocahontas/Rebecca had a son with John Rolfe named Thomas Rolfe, but she was never married in her movies, let alone had a child. After befriending and saving John Smith's life, Pocahontas grows ever fonder of him with each passing day. With the colonists and the Native Americans not getting along, Pocahontas tries to make peace between her world and that of her friend... But she's only just a teenager.
Topsy Turvy: Esmeralda's Gypsy Dance
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - 1996
Esmeralda is the first Disney heroine that I've added to the "official Disney Princess" list. Esmeralda is a gypsy heroine in the movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame, she's not a major character in the movie, but she does play co-star in the movie. Esmeralda befriends Quasimodo (the bell attendant) and she shows him that beauty isn't skin deep.
Esmeralda was originally in the Disney Princess franchise along with Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas and Mulan. After 2004, Esmeralda was taken from the Disney Princess franchise for undisclosed reasons. Some argue that Esmeralda was taken from the Disney Princess franchise because she was too sultry, she has no connection to royalty, or because of her striking resemblance to Princess Jasmine.
Esmeralda is the first Disney Princess who blatantly shows her religion in her movie, the first Disney Princess to have green eyes, She is also the first non-Caucasian Disney female to sport an unusual eye color, the only Disney Princess to have a son, and the only Disney heroine to dance seductively.
Megara - I Won't Say I'm in Love
Hercules - 1997
Megara - or Meg - is the love interest of Hercules in Disney's Hercules. Meg is the first Disney heroine to actually belong to the bad side, the first to have a boyfriend before her male love interest in the movie, and the first Disney heroine to ever wear eye shadow. It is unsure as to why Meg isn't officially included in the Disney Princess franchise, though she is a sort of "guest princess" because she is featured in in the "Princess Collection 2" CD and is also featured Disney Princess Sing Along Songs - Once Upon a Dream.
Megara was a princess in Greek Mythology and had married Hercules, who was the son of Zeus, king of the Gods. Because of both these factors, Meg should have been a shoe in to represent the Disney Princess franchise, but she isn't included. Disney Hercules is possibly my favorite Disney animated film, but Meg gets no notoriety in the Disney Princess franchise.
Meg made a cameo appearance in Disney Herclues' television show. In her first appearance in the series, Meg meets Hercules and cons him into helping her steal back an amphora of lithe water that makes people forget. After Hercules helps Meg the lithe water spills on them both and they forget who each other are. In her second appearance in Disney Hercules the television show, Meg and Hercules are married and she finds Hercules' yearbook. The whole episode is about looking back at Hercules' life in high school.
Repeatedly in the television series the narrator reiterates that Meg and Hercules lived happily ever after, even though in Greek Mythology Hercules kills Megara and their two children. I suppose we could speculate that Disney storytellers decided to not go that far with Hercules.
Princess Fa Mulan
Your Duty is to Your Heart
Mulan - 1998
Fa Mulan is not your traditional Disney Princess. Well, for starters, she's not even a literal princess. The fact that she was readily included in the Disney Princess Lineup instead of more deserving like Megara from Hercules. Mulan is at the top of my favorite Disney animated movies, I wish I would see more of her in the Disney Princess franchise. She's rarely present with the other Disney Princesses, but she's an official Disney Princess.
Like her minority Disney Princess counterparts (Tiana, Pocahontas, and Jasmine), Mulan isn't set in Europe. Mulan is the first Disney Princess to be of Asian descent, the first Disney Princess to cut her hair, the only Disney Princess to be raised by both of her parents for her entire current life, she is the first Disney Princess to kill the film's villain before Tiana in 2009, and the first official Disney Princess who isn't a princess or got married a prince. Though, if Mulan had married Prince Jeeki instead of Li Shang at the end of Mulan II, she would have actually become a princess herself!
Mulan is the first true action Disney Princess movie. One could also argue that the three princesses that Mulan helped escort to Qui Gong should be Disney Princesses as well, but since they were supporting characters, I don't think Disney will even recognize them as official Disney Princesses ever.
Princess Jane Porter
Not a Disney Princess?
On an island in a jungle far away from England, Tarzan - as a baby - parents get killed which leaves him with no one. A female gorilla finds Tarzan and at the protests of the gorilla's mate, becomes Tarzan's adopted mother.
Tarzan grows up in the gorilla troop not really fitting in, but he's a wonder at swinging through the trees and fighting. When Jane and her father arrives on the island, Tarzan is astounded that he's not the only thing that looks like a human.
In 1999, Jane Porter was introduced in an UK magazine as a Disney Princess in the franchise, a year later she was mentioned again, but no more after that as far as being in the Disney Princess franchise. Jane is one of the smartest Disney females that was created, I think it would have been beneficial to have her as an official Disney Princess because it would have shown girls that unlike most Disney females, intelligence holds more propriety over beauty.
Funny Scenes from Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Atlantis: The Lost Empire - 2001
Kidagakash "Kida" Nedakh is the co-star of the Disney movie Atlantis: The Lost Empire and its sequel Milo's Return. Kida is not credited as being the first black princess in a Disney animated feature, but her skin is much darker than that of the typical Disney Princess.
I personally believe that Kida isn't included in the Disney Princess lineup because they didn't want too many minority princesses in the lineup because I wholeheartedly believe that the Disney Corporation is racist as see in my hub Is Disney Racist?
Of course the Disney Company will say that the reason why Kida isn't in the Disney Princess franchise is because the movie didn't do so well and/or that she became a queen at the end of her movie, which no longer made her a princess. I love Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire, its funny, engaging, and very underrated - as seen in 20 Most Underrated Disney Animated Feature Films.
Tiana's Cookbook: Recipes for Kids
Princess and the Frog - 2009
Such a huge controversy surrounded the announcement of Disney's 49th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, The Princess and the Frog. The first revealed character mock-up of Tiana caused a major uproar among the African-American community.
Tiana was supposed to be a chambermaid - named Maddy - who worked in the La Bouff household, which didn't sit too well with a lot of people in the African-American community. The Disney Company promptly changed her name to Tiana and made her a waitress instead.
The story line of the movie loosely follows the plot of the well-known fairy tale of The Princess and the Frog. Striving to save the money to buy a restaurant that her late father had been trying to buy all his life, TIana worked two jobs to save up money.
When she was close to the amount she needed, Tiana contacted the owners of the building she wanted and after agreeing to sell it to her, they backed out stating that a woman of her "background" couldn't maintain her own restaurant anyway.
After a visiting prince - Prince Naveen - gets turned into a frog by a voodoo witch doctor he convinces Tiana to kiss him to break the curse by saying he'll give her the rest of the money for her restaurant. After kissing Prince Naveen, Tiana turns into a frog herself. They both wind up in the bayou of New Orleans as they try to make their way back to the city and regain their rightful selves.
Funny Scenes from Tangled
Tangled - 2010
Tangled is the 50th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. It's based on the German version of Rapunzel, published in the Brother's Grimm collection of fairy tales. Rapunzel's hair has magical properties and is supposed to be 70 feet long in the animated film, which becomes 10 feet long when it is plaited.
Being kidnapped as a child, Rapunzel is under the impression that her kidnapper is her mother. The kidnapper, Mother Gothel, locks Rapunzel up in a tall tower for 18 years to use her hair to stay youthful. After 18 years, a bandit - Flynn Ryder - comes along and climbs his way into Rapunzel's tower. Upon convincing Rapunzel to leave her secluded tower to see the floating lanterns she's been dying to see every year on her birthday, they both go on a swashbuckling adventure and fall in love.
My personal opinion I think the storyline was pretty good, but I wish Disney would have done something more to it. I felt as if the whole movie was severely lacking in both adventure and humor. For Disney's 50th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, it was very lackluster. I expected Disney to go all out for this huge milestone, not to mention to even do a 2D animation instead of a 3D animation. Perhaps they're waiting for the 100th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series to go all out... maybe.
Brave - 2012
Brave is about Princess Merida who fights constantly with her mother and goes to see a witch in hopes that the witch will have a potion that would help her mother be more understanding. The potion turns her mother into a bear and after trying but failing to hide her mother in the castle, Merida has to go on a mother-daughter bonding adventure to find a way to turn Queen Elinor back into a human.
Merida joined the Disney Princess franchise on May 11, 2013, which made her the first Pixar princess to be in the Disney Princess franchise. She's the second official Disney Princess in the franchise to have red hair, the first to have triplet siblings (Harris, Hubert and Hamish), the first official Disney Princess in the franchise to not have a love interest, and the first to not have an American accent.
I find it weird that Merida was invited into the Disney Princess franchise, but Elastigirl or Violet from The Incredibles were not. The story line of Brave was very slow paced and seemed to not be thought out much. Brave is the very first Walt Disney animated feature film that came from an original idea, others were from fairy tales, folklore, or history.
It seems that Disney is losing their storytelling ability. I'm very disappointed in Disney's retelling of Rapunzel and their first original animated feature film from the Walt Disney Classics collection.
Merida Before and After
Disney's Brave Makeover Angers Director
After Disney decided to give Merida a makeover, despite the movie not even being a year old yet, the Director of Pixar's Brave, Brenda Chapman, began to speak out about the sexism in Disney's decision to "update" Pixar's character.
Merida seems to be slightly slimmer, older, more curvier, and less tomboyish in the redesigned marketing version that Disney did. They've made the tomboy we all loved from Pixar's Brave and made the old her out to be not good enough. A remake after just one year, Disney?
So far there are over 100,000 signatures on the petition to change Merida's look back to how she use to look. If you don't agree with Disney's new change, sign the petition here: Say No to the Merida Makeover. A letter that was sent to Disney chairman began:
"The redesign of Merida in advance of her official induction to the Disney Princess collection does a tremendous disservice to the millions of children for whom Merida is an empowering role model who speaks to girls' capacity to be change agents in the world rather than just trophies to be admired. Moreover, by making her skinnier, sexier and more mature in appearance, you are sending a message to girls that the original, realistic, teenage-appearing version of Merida is inferior; that for girls and women to have value – to be recognised as true princesses – they must conform to a narrow definition of beauty."
Is Brave too sexualised now? Should Disney change Merida's appearance back?See results without voting
Frozen Official Teaser Trailer(2013) - Disney Animated Movie HD
Frozen - 2013
Meet Princess Anna of the kingdom, Arendelle. Queen Elsa, Princess Anna's older sister, reveals that she possesses the power to control ice and snow and accidentally creates an eternal winter in the kingdom. In order to break the prophecy that states that there will be a heartless queen that is able to control ice and snow will create a never ending winter.
The Snow Queen, Queen Elsa, doesn't want to be the one the prophecy talks about, so she runs away from Arendelle high into the mountains and creates herself an ice palace/hideout. Princess Anna teams up with a mountain man and his pet reindeer in search for her sister. Anna is based on Gerda from the original "Snow Queen" fairy tale.
After watching the movie, I fell in love with it. The bigger theme of the movie is sisterly love, and as a big sister, I could relate to the bond between Queen Elsa and Princess Anna. Like Disney's Rapunzel and Pixar's Brave, Frozen holds true to their seemingly newest theme of a strong female lead who needs no male to save her. I love how Frozen shows how sisters helped each other when they were in distress.
Disney's Moana is an upcoming computer animated film based around a Polynesian princess of the same name as the movie. It is rumored that the storyline is about Moana who is the only daughter of a chief from an ancestry of navigators. Moana is a sea voyaging enthusiast who will set off on an epic journey to help her family. It is said that the film will also have spirits and demi-gods, and that the movie name has been changed to Spirited - following the adjective theme of Brave, Tangled, and Frozen.but Disney is trying to keep tight-lipped about the whole production for now.
All of the 12 "Original" Disney Princesses
"Disney Princess" Poll
Which is your favorite DisneySee results without voting
More by this Author
Is Disney racist or is/was Disney a product of an era that depicted blacks in a negative light?
This hub is a more extensive look at Disney's The Little Mermaid with more about her daughter, Melody, and her six sisters Aquata, Andrina, Arista, Attina, Adella, and Alana.
Animated jewels that have been left behind, from "Pocahontas" to "Atlantis: The Lost Empire," and everything in between.