Monday, August 12, 2019

Ranking Disney Princesses

I had the idea the other day at the library to rank the Disney Princesses. And looking up the list of official princesses, I discovered Anna's not considered part of the official lineup. Apparently because Frozen was so popular, Anna and Elsa are considered their own franchise affiliated with the Disney Princesses, but not part of the official lineup so they don't overshadow the others. Weird. But she's Anna, so I'm including her anyway.

So here's my ranking of the official Disney Princesses from + Anna.

13. Ariel

So, no, I'm not a big fan of Ariel. She's a spoiled brat. She basically sold her soul to the devil (Ursula, the sea witch) for a chance to be with a guy she just met. What even? I actually liked the Twisted Tales version better than the actual movie because Ariel was forced to grow up. But I do love the songs in The Little Mermaid. And I love Eric. He's pretty awesome. (And deserved better than Ariel.)

12. Aurora

Honestly, she just doesn't have much personality and doesn't do much in her story. She's okay, I guess, but I'm not a huge fan of Sleeping Beauty in general. Something about the story structure feels off and in the original fairy tale, she slept for one hundred years. Though certain versions of the story are very not child appropriate, so there's that.

11. Moana

I'll stick Moana here because while I think her movie is annoying and the songs never leave your head, I guess she's okay as a character. She's determined, wants to save her people, and won't let anyone stop her. But "You're Welcome" is super duper annoying. 

10. Pocahontas

So I love the songs in Pocahontas. But that movie is so unbelievably historically and even geographically inaccurate. I've been to Jamestown. It doesn't look like that. But the Disney Pocahontas is cool. And mostly I just really like "Colors of the Wind" and "Just Around the Riverbend."

9. Snow White

If I'm perfectly honest, Snow White is kind of a cardboard character. She's sweet and naive and talks to animals, and that's about all there is to her. But I grew up on the movie, and while I enjoy making fun of certain aspects of it (she runs away screaming from the stalker that climbed over her wall, and then later in the movie, she's singing about how romantic he is), it's still a special movie to me. Plus, it's a piece of history. The first full length animated feature ever. So I do like Snow White. 

8. Merida

She didn't mean to turn her mother into a bear! Poor Merida, I wouldn't want to marry any of those guys either. They're just weird. Merida's pretty cool...she's good at archery, she's got more on her mind than boys (actually, if she had her way, boys would be the last thing on her mind—girls being boy crazy annoys me), and, well, she did accidentally turn her mother into a bear, but then she spends the movie trying to fix it. And I love how to fix it all, she and her mother both have to change their attitudes and learn to understand one another, truly mending their relationship.

7. Tiana

Tiana deserved so much better than what she got. I really love her as a character, but her movie got so many things wrong. She's a girl who knows what she wants, and she'll work hard to get it. Unfortunately, the movie tells her that she'll never achieve her dream until she marries a rich guy who can pay for it, and it doesn't matter if he's a jerk. No, I don't like Naveen. But Tiana is pretty awesome. And I bet the food in her restaurant is great. I want to write a fanfic where Tiana and Eric get together instead of who they actually end up with in their movies. They both deserve better. 

6. Jasmine

I know there are people both praising and slamming live action Jasmine for being feminist, but does it really make you a feminist to not want to be a doormat and to not want to hand over your people to a foreigner—or worse—Jafar? She's a strong character who wants to be able to decide how she lives her life, not have big life decisions made for her. Including who she marries (which is the extent of it in the cartoon) and who rules her people (in the live action). She's got spunk and she's not afraid to use it.

5. Cinderella

Yeah, I know there's not much more to her personality than sweet and kind either, but I love Cinderella. Especially the live action version. She's horribly mistreated, but she's still kind to her stepmother and stepsisters. Kind and forgiving. Have courage and be kind. And I love the way her relationship with the prince plays out in the live action. That movie is perfection.

4. Mulan

I'll never understand why Mulan is an official Disney Princess. She's not royalty, and neither is Shang. But anyway, I really love Mulan. I love the songs, I love the story, I even love Mushu. See, Mulan isn't going out there to prove that a girl can do whatever a guy can. She's going to war out of a selfless love for her father. Yes, there is some of that feeling trapped in her life in a culture that tells her all she's good for is marrying a guy the matchmaker chooses for her, but her motivation is to save her father. And she's smart. She uses her brains to solve problems, and even when she's in total disgrace, she puts everything aside and does what she has to in order to save China. "You don't meet a girl like that every dynasty."

3. Belle

I love Belle...animated Belle. She's both sweet and spunky, she doesn't put up with stuff yet she's willing to look past appearances into the heart, she's loyal, and she loves books. What's not to love? She's all about character over appearance, and she's willing to fight for what's right. And did I mention she loves books? How can you get any better than the Beast's library?

2. Rapunzel

I love Rapunzel. She's a dreamer, she's an artist, she can sew, bake, do pottery, she tries to do ballet but gets tangled in her hair, and reads. What else are you going to do locked up in a tower for 18 years? She's torn with guilt over leaving the tower and fully intends to go back to her "mother" and live like they always did...that is, until she discovers that she's the lost princess. She's awesome, and doesn't even really start falling for Flynn until his heart starts changing about his thieving ways. Plus the movie is funny and the songs are awesome.

1. Anna

Anna, who isn't a part of the official lineup. :P I did kind of debate on the order of these last three, but I decided to go with my official order of favorite Disney Princess movies. Anna's fun and quirky and loves her sister so much. And when Elsa freezes their entire kingdom, Anna just says "She's a stinker." Yes, she does get engaged to a man she just met that day, but she realizes the mistake, and ends up with Kristoff, taking their time to actually get to know each other. And she performs an act of true love in saving her sister, and that's what melts her frozen heart. I love how much of Frozen  is about true love, true self-sacrificial love. Now excuse me while I go sing Frozen at the top of my lungs.

So there you have it, my ranking of the Disney Princesses. Who's your favorite princess?

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