Disney princesses ranked
On Salem Ilese’s viral TikTok song “Mad At Disney”, she claims “I’m mad at Disney, they tricked me. Had me wishing on a shooting star”.
If you relate, like me, it was probably because most of our childhood Disney movies had us believing we could live “under the sea”, grow up to “be king” or see a “whole new world” on a magic carpet ride.
But even as adulting lifted the veil of rainbows and butterflies, one thing that withstands the test of time is our soft spot for all things Disney – from their tear jerking plots to charming characters, including Disney princesses.
But just who is the fairest of them all? We uncovered our list of favourite princesses ranked, from hopeless damsel in distress to HBIC.
Read other Disney-related stories:
- Childhood show on Disney Plus
- Heartwarming Disney and Pixar movies
- Secrets about Disney animated films
20. Snow White
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Talking to birds, being scared of trees, befriending seven literal gold diggers – Snow White was a hot mess. Granted she was the OG Disney princess, debuting back in 1937, but everything she did in her story calls to mind the Tyra Banks “I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU!” gif.
And can we talk about her tragic fashion sense? Firstly, blue, red and yellow is not a great look. And the bow screams “Cathay Cineleisure 2008”.
Fun fact: Snow White actually has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for being the first feature-length Disney animated film.
19. Princess Giselle – Enchanted
Image credit: Gifer
Gi-who? Not many Gen Zs may be familiar with Disney’s first real-life princess Giselle (played by Amy Adams) from 2007’s Enchanted, but the movie was a refreshing update to the then-overdone animated formula.
While Amy Adams did a stellar job at portraying a princess with her incessant squealing and singing, her antics did get a tad bit exhausting by the film’s midway mark. Imagine having a friend like her… *shudders*
Plus, she eventually decided to leave with a prince when she could’ve easily gone the independent route.
Fun fact: Idina Menzel (who more famously voices Elsa in Frozen) has a minor role in the film!
18. Aurora – Sleeping Beauty
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Don’t get me wrong, I love sleeping too and I deeply relate to that with Lil’ Miss Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. But snoozing for about half the movie really drained the good sis of a personality – quite the contrary to the fabulous antagonist, Maleficent.
Literally the most memorable thing Aurora did was prick her finger on a spindle. And then it took an unacquainted male of all things to wake her up. Yeesh.
Image credit: Imgflip
Well at least she’s gone on to serve quality memes today.
Fun fact: The three fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, were created after the animators studied old ladies in real life at grocery stores and wedding receptions.
17. Anna and Elsa – Frozen
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Anna and Elsa come in pairs, and are undeniably the MVPs when it comes to Disney princesses among young girls. But ask any adult and their preference would say otherwise.
I mean, Elsa froze her entire kingdom and her sister, ditched them, and then went on to sing one of the most annoying songs in the 21st century. Anna isn’t any better, considering how she fell so quickly for Hans. He’s not even cute.
Still, you have to hand it to this duo for Elsa’s cool ice powers and for gaining a cult-like following in such a short amount of time.
Fun fact: The animators who worked on Frozen actually took a course on meteorology to understand how snow works!
16. Ariel – The Little Mermaid
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At her best, Ariel is like the popular girl in school you’d want to be or be with. Pretty, confident, voice of an angel.
But her impulsive decisions throughout her journey to being human ultimately proved that she still had a lot of growing up to do. She sold her voice, disregarded her family and friends’ advice, and even abandoned them for dry land by movie’s end – all for a man.
Fun fact: If you do a bit of research on Greek mythology, you’ll discover that Ariel’s dad King Triton is actually the son of Poseidon. Poseidon’s brother is Zeus, Hercules’ dad, which makes Ariel and Hercules technically cousins!
15. Rosie Gonzalez – Princess Protection Program
Don’t be fooled by the GIF – Demi Lovato is actually the princess in the Disney Channel movie.
Image credit: weheartit
The year is 2009. Barack Obama is the President of the United States. You tune in to Disney Channel to watch real-life BFFs Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez play on-screen BFFs in the original movie Princess Protection Program. Life is great.
Throwback to much simpler times, where we had this gem of a chick flick that introduced us to Demi Lovato as Rosie Gonzales, a princess who goes undercover and befriends Selena Gomez’s character, Carter. It taught us independence, sisterhood and that even princesses could kick butt.
Fun fact: The original casting had Selena Gomez as Princess Rosie and Demi Lovato as Carter, but the actresses decided to switch roles.
Image credit: A Black Penny
She cooks and she cleans, but that’s not how she got her ring. Fans love an underdog, and there’s plenty to root for in Cinderella.
Ignoring a curfew! Sneakily leaving her shoe behind to make the guy hunt her down! We have no choice but stan a creative rebel.
Fun fact: The film cost US$3 million to make but has since made well over US$85 million. That’s more than 28 times its original budget!
13. Belle – Beauty and the Beast
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On one hand, Belle’s taste in furry men was kinda questionable. But then again, kudos to her for teaching us that what truly matters is what’s inside. After all, love is love.
Plus, we appreciate how she’s not afraid of embracing her inner nerd or a bookworm. You won’t be catching Belle doing TikTok dances that’s for sure.
Fun fact: Belle is actually the first brunette princess in Disney history, becoming a relatable figure to brown haired girls everywhere.
12. Jasmine – Aladdin
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Growing up, the first thing that always struck me about Jasmine from Aladdin in a positive way was just how big her hair is. Was it full of secrets?
Besides her nuggets of feminist wisdom, let’s also not forget that she set off her pet tiger Rajah on a guy. Just queen tings.
Fun fact: Jasmine was to originally be named Badroulbadour, based on the Arabian Nights folktale. Thank god they switched it to “Jasmine” – just imagine kids trying to pronounce that tongue twister of a name.
Image credit: Pip Bugg
Pocahontas isn’t like most princesses – she moves in her own way and sticks by her beliefs. Plus, she ran everywhere barefoot without complaining. Which is why she’s one of the more admirable heroines in my books.
Not only was she fighting to have her village respect her voice and opinions as a woman, she was also advocating for equality by having John Smith be accepted despite him being a different race from her tribe.
Fun fact: Pocahontas was the first Disney film loosely based on actual events, the second being Mulan.
10. Tiana – The Princess and the Frog
Image credit: Gifer
While early depictions of Disney princesses showcased them only performing matronly duties (Cinderella) or unable to be independent without a man or family (Ariel), Princess Tiana revolutionised that outdated mindset.
She had big dreams of owning her own restaurant and being a lady boss, while also not giving up when times get hard, which translated to a role model for kids.
Fun fact: After the movie’s release, over 50 kids in the US took the fairy tale too far by actually kissing frogs – and then getting hospitalised for salmonella.
Image credit: hailtheduran.tumblr.com
No fancy ball gowns or tiaras for Moana, who is a total boss IMO. Despite being young, she isn’t afraid to take on challenges – be it sailing the big seas or battling the army of Kakamoras.
By the time she triumphantly sings her battle cry “I am Moana!” near the movie’s climax, I was nodding my head in fervent agreement. Yes, you are babygurl.
Fun fact: The directors of Moana were also the masterminds behind The Little Mermaid, which is why you’ll be able to spot a Flounder cameo and a brief mention of Sebastian in the credits!
8. Megara – Hercules
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Girls will know that all-too-familiar scenario: a guy tries to impress you by flexing before you can even roll your eyes. That’s exactly what happened to Megara too, but instead of reacting like a blushing teenage girl, counters Hercules’ actions with sass instead.
Hell, she even betrays Hercules by working with Hades for her own purpose. And that my friends, is called self-love.
Fun fact: In Greek mythology, Hercules had four wives, which Disney incorporated by giving Megara traits of all four of them in the animated film.
7. Rapunzel – Tangled
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Rapunzel didn’t only have hair for days, but she was literally on a higher level compared to her peers, being locked up in a tower and whatnot.
If anything, her determination to break free from her tower mirrors us Singaporeans’ thirst for adventure beyond cramped HDBs – and that factor is what makes Rapunzel such a relatable character.
Fun fact: The story of Rapunzel had actually been in development since 1937, after the success of Snow White. But the studio decided to focus on other titles like Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan instead.
6. Merida – Brave
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Move over Hawkeye and Katniss Everdeen, Merida is the top archer in our hearts.
Besides wishing we had hair as vibrant and curly like hers, we’ve got to give her mad props for her little dress tear at the end of the movie so she can be more agile. Tim Gunn would be shook.
Fun fact: The movie’s original title was “The Bear and the Bow”, but we like how its final title succinctly describes Princess Merida.
5. Raya – Raya and the Last Dragon
A mask-wearing queen!
Image credit: Walt Disney Studios
Okay, so Raya and the Last Dragon might not be released everywhere just yet – you’ll need Premium Access on Disney Plus to watch it first before it’s widely available on 4th June 2021. But if Internet fanfare is anything to go by, the titular character is already a well-loved role model to admire.
We won’t spoil too much for you, but the fact that she makes complicated decisions and has severe trust issues prove that Disney is moving in the right direction in introducing characters with depth.
Plus, her sword is pretty cool.
Fun fact: In case you didn’t know, Raya and the Last Dragon centers around Southeast Asian characters. Which is why it’s apt that the screenwriter Adele Lim also worked on the massive success that is Crazy Rich Asians.
Sign up to Disney Plus to watch Raya and the Last Dragon.
An actual thing NSmen say after booking out of Tekong
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We love a good drag look, and let’s just say if Mulan were on RuPaul’s Drag Race, she’d snatch all of our wigs.
Fiercely loyal and a skilled warrior to boot, Fa Mulan wasn’t just defending her country – she was also advocating for gender equality.
Fun fact: Mulan actually translates to “magnolia” or “wood orchid”, which explains why there are plenty of appearances of this flower in the animated film.
3. Mia Thermopolis – The Princess Diaries
Image credit: Giphy
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear”. As a 10-year-old hearing this quote for the first time, it felt like no truer words had ever been spoken.
The person behind that nugget of wisdom is of course, Princess Mia Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries. The movie lives on today as a classic that taught us the importance of a makeover, how to curtsey the right way, and that Anne Hathaway is *flawless*.
Fun fact: Princess Diaries was shot on the same studio set where another Disney classic was born – Mary Poppins.
2. Nala – The Lion King
Image credit: Entertainment Weekly
We’re cheating a bit on this one. Technically Nala isn’t a princess – she’s a queen.
When you’re the voice of reason for the most lovable prince (and eventual king) in all of the Pride Lands and played by Beyonce, that automatically propels you to royalty status.
Me everytime Nala appeared on screen in 2019’s updated remake of The Lion King
Image credit: Tenor
Fun fact: Simba and Nala were originally intended to be cousins, but the Disney writers scrapped that idea to make them friends and lovers instead.
1. Vanellope – Wreck-It Ralph
Image credit: Imgur
Our top princess that rules the throne is none other than… Vanellope from Wreck-It Ralph! Don’t @ me.
Firstly, her kingdom is without a doubt the coolest – who wouldn’t want to live inside Candy Land? Plus, don’t forget that she got the seal of approval of nearly every other princess on this list, which makes it all the more official.
Video credit: AniBox Trailer Access
All hail the rightful ruler of Sugar Rush!
Fun fact: Vanellope only has four fingers on each hand, one of the very few characters in Disney’s history to do so. The most popular one being Mickey Mouse.
The ultimate guide to Disney Princesses
Image credit: Laughing Place
Throughout the years, Disney princesses have brought both laughter and tears for our viewing pleasure. Whether it’s standing up for justice, following their heart’s one true desire or falling in love, they each serve as inspirations for not just young girls, but all of us.
All these films are available on Disney Plus too, which means hours of watching both classics and new releases till well, kingdom come.
For more Disney Plus content:
Cover image adapted from: Insider, E Online, the-princess.fandom.com
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