Monday, May 2, 2016


Yes, I'm really doing this, no I don't care, everyone does lists, so why not this one? I mean, yeah it's girly, but why does that matter? Women do lists about superheroes, so why not a ranking of princesses from a straight guy? I like a good chunk of these movies, so it's not like I don't have a frame of reference here, so screw it, from worst to best, here's my ranking of the Disney Princess line, you're welcome.

Okay, so before we actually start, here's some rules, only the women, IN the Disney Princess line are getting in this, in other words, NO ANNA or ELSA, both are great, among the best, but they aren't official Disney Princesses for now. All judgement on the characters are solely based on two factors, how much I enjoy their movie (the minor part of it), and how good they are as a character (the main part); oh and no judgement is based on the straight to video sequels, those are crap and are not canon, I only take official consideration from the real movies, not the Disneytoon cash-grabs. Alright with all that said, lets do this, starting with...

11) Pocahontas
Okay let me make this clear, I really dislike this movie, as a kid I thought it was too "girly", as teen I hated the inaccuracy, now, look I just see it as a bad movie all around. If the movie was just bad, maybe I could've nudged Pocahontas a little higher, but, no, she sucks too. As a character, Pocahontas has always come off as annoying to me, I'm not entirely sure why, but I've always felt that they were more interested in trying to make a good role model, than a good character, which just never felt right for me. Pocahontas, just doesn't fascinate me in the least, she's there, the movie always seems to make her look noble or cool, without the substance to back it up, she's like one of those inspirational posters gone sentient. My only positive to this character, is that "Colors of the Wind" is a nice song.

10)Snow White
Snow White, doesn't really do anything, nor does she have a personality, much respect to being the star of the first full-length animated feature, but she really is just a plot device in her own movie, but to her credit, she doesn't annoy me. I like Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs just fine (though I don't think it's one of Disney's best works), but I've never been a fan of Snow, herself, I don't hate her, I just don't find her interesting, I find the characters in her movie fun, so that nudges Snow enough to be ahead of Pocahontas, well that and as I said, she doesn't annoy me at least.

And yet another princess who feels more like a plot device, though to her credit, at least Aurora isn't really the lead, at least not to me. Sleeping Beauty is a classic, but it's understandable why many don't seem to love it much beyond the villain, the movie just does not make it easy to figure out who the real lead is, I've always interpreted it as the three fairies, but I understand why others wouldn't. Personally I enjoy this movie, and I feel Aurora gets some semblance of a personality compared to Snow White, so in that regard I prefer her over Snow, plus "Once Upon a Dream" is one of my favorite Disney songs,

Aladdin is the only other Disney film, where the princess is not the lead from this group, which is a big factor as to why Jasmine isn't higher. Jasmine is given enough traits to be an a actual character in this movie, but it turns out those traits just feel a bit too copy-pasted from Ariel, sure Jasmine doesn't want to be something she's not, but her character of wanting to venture out of the palace and try to be among people, just feels a bit too reminiscent for me. I will give Disney points for making the first princess of color, adventurous, as well as likable,but those aren't enough to bring her higher on this list.

I do not like Brave, it's the one Pixar movie I truly dislike (yes I even liked Cars 2) but Merida, is a great character. I think the marketing made me forget Merida was great, mostly because I hadn't seen the movie in recent years, so my knowledge was based on the stills, which sell a "role model, tough girl" persona for her, but upon revisiting, yes the movie still sucks, but Merida is a real, fleshed out character. Merida is human, she likes adventuring, but she is also still a lady, she's not some role model created just to inspire feminism, she's a character who happens to inspire it. Some have suggested she might be gay, I'm not sure I agree, given that the movie never gives concrete evidence, but I think that just the fact that she inspired that conversation, is proof enough of one thing, Merida really is a good character, it's just too bad her movie sucked, otherwise she would have been higher on the list.

6) Belle
Alright, pitchfork time, I think Belle, and her movie are overrated, not bad, in fact both are quite good, just overrated. Belle is a fleshed out character, with some great musical numbers to her, but at times, she reminds me of Pocahontas, she seems to be created not as a character, but just as a role model, which sucks because I prefer a character who is great, that happens to be inspiring for children, over ones that feel manufactured to be inspirations. It's hard to fully explain, I know, but Belle at times just doesn't feel human, which sucks, because at other times she really is an amazing character. I guess the easiest thing to explain why she's not higher on this list, is simply this, what exactly does Belle want in this movie? Belle likes reading, she is kind, she saves her father, and she makes an abusive boyfriend (Beast) kind, through patience, but what does she want? Everything she does is for others, which sounds good, until you realize that early on, she sings about how she wants more out of life, this is nitpicky I admit, but that always kind of bothered me, she wants more out of life, yet doesn't really do much to do so until her father is held hostage, even though no one stood in her way from doing "more". I guess it's hard to pin down, as to why I don't like the character as much as others, but I just don't.

Yes, I'm fully aware that Cinderella is not the most progressive role model, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't like her as a character. Cinderella was a movie I never thought I'd really like as a kid, but I do, it's a beautiful movie, which admittedly is a huge part of how Cindy got this high, but trust me, it's not the only reason. Cinderella works as a character, because there's no irony to her, she's a kind woman waiting for a better life, but she's not acting in a way that makes her goals questionable, she's stuck in her house because she's a woman in a regressive time period, does that make her a great role model for independent thinking? No, in fact I'd tell my kids (assuming I have kids one day) to not look at her for inspiration on being independent, but she is a great role model in how far kindness and patience can get you, which is a listen worth teaching. At the end of the day, Cinderella ranks this high for me, because she is fully realized as a character, she has a clear goal, and the movie is earnest in her position, there's no b.s. on why she won't leave, she's a fairytale in a move that accepts its status as a fairytale, which makes her all the more likable even if she isn't the most progressive woman around. Bonus points for being the reason we have Disneyland.

Ariel kicked off the Disney Renaissance with her movie, but more importantly she's a great character, with one of the best singing voices in Disney history. Ariel works, because she was the first princess to actually go out of her way to do something for herself, yes it's technically for a man she crushes on, but considering she is a sixteen year old, I'll excuse that. Yes, Ariel is a dork, she collects stuff, she has undersea adventures just because she collects things, but she's also a teen, teens fall in love easily, especially with people they consider to be incredibly different, so Ariel's goal to find love at any cost is silly, but I get it, she's a person in that regard, a fascinating one, however childish she truly is. I also really enjoy Ariel's movie, even if I'm not interested in watching it again (personal reasons), thankfully I'm not including the crap sequels, which really were bad, among the worst honestly.

Mulan kicks ass, her movie is decent, but Mulan KICKS ASS. What makes Mulan, work as a character, is that her only goal in the movie is to protect her father, beyond that we don't really need to know what her goals are, because they don't matter to the story, nor does the movie try to give her some kind of goal, she's a screw up, who doesn't know how to bring honor to her family, but she goes out, not to bring honor to herself, but to protect her father, great stuff. What especially works for me here, is that the movie never tries to make Mulan this badass, or progressive role model, I mean she is, but unlike Pocahontas or Belle, everything, especially concerning her personality, feel natural, she isn't fighting to prove something, she isn't trying to say women can fight in wars, her mind is only focused on making sure her father isn't forced to fight in a war that he will die in.

Tiana may just be the most underrated princess on this list, in fact her movie is definitely the most underrated amongst this list, I however, love the movie, and Tiana is a great character. She's progressive, she's no nonsense and she is flawed within the movie, YES! That makes her feel like a real character, she may be a hard worker, but we see consequences from that lifestyle, she doesn't relax, she doesn't know how to have fun, and that works. Tiana isn't simply a role model, she shows us the danger of being nothing but a role model, her character can be an inspiration for girls, in fact children in general,but not at the cost of making sure to say "you know, working hard is great, but you should also be willing to have fun every now and then", which makes all the difference. I suppose I don't have much more to say about Tiana, but she's a strong character, even if she doesn't spend much time as a human in her movie.

But Rapunzel is the best, she's three-dimensional (I mean as a character), she's charming, her goal is simple, but she works towards it, and she's progressive while still being an actual character. Tangled was the start of Disney's recent trend of naming their movies after adjectives, but it really is good, even if the music sucks. Rapunzel works, because she isn't trying to find love, she isn't looking for more in her life, she just wants to see some lanterns for her birthday, even if she is in a world that she only knows to be dangerous, she is charmingly relatable, and that goes a long way, especially in a time where social awkwardness is more of the norm. Also, let's be honest, her frying pan is one of the coolest weapons ever, and the fact that she uses a memorable weapon, puts her way ahead in so many ways. To me, Rapunzel is the complete package when it comes to Disney princesses, and I don't know when we'll see another one as great as her.

See that wasn't so bad, I hope you liked it, and please support me on Patreon.

Written By Octaviano Macias

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