I’m new to Fanopo, and I thought, What better first article than my favorite Princess countdown? Please comment and give your opinion. Please, no swearing or rude comments, but constructive criticism is welcomed. So, without further ado, here is my favorite Princess countdown!
Now, there is no denying Jasmine is awesome. She is tired of her pampered life, where every decision is made for her and she has no freedom, and so she takes charge of her own life and dresses up as a peasant in order to live a life of freedom where she makes her own choices. She makes her way through the market, adapting well to every challenge, eventually revealing herself in order to wield her power. This is the point in the movie when I love her. However, after this her character goes downhill for me. She is making grand claims about how she is not a prize to be won, but doesn’t really do anything for herself. She distracts Jafar, and other than that relies on Aladdin to do most everything else for her. Now, this does make sense, seeing as the movie is called Aladdin and not Jasmine, but that won’t save her from the bottom spot. What makes me hate the decline in her character even more is that she had all the potential to be one of my favorites. Basically, I have a love-hate relationship with Jasmine. However, I feel it would be unfair to write about the flaws I find in Jasmine without saying that I admire her and wish to be more like her. I often have a hard time expressing my opinion if I feel it would disappoint others. I look up to Jasmine for her ability to say what she really means, and wish to be more like her in that regard.
Ah, sweet, kind Cinderella. She had the ability to hold up for years under everything Lady Tremaine put her through. For years she went through incredible cruelty without ever sinking to the level of those putting her through it, keeping hope and faith that she would be able to escape her only silent rebellion. Some call this weakness. I call it strength. How many of us would be able to handle her situation with the strength and dignity she did? Very few of us. She really does deserve to be a role model and lives up to her title as the leader of the Princesses. So why is she so low? She simply never left an impression on me. There was nothing about her that really made her stand out to me. I watched her movie today, and I still feel like I don’t really know what her character was like. So, despite her admirable qualities, Cinderella is second from the bottom of my list.
Rapunzel is often criticized for being a rip-off of the other Princesses, Ariel specifically. Now, while that is not a fair assessment, it is fair to say that she does not bring anything new to the Princess table. Just think about it:
Snow White- Innocent, naïve, childish, I basically find Rapunzel to be everything everyone complains about in Snow White, minus the voice
Cinderella- Abused by her “mother” and kept in the house all the time
Aurora- Where to begin? A princess taken from the palace at birth, raised by a woman/ women who masqueraded as a relation, met a stranger despite caretaker’s precautions, fell in love with stranger, discovered the truth about her identity
Ariel- Wants to be a part of another world, dreams her entire life about it, escapes after making a deal with a stranger, has 3 days
Belle- Wants a life other than the one she has, reads
Jasmine- Trapped in a tower for her entire life, escapes the tower, falls in love with a thief
Pocahontas- Magic hair (close enough,) indecisive
Mulan- Gets a haircut, feels that she is not what she is told she is/ should be
Tiana- Has a specific dream she has wanted her entire life, goes on an adventure with a man she eventually falls in love with
Now, of course, I’m over simplifying it. However, my basic point is that there is nothing about her that stands out. Rapunzel falls in basically the same boat as Cinderella, but I find her slightly more interesting, putting Rapunzel at my number 8.
Aurora, lovely, sweet, Aurora. Now we get to the Princesses I really love. Aurora had gone on a wild ride on my list. She went from off my radar to number 1 in a short stint I call my “pink phase,” then was down to the bottom, then had a resurgence when I had a camp counselor who loved her, then back to the bottom, and now that I’ve finally seen her movie, she’s settled in the middle. Now, it is true that she does not have the most developed personality, but if you took the other Princesses and cut their screen time to 18 minutes, I think you would get basically the same result from the rest of them. From her 18 minutes, we get a pretty good picture of Aurora. A romantic, Aurora is dreamy and artsy. I also think the song “I Wonder” gives us a perspective into her personality. In it she reveals that she is philosophical and has an intuitive understanding of psychology by taking what she sees the birds doing and relating it to her life. However, I love her for what makes most hate her. I love her for her reaction to finding out she is a princess. She had been told her entire life that Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather are her aunts and, assumedly, her parents are dead. She is then told that she is really a princess, that everything she had been told about her life was a lie, that her “aunts” are of no relation to her at all, and that her parents let this all happen. No matter how good the intentions, it is natural Aurora would feel hurt and betrayed, as well as abandoned by her parents, wondering why they wouldn’t want her. And the one person in life who didn’t lie to her from the beginning was the one person she was forbidden from seeing. Of course she overreacted, but you can blame the sea of raging hormones for that. In the end, she took her position with grace and dignity for the good of her people, putting aside her own personal desires. That was an act of strength and selflessness that makes me love her.
I love our hard working Princess. Tiana didn’t rely on wishing for her dream to come true, she made it happen through hard work. However, I really love because she was willing to give it all up. She is often criticized for withholding the talisman from Facilier for “giving up her dream for a man,” but that’s not how I see it. Imagine what Naveen would have gone through if Tiana had handed him over. He would be a slave to Facilier, used only when his blood was needed, and probably eventually killed when he was no longer needed. I don’t care if that was a complete stranger, she shouldn’t have hended that talisman over. I am worried about where the world is going if we are saying Tiana should have handed over the talisman and condemned Naveen to that for personal gain. Aren’t there enough examples of corrupt business out there? Tiana put human life and freedom above pleasure that would have come at the cost of another, and for that I love her.
Belle changes the most on my list. She can be anywhere from 4 to 6, so I decided to just average it out and put her at 5. She is the Princess I relate to the most, and not just because I love to read! Maybe that’s why I sometimes find her a bit bland. However, she isn’t as boring as many make her out to be. Belle is very assertive. After breaking the ONE ground rule, Belle makes excuses for herself and defends her actions. Goodness, is that something I would do! I also love the way she deals with Gaston. She is clever about it and, despite making her life harder, makes cracks about it instead of just saying what she means. I love the satirical way she sings about the Bimbettes and Gaston in her reprise. Also, I love that she takes her father’s place. A beautiful young woman, she had the world and her whole life before her, but she gave it up, completely of her own volition, for her father. No one even mentioned the possibility, she simply offered herself instead. That was a truly selfless act of bravery. Brave, assertive, and clever, Belle is a well-rounded character, but not an especially unique one, putting her at number 5.
4. Snow White
And now we come to Snow White. Snow White is often criticized for needing a man, but she handles separation from the Prince very well, and only mentions him when the dwarfs ask her to tell them a story- a true story- a love story. And what better true love story to tell than her own? She didn’t need him to be there, she knew he would be back, so she was fine. I also find the criticism she gets for eating the apple unwarranted. It was obvious at the beginning she was suspicious, she only let her in because the old lady was having a heart attack. It certainly looked to me that she didn’t want to eat the apple, but she didn’t want to be mean either, and I think she was purposely stalling. It was only when she could wait no longer that she took a bite. Also, Snow White is just spunky. She is an uninvited guest in the dwarfs house, and she is telling them the rules they must follow before they can eat. I just love that spoon she has in her hand! Also, the way she says “You must be Grumpy” is hilarious! She is subtly making fun of him, but manages to still be her cute self. Snow White is just the sweetest person ever and I love her.
I was quite surprised at how quickly I came to the conclusion that Ariel was my number 3 when I decided to rank the Princesses. I’ve always known the top two, but number 3 just fell into place as Ariel. First of all, she is a mermaid. That gets her a few points right there. She longs to be a human and makes a deal with Ursula to do it. Now yes, that wasn’t the smartest decision, but she fell in love with a human, and that was just the kind of opportunity Ursula was waiting for to manipulate her. If you were in Vegas and had to bet on either the manipulative evil mastermind or the infatuated teenager whose desires would be fulfilled by the plan of the evil mastermind? Not a very fair pairing. However, I find I actually like her better after she gives away her voice. She is so funny and more expressive that way. The way she blows her bangs out of the way and uses the fork to comb her hair, even after she knows that isn’t what the “dinglehopper” is for, is so cute and funny! I’m not sure what it is about Ariel that is so enthralling, but there is just something about her that makes almost everyone love her. I also look up to Ariel. I am often held back from doing things I want to do. I wish I could be more like Ariel and do what I want to do in spite of my fear. I admire that in her and want to emulate that myself.
I just love Pocahontas. She lives by her own rules, and trusts when others might not. She is independent and goes wherever the wind takes her. Yes, once her people are at war, she mellows a bit, but she still has her same fire. She follows John, and once he starts insulting her people she splashes John, and when that doesn’t work, she leaps out of her canoe into the tree. Even after her people are at war, she still kisses John before taking him to see her father, obviously surprising him. Another thing about Pocahontas that I respect that is not present in the others is that she takes the direction of Grandmother Willow. She asks for the advice of others instead of relying on her own views. But what really makes me love her is how she throws herself over John Smith before her father is about to kill him. She not only protects John, but shows her father there is another way. Pocahontas has the strength to stand up against her own people and lead them to the path of peace.
Other than the “pink phase,” Mulan has always been my favorite Princess. I can remember the moment I fell in love with her. I remember the first time I watched Mulan. My mom put it on the TV for me one time they showed it on a Disney-owned channel, and I remember watching “Honor to us All.” I don’t know what it was about her, but from that moment on I had a new favorite Princess. She just enthralled me. I love the bravery she showed during her movie. I do honestly find her the bravest of the Princesses. She was going into a situation that meant almost certain death for her simply for her love for her father. Another reason she is my favorite is because she doubts herself. She does not always know for certain that what she is doing is right. I find I appreciate Mulan’s character more every time I watch her movie. It is true that her personality is not the most defined, but that is because she spends most of the movie trying to discover who she is. And that is the beauty of her character. That is what makes her relatable; that is what gives her character realism. I also love how devoted and loyal she is. Even after being exiled by Shang and the rest of her platoon, she goes back in order to help protect her country. She is also incredibly intelligent. She is incredibly analytical, and that shows every time she develops a plan that saves the rest of her army. However, the main reason Mulan is my favorite is because she has inspired me the most. Without her, I wouldn’t be the proud Gryffindor I am today. Without her, I wouldn’t have the sense of loyalty and honor I have. Mulan has been one of my biggest role models since I first heard “Honor to Us All,” and I am eternally grateful for all that she taught me and how much she inspired me. I will always owe who I am to Mulan, and I hope to become even more like her as I learn who I am and come into my own, the same way Mulan did.
So, that’s my favorite Princess countdown! Thanks for reading my first article, I hope you enjoyed it. The pictures are from my favorite scene each Princess is in.