I was initially going to write an article about my updated ranking of the Disney Princesses, but I thought that it would be better if I combined the princesses and princes and ranked them as one group. Of course, this took a while, and I'm sorry that it's so long, and that its in two parts.
Before I begin, I should probably point out that the reason why I absolutely despise generic, Mary Sue, overly relatable, overly sympathetic, overly admirable and/or overly likable characters is because I feel that they are a result of manipulative writing. I think that the writers and creators of these characters just really want you to love their characters so they portray them in a way that would cause people to feel nothing but positive emotions toward them or have you convinced that you're stupid or awful if you don't like them. It's also the reason why my opinions change a lot- I fall into their traps at first, and then only afterwards do I analyze and judge based on a better understanding.
Also, I was very snarky about the characters I don't like. Sorry if it upsets you. I didn't mean to offend anyone; I'm merely voicing my opinion.
Now, onto the actual article...
When I first started writing this article, I had Rapunzel in 23rd place, but after some rethinking, she actually pisses me off more than my original last place character. I used to really love Rapunzel, before I realized how generic and flawless she was. Watching Tangled
gives me the creepy feeling that the movie's writers are screaming "Look at Rapunzel! Isn't she wonderful? Don't you love her already? Isn't she the cutest thing?" every time Rapunzel opens her mouth, or bats her little eyelashes, or breathes. She's seriously lacking in flaws, and I absolutely hated the fact that every man in The Snuggly Duckling was willing to the moon and back just to help Rapunzel look at lanterns for ten seconds. Rapunzel's biggest flaw was that she's naïve, which is understandable due to how sheltered she was, but she makes up for it in her quick thinking and resourcefulness; she's even better at getting herself out of scrapes than an experienced thief is! Nope, I'm not buying it. Nobody's that perfect, and I don't think that a character as generic and flawless as Rapunzel is a good role model. If anything, she's likely to breed insecurity in anyone who watches her movie without falling into the trap that believing her cop-out flaws that were mentioned in Mother Knows Best
, such as (nonexistent) clumsiness and (nonexistent) immaturity, actually make her a realistic and relatable character. It is sad to think that there are many little girls out there who want to be as perfect as Rapunzel instead of simply being themselves.
Here's another generic Mary Sue character who everybody and their mother can relate to because she's such a special snowflake. Despite the fact that Belle's creators had tried their best to create the ultimate relatable and likable character, unlike Rapunzel, Belle's flaw of inquisitiveness does actually land her in hot water (although it does lead to her and the beast growing closer), making her slightly more realistic. Still, even Belle's flaws only make her seem better as a person. Her stubbornness makes her seem stronger, and despite being so righteous, Belle is never aggressive about her morals and instead is willing to help the beast become a better person. This drives me insane, as there are many opportunities for Belle to showcase some real
flaws, but the writers throw away these opportunities in order to make Belle look like more of a saint (you can argue about how Belle is snobbish and antisocial until you're blue in the face but I still won't buy it). The worst thing about Belle is that she's portrayed as being superior to every
other character in the movie (because how boring are people who actually try to make a living instead of sitting around, reading and dreaming all day?), and the only thing that aggravates me more than this point is the amount of people (outside of Fanpop) who consider Belle the nerdy, intellectual Disney Princess.
22. The Beast
Let me start off by saying that I do not
find the beast to be a complex and compelling character at all. In fact, his personality is actually very easy to understand, as is his mindset, and to be completely honest, he reminds me of a character out of one of those 1980s teen romance films. There's always a really aggressive, mean and broody guy who meets a perfect girl, and while falling for her he begins to reveal a softer, more loving side which was apparently hidden deep down all along, and eventually the the metamorphosis he undergoes turns him into the perfect guy, and he and the perfect girl live happily ever after. It's one big cliché, really. In stark contrast to Rapunzel and Belle, I felt the writers had tried too hard with trying to make him seem flawed, even if only at first. The portrayal of the beast went from "Look at how mean and horrible and immoral he is!" to "Look at how kind and selfless and heroic he is!" within a few scenes, and while he is more entertaining to watch than Belle or Rapunzel, it is just as unrealistic for the beast to make such a big transition, from big extremely awful to being absolutely wonderful, as it is for this two girls to be flawless. In the end, the beast really did lose all of the qualities that made him interesting and thanks to Belle, he became the perfect man. If his metamorphosis wasn't so cliché, and if he didn't become absolutely perfect in the end, he'd probably be much
higher on this list.
I know, I know. I used to love Elsa, back when I thought I was such a special snowflake. Honestly though, I think the writers of Frozen
intended to make Elsa relatable, especially to teenagers, and I think they did that by scrolling through the Tumblr and Twitter accounts of random teen girls where they learned that so may teenagers out there look for reasons to feel sorry for themselves, see themselves as special snowflakes, often complaining about keeping things in and shutting people out, et cetera, et cetera. As somebody who's witnessed firsthand how depression can destroy people, I find it disgusting that so many teenagers convince themselves that they're depressed in order to receive some attention, but that's not what I'm here to complain about. Seriously, Elsa? You just caused an eternal winter and you don't even notice that your kingdom is covered in snow? Then you run away from your people and your sister and you celebrate how happy you are, without any regard for how anybody else is doing? And I'm supposed to believe that one minute you're depressed and insecure, and the next you're strutting around in your ice dress while singing, like your freakin' Beyoncé? And then Elsoncé is still commended, mostly outside of this site, for her selflessness when her song is about celebrating selfishness? I'm done.
Okay, so I can clearly see why Phillip is such a beloved character, but personally, I find him to be a little too much of a cookie-cutter hero. Phillip is your typical fairytale prince. He's brave, heroic, romantic and he saves the day in the end. I don't like anything typical
, in all honesty. He's not too cliché, considering he received a lot of help from the three fairies while fighting Maleficent, whereas a more clichéd hero would have been badass enough to do it all by himself, but he really is overrated in terms of heroism. Overall, he's rather dull, in my opinion, despite being a good guy. He shows up, falls for the girl, saves the day and marries her in the end. Nothing I haven't heard or read or seen before. I'm not going to call him generic, because he's not quite, but he is somewhere on that street, maybe a few doors down...
19. Prince Charming
It's funny, really, how pretty much all Charming does in Cinderella
is roll his eyes and yawn, which is pretty much all I do every time this guy has a scene. We don't know much about Charming, but it is safe to assume that he's lazy and forgetful, and ironically, it's Charming's lack of, um, charm
, as well as his laziness that places him one place above Phillip on my list. Yes, Phillip is more badass and proactive, but I find it more entertaining to watch a Prince Charming who really isn't
how you'd imagine the perfect Prince Charming, than to watch your classic fairytale hero. While I don't like Charming and I'm bored to tears every time I see him, he is more unique than he's given credit for. As a little girl, I didn't imagine a Prince Charming to be anything like this lazy bum of a character. Still, Cinderella deserves much
Less than a year ago, this girl was at the top of my list, simply because she was supposed
to be there. But now, I've accepted the fact that I don't have to adore her just because the rest of the world will likely look down on me if I don't. Mulan is a pretty damn generic character. She starts off fairly flawed, and is constantly reminded of what a disgrace she is, but as the movie progresses her flaws become minimized. Unlike with the beast, they haven't completely disappeared, but they're getting there, which is my problem with her. Mulan is still rather reckless and a little bit awkward by the end, but she is a near-perfect character. Mulan is loved more for what her actions are than for what her personality traits are, which I don't really mind. After all, even Albus Dumbledore himself said that it is our choices that make us who we are rather than our abilities, and I'm a bigger fan of Mulan's abilities than I am of her choices. I mean, she's cool and all, but I kind of wish she was more of a screw-up, because, let's face it- whenever she did something wrong it was either Cri-Kee or Mushu's fault.
Eric is probably the last person on this list who I'm going to complain about for lacking flaws. Seriously? The only noticeable flaw he has is being too stupid to recognize that Ariel was the girl who had saved him, which could be justified since it is likely he couldn't see clearly after he'd regained consciousness. But despite his lack of flaws, it is great to see that a guy as perfect as Eric would fall for a girl as flawed and seemingly eccentric as Ariel. Eric is alright in my opinion. There's not that much to him besides the fact that he's a really nice guy. I don't have anything against nice people; I like them, but it is boring to watch a character who's only noticeable quality is niceness.
This probably goes without saying but Eugene is a pretty unoriginal character. Apart from his unoriginality, Eugene was a fairly exciting character to watch, right until his Eugene Fitzherbert came out. As Flynn Rider, Eugene was was funny, adventurous, pretty reckless and somewhat of a screw-up, but despite the movie's forceful showcasing of how much better Rapunzel is than he is, Eugene was a realistic and entertaining character right until the moment he lost all of his flaws and became the perfect hero. Unlike the beast though, Eugene was still funny by the end, so thankfully he hadn't lost all of his personality. I used to really like Eugene, but the fact that Eugene's biggest flaw is Flynn Rider, his more likable and realistic side, kind of irks me. Eugene could have been a great character if only he was more original, and hadn't suddenly become the most amazing person on the planet. Despite that, he was still much more entertaining to watch than those below him on this list.
I used to absolutely loathe Ariel, and I think that part of the reason why I'd never liked her until recently is because of all the people who are constantly trying to make excuses for her actions. See, what I like about Ariel is that she's packed with flaws, and by people making excuses for all her mistakes, the reasons I had to like Ariel were taken away from me. She's irresponsible, careless and rather selfish, but I do think that these qualities make her realistic, unlike her flawless supposed
knock-off Rapunzel. What I don't like about Ariel really has nothing to do with Ariel herself. I don't like how the movie treats Ariel's flaws as if they don't exist. While I can admire Ariel for going after what she wants, I struggle to see why she should be considered a role model at all. I certainly wouldn't want my future children looking up to Ariel, but I wouldn't mind them liking her. She's realistic, and I think that a lot of people can relate to her without her being generic like Belle or Rapunzel.
14. John Smith
I prefer to judge John by looking at him and the real John Smith as being two entirely different entities. The real Smith? He was apparently cocky and self-absorbed, and all he supposedly wanted was to be viewed as something great, but I don't know if any of that's true. This
John, though, is amazing. I love his sass, his arrogance and his adventurous spirit. I think it's very admirable that he is wiling to place the needs of others before that of his own on several occasions, and I think that overall, he's a fun, entertaining character to watch. He might be a little too sappy and romantic for my taste, but that side of John delightfully clashes with his tough, manly man demeanor and only makes him more unique and interesting as a character. So, he's sort of bland or boring sometimes, but overall I like him, just 'cause.
I really like Aurora, and I'd love to have her higher but I like the others more. There aren't a lot of characters out there that are much like Aurora. I absolutely love her grace, her gentle yet playful attitude and most of all, I love how bright and imaginative she is. I really admire her big imagination, and not a lot of the others are nearly as imaginative and creative as thinkers as Aurora is (I don't consider Belle simply for saying "Well, some people use their imagination"- or something along those lines- nearly as imaginative as Aurora). Her shy but flirtatious personality is unique and very endearing, and I like that she has flaws, such as how she doesn't seem to stand up for herself, is pessimistic and how she allows her emotions to get to her. I also think that Aurora is a lot more selfless than she's given credit for. Frankly, I would never
agree to the fulfill my royal duties if I were in Aurora's position. Of course, her sense of mystery could work either for or against her, but in my opinion, it makes her more interesting.
Honestly, I'm not going to be able to give you guys any good reasons as to why
I like Kristoff. I just do. I found him to be quite original and pretty funny, and I like that he's a realist, in contrast to the idealistic Anna. I do think I would have liked him more if the movie didn't try to convince us that Kristoff was in love with Anna, and if they'd developed a friendship instead, but that's not Kristoff's fault. I like how he's blunt, a quick thinker, funny and how he wasn't portrayed as being better than Anna while at the same time not being portrayed as inferior to her. I do think that I like him more for his flaws than his virtues though. His antisocial attitude, unhygienic habits and somewhat bitchy remarks make him seem pretty realistic to me. I found Kristoff to be an entertaining and refreshingly different character to watch, and he was one of my favorite things about Frozen
11. The Prince
I know that it's weird and that we don't know much about him, but I really love this guy. I think it's safe to assume that for most of the movie, the Prince was searching for Snow White, and I think that's awesome. He's really sweet, and everything he does is absolutely adorable. It's probably strange that I'm gushing over the Prince but I really love his romantic, nice guy nature, although I might be jumping to some major conclusions here. I really don't have any real
reasons to love this guy, but I can't help but find him endearing and adorable. He seems upbeat and sweet as sugar, and I wish we'd seen more of his personality.
To be continued...