The first Disney Princess Movie I watched was Sleeping Beauty when I was a little girl. I liked Aurora, Phillip and the fairy sequences but when Maleficent came on I got bored and hid behind the settee. Causing my mum to think I was scared of Maleficent. My mum wondered if I wanted it to be turned off. I said no. I sat on the settee and watched the ending, which I loved.
I think I then saw the Princess movies in this order - I definitely saw either The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast at the cinema for the second release but I can't remember which one:
1. The Little Mermaid
2. Beauty and the Beast
3. Cinderella (I saw this one at school)
4. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (I watched this on TV but only caught Act 2 from the turning into a hag sequence and onwards).
As for Jasmine, I knew her name but I didn't know anything else about her. I once got a Happy Meal figurine toy of Jasmine. I wasn't bothered in her. Back then as you can imagine it all about the pretty colours, the fantasy and the dresses. The figurine wasn't wearing a dress and I really wanted a specific figurine: Belle.
Back then my favourite princesses were.
4. Snow White
Whilst Ariel was my favourite, the movie made me very curious about her sisters. One sister in particular caught my eye because her mermaid tail and tiara were pink, Alana. Since then Alana has been my favourite mermaid sister. Sometimes she replaced Ariel at top position in my favourite Daughters of Triton list.
I was stubborn about seeing Aladdin in the beginning because I thought it was a boys movie. My mum said "No it's not. You'll enjoy it." I let her buy me it and yep she was right and then afterwards we got The Return of Jafar on video as well. I don't think I had the third movie on vhs though.
I remember going to the newsagent shop and seeing a Little Mermaid comic and an Aladdin comic. I quickly became a collector of The Little Mermaid comics (1995). I found out later these comics were only released in the UK. I tried reading the stories in an Aladdin comic once but I got bored very easily because as we know there's only girl (Jasmine) among five boys (Genie, Aladdin, Abu, Carpet and Iago) and the stories didn't always include Jasmine. I might have hoped that despite the title it was less about the boys and more about Jasmine. But that wasn't the case.
At some point I saw the Disney Stage show of Beauty and Beast. It was great!
I didn't know Pocahontas was a Princess back then. I also didn't know anything about her other than her name. I once wanted a small Disney toy playset house that was the same size as a Polly Pocket house. I should have picked the Cinderella one. But for a change I picked Pocahontas' 'house. That was a waste of money. I didn't play with it and Pocahontas dress was plain and boring.
At some point I bought Snow White on video because like I said, I hadn't seen all of the movie. I watched it and I liked it. I also watched the tv shows of The Little Mermaid and Aladdin on Saturday mornings or on VHS.
When I was a young preteen I had phases where I thought Snow White, Ariel and Cinderella were overrated. Not just the Disney versions. The story of Snow White was very popular and could be found as a plot device in any child's tv show or movie. At least once or twice, I disliked the overuse of Snow White and decided I didn't like Disney's Snow White either. I liked Cinderella for the beautiful different interpretations of the ballgown in art, non-disney dolls and Ladybird book pictures. With Disney's Cinderella, I didn't like her as much as her sidekicks the mice who got the most screen time. The making of dress was my favourite scene though because I loved the pink dress more than her magical ballgown and the scene also included a lot of female mice. Eventually I went off Cinderella and couldn't stand this piece of art that had been painted on to a plate and had a crystal shaped glass slipper at the bottom of the stairs. The plate was hung on my bedroom wall, I don't know who the artist was. Back in day I used to love the pink glowing ballgown she was wearing, it was dreamy and floaty. Oh and this wasn't a painting of Disney's Cinderella.
Ariel becoming overrated to me had nothing to do with her personally. It was to do with my childhood friend. It's understandable right when a group of people over-obsess about a specific princess which leads you to disliking that princess? Well what if you cut down those numbers to one person only, would it still be understandable? My childhood friend's obsession with Ariel bothered me and then I decided she was no longer my favourite.
When I was a teenager at some point I watched Pocahontas. I wasn't sure about it because apart from the spiritual parts there wasn't actual magic. I loved the beauty of the river, waterfalls, rainbow, amazing sunset and the visuals in the songs: Listen to your Heart II, Just Around the Riverbend and Colours of the Wind. A few days later I learnt about Pocahontas in school. It was a bit of shock to find out she was real person. I think we watched a video about her and I suddenly had more respect Disney's version.
I decided to watch Mulan soon after that. I liked her and her family but I didn't like the battle scenes and wished there was magic, other than the bird. I didn't like Shang.
When I was in my late teens I saw the sequels that I hadn't seen yet. Pocahontas 2 and Mulan 2. I liked Mulan 2 more than Pocahontas 2. It was the soundtrack that did it. I really really liked the songs: "Lesson Number One" and "Like other Girls", they were catchy fun songs.
Eventually I bought the Aladdin trilogy on dvd and finally the third film. And that's when Jasmine became my favourite princess. So from then on my list looked like this:
7. Snow White
This is what my list looked like when I first joined Fanpop. I joined Fanpop in 2010, when I was 25 years old.
In the early days when the subject of most overrated Princess came up I would always say Belle and Cinderella. Maybe because their popularity on Fanpop was overwhelming. When asked in early days who my favourite Princesses were in order. I would struggle with an answer. Jasmine of course was always the first one. But I couldn’t relate to her, Mulan or Pocahontas and yet they were my favourites. On relation I felt like I could relate to Belle and Ariel. And I still had a soft for Aurora.
So you could say my list looked like this:
You can only keep nostalgia away for so long. Eventually it will return and it did.
My first ever article was a Prettiest Princess list. I can’t remember all of the placements but I do know the Jasmine, Aurora and Belle were in the top three somewhere.
Fanpop was the first forum - Disney wise to hold such strong opinions both positive and negative. I saw some really negative opinions and thought if they can get away with that maybe I can too. I decided to give it a go! Bad idea! I wrote a Top Princess article. I was harsh with Snow White but people agreed with me. I called Cinderella a gold-digger which sparked a gigantic argument as you can imagine. I wasn’t prepared for an outburst like that.
I didn’t realise back then that in order for people to respect your strong opinions, you need to write it in a non-hostile tone and write it like an essay and analyse the character even if you don’t like the character. I remember analysing Jasmine who came first of course. Although people were confused about how I could like the character and also analyse her in a semi-negative way at the same time. And it’s simply because I like researching different opinions and cultural aspects. I once read a true story about an Arabian Princess which gave insight into her cultural royal family and about who ran the show and stuff. It made me think about Jasmine and the sexist undertones in terms of power that she might have been facing behind the scenes. Anyway the argument caused me to feel very upset and sorry so I took it down, out of sight and out of mind.
Eventually I saw The Princess and the Frog, I’d say two years after it was released on dvd. And then got Tangled on dvd. I enjoyed The Princess and the Frog in terms of characters but not every single character and the frog scenes bored me. I didn’t like the soundtrack either. Naveen’s looks were amazing but his voice was too deep. I can’t take him seriously.
I enjoyed Tangled and the ending made me cry. Which is always a good sign. There's something that bothered me about Rapunzel though. I thought she too excitable and it didn't fit a sheltered character. That and I read a review which influenced me to think the same thing. A girl said she someone who was in a similar situation to Rapunzel but it took months and years to build her confidence to break her shell and control her anxiety of the outside world. And so Rapunzel was always in the middle of my lists. I couldn't dislike her though because she was the perfect best of both worlds crossover princess of the classic princesses and the adventurous Renaissance princesses. That and she was pretty with a gorgeous purple dress. I was grasping at straws trying find reasons why I I didn't like her. In my head I was speechless. And so I kept thinking my reasons for disliking her were a bit petty.
I tried watching her tv series and couldn't get into it. I much prefer the ending dialogue of the original movie. And I also enjoyed Tangled Ever After.
But there was another battle going on in my head and that was 2D vs 3D, the 2D princesses were pushing back hard. I prefer 2D movies to 3D. I love the details that go into the artwork of 2 dimensional animation.
When Brave came out I saw it at the cinema. I enjoyed it but I thought it was rude in places and Lords/Kings of different tribes were stereotyped and when they started fighting, it came across as sexist to men. On the bright side I thought Merida was a breath of fresh air. Brave was the first 3D movie that was amazing in backgrounds. I liked the gothic look with the mists and beautiful woodland.
When the remakes came out I saw Maleficent but I couldn't get into it. I saw Cinderella and loved it! Beauty and the Beast was terrible in my opinion. Which made Belle's middle ranking go right down to the bottom of the list! Now this next one has story with it. I fell out of love with Jasmine, a few years and a few months before Aladdin was released. I couldn't think straight and had an indecision about who would take her place as number one on my favourite princess list. So I just chose one, which happened to be Aurora, simply because I was obsessed with her physical appearance, princess dresses and mysterious nature. She was my favourite classic princess. So it made sense. It raised an eyebrow or two with a few fans on fanpop. I don’t think they could believe it. Jasmine was the only Princess I had high praise for. I never really gave anyone the sense that I liked anyone else. I remember putting Aurora down for one of the "Meet the Princess Fans" articles. That was disaster! LavenderGolden completely ignored that I was under Aurora's Fans and stated my favourite princess was Jasmine!
Anyway in Autumn/Winter of 2019-Autumn 2020, I threw the list out completely! Deciding I liked them all equally. I had seasonal favourites only. So when each season changed the assigned Seasonal themed Princess would be my favourite or in terms of Rapunzel, every May month. This is thanks to Swanpride's calendar that she made for us once. I can't remember when she showed us it exactly but Rapunzel was against May and that made me happy. Lot's and lot's of purple!
in 2021, I started wanting a favourites list again but I wasn't in the mood to make one until I rewatched all of the films in September.
I'm have a list in the making, which I'm still writing. It's coming soon!
My current list of Favourite Princesses is a bit shocking as you will find out in the next article!