Ranking the Disney Princesses!

Last week, I stumbled upon a YouTube video by Screen Junkies where four certified adult nerds discuss and rank all Disney princesses – I was surprised they brought Marc Andreyko into the panel. They rank the princesses through seven different categories (Royal Lineage, Sidekick, Independence, Theme Song, Intelligence, Relatability, Talent), give them scores, and then add it up. Of course, preferences and favorites goes a long way in giving scores, making some of the results quite shocking. Check the video below!



Anyway, as a nerd myself, I can’t help it that I also want to make my own list. Why? Well, why not? And besides, Disney princess is a brand that’s just too tempting not to put your hands on – that sounded wrong, but you know what I mean. They’re incredibly popular, probably one of the most profitable line from the Disney namesake, as well as many artist’s favorite to do tributes or mash up art pieces – which I’m sure many have gone viral. As for the categories, I think they are pretty reasonable. I also love the fact that there are no sexist immeasurable categories such as “beauty” or “best hair” or “best dress” or even worse, “most handsome prince they end up with”.  While for me, I grew up watching these princesses, even though I wouldn’t consider them to be my favorite Disney characters, but obviously I am very familiar with them. Besides, I’m back with doing the thing I like the most in my blogs: making a list.

First of all, apart from the 13 ranked in the video (11 of the Princess canon+ Elsa and Moana), I just have to add three more: Kida (Atlantis), Megara (Hercules) and Alice (Alice in Wonderland). I’ll tell you the reasons later. The I also want to add few more categories, which are character design and best moment. The former from a visually everlasting point of view, while the former I rate each princess’ best moment in their respective films.

I promise, the ranks will solely rely on how many points they get, not based on favoritism -points given are from 1 to 5 per category, so 45 will be the maximum points to get. So let’s get the list started!


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16. Snow White (20 points)
I think this is no surprise. Her generic pre-war appearance of a girl in mainstream media was more annoying than memorable. If it wasn’t for the fact that she was actually a princess and having seven cool dwarfs as her sidekick, she would’ve gotten way lower points.


15 Awakening

15. Aurora (20 points)
I was quite surprised that Aurora didn’t came out last in the list. Besides, she practically don’t have anything to show off other than her royal lineage and one of the most alluring Disney song ever. She’s a supporting character in her own movie, and as much as Snow did, she was helped by her fairy mothers as her sidekicks.


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14. Cinderella (23 points)
A template blonde girl who was just too good to be true – but ideal for her time. Cinderella scored better than anybody else in the lower tier of this list thanks to her moment for that midnight strike. But frankly she shone the most while helped by (again) a guardian fairy.


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13. Belle (26 points)
Heads up, after the first three princesses are placed last on the list, the next is the 90s’ template princesses – which all share the same amount of points. And sorry to fans of Belle and the new live action version, but Belle is boring. The legendary film was good enough because of the guy sharing the title with her.


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12. Ariel (26 points)
Probably has one of the best theme songs than anybody else in the list as well as the most memorable loyal sidekicks, but that’s pretty much it. Still can’t grasp the logic that if she could sign her name on a contract but couldn’t write her name to Eric. If I loved this movie when I was a kid, it must be because of Sebastian and his songs.


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11. Jasmine (26 points)
It’s not her fault that she’s the first princess not to be the main character – that is, if you count Aurora a main protagonist. This makes her points dropped from theme song and best moment. But design-wise, Jasmine was so important – even more than Aladdin if I dare to say so. And she has a friggin’ tiger as a sidekick!


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10. Alice (31 points)
Why this classic character is not considered a princess is baffling to me. She’s probably the first girl in the Disney canon to actually have an adventure on her own (let’s not forget that she did it all based on her own decisions), that white and blue dress with the black ribbon combo was simply eternal and a whole storybook full of sidekicks. Phew!


Tangled-movie-image9. Rapunzel (32 points) 

Second surprise on the list, because I thought Rapunzel was going to score lower – at least not above Alice. But she was helped with some important points. The obvious royal lineage is one and talent is another – or should I say, loads of them? But what’s interesting is, even if her story’s a typical fable, somehow I can relate a lot – which in turn scored her high.


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8. Megara (32 points)
Halfway there, we meet another newcomer. Technically Meg isn’t a princess – but personally, I think she’s way beyond that. She ends up with a demigod, man. That’s even higher than a queen! Why she’s never included in the princess canon, I really don’t know. She scored high on intelligence and theme song, which in eventually summed up in her design: sassy, witty but very grounded – being the only human main character in the film.


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7. Kida (34 points)
Again, why isn’t an obvious princess is considered a princess? Because her film was an action adventure? Because she doesn’t have a song? Because she’s not ‘conventionally’ beautiful? Kida is a badass, man. An 8,000 years old multilingual crown princess of an advanced race that’s also the heart and soul of her empire – literally. Not only should Kida be in the princess franchise, but she should be their symbol of how difference is good.


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6. Elsa (35 points)
Never thought that she would score this high, because even if I enjoyed the movie, Elsa was not my favorite character there. But come one, nobody can ignore the fact that she’s the first princess to have a superpower. Just from that basis, Elsa’s points soared in sidekick (that she made and gave life herself), moment (that Let It Go moment, not the song, though), design (that white hair is a genius touch) and obviously, talent.


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5. Pocahontas (37 points)
Other than being the first non-white princess to get her own title feature, I adore Pocahontas for her groundbreaking design. When I first saw Pocahontas it blew my mind that Disney could finally create characters with a different style of animation. Such a lovely film to see, scenes flow so naturally graceful. And that ending, man. Brutally realistic for an animated movie – the one making her more relatable than the others.


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4. Mulan (38 points)
Wow. I seriously did not see this coming. I know she would drop points for not being a royal, but apparently my favourite girl here is not the best in everything. Yet, is there any surprise why Mulan is this high up the list? She’s brilliant, has a dragon for a sidekick, has a lovely song, and an arsenal of talents. Dude, being better than she thought she could be was the moral of her movie! And let’s not forget that avalanche of a moment to bury the rest of her competition.

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3. Tiana (39 points)
We’re at the top three now, and as it turns out, sub-consciously I adore Tiana than I thought I do. And I think I know why. Tiana, by far, is the most relatable princess ever. Not only because she lived in the 20th century, but because of her story and character. Before the main events of the film, she had a real problem that we all can relate – money. Sure, I hear you saying that Belle and Mulan were also peasants, but Tiana is the only princess who has a job (or two). She’s also the one that has a talent where her dream is to capitalise it – not just a character quirk or burden like the early princesses. And it’s a real talent, not something created to make her look or sound more extraordinary on screen. Tiana chased and shaped her dreams, not sing it to a well and hoped it’ll all come true. For that reason alone, Tiana is worthy of her spot here.


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2. Moana (40 points)
Okay, I am as surprised as much as you, too. Watching the video above, I thought Moana being number one was a marketing gimmick. But look at where we are now, Moana is nearly perfect in my list.The only mid-level point she got is character design – which, we have to admit, doesn’t have anything distinctive enough. But the rest, she’s hitting huge points. Her sidekick is a demigod and a klutzy rooster, she’s independent enough to write her own destiny, smart enough to trick the said demigod to help her, she learned to sail within the few days of her adventure and she’s got an awesome song! Moana is a product of Disney’s years and years of creating strong female characters. She’s somewhat the epitome of all the previous princesses before her, and that’s why she’s this close to the top – even if she’s the youngest of them all.


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1. Merida (41 points)
This is really conflicting. And I’m going to tell you why. Ever since Merida was inducted into the franchise, I wan’t completely okay with it – her being a Pixar product instead of pure Disney. And the film was quite disappointing, don’t you think? It was not Pixar to say the least, but it wasn’t as fable-ey or legendary as the usual Disneys. Yet, her being on top of this list proves that Merida is a character that’s bigger than her body (feature). She’s obviously charming enough for me to give her high points for nearly everything except sidekick- another Disney template that she broke. She runs her own show (although recklessly at the beginning) on full throttle from the very first minute. Her fiery curls, her rebelliousness, her big con (making a fool out of noble men from all over the land). And that relationship with her mother is something new (and ordinary) that Pixar brought into the canon. So maybe that’s why she’s the princess that the franchise needs – Merida brings a sense of raw but articulated reality into the magical affairs of Disney. For that, she’s our best princess.


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