Ranking Official Disney Princesses


So we have 2 weeks till Big Hero 6 premiere and I will post my Frozen review this weekend (I intend to watch it 5 or 6 times to do a very good job)

In the next 2 weeks I will also be posting lots of top 10 lists culminating in my complete rankings once I see Big Hero 6.  This should be a lot of fun and I would love it if you would share your lists in the comments each time.

Of course, it goes without saying it is just my opinion and most of these are nitpicking.  Out of 53 movies I will give 20 movies an A category grade, 30 with a B or higher  (which is pretty remarkable when you think about it) so I like them all but minute differences lead to my rankings.

I thought I would start with ranking the official Disney Princesses because I love the princess movies. These are not all the women, or even princesses in Disney Canon, that will be another list.   However, I am including Anna and Elsa in Frozen because they are considered princesses in waiting (they have a coronation ceremony and everything).

Some people gripe about Mulan being included but that doesn’t bother me because there are no princesses in China.  If there were she would have been made one in the movie for sure.  She certainly shows all the qualities of a princess so it’s fine with me.

This list also includes Merida from Brave, which I have not reviewed, because she is an official Disney Princess. Also, this is a ranking of the princesses themselves not the movies they are in.


1. Belle- smart, thoughtful, compassionate and brave


2. Ariel- free spirit, not afraid to take risks, loyal, impetuous


3. Cinderella- hard worker, good friend, kind, optimistic

cinderella24. Tiana- hard worker, dedicated, loyal, goal setter, soft spoken but bold

tiana5. Rapunzel- optimistic, naive but smart in own way, inquisitive, fun-loving and hopeful


6. Mulan- Loyal, brave, strong, determined, a fighter


7. Elsa- Free, empowered, conflicted, learns self acceptance and control, beautiful, strong

elsa8. Merida- bold, impetuous, free spirit, brave, confident,  curly hair

Merida_web_small9. Jasmine- independent, loving., spunky, compassionate

jasmine10. Anna- innocent, sweet, kind, believes in others, impetuous, willing to take risks

anna11.. Snow White- optimistic, kind, positive, happy

snow white12. Aurora- asleep most movie but beautiful, a singer, a dreamer, optimistic, loving and  like her better in blue!

Auroraonmodel13. Pocahontas- loves nature, kind and brave.  Last because she doesn’t change or grow much and her choices actually cause death


29 thoughts on “Ranking Official Disney Princesses

  1. I’ll go from the bottom and leave Elsa and Anna out, since they are not official, yet.

    11. Merida (I just can’t get over the fact that she first poisons her mother, then acts gleeful while she is in pain and then needs a while movie to admit that what she did was wrong. Plus, I really don’t like Brave as a movie…Pixar should stick to their buddy movies, and leave the Princesses to Disney, that’s what each of them does best).

    10. Pocahontas (Her design just makes no sense to me, she looks like a full grown woman, but has the maturity of a very young teen. Plus, she is the most preachy and most bland of them all).

    9. Jasmine (While I support her not wanting to marry some stranger, I don’t support how she tries to reach that goal. She constantly overestimates herself and is very lucky that the movie doesn’t end with her one hand short and Agrabah being in war with every kingdom whose prince she insulted (saying no is okay, but she could at least trying to be polite about it instead of going on attack immediately), plus, she is not even the protagonist of the movie)

    8. Tiana (I like her, but I have also trouble relating to her. There is concept art of Tiana in which she has a more laid back look, and somehow I like this character more than the one we eventually got, even though it is just a drawing.)

    7. Snow White (Again, I like her, and she is way more spunky than people give her credit for, but she is also a little bit dated and way too innocent to be real. But I think in this case Disney managed to create exactly what they wanted).

    6. Aurora (What? She could use more screen time, but I like what is there. With her sense of responsible and regal bearing she is much closer to how I would imagine a queen than any of the others. Plus, she is a dreamer, and that is certainly something I can relate to).

    5. Ariel (She is the perfect princess for a teenager…I kind of grow out of her, but I still appreciate how well her character is done).

    4. Mulan (To be honest, she would be higher, if not on the top, but the ones higher then her are my favs of every Disney era, which I just mean to much to me to be replaced easily).

    3. Cinderella (The princess of my childhood. I just love how no matter what life throws at her, she is able to beware her good natured personality, while not being a doormat.)

    2. Belle (I think she is the most relatable princess of them all. More or less everyone experiences at one point in his life the feeling to not fit in. Plus, I also have the habit to read while walking).

    1. Rapunzel (Imho the most feminist princess, simply because her story is not about feminism, but nevertheless manages to portray a gender-equal relationship. Plus, Rapunzel is just so strong, she is practically a more modern version of Cinderella, who is able to find the way out Cinderella never had, pursuing her dreams. And smart to boot. She is also the only (current) princess who will eventually rule her own kingdom).

    1. Aurora was low because I think she is kind of bland but I like all of these so it could be higher

    2. For the record I also was disappointed by the movie Brave but the character I still think has potential. I liked her design and love her hair. The film is overwrought and lacked a central villain which is necessary in most fairytale stories. With some better writing I would be up for seeing Merida again.

      1. Sure there is potential…this could have been a good movie if it had been about Merida trying to correct her mistake instead of denying it. But when it comes to characters, I judge by what is there, not by what could potentially be there.

      2. I can see that perspective but I see it differently. An intriguing personality or character can be caught in a less than appealing plot.

        Like I hated Man of Steel but Henry Cabot and his version of Superman has potential. There’s a warmth to him I liked and he certainly looks the part. Could be good.

        But then again I didn’t hate Brave as much as you did. It was a disappointment but not a total loss for me. I’d probably give it a C-

      3. Yeah, but mind manipulation is kind of a deal breaker for me, and that is exactly what Merida plans to do with her own mother. Plus, the way she is all gleeful when she is in pain is very off-putting. There is nothing intriguing about her, I find her frankly disturbing.

        I actually dislike Merida more than I dislike Brave. There are some good elements in the movie. But I wouldn’t have given it the Acadamy Award (not with Wreck it Ralph, Paranorman AND Rise of the Guardians being in the field, all of them being way better movies with way better characters), and it certainly is not a beacon of feminism (not with exactly two speaking female characters in the whole movie, one of them being mute for half of it because she got turned into a freaking bear!).

        I honestly don’t get why everyone keeps praising Pixar so much…yes, they have written some really fun female characters, but Merida is their only female lead and most movies have one female character tops.

      4. Fair enough. I haven’t seen it for a while so I can’t speak to particulars. My issue at the time was it wasn’t the movie we were sold. Ads and the first third made it seem like a fairytale adventure when really it was a family drama. In my memory she just knows the cake will change her fate. I don’t think she means to poison her mother or turn her into a bear. She just doesn’t want to marry any of the suitors and is angry with her mother for making her. But we could probably debate Brave all day.

        I certainly agree it is not a beacon of feminism and it shouldn’t have won best animated picture. I would have given it to Paranorman myself.

        As far as Pixar goes I am a fangirl. I even liked Cars 2 but I agree about female characters. Still, Up is my favorite movie. I think Wall-e, Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, Incredibles, Toy Story movies, are masterpieces. That’s why I haven’t wanted to do a similar blog on Pixar because for 8/11 films it would be a total lovefest, which isn’t great reading.

      5. Oh, I like Pixar movies too (though I haven’t watched Cars 2 and Monsters University yet), but it bothers me that everyone act as if Pixar should be able to do female leads better if they haven’t offered any to speak of so far, while Disney is the studio which ensures that there are regularly female leads in animated movies. I think people forget that the Disney Princess Franchise is a fairly new thing which got only introduced after Mulan, and that all the female characters which came beforehand simply exist because Disney wanted to tell their stories.

      6. That’s a very good point and I agree. I wonder if Brave had some of the problems you mentioned with Princess and the Frog. Where Disney was trying so hard to not be racist they made a weaker picture. Where Pixar was trying so hard to make a feminist film they ended up with a weaker picture. It has a ton of writers on the screenplay if I recall so that may be a fact. Just a thought.
        You are totally right. Whether 2D, 3D, computer graphics, stop motion, it all comes down to the story.

      7. Either that or the problems during productions caused this mess. But yeah, I think Chapman was so set on creating the “better” Disney Princess movie that she forget to create the better character. I get what she was trying to do, but I find it hard to relate to Merida’s plight when she starts the movie complaining about the fact that she is only occasionally and not everyday allowed to roam freely in the woods. If she were never allowed to do it, okay, but she basically complains about getting an education and having responsibilities. In my eyes Merida is the caricature of a modern teenager put in a medieval setting in which her attitude is even more grating, because it just doesn’t fit the time portrayed.

      8. Oh and Monsters University isn’t spectacular but one aspect I really liked. The lead character doesn’t get his dream but he realizes another choice is actually right for him. I found that very refreshing in a kids movie. Good for them to learn dreams don’t always come true but life presents new dreams (like in Tangled).

    3. I like your point about Ariel being the perfect princess for a teenager. That’s very true.

    1. Cinderella is wonderful. She could be #1 for sure.
      Ariel is a good friend to Flounder and Scuttle. Even Eric and Sebastian when they accept her as a friend. As opposed to Mulan, Belle, or Aurora who don’t seem to have many friends Ariel does and so I guess that is what I was referring too.

      1. I should have put something like social, friendly instead of loyal. Oh well that’s just the first words that came to my head so went with it

  2. We have the same 1 and 2, although I would swap Ariel for first place and Belle for second. I’m sad to see Anna so low on this list (she’s my definite third) but I understand she faces stiff competition since almost all the Disney princesses are really well-written and likeable people. Thanks for sharing your list.

    1. Honestly all but Pocahontas I really like so it’s tough. I guess I feel more bonded with bold types where Anna, Snow White, and Aurora are a little more demure and quiet (but bold in their own way). I agree with you they are all written so well. Thanks for reading!

  3. I can’t argue too much with you, except that ‘Elsa’ is too high and ‘Pocahontas’ way too low. Elsa just mopes around and doesn’t do anything throughout her movie, while Pocahontas is an incredibly strong woman that doesn’t blindly fall in love with John Smith, but always keeps her heritage and her tribe in mind.

    1. Thanks for reading! I am an Elsa fan. It’s hard to blame her for following the orders drilled into her since she was a child. She’s scared she’s going to hurt others because others have basically brainwashed her. But anyway don’t want to give away my Frozen review.

      You should read my Pocahontas review. I’m not a big fan and just didn’t feel bonded to her. She seemed kind of wooden and flat. And she is the only one who’s actions lead to a non-villain’s death, But, perhaps in a stronger movie I would like her better, so none of the princesses are a big problem for me.

  4. Well, our lists are different, but not too different. I like a lot of the ones you have on the top, though Ariel is a lot lower on my list. I don’t know where Anna and Elsa are on my list yet, but they would be in the top half. Aurora, Ariel, and Merida are right in the bottom, and I think Rapunzel is after them. Great explanations nonetheless.

    1. Thanks! My sister would have similar to yours so I can totally see that. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Actually, there were princesses in China. Mulan was a real Chinese legend, so they can’t just make her a princess. And making her a princess would mean she wouldn’t go to war (her dads an emperor so). What makes Mulan a disney princess is that she saved China, and was awarded by the Emperor, which males her equal with the official and councils in the govt. And in Mulan 2, she was considered as worth more than 3 princesses.

    1. That’s really interesting. Thanks for sharing. I didn’t know any of that! I personally have no problem with her being included as a princess and the reasons you gave make it even less of a problem.

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