Eleven reasons why everything is better.note Top Row: Merida, Aurora, Mulan, Rapunzel. Bottom Row: Tiana, Belle, Snow White, Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Pocahontas.
I'm not a "princess", I'm the daughter of a chief!
If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you're a princess.
Disney Princess is a franchise incorporating select female heroines from the Disney Animated Canon, many of whom actually are princesses (by birth or marriage).Disney officially applies this title to (in order of their film releases): Disney has included others in the merchandise at times, such as Alice of Alice in Wonderland
and Giselle of Enchanted
, but they have never officially been added to the roster. note In Enchanted
's case, this is because Disney would have to pay Amy Adams royalties to use her image so they decided against it. Esmeralda of The Hunchback of Notre Dame
was an actual Princess until 2004. Anna and Elsa from Frozen
were expected to be the 12th and 13th to join the line-up, but it appears (for now, anyway) that Disney plans on retaining the "Frozen" brand as a unique entity from the Disney Princess franchise.They were
just a bunch of characters, but then people at Disney realized how popular they were with young girls (because of the Princess Phase), and then made a toy line of them in a manner like Barbie. This includes not only dolls, but a whole variety of merchandise, as is usual with Disney. The line also makes role models out of the princesses, often Anviliciously teaching the values of honesty, kindness, and recycling in their Direct-to-Video shorts and films.Beyond their respective films and the Disney Princess line, they appear in a wide variety of other Disney-created media:
Sofia the First: They make occasional guest appearances in this preschool-targeted series. Sofia costumes and accessories are also sold at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Disneyland and Disney World.
Kingdom Hearts: Some of them are the seven "Princesses of Heart" alongside one of the original characters in this video game series. Alice is swapped in for Ariel, but Ariel is still a Guest-Star Party Member.
Disney Girls: A chapter book series in which a handful of 9-year old girls in Orlando, Florida discover that they are Alternate Universe counterparts of the princesses.
Kilala Princess: A Shoujo manga in which the titular Kilala travels through the worlds of six princesses to save a seventh kingdom.
A Tale of: A series of children's novels set in an Alternate Continuity for several of the fairy tale films, portrayed as existing in one setting of several adjoining kingdoms — and, via a Perspective Flip that turns the stories over to the villainous/antagonistic characters, are distinctly Darker and Edgier.
- There are also several other video games built on this franchise, including Disney Princess, Disney Princess Royal Adventure, Disney Princess Enchanted Journey, Disney Princess Magical Jewels, and Disney Princess My Fairytale Adventure.
Compare Disney Fairies
- Adaptation Dye-Job:
- Cinderella has a silver dress and strawberry-blonde hair in her film, but in the franchise she usually has a blue dress and golden blonde hair.
- Aurora's hair is lightened from a dusky blonde to also golden blonde. Her skin also tends to lighten up a bit in comparison.
- Snow White's skin has gone from white to pale beige and her hair now has blue highlights.
- Advertised Extra: Pocahontas and Mulan. They're both considered "official princesses", but they are left out of majority of the advertising.
- To lesser degrees than Pocahontas and Mulan, Jasmine and Tiana also get this treatment. Many have took notice how often these 4 particular princess usually get the crap end of the stick, and some have speculated it to be race related issue, as they are the only non-white princesses, and ironically some of the far more recent and recognizable ones. Despite that, they are less likely to be showcased.
- Art Evolution: When the franchise first debuted in early 2000, the princesses were simply shown in their unmodified dressed from the films. Later on, they started to make their dresses more elaborate, such as giving them more frills, mink trims, recoloring them all gold, being encrusted with jewelry, making them sparkle, and now, having them appear metallic. For The New '10s, their looks were adapted for modernity, with all of the princesses from before 1995 getting an update on their look. It appears to be for the 3D animation seen in Sofia the First.
- Artifact Title: Disney's definition of "princess" is more "popular heroine" than a literal title. The line was created in 2000, and Mulan and Pocahontas were already inducted in. Other Disney heroines who lack princess status, like Esmeralda, Megara, Wendy, or Alice, are occasionally seen in merchandise, but were never a part of the official line-up, or only briefly considered in.
- Artistic License History:
- The redesign of Pocahontas outfit adds glittering jewels. It seems the only jewels on Pocahontas' redesign costume are turquoise, which was popular among Native Americans...in the Southwest. A Native from coastal Virginia would more likely wear shells than turquoise as decoration.
- Jasmine will find herself sometimes wearing a European style Pimped-Out Dress that would not have even existed around her time.
- Authority in Name Only: The princess title is applied rather broadly to some of these characters. Six were born royal, and three married into it (though one of those was to a prince in exile). Contrary to this trope, Pocahontas and Mulan never actually become princesses—in fact, in the former's sequel, she's made to fit into the "princess" peg as a form of cultural imposition and she's fairly uncomfortable with it.
- The Beautiful Elite: All the princesses are attractive, and is often a major point of the movie. Especially justified with Aurora in that she was given a blessing to be gorgeous. Notably, their lives appear much more glamorous in the merchandise than their movies: only Ariel, Jasmine and Snow White lived as princesses during the beginning of their movies, the last two of whom take a stint at being a peasant.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The three original princesses, Aurora, Snow White, and Cinderella. Cinderella has been almost entirely marketed as a yellow blonde in the merchandise, but her official color was supposed to be "burnt orange", similar to strawberry blonde.
- Clothes Make the Legend: Their most iconic dresses are still the base for many of their new outfits. Cause of a couple of issues when merchandising Ariel, Mulan and Pocahontas: Ariel's most iconic outfit is a bra, Mulan's most iconic outfit is a dress that represented a life she did not fit, and Pocahontas' dress is notably more practical and plain than the other ladies', although she is sometimes put in her European ballgown from her second movie.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
- Each Princess has their own color, and a 3-year old girl can spot them from across the Disney Store. Snow White is white (or the primary colors), Aurora is pink, Cinderella is blue, Ariel is sea green, Belle is yellow, Jasmine is aquamarine, Pocahontas is tan, Mulan varies between red or green and yellow, Tiana is green, Rapunzel is lavender, and Merida is royal blue or dark teal. Makes it real easy to tell which princess is currently your daughter's favorite.
- Before Tiana and Rapunzel came along and took green and purple for themselves, Ariel and Jasmine tended to switch off who was green and who was purple (Aurora was purple at times as well, to compromise for her dress alternating between pink and blue throughout her movie). If it was Jasmine's turn to be purple, she wore the shimmery outfit from the end of her movie.
- Cool Crown: Their tiaras come in many forms, although Aurora and Tiana are notable for having tiaras that are a part of their main look (Tiana wears three!).
- Costume Porn: All of the girls have themed dresses: holiday, flower, designer, gold, bejewelled, etc. The iconic costumery of the princesses is a very popular subject for fanartists to play with: you can find mod, hipster, school girl, historic, designer, and more versions of their dresses if you look.
- Damsel in Distress: Most of the princesses were in distress in their movies at least once, most notably Aurora, Ariel, Jasmine, and Snow White who were in mortal peril and whose rescue was the climax of their movies. Notable averted, however, with Mulan, Merida, and Tiana, who were all very active in their own movies and didn't usually need rescued from danger as bad as the others. Furthermore, Ariel, Jasmine and Rapunzel, qualify as damsels out of distress or Defiant Captives.
- Detail-Hogging Cover: The artwork for their merchandise is way more detailed than in their movies.
- Disappeared Dad:
- Snow White and Cinderella end up with just their stepmothers after their fathers die.
- Tiana lost her father in World War I.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- The girls dresses weren't nearly as elaborate originally.
- Esmeralda was a Princess until 2004.
- Ermine Cape Effect: In their movies, the princesses have modest dresses that they wear most of the time, but in the merchandising, the fancy gowns are the most prevalent.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Even when not all of them are, it's still better.
- Everything's Better with Sparkles: The art features plenty of sparkles, often to unbelievable extents, especially in their holiday attire.
- Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: They get plenty of jewelry to wear, at least in their merchandising art outfits.
- Exiled from Continuity: While the official roster includes two characters who are not princesses and other non-princesses have appeared from time to time, there are several actual princesses from the Disney Animated Canon who have been omitted. The roster has always tended to skew towards more popular works, which is usually taken to be the main reason Eilonwy and Kida have never been included, although the Darker and Edgier aspects of those two films may also be part of the reason. Non-human princesses such as Faline, Nala, and Kiara are also left out, likely because they don't wear glamorous clothes or jewelry, and consequently can't be dressed up like the human princesses (though it may also be because like most writers, most audience members are human). In other cases, the nature of the source material is the most likely factor: Vanellope von Schweetz is never included, probably in part because her status as a princess is a spoiler,note and because she relinquishes her title and abolishes the monarchy in Sugar Rush almost immediately after The Reveal but likely also due to her film being aimed at an older audience and her character not fitting the Princess Classic model at all.
- Expy: Cinderella, Ariel and Belle get rock-star-doll counterparts in the form of Ella, Ari and Gabrielle - the popDreamers. There's a music album. Around the same time, there was also the Disney Girls children's book series, which centered around girls who were basically otakin of six of the princesses.
Class of 1981 Marie.