The 5 Coolest Disney Princesses
I have a confession to make: I hate the old school Disney princess movies. Even when I was young enough to be considered part of Disney’s target audience, I felt like I was being Clockwork Oranged whenever someone forced me to watch the adventures of Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora. Maybe it stems from coming of age in the ’90s, an era that was lousy with cool Disney princesses.
Of course, that begs the question, what makes a princess (or anyone else for that matter) cool? The answer is personality and that’s a quality the five (six) ladies below have in spades.
Merida is the most recent character to join the Disney princess line-up, and she also happens to be my pick for the coolest. As a feisty, bow and arrow wielding lass, Merida has no interest in finding a husband. Instead, it’s adventure she craves.
Merida handily subverts our expectations of how a princess should behave: she’s rude to her parents, she’s brashly confident and when an archery tournament is organized to see who will win her hand in marriage, she steps up to win on her own behalf. Seeing Disney offer up a female character whose ambitions weren’t put on hold in the name of “true love” was a refreshing change of pace, but even if Merida had ridden off into the sunset with a prince of her own, her cool status wouldn’t have been threatened. Anyone with aim as true as Merida’s is in no danger of being classified as dull.
Belle’s bibliophilia has been warming the hearts of young bookworms for two decades now, but it’s not just her love of reading that sets her apart. It’s also her bravery. Belle is willing to give up everything to keep her father safe, even if it means living with a beast, and she makes the best of her situation by actually engaging with a man who everyone else had written off as a monster. (That doesn’t mean she doesn’t try to escape though.)
Belle’s capacity for kindness is almost as boundless as her love of stories, and those two qualities combined easily win over the heart of Beast (and the audience).
Giselle is an old school princess at heart. She’s relentlessly positive, birds dress her in the morning and she routinely breaks into song. She also slays dragons, rescues her prince and merrily navigates a strange and cynical world all while wearing a stunning dress made out of curtains. Her unique mix of classic and modern sensibilities gives Giselle the edge over many of her animated counterparts, but mostly she’s cool because in the age of ironic hipsterisms she’s completely genuine.
Ariel’s insatiable curiosity is a joy to watch. She just wants to see the world beyond the ocean and that longing for the unknown is an admirable, deeply relatable quality. She also has a killer singing voice, and like Giselle, she engages in a bit of gender role reversal by saving Prince Eric from a shipwreck.
If that doesn’t convince you of her coolness though, just remember how fascinated Ariel was by that spork– she’s a princess with the heart of an anthropologist.
Tiana is a chef. As far as cool jobs go, chef only ranks lower than circus performer. She’s also insanely, intensely dedicated to her goal of opening her own restaurant; easily making her the most ambitious of all the princesses.
Her story does ultimately hinge on the realization that love is the most important part of life, but her willingness to sacrifice her dream to stay with her prince leads to a balanced ending where Tiana proves that a princess can have it all– the guy and the awesome career.
Technically, Mulan isn’t a princess, but that doesn’t stop Disney from marketing her as one, so she’s getting a shout-out here. In short, she’s a warrior and her best friend is dragon, so yes, Mulan is cooler than everyone.
Those are my picks for the coolest Disney princesses. Which characters would land on your list? Can you make a case for the classic princesses? Share your thoughts below!
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