Disney Princesses, Ranked

With newly released research that maybe Disney Princesses are bad for your kids, the Record hereby presents the ranking of Disney Princesses* so you know how to mess up your kids the worst.

  1. MulanMulan_disney

While the whole princess enterprise, being based on a system of inherited privilege, is un-American and is probably Communist, this is a ranking of princesses, and Mulan is not a princess. Whatever might be said about saving all of China is wholly negated by the fact that she marries a non-prince army captain and has no royal parentage.

Pros: Mysterious as the dark side of the moon; is possibly the best princess but for the fact that she is not a princess

Cons: Not a princess

  1. PocahontasPocahontas_Disney

A true story: I did not realize that Pocahontas was based on a real person when the movie came out. Also a true story: Pocahontas, as a fictional character, is the second-worst Disney princess. She hardly does anything during the whole movie besides telling her dad to chill out, and then John Smith sails back to England anyway! A guy who doesn’t get the girl at the end of a movie is correctly considered a doofus. Good princesses should be able to bend the world to their will. No double standards!

Pros: Jumps off a waterfall[1]

Cons: Didn’t exterminate the English settlers when she had the chance

  1. AuroraPrincess_aurora_disney

Somehow, a princess who does even less than Pocahontas. Her claim to fame is literally sleeping. And she sleeps because she was cursed out of her free will to prick her finger. If you asked me literally anything about Aurora besides those two plot points, I would not be able to answer. If you asked 100 kids these days to name as many Disney princesses as they could, I guarantee you Aurora would come in dead last. The only reason Aurora doesn’t get the bottom spot is because 1) Aurora is an actual princess and 2) I liked Maleficent.

Pros: Did a good job in Super 8

Cons: Completely useless

  1. Snow WhiteSnow_white_disney

Snow White, more like white bread. There’s nothing objectionable about Snow White, and unlike Aurora, she actually exercises some of the free will God gave her. But there’s nothing nice to say about Snow White either besides that she is nice. Women are obviously free to make their own choices, but choosing to be a stay-at-home-princess is not going to get you a high ranking on the Disney Princesses list.

Pros: Fairest in the land

Cons: Boring

  1. CinderellaCinderella_disney

The whole fairy godmother business is a little distasteful for being a deus ex machina plot device, but I suppose everyone needs some help sometimes. When you’ve played your heart out to get to 9-7 in the AFC East, sometimes you gotta cross your fingers and hope the Browns blow their last game to put you into the playoffs.

Pros: Upbeat personality

Cons: Dorky hairstyle

  1. TianaTiana_Disney

Some people might consider the plot of Princess and the Frog to be a bit crass as it revolves around the exchange of sexual favors for money, but obviously the readers of this paper are not the right audience for that kind of moralizing. After all, anybody who isn’t willing to sell their body for money wouldn’t be involved in EIP. Also, as a person who finds complex plots hard to follow, I found the bits about midnight expiration dates confusing.

Pros: Sensible and hard-working

Cons: Pointless antipathy toward dancing

  1. JasminePrincess_Jasmine_disney

Unlike literally every other Disney Princess, Jasmine doesn’t even get the privilege of having her movie named for her. Woof. Also, if voluntourism existed in Agrabah, Jasmine would be the first to sign up. When she’s hanging around the street markets because being a princess wasn’t fun enough, you can bet she’s doing it decked out in some custom $90 Toms and drinking $10 iced kombucha when the Agrabah sun gets too be too hot. The only thing that saves her from being in the double digits is “A Whole New World.”

Pros: Pet tiger

Cons: Basic

  1. MeridaMerida_disney

Is it unreasonable by 21st century standards for a princess to be forced into marriage to the winner of an archery contest? Yes. Is the main conflict of the movie otherwise set off by Merida’s own arrogance and stupidity? Yes. Is there an egregious lack of songs for a supposed Disney princess movie?[2] Yes.

Pros: Dope Scottish accent

Cons: Where is Alan Menken?

  1. RapunzelRapunzel_tangled

As another princess who’s basically a live-in maid, Rapunzel is arguably just an upgraded version of Snow White. But as with Supreme Court decisions, logic and rationality are wholly unnecessary here. Thus, it’s enough for me to say that I think Mandy Moore is underrated.

Pros: Becky with the good hair

Cons: Foreign-sounding name. Probably the child of immigrants who took good American jobs.

  1. BelleBelle_disney

If there’s anything wrong with Belle, it’s that she’s too damn nice. She saves her father, then she saves the Beast, then she saves her father again, and then the Beast again. Girl needs to take some Belle time. Nobody likes a goody two-shoes. Belle also spends the first part of the movie hoping for a more adventurous life beyond the provincial backwater that she lived in, but the movie ends with her and the prince back in the same old castle again. I guess saving a prince cursed to take the form of a beast sated her wanderlust. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Pros: Cares about other people

Cons: Reads too much

  1. ArielAriel_disney

Some people say that The Little Mermaid is anti-feminist because Ariel gives up her voice for a boy, but it’s not like Ariel made it so that her only option of exploring the human world was to give up her voice. That’s the patriarchy denying other her other options. If King Triton just let her go up to the human world, none of the voice-giving-up business ever would’ve happened. As the saying goes, don’t hate the player, hate the patriarchal game. And when Ariel does talk, it’s to sing badass songs like Part of Your World and Part of Your World (Reprise). And let me just say that Ariel is a person who’s always looked outward[3] and never would’ve voted for Brexit. Also, unlike most of the rest of the people on this list and especially unlike that interloper Mulan, Ariel is a princess by birth and by marriage, making her doubly legit. The dumbest part about The Little Mermaid is when they dress Ariel up in that goddamn Princess Diana wedding gown, which looked stupid on Princess Diana and doesn’t look any better on a mermaid. Poofy sleeves were a bad idea in Anne of Green Gables and they still are.

Pros: Can breathe underwater and talk to animals

Cons: Declines to do either for half the movie

*Anna and Elsa are not official Disney Princesses®, though they are obviously Disney characters who are princesses. If I were to rank them, Anna would definitely be in the top 3, even though sometimes she’s a Flynnian “cool girl” and kinda dumb, while Elsa would be somewhere in the double digits for screwing over a whole kingdom because she felt too stressed out.

Jim An is a 2L.


[1] I have been told this is completely unrealistic as there are no cliffs or waterfalls near Jamestown and likely she would’ve been diving into a mosquito-infested swamp instead.

[2] I realize Brave is technically a Pixar movie, but honestly most Pixar movies would be improved by some Alan Menken.

[3] Basically the Neil Armstrong of merpeople.

Jim An is the editor-in-chief of The Harvard Law Record and a member of the Harvard Law School Class of 2018.

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