Guide to the Disney Princesses

Who Are the Disney Princesses?

Merida, Jasmine, Snow White, Fa Mulan, Aurora, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Tiana, Belle, Ariel, Rapunzel
The Disney Princesses from left to right: Merida, Jasmine, Snow White, Fa Mulan, Aurora, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Tiana, Belle, Ariel and Rapunzel. Walt Disney Company

The Disney Princesses as a collective group were unveiled in early 2001. Every few years, another one has been added, with the official count at ten -- Cinderella, Ariel, Aurora, Snow White, Belle, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, and Jasmine.

Despite the name, princesses aren't required to necessary be royal or related to royalty -- Mulan for one. Princesses are supposed to embody all the best in girls -- they are intelligent, kind and beautiful. Princesses also have lovely singing voices and can talk to animals. While the princesses have appeared together in various DVDs and other Disney events -- parades, ice shows, etc. -- they have never appeared together in a full-length motion picture, although each stars in her own.

Little Mermaid -- Ariel

Little Mermaid Ariel - Disney Little Mermaid Ariel
Little Mermaid Ariel was featured in three movies -- The Little Mermaid, The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, and The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning. Walt Disney

She was a mermaid who only wanted to be human. Youngest daughter of King Triton, friend to Flounder and responsibility of Sebastian. And when she fell in love with a prince, she was willing to trade her most prized possession -- her voice -- so she could be with him. Ariel stars in three animated Disney movies: The Little Mermaid (compare prices), The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (compare prices), and The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning (compare prices). Married to Prince Eric, they have one daughter, Melody. (Incidentally, Ariel is the only princess to have a child.)

Sleeping Beauty -- Aurora

Sleeping Beauty Aurora
Sometimes Sleeping Beauty Aurora wears blue, other times she's in pink, as seen here. The change comes thanks to the fairies Fauna and Merryweather who can't agree on the same color. Walt Disney

As a baby, Princess Aurora, daughter of King Stefan and Queen Leah, was visited by three good fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, who each present the newborn with a gift. Flora gives the gift of beauty and Fauna the gift of song. Before Merryweather can bestow her best wishes, evil fairy Maleficent arrives, angry she wasn't invited. She puts a curse on Aurora, saying that on her 16th birthday, Aurora will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. While Merryweather can't reverse the curse, she adds the stipulation that Aurora will not die, but instead fall asleep that can only be awakened by true love's kiss.

From that moment on, the newly named Briar Rose lives in hiding with her "aunts" unaware of her fate. Despite the best efforts of all involved, she does indeed prick her finger on the day she turns 16, and falls into a deep sleep. Only until Prince Philip comes along, does Aurora awaken and the pair gets their "happily ever after." She stars in the full-length film Sleeping Beauty (compare prices) as well as on some episodes of House of Mouse.

Beauty and the Beast -- Belle

Beauty and the Beast Belle - Disney Beauty and the Best Belle
In Beauty and the Beast, Belle is a intelligent, free-thinker who manages to charm the Beast while falling in love with him. Walt Disney

The first thing you need to know about Belle from the film Beauty and the Beast (compare prices)? She loves books. Loves them. Belle lives with her father in a small French town. She's considered an outsider because she'd rather spend her time reading than doing much else. She's beautiful, though, and catches the eye of the town bully, Gaston. When Belle's father, Maurice, gets lost one night, it's Belle who sets out to look for him. She finds him held captive by the Beast and offers up her own freedom in exchange for her father's. While in the Beast's castle, she meets a bunch of enchanted objects who can walk, talk and sing. With their support, her stay isn't so bad, and soon enough she finds herself developing a friendship with the Beast, who has a great stake in earning Belle's favor.

Sequels to the first movie include The Enchanted Christmas (compare prices) and Belle's Magical World (compare prices).

Cinderella -- Cinderella

Cinderella Movie - Disney Princess Cinderella
In Disney's Cinderella movie, Cinderella finds her Prince Charming and loses a glass slipper. Walt Disney

She's who you think of when someone says the word princess. Cinderella, she of the wicked stepmothers, wickeder stepsisters and glass slippers. With one flick of a magic wand, her fairy godmother suddenly granted the sweet maid hope again. In the first Cinderella film (compare prices) Cinderella is living a life of servitude with her stepmother, Lady Tremaine, and stepsisters Anastasia and Drizella. When every young woman in the kingdom is invited to a ball at the castle to meet Prince Charming, Cinderella attempts at attending are thwarted by her jealous family. But with her Fairy Godmother to the rescue, Cinderella not only goes to the ball but also wins the heart of the prince. When she loses her glass slipper in her haste to get home before midnight, all is almost lost. But truth and true love prevail when a kingdom-wide search for the special girl finds her.

Sequels include Cinderella II: Dreams Come True (compare prices) and Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.

Aladdin -- Jasmine

Aladdin Jasmine - Disney Aladdin Jasmine
In Aladdin, Jasmine is a princess who wishes she could escape the confines of royal life. She meets Aladdin and is suddenly introduced to "A Whole New World.". Walt Disney

In the feature film Aladdin (compare prices), the traditional Disney princess "formula" is upended a little -- the heroine, Jasmine, already knows she is a princess and longs for a life away from the castle. Through a series of events, she meets a homeless beggar, Aladdin, and with his help (and that of a Genie), the pair are able to overthrow the evil Jafar.
Sequels include The Return of Jafar (compare prices) and Aladdin and the King of Thieves (compare prices).

Brave -- Merida

All about the Disney Princess, Merida from the animated movie
Headstrong and stubborn, Merida is the animated star of the Disney Pixar movie "Brave.". Walt Disney Company

In the Disney Pixar animated feature Brave (compare prices), Merida, the daughter of Queen Elinor and King Fergus, is a tomboy who lives in the Scottish Highlands. While her mother wants her to be the perfect princess, Merida has other ideas, preferring to ride her horse, or practice archery or fencing instead. Determined to take her fate into her own hands, Merida proves to be one of the strongest, determined princesses of them all.

Mulan -- Fa Mulan

Mulan Fa Mulan - Disney Mulan Fa Mulan
In Mulan, Fa Mulan is not a "typical" Disney princess. Walt Disney

In the motion picture Mulan, (compare prices), not only does is the title character not a princess, but she pretends to be a man! When China is invaded, one male in every family must serve in the army. To protect her father, Mulan disguises herself, in the process, risking her life. Along with her friend and protector Mushu (a small dragon), Captain Li Shang, and soldiers Ling, Yao, and Chien Po, they train and fight. After she is injured, Mulan's true identity is revealed, and she is expelled from the army. After the Emperor is kidnapped, Mulan devises a plan to save him. While worried that she will be in trouble for her actions, she is honored for her heroism.

Mulan II (compare prices) is the sequel.

Pocahontas -- Pocahontas

All about Pocahontas from the Disney movie Pocahontas.
Pocahontas from the Disney movie Pocahontas is based on a real historical figure. Walt Disney

In Pocahontas (compare prices), Captain John Smith and Governor John Ratcliffe travel with settlers from the Virginia Company to North America. They land in Virginia and begin digging for gold. Their actions pique the curiosity of Pocahontas, the daughter of Indian Chief Powhatan who has been watching them. They soon meet and fall in love. Their love is not looked upon favorably, though, as Pocahontas has been promised to warrior Kocoum by her father and the settlers believe the natives are keeping the gold for themselves. A battle ensues, and Kocoum is killed with John accused of his murder. Before he can be executed, Pocahontas appeals to her father and saves him. John is still injured though and the movie ends with John returning to England for medical treatment.

The sequel is Pocahontas ll: Journey to a New World (compare prices) and continues the story while exploring the brave nature of this princess.

Tangled -- Rapunzel

Tangled Rapunzel - Disney Tangled Rapunzel
In the Disney movie Tangled, Rapunzel is a princess on a mission. Walt Disney

The Disney animated feature -- -- features the one of the newer princess, Rapunzel as a kind, sweet, sassy young girl who wants nothing more than to leave the tower that she's been living in for 18 years. She gets unexpected help from Flynn Rider, a thief who helps her escape and inadvertently discover her real life -- she's a princess, kidnapped from her parents by an elderly woman who keeps Rapunzel nearby for the magical properties that her long hair possess.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs -- Snow White

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is Walt Disney's first animated motion picture. Walt Disney

Snow White -- the woman who started it all, the very first princess, the heroine of Walt Disney's first animated motion picture, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (compare prices). The movie has it all -- a lovely, orphaned princess; an evil stepmother; a talking mirror; a handsome prince and seven adorable, sweet, dependable friends. There are wonderful songs ("I'm Wishing," "Whistle While You Work" and "Some Day My Prince Will Come" to name a few) that have become ingrained in our popular culture while the movie itself was named to the American Film Institute as the number one animated film of all-time.

Princess and the Frog -- Tiana

Princess and the Frog Tiana - Disney Princess and the Frog Tiana
In the Disney movie The Princess and the Frog, Tiana becomes a Princess -- after she becomes a frog first!. Walt Disney

When Maldonian prince Naveen is transformed into a frog by evil voodoo magician Dr. Facilier, it's the kiss of a princess that will break the spell. The problem is that he mistakes Tiana for royalty when she isn't, and soon there are two frogs instead of one. That's the premise of The Princess and the Frog (compare prices), an animated film featuring Disney's first African-American princess. Tiana is incredibly independent and hard working -- the beginning of the movie finds her working two jobs so she can open her own restaurant. The movie takes place in New Orleans and across Louisiana.

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