ByKarina Thyra, writer at
a Truebie, X-Men Fan, a fangirl of sorts, stalker. Twitter:@ArianaGsparks
Karina Thyra

What does it take to become a Princess? Is it just about beauty and kindness? Being born into royalty or marrying one?

Before the Renaissance era of Disney movies we only seemed to have princesses who were mistreated, but their beauty and kindness eventually saved them from a rough life. That is, until Mulan came along, a heroine which redefined what it means to be a Disney Princess.

So basically, to become a Disney Princess, the character would have to either be royal by birth, by marriage, or considered a princess through heroic deeds. There might be issues with a how well their movie performed in the box office, but that's an article on its own.

Brave and Frozen went in depth with the responsibility behind the title of a princess — because it's more than just a crown. Over the years, we've had a variety of Disney movies both animated and live-action with awesome women that makes us wonder why they aren't in the Disney Princess line-up. As of 2015, there are only 11, yes 11 official Disney princesses, which includes Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora from the Classic Era: Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, and Mulan from the Renaissance era: Tiana, Rapunzel, and Merida in the Modern era. Princess Anna of Arandelle isn't even a part of it!

Below are 15 Disney characters that the House of Mouse should definitely add into that official Disney Princess list.

1. Megara

  • First Appearance: Hercules (1997)
  • Other Appearances: Hercules The Animated Series (1998), Disney's House of Mouse (special guest)
  • Voiced by: Susan Egan

Why she deserves to be a Disney Princess:

While the Disney movie certainly glossed over parts of the Greek mythology in which the movie and Megara's character was based, Meg was technically a princess. She wasn't merely a slave of Hades: she was the eldest daughter of King Creon. In the Greek mythology, the king offered Megara to Hercules after super-abs defeated the Minyans at Orchomenos. And if we're going by the Disney canon, Hercules is the son of Zeus and Hera — he married Meg — boom! Princess!

Aside from the royal qualifications, Meg is smart, sassy, courageous, independent, and is a total badass!

2. Esmeralda

  • First Appearance: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
  • Other Appearances: The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (2002)
  • Voiced by: Demi Moore

Why she deserves to be a Disney Princess:

If Mulan is the hero of China, Esmeralda is the hero Paris! Even though she's not born into royalty or married into one, she definitely deserves to be in the line-up for her heroism. Not only is she a social justice warrior, she also saved Quasimodo and her people from the tyranny of Frollo. Esmeralda is a beauty, she's smart, she sings, she has a heart of gold, and she can definitely put anyone in their place!

3. Princess Leia

  • First Appearance: Star Wars (1977)
  • Other Appearances: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) ; Star Wars Rebels
  • Portrayed by: Carrie Fisher (films); Julie Dolan (Star Wars Rebels)

Why she deserves to be a Disney Princess:

When George Lucas sold his production company to Disney, it was perfectly understandable why Star Wars fans would be upset. On the bright side though, General Leia could become a new Disney Princess of intergalactic awesomeness. Character rights aside, General Leia is a royalty, a natural-born leader, a great fighter, a genius, and a powerful force-user. She might not want to be called "princess" anymore, but a lot of little girls (and perhaps boys) need a unifying force that proves Disney princesses aren't "lame."

4. Princess Kida

  • First Appearance: Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
  • Other Appearances: Atlantis: Milo's Return (2003)
  • Voiced by: Cree Summer

Why she deserves to be a Disney Princess:

Princess Kida was designed to be different from the get-go. She's a warrior princess, not a damsel in distress, and that is evident not just in her looks, but also her actions. She also would have been the oldest Disney Princess (if not in Atlantean years) being in her mid-20s in human years. Kida is occasionally affiliated to the Disney princess line-up, and even though she became the queen by the end of the movie, her successful restoration to the glory of Atlantis and its citizens would make her an excellent addition to the Disney princess list.

5. Princess Anna

  • First Appearance: Frozen (2013)
  • Other Appearances: Frozen Fever (2015)
  • Voiced by: Kristen Bell

Why she deserves to be a Disney Princess:

Anna deserves to be a Disney Princess because she has all the royal qualifications — talent, beauty, kindness, and courage. Sure, she was a *little* naive at first — being locked up for over a decade in their kingdom would do that to anyone — but she redeemed herself in the end, sacrificing herself for the greater good. And if not for the obvious reasons, Frozen also earned billions in the box office and already has a sequel on the way. Frozen itself could be a separate money-maker from the Disney-princess line-up because Elsa & Anna are already incredibly popular on their own, but it would still be amazing if the Princess of Arandelle gets to be an official princess in The House of Mouse as well.

6. Nani Pelekai

  • First Appearance: Lilo&Stitch (2002)
  • Other Appearances: Stitch! The Movie (2003) Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (2005)
  • Voiced by: Tia Carrere

Why she deserves to be a Disney Princess

Nani isn't of royal birth, nor did she marry a prince, but she is certainly a hero. Aside from raising Lilo since the day their parents died, she literally had to grow up early in order to provide for the both of them. She puts Lilo's interests above her own, she's fierce, she's smart, she surfs, and when she let those aliens live under her roof, she becomes the breadwinner for a very unconventional ohana. Still, being the most admirable and realistic animated Disney character, Nani is an admirable role model deserving to be part of the Disney princess list.

7. Jane Porter

  • First Appearance: Tarzan (1999)
  • Other Appearances: Tarzan & Jane (2002) ; The Legend of Tarzan (Animated)
  • Voiced by: Minnie Driver (original film)

Why she deserves to be a Disney Princess:

Jane Porter, even though she isn't born into royalty deserves to be a Disney princess because of her heroic deeds; how many Disney princesses have shown interest in conserving and protecting wildlife, risking their own life in the process? Though at first Jane seemed like an impossible character, she quickly adapted and was more in tune with the jungle than back in her upper-class English life. Jane Porter was actually introduced as the newest Disney princess back in November 1999 by the official magazine in the UK. Was Jane's dethronement of sorts was because she leveled up and became the "queen" of the jungle? Or was it because she bears a striking resemblance to Belle? Either way, Disney has to reconsider her to rejoin the ranks of the princesses!

8. Nancy Tremaine

  • First Appearance: Enchanted (2007)
  • Other Appearances: Enchanted 2 (???)
  • Portrayed by: Idina Menzel

Why she deserves to be a Disney Princess:

One of those qualifications to be an official Disney Princess is to be the main female protagonist in a movie; Giselle would have been an obvious choice here, but hear me out. Giselle was almost close to become a part of the official Disney princesses, however the studio would have to pay Amy Adams royalties for the likeness of the character. They would have to do the same should Nancy become one, but I'm here to say that Nancy deserves that spot more than Giselle? Why?

Giselle never married Prince Edward. It was Nancy that got to marry the man she just met (but fell in love with). Marrying into royalty aside, even though Nancy got Cinderella's stepmother's surname, she's nothing like the nasty Lady Tremaine. She's smart, she's ambitious, but she's also kind and selfless. It would hurt to see your long-term boyfriend kiss someone else at a ball, but in order to save the woman, Nancy let Robert do it! And well, she had her own happily-ever after. Plus, when she married Edward in Andalasia, she became animated so she'd fit perfectly in Disney's animated princesses!

9. Mia Thermopolis

  • First Appearance: Princess Diaries (2001)
  • Other Appearances: Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)
  • Portrayed by: Anne Hathaway

Why she deserves to be a Disney Princess:

Living a somewhat mundane life, bullied for your looks, all-around awkward teenager, and you find out that your grandmother is a queen? Shut up! Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi is living every little girl's dream; finding out that your grandmother has come to fetch and groom you to be a crown princess is like Disney's equivalent of that coveted Hogwarts letter.

Since the first film, Mia matured a lot: even though she is still learning she overcame all her critics and proved that she can hold her own as their future queen. And you know what? Long before Queen Elsa or even Merida for that matter, Mia was I think, the first one who defied tradition wanting to become queen without a husband. Because why not? If a man doesn't have to marry to become king, then a future queen is defined by her choices and abilities, not by who is on her arm.

10. Elizabeth Swann

  • First Appearance: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
  • Other Appearances: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) ; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)
  • Portrayed by: Keira Knightley

Why she deserves to be a Disney Princess:

If the Disney fairies can have a rogue Pirate Fairy, then certainly, the Disney Princesses could use another badass pirate. Long before she was Elizabeth Turner, Pirate Captain and Pirate Lord of the South China Sea, she was only seen as the beautiful Governor's daughter: she fantasizes about the adventures in the ocean, and even though it was a hard fare, she somehow made her dreams come true.

Elizabeth is a prime example of a woman who knows her priorities, and her wants and do anything to accomplish it. Like many Disney princesses in this list (and even in the official one), she is independent and speaks her mind and she doesn't give a damn about gender roles and social restrictions.

11. Alice

  • First Appearance: Alice in Wonderland (1951), Alice in Wonderland (2010 live-action)
  • Other Appearances: Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)
  • Voiced by: Kathryn Beaumont (1951)
  • Portrayed by: Mia Wasikowska (live-action film)

Why she deserves to be a Disney Princess:

Alice has long been associated with the Disney Princesses, I dare say she's an honorary (or unofficial) if her being included in some of the Disney Princess sing-a-longs is anything to go by. If her being a kid in the animated film is a problem, then on Disney's live-action canon she's definitely old enough to be a Disney princess! I mean she slew a jabberwocky! That, and the first live-action film was also mega-successful.

12. Princess Melody

  • First Appearance: The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (2000)
  • Voiced by: Tara Strong

Why she deserves to be a Disney Princess:

Being in a direct-to-video sequel is one of the reasons why Princess Melody couldn't be an official Disney princess. But being the only daughter of an official Disney princess, she should be considered one. Or Disney could create a franchise specifically for young royalties like Princess Melody. What's the purpose of introducing royal (or non-royal) female main protagonists if they're not going to be in a group uniting them like the Disney Princess franchise?

13. Princess Eilonwy

  • First Appearance: The Black Cauldron (1985)
  • Voiced by: Susan Sheridan

Why she deserves to be a Disney Princess:

Like nearly all of the Disney princesses who were based in fairytales, Princess Eilonwy was based off Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain book series which were also based from Welsh mythology. Had the film been financially successful, was done right, and there were no copyright issues — the headstrong princess would have been the youngest official Disney princess at 12! And I daresay, she deserved that title more than Snow White. It's time to revive this character for this generation, Disney!

14. Quorra

  • First Appearance: Tron: Legacy (2010)
  • Portrayed by: Olivia Wilde

Why she deserves to be a Disney Princess:

Quorra's story is as fairytale-like as they come. She might as well be Disney's first digital princess. Her story is almost like that of Rapunzel from Tangled, being the last ISO — the miracle — if you will. She is selfless and determined, and she even helped Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) find his dad. Just like Rapunzel by the end of Tangled, she has been freed from The Grid (her castle) and CLU (evil captor), and is free to start a new life in the real world.

15. Moana Waialiki

  • First Appearance: Moana (2016)
  • Voiced by: Auli'i Cravalho

Why she deserves to be a Disney Princess:

I have no doubt that more than anyone else on this list, Moana will be in the running to be the newest official Disney Princess. Yes she's a newbie, and a feisty teenager like Merida, but she has all the admirable traits of nearly all the best of modern and renaissance-era Disney princesses combined. A chief's daughter going against her father's wishes to sail the sea in order to find an island goddess's heart to save her people? To top it off, managed to recruit a stubborn demigod and outsmart monsters along the way? Moana is well on her way to become the newest crowned Disney princess.

It takes a whole awful lot of requirements to become a Disney princess, that much is obvious. More importantly, the Disney Princesses should be a positive role model to represent women and girls around the world. Inner and outer beauty is old news; what we need are smart ,ambitious, feisty, and determined female protagonists of all shapes and sizes, of all age and color. Human, old, young, robot, pirate, equipped with magical abilities — we need variety and we need to add more to the official Disney princesses!

Who would you love to add in the official Disney Princesses line-up?


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