Snow White - Adriana Caselotti
Caselotti may have been Disney's first princess, but that wasn't her first role for them. Adriana worked at MGM as a chorus girl in 1935. No one knew what a giant success Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs would become, least of all Caselotti herself, so she signed a contract that had a restriction that ended her career — she was not allowed to appear in any other project (film, TV show, or radio) in order to keep the voice of Snow White untouched by any other character. Tom Perkins shares:
"For the role of Snow White Adriana was paid $970 ($15,913 today) without realizing it was going to be such a big hit."
Outside of a few uncredited roles, Caselotti's voice was lost with the release of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs. Thankfully, three years before her death in 1997, Caselotti was awarded the Disney Legend award for her outstanding work in the role of Snow White.
Cinderella - Ilene Woods
Up against more than 300 other auditioners, Woods got the role of Cinderella after Walt Disney heard her sing the songs "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo," "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes," and "So This is Love." Woods spent much of her career as a spokeswoman for the United Cerebral Palsy telethons and in 1972 retired, but continued to appear for the occasional autograph and, much later, in shows, such as her last performance in the Touched By An Angel episode "Cassie's Choice," where she played a night nurse. In 2003, she was awarded a Disney Legend award for her voice work on Cinderella. Woods died in 2010, after suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
Aurora - Mary Costa
In 1952, Costa auditioned for the part of Aurora in Disney's Sleeping Beauty. Walt Disney personally called (within hours of the audition) to let her know that she had gotten the part. Costa went on to a career in opera, performing in 44 operatic roles throughout the world, as well as with the likes of Bing Crosby, Sergio Franchi, Frank Sinatra, and Sammy Davis Jr. Her additional movie credits include The Big Caper (1957), Marry Me Again (1953), The Great Waltz (1972), and Titus Andronicus (2000). Costa was honored with a Disney Legend award in 1999.
Ariel - Jodi Benson
Though Ariel was one of Benson's first roles with Disney, it would not be her last time voicing the character. She also went on to voice other characters such as Weebo (Flubber), Belle (A Christmas Carol), Barbie (Toy Story 2 & 3), and Sam (Enchanted), among others roles. She also has an exciting Broadway career on her resume. Benson continues her work currently in the pre-production of Toy Story 4. Benson was honored with a Disney Legend award in 2011.
Belle - Paige O'Hara
Beginning her career in the Broadway show Showboat (as Ellie May Chipley), O'Hara made her Disney debut in Beauty And The Beast, in which she voiced Belle. Though she was eventually replaced by Julie Nathanson as the voice of Belle due to her voice changing significantly over the 20 years that she voiced the role, she continues to paint Belle for Disney Fine Art and continues to do promotional appearances for Disney. O'Hara was honored with a Disney Legend Award in 2011.
Jasmine - Linda Larkin (speaking)/Lea Salonga (singing)
No stranger to the movie and television world, Larkin is probably best known for providing the speaking voice of Princess Jasmine in Aladdin (and Aladdin sequels and spin-offs) and in the Kingdom Hearts video game series. Ironically, Larkin reportedly had to lower her voice because Disney said that her voice was too high for the role of Jasmine. Outside of continuing to voice the character of Jasmine, from Disney on Ice to Disney Infinity, you may recognize her voice from projects such as Runaway Bride, Grand Theft Auto V, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Larkin was honored as a Disney Legend in 2011.
Lea Salonga, a Filipina singer and actress best known for her roles in musical theater, is the only person to bring the singing voices of two Disney Princesses to life: Jasmine in Aladdin, and Mulan in Mulan. Along with her impressive musical resume, Salonga is a Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist and a coach/judge for The Voice Of The Philippines. She was named a Disney Legend in 2011 for her work with Disney. Salonga continues to tour globally in her continued musical theater career.
Pocahontas - Irene Bedard (speaking)/Judy Kuhn (singing)
Irene Bedard has played many Native American characters in a variety of films, having won many awards to boot. However, her most notable role was as the voice of Pocahontas in Pocahontas and its sequel Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World. She did such a great job that she was also the physical model for that character. Bedard is well known for bringing a powerful emotional presence to her characters and in 1995 she was chosen as one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People." As many of you know, I am a huge superhero fan, so it would be foolhardy of me not to mention her roles as Jean DeWolff in The Spectacular Spider-Man and Shelly Longshadow in Young Justice: Invasion.
The spectacular voice of four-time Tony Award nominee Judy Kuhn brought to life the Academy Award winning Best Original Song, "Colors of the Wind." Kuhn has continued her well rounded career in musical theater where she is currently playing the role of Helen Bechdel in the 2015 Broadway production of Fun Home.
Mulan - Ming-Na Wen (speaking)/Lea Salonga (singing)
Ming-Na Wen has had a stunningly diverse career since starting in 1993, and voicing Mulan in Mulan and Mulan II isn't the most impressive. With roles in shows like ER, The Batman, Stargate Universe, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the handful of video games, Ming-Na Wen continues to wow audiences with her wide variety of talents.
As mentioned above, Lea Salonga is the only person to bring the singing voices of two Disney Princesses to life: Jasmine in Aladdin and Mulan in Mulan. Salonga continues to tour globally in her continued musical theater career.
Tiana - Anika Noni Rose
Perhaps best known for her Tony Award-winning performance in the Broadway production of "Caroline, or Change" or her dynamic role as Lorrell Robinson in Dreamgirls, Rose beautifully voiced the role of Tiana in The Princess And The Frog in 2009 and was named a Disney Legend in 2011. In 2014, Rose was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for the role of Beneatha Younger in the Broadway revival of A Raisin In The Sun. She continues her acting career on stage, film, and television, with her most recent role being Kizzy in A+E's remake of Roots.
Rapunzel - Mandy Moore
Moore first became a celebrity with her debut single, "Candy," in 1999 peaking the Billboard Hot 100 at number 41. She continued her singing career with six album releases and is apparently working on a seventh. In 2001, Moore started her acting career with Dr. Dolittle 2 and quickly rose to be recognizable in the film industry. In 2010, Moore voiced Rapunzel in the CGI animated film Tangled. On top of continuing to voice the role of Rapunzel on various platforms, she also continues her work with Disney in the show Sheriff Callie's Wild West in the role of Callie.
Merida - Kelly Macdonald
Having a very busy career since her first role in Trainspotting in 1996, Macdonald was no stranger to movies when she voiced Princess Merida in Brave in 2012. On top of her 56 episode run with Boardwalk Empire, Macdonald has also had roles in films such as Finding Neverland, Nanny McPhee, No Country For Old Men, and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (just to name a few). In my opinion, Macdonald is one of the most talented people on this list and I hope we see more of this multiple award winning actress in the future.
Anna - Kristen Bell
After her long standing career on stage and television, Bell had her first film role as the title character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall in 2008. After appearing in many romantic comedies and voicing Lucy Stillman in the Assassin's Creed video game series, Bell's voicing of Princess Anna in the critically acclaimed Frozen has made her one of today's most recognizable celebrities. She continues her acting and voice work in recent and upcoming films such as The Boss, Zootopia, and Bad Moms.
Elsa - Idina Menzel
Idina Menzel may be most popular among families for her voicing of Queen Elsa in Frozen, but Menzel has earned her place in the hearts of many musical going fans for her spectacular roles in shows like RENT, Wicked, and If/Then, as well as her roles in shows such as Enchanted and Glee. Having won many awards for many of these, this is another name that we won't be forgetting anytime soon.
Moana - Auli’i Cravalho
Our next Disney Princess is being played by 14-year-old Native Hawaiian Auli'i Cravalho. Little is known about this actress and the film, but a character synopsis (on wikipedia) will help point us in the direction toward what to expect from Moana, set for release Nov. 23, 2016:
Auli'i Cravalho as Moana Waialiki, the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators, who sets sail to an island with a demi-god to help her family.
Who is your favorite Disney Princess?
Sources: Wikipedia, Disney, Huffingtonpost