Since I’ve been sick and bedridden for a little while, I watched some Disney movies just to kind of refresh my Disney film knowledge, and let’s face it, to make me feel better. It got me thinking about the “Disney Princess” line, which in turn got me to thinking about Disney Princesses who didn’t make the grade, and was kept out of the limelight.
Show business is fickle, insensitive and sometimes downright cruel. The Mouse is no different from any big film producer when it comes to the stars who help get him to where he is. Below are some ill-used and exploited cartoon princesses, who, because they didn’t sing as well or draw in as many dollars at the box office or were simply forgotten, have been shoved from the Disney A-list and abandoned.
She’s beautiful, perky, sweet; a princess through and through. SO what’s the problem here? I’ll tell you.
This princess was dissed by Disney lawyers! The dollars, always the dollars.
Princess Giselle was *this close* to becoming an “official” Disney Princess, until the lawyers told them that they’d have to pay the actress, Amy Adams, royalties for using her likeness.
No animated/real-life princess is going to have Mickey by his ba– ears. Yeah. By his ears.
If any number shows that Giselle is more than qualified to enter the Princess club, here it is:
No, she didn’t sing any immortal songs or pop-crossovers, and “Atlantis” isn’t among the many classic Disney movies that was marketed to little girls, but it is a great animated film, and still a Disney Classic in my book.
Still, Kida has more right to be named as a Disney Princess than Belle or Tiana considering that she is a Princess by birth. Never mind that in a Disney Princess beauty pageant, she has the upper-hand, especially in the swimsuit category.
One theory as to why she is not marketed as a “Disney Princess” is that after the death of her father she becomes a Queen. Yeah, whatever. Dorks.
I personally think that it’s because she’s a volatile warrior princess, who was once known to kill outsiders on sight. She and King Triton may have some political issues which would make Kida’s proximity to Ariel a bad idea. And she has tattoos, which I suppose doesn’t help her case.
I tried to find a decent video clip featuring Kida, but came up empty, so I settled for a fan-made music video featuring this beautiful, forgotten Princess:
Megara a.k.a. Meg; “Hercules”
One can just take a look at her smug face to see why Mickey passed her up when they were handing out tiaras. (1) She wouldn’t wear a stupid tiara, (2) she has friends in the underworld and (3) she has a mouth on her, that one.
We can argue that, yeah, maybe she isn’t a princess because though she and Hercules (Son of the King of Olympian Gods and therefore a prince) didn’t exactly get married at the end of the movie, I say this: In Greek mythology, Megara was the oldest daughter of Creon, king of Thebes. They named a city after her! What does that make Meg? You got it; another forgotten Disney Princess.
To her credit, she did try and do the “Disney thing” in “Hercules” and belted out something of a love song. She just didn’t have the vocal range of Belle or Ariel. Thankfully she had the Muses for her backup vocals or that song would’ve REALLY sucked. She still gets an A for effort in my book.
It’s not a bad song, and it’s still one of the best numbers in “Hercules”, but poor Meg’s voice is just missing something, and let’s face it, her character isn’t exactly a balladeer. Check the video and decide for yourself.
Not that she cares one way or another.
Eilonwy; “The Black Cauldron”
Everyone’s forgotten “The Black Cauldron”, which makes poor Eilonwy the most dissed and gyped Princess in the world of Disney.
Yeah, she’s like 12 years old, and yeah it does look like my niece dressed up like Snow White before heading out to Disneyland, but Eilonwy is in fact a princess, dag-nabbit!
She is not considered an “official” Disney Princess either because the film bombed like Shaq at the freethrow line or because people at Disney Corporate simply forgot about this unappreciated classic. This one is out on DVD. Grab it, watch it and show Eilonwy some love damn you! One day my petition to give her the title she deserves will be taken seriously!
This video is the best clip I could find. It’ll do. And it has some Voice-Acting bloopers at the end of it. 🙂
Kiara; “The Lion King 2 Simba’s Pride”
What? So if you’re a princess in a straight-to-video sequel you get dissed? Is that how it works over there?
She is the daughter of Simba and Nala, a rightful princess.
I guess it would be hard to make a little-girl’s costume out of this one. But it would be a cute doll, right?
Or is it because she is a wild animal and libel to go claw-crazy and spoil the other princess’s good looks? I guess Jasmine’s pet tiger would have some issues with it as well. Still, credit where it’s due would be nice.
Melody; The Little Mermaid 2 Return to the Sea”
Same argument as before. Yes, she’s in a straight-to-video sequel, but she is the daughter of Ariel and Eric, Granddaughter of Triton and therefore…
You know what, Disney? Don’t let Princesses have kids if you’re not going to go to bat for them! 🙁
I think what really ruined Tarzan’s chances of being a Disney Classic wasn’t the story or the characters or the art. It was Rosie O’Donnel. She wrecks it for Jane, Tarzan and any other character in this movie, simply by being in it.
The ONLY reason I own Tarzan on DVD is to have it, and the only reason I NEVER watch it is that Rosie O’Donnel is an instant showstopper. I don’t mean that as a compliment. Her name and her face instantly makes me grab the remote and change the channel before she starts talking. Her voice just makes me cringe. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. I can’t stand her. Sorry. It is what it is.
Anywhoo… back to the princess thing…
We can argue, but I think I have a strong case for Jane.
Tarzan, as an infant, is adopted by Kala, who’s the mate of Kerchak. Kerchak, as the leader of the gorilla clan (more or less the king). This makes Kala the queen, and Tarzan prince, right?
Tarzan grows up, saves the day and becomes leader of the gorillas (and king of the jungle), Jane hooks up with him… boom… Princess.
Wow, I really am a geek.
Kiala Reno; “Kiala Princess”
By rights this one could be the very first “Kawaii” Disney Princess.
If you’re a foreign princess, say from England or Arabia or Under the Sea, you’re qualified for Disney Princesshood, as long as you’re an American Princess from England, Arabia or Under the Freakin Sea!
Meet Kiala, a Japanese Disney Princess who gets no props from the Mouse, no way, no how!
Here’s how it goes:
“Kiala Princess” is a shōjo (“little female”) fantasy, romance and adventure manga series. In the story, Kilala wishes to become a Princess and find true love. One day, a prince, Rei appears with a Magic Tiara in hand. When her friend, Erica, is kidnapped after winning the Princess Contest at her school, Kilala tries to find her, and uses the Tiara to open a “Gate of Dreams”. From then on, she begins to encounter her idols, the Disney Princesses (Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Belle, Ariel and Jasmine).
She later finds out that they are among the six of Seven Princesses with the power to bring peace to her world, and that she is the last princess. Long story short: She’s one of the girls! She’s a bona-fide Princess with obvious royal friends in high places, so why is The Mouse keeping her down!?
Likey because she doesn’t have a movie yet, but give her time. I look forward to seeing this Princess in American theaters someday.
Oh, who am I kidding? She doesn’t have a chance!
She doesn’t get a video, cause, heh, she’s a manga. 🙁
I’m certian I’m forgettng a few, I usually do, but to give a shout out to a couple other Disney Princesses who aren’t as dissed as the ones I listed, but still have freakin’ rights!
Tiger Lilly; “Peter Pan”
Faline; “Bambi” & “Bambi II”
Nita; “Brother Bear 2”
Mei, Ting-Ting, and Su; “Mulan II”
Aquata, Andrena, Arista, Attina, Adella and Alana; “The Little Mermaid”
Nala; “The Lion King”
Mira Nova; “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command”
While I was doing “research” for this blog post I ran across this cute little “Forgotten Princesses” tribue video. Enjoy! 😀
Love Meg’s picture. “Me, wear a tiara? Talk to the hand.”
Lilly T. says
Great article, Paul! Great videos. But Jane and Kiala, don’t belong. Jane would be queen of the jungle, not princess, and Kiala is just a short-lived Manga series. But you sure did your homework. 😉
I’m going to listen to Episode 7 as soon as it downloads. I’m glad you’re feeling better!
Well here is the thing, if they went to the trouble of inducting Giselle into parades and merchandise and all that business its not as though she is completely without hope to making the jump to at least regularly appearing rare character at the parks so maybe the petition is started to get her back into parks, and from there the campaign naturally swells into her being a regular part of the disney life in the parks at least, who knows what could happen then?
Lilly T. says
Having recently seen Enchanted I have to say that while I like Giselle (she certainly behaves like a Disney Princess) and I get why Paul is beating the drum for her. The sad fact is that Giselle is NOT a princess.
In the film she doesn’t marry the prince, she ends up with a divorce lawyer. In fact it’s the divorce lawyer’s ex-girlfriend that marries the prince, and nobody is campaigning to make her a Disney Princess. :).
While that is true, neither is Mulan, who is among the official princesses.
Mulan however never even came close to being a princess, she was never destined to marry royalty, while Giselle was. Also, if we’re really only going by the actual royalty status, shouldn’t they instead make Nancy a Disney princess? After all she was the one who married prince Edward in the end…
If there’s no petition yet we should make one!
About the comment on Meg’s voice I Would just like to point out that Susan eagen (voice actress of Meg) played belle in the Broadway production of beauty and the beast and she has an amazing voice.
I wonder what went wrong in “Hercules” then. >:)
Either way, I think that we can both agree that she deserves a seat at the Disney Princess table. 🙂
I never undertood how Disney forgot about Kida. She deserves to be one of the princesses.Now, then they have a rapunzel princess. Don’t they have one aready? Seriously, and the Atlantis movie was beautiful! I have it dowloaded along with Atlantis: Milo’s Return. I still can’t believe they never added her to the list. Sure, she didn’t sing any songs like Paul explained, but she had an unbelievable backstory
There is still one more forgotten princess. Princess Odette, from The Swan Princess.
The Swan Princess wasn’t Disney! But that is definitely one of my favorite animated movies 🙂
@Christina: The Swan Princess wasn’t Disney! So they might have a wee bit of trouble if they tried to include her!! 🙂
Also, I always thought Esmeralda from hunchback of notre dame should have been in there- she’s sort of a gypsy princess and she’s awesome! And she fits in with Disney’s blatant “include-minorities” agenda: one African-American (Tiana), one native American (pocahontas), one Chinese (Mulan- and please, she’s not even close to being a princess!), one middle eastern/Arabian (jasmine), one red-head (ok, that’s not a race, but it’s still a minority 😛 ). And they let Alice & Mulan in – what makes them Princesses?!
Now, now. There’s nothing wrong with political correctness.
If every Disney Princess was a white girl it would be boring. I like that they have people from different races and cultures, and I like to see Disney explore them artistically.
I think Tiana is a huge step forward for Disney. Yes, she’s black. She’s also the only modern American Disney Princess, a career woman who has no respect for a Prince who doesn’t get off his a$$. That’s something I would want my own daughter to emulate. And it’s something I would want my son to look for in a wife. I think it’s something everybody can admire. 😉
Why don’t the non-Disney Princesses such as Fiona, Anastasia, Thumbelina, and Odette get together and create their own franchise? Sure they’re by different companies, but they could make so much more money if they had theme parks or little girls’ merchandise from shoes to toothbrushes to rival the Mouse House’s. Maybe we could we start a petition?
and like what would the franchise be called “Non-Disney Princesses by former Disney artists” Since the company Dreamworks, was started by someone who worked at Disney and Anastasia and Thumblina were done by Don Bluth and he worked at Disney until mid-way though Fox and the Hound movie. So did The Swan Princess’s director Richard Rich.
Not to offend you but I don’t think Giselle should count. I mean she’s awesome and everything but by the end of Enchanted it was Nancy that had married the prince. Thus she was the princess in that movie and NOT Giselle.
Well you have to remember that the 6 princesses are the oldest/classic princesses and are a lot more memorable than any of the others. I also don’t think animal characters should get the title of princess :-\ That just seems kind of stupid to me. And when a little girl wants a Disney Princess room are you seriously going to put all the female characters on their wall? They wouldn’t be able to remember half of them. They’d probably ask you every day all the character’s names. That would be pretty annoying. I also don’t like that they put the newer princess from “The Princess and the Frog” in with the classic 6. Just because she’s black? How does that put her in with the top 6? Not trying to sound racist but out of all the other characters they picked her… seems kinda stupid. Her style doesn’t fit in, she’s too new age, not classic.
You make a good point, but I disagree.
To me, there are actually there are 3 “classic” princesses. Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora. After Sleeping Beauty (1959) it will be another 30 years before another “Disney Princess” appears, Ariel (1989).
I don’t put the “new 7” in with the first three because, they don’t bring the Disneyness the way Snow, Cindy and Aurora do. They’re all great (except Pocahontas, I don’t like her), they deserve the honors (and marketing campaigns) Disney gives them, but “classic” they are not.
Wait between 15 and 30 years, and then, maybe, you can start calling them “classic”. 🙂
Now about Tiana. I don’t understand what you mean by “new age”. Tiana’s story takes place in 1926. She is the most modern of the Princesses, if modern is what you meant by “new age”, and I don’t think that’s something to complain about.
And it’s not an afterthought. Disney didn’t say “OH S(beep)T! LOOK! Tiana’s BLACK! Let’s make her a Disney Princess or people will think we’re racists!!”
Before an artist put pencil to sketchpad some big shot at Disney said, “We need an African-American Princess”. Probably out of a sense of fairness. If Saudi Arabia (full of people who want nothing more than for America to be consumed by hellfire) gets a princess, I think it’s time for an African American. Give Disney credit.
And they gave us an American Princess that embodies the American soul. Of all of them, I would want my kids to learn from her if any of them. How many Disney Princesses have the character arc where she actually has to stop being such a workoholic, slow down and enjoy life?
You say she doesn’t fit in, but I’ll submit to you that Tiana comes closer to the first, classic three than any before her, going back to the mermaid.
All of the three “classic” princesses are hard working; cooking and cleaning slavishly. AND all of them do the work without complaint.
Ask Ariel to cook something and she’ll probably splash you! Maybe Belle read a cookbook once in her life, but she’s got magical kitchen appliances that do that s(beep)t for her. Jasmine might steal an apple from the bazaar, but hand her a mop and she’ll have that Tiger of hers maul you! Pocahontas will be painting with the wind or swimming in the rivers, communing with nature or some s(beep)t while the rest of her tribe tend the crops and hunts the animals! Mulan will be practicing Kung Fu and Rapunzel will be finger painting, brushing and brushing and brushing her hair and doing pretty much anything but work.
It’s Tiana, of all of them, that has the most to admire and look up to: two jobs and a dream of making her own business. How many princesses actually put their charming princes to work? One. Tiana.
Excuse me? Mulan was saving China. The whole thing. She stopped the Hun army, saved the emporor personally, and took out Shan Yu with the help of Mushu and Shang and the guys. So please don’t diss Mulan, she’s about as “workaholic” as it gets.
The rest I agree with, aside from Pocahontas, they probably haven’t worked a day in their animated lives.
Did you know that the original, non-Disney Mulan was offered a command position in the Chinese army and turned it down to go home, get married, and be a “proper Chinese woman”? In another telling the emperor plots to kill her, so she kills herself to show him up? (See my article http://www.disgeek.com/disney-story-origins1)
Also, Mulan is not a princess or even close to becoming one except that DIsney needed an Asian in the Princess Line. Mulan’s working class so fine, she works. Still, I’ll dis her back and forth, because she shouldn’t even be part of the discussion. 😉
Um hello, you do realize that until the events of Beauty and the Beast, Belle ONLY LIVED WITH HER FATHER. So its highly suspected she would have to cook his meals for the two of them. Actually in the well-known Beauty and the Beast story (pre-Disney), Belle was basically was a Cinderella kind of charrie for her blood sisters. Look up the French “La Belle and the Bete”
Jasmine had servants, so why would she need to work?
Mulan’s an honorary princess because of the crest the emperor gave her.
Rapunzel can freaking’ cook did you not pay attention to the first song in the movie, as well as mop, and sew, make candles,etc?
The majority of Rapunzel’s opening number was cleaning and cooking.
“Seven a.m. the usual morning line up.
Start with the chores and sweep ’til the floor’s all clean
Polish and wax, do laundry and mop and shine up
Also, both her parents were royalty. Your opinion on this matter is no longer of relevance.
EXCUSE ME? Rapunzel (tangled) is as classic if not more classic than tiana (princess and the frog) and like “Linda” and “Anne” said, she did do work and even though the movie is new, their story is old and very much a classic!
im not sure if im right or wrong, but shouldn’t sally from disneys nightmare before christmas be classed as a disney princess because jack skelington is the king of halloween and if people are making exception for jane cause tarzan king of the jungle then sally should be classed as one. she also posesses most of the princess like qualities 🙂 i may be wrong i just wanted to mention it because i havn’t seen anyone else mention it 🙂
I disagree. I don’t think anyone with removeable limbs should be put in the disney princess francise.
i dont know if pixar counts, but Atta from it’s a bugs life ! 🙂
The Stylish One says
I don’t care about Fiona after she became an ogre, but Anastasia is my favorite princess (she was the best-dressed of them all). Kida is also top favorite and it’s unfair that nobody remembers her. On the other hand, I’d like to commemorate Esmeralda, who although not being even slightly royal, or marrying a prince or anything, has the most amazing soundtrack of all Disney movies.
Fiona is from Dreamworks and Anastasia is from Fox. They are not Disney characters.
Pinay Chick says
You forgot Maid Marian! She married Robin Hood (aka The Prince of Thieves) and was also related to King Richard. So she most DEFINITELY counts!
Shelby Letner says
Yes! I was hoping someone would mention her! I mean, she’s pretty much exactly the same story as that other Japanese girl listed (at least in KH1). Though I suppose Disney doesn’t own her…it was more of a collaboration.
Disney Geek says
Wow! I didn’t realize how many princesses there were that didn’t make the cut! I mean, I noticed they weren’t there, but still, that’s a lot! I just hope that the new princess ” Sophia” form SOPHIA THE FIRST doesn’t get added into the group….
What are you talking about? She’s awesome! Show some stinkin sisterhood!
anastasia is not a disney princess.
You forgot a forgotten princess! Ella from ella enchanted! Seriously, check the vids before you post em!
Scott Jesienouski says
I guess she is now, but I can deny it until the movies come out.
Is Esmeralda from the movie ”The Hunchback Of Notre Dame”one of the forgotten Disney princesses?
Dramione > Drapple says
If I may, I would like to add little Vandellope von Schweetz from Wreck – It Ralph and little Sofia in Sofia the First.
So in all our votes and Disney’s original Princesses, there are:
Merida (Yes, her)
Anna (who the heck is she?)
Elsa (She’s the sister of Anna, I mean c’mon!!)
Ting – Ting
that many princesses? Can’t we just categorize them?
I mean, Yeah, sure they’re all princesses but some of them may not even be a true blood Princess, like Tiana, Alice, Giselle but they do have the “stuff” (qualities) of being Princess.
For us to get along, let us categorize the Princesses and Non – Princesses.
And for the record, I so don’t want Anna, Elsa and Merida to be princesses.
Hey, hey… don’t diss on Meg’s singing voice. She’s an alto… of course she won’t go high. There’s NOTHING wrong with her voice.
Mandi Nicole says
And Esmeralda. Though she my not be a “princess” so to speak, she definitely shows that girls can be just as tough as the princes.
I agree, but my only thing is that the current princesses (official) teach kids that they have to be in trouble and distress or else they will never fall in love. and that they also have to be girly and frilly to be a princess. And if you havent noticed the non official princesses are all non-girly and warrior type of girls.
That’s SO wrong. Snow and Aurora didn’t have much choice in the matter after the apple/spinning wheel business. But the others aren’t.
I mean Ariel saved Eric TWICE in the movie alone before he paid her back big time.
Belle being a DID (Damsel in Distress)? nope she wasn’t, its the Prince Adam (Aka the Beast) who was the DID (Dude in Distress)
Jasmine-well she did have wits about her. I mean she’s the only princess who kissed the male villain as a distraction even though it backfired on her.
Pochantas isn’t a DID-she saved John Smith-even if its just pretend
Mulan saved CHINA for godness sakes
Mrs. Milo Thatch says
I LOVE Atlantis:The Lost Empire and Kida, and although I’d love her to be in the lineup, we can’t expect every female in every Disney movie to get on the list. I mean, as to Ariel’s sisters and the three princesses from Mulan, they’re not all that major. I think the main qualifications for a Disney Princess would be that the movie is centered around the princess in question.
idec kida shuld be in the line up in some pictures of all the Disney princesses she is but its not official which i think is sad for her she made so many sacrifices and nobody seems to remember her its not because shes a queen i can tell you that I mean even Ariel becomes queen at the end and if the evil queen/step mother is dead doesn’t that make snow white a queen too some people say that Disney we choosing between kida and Pocahontas and chose her instead which makes sense s they would have too tribal princesses in a new world just discovered and in all fairness her outfit is rather inappropriate for young children imagine the girl who would have to dress up as her at Disney parents may not be to happy with that i don’t think its because shes not popular because she was plenty popular i remember having the kida doll the had plenty franchise around it
WHAT ABOUT TINKERBELL? huh?
Tinker Bell has no royal ancestry. She was born from laughter and is not a princess.
Hey, you forget about KAIRI!!! I know that she’s princess from a game but she’s a princess of heart! That’s like Kilala. She hasn’t got a movie for her like Kairi. The two also are “the seventh princess”.
Err…Megara’s voice may not be mezzo soprano material but her alto is powerful. “I won’t say I’m in Love” is one of my favorite Disney songs.
Also, as far as Megora is concerned, do not diss on her voice, that woman ended up being Belle in the original broadway cast of Beauty and the Beast, that woman has a beautiful voice. Secondly, all this Pocahontas hate is making me so sad! I may be an odd one out, but Pocahontas has always been my favorite disney princess for as long as I can remember…
What about Tiger Lily from Peter pan!?
The people I think should be in the line-up are:
Snow White,Cinderella, Aroura, Areil, Belle,Jasmine, Mulan, Tiana, Merida,Rapunzel, Kida, Meg & soon there will be Anna :p Anna will be the only one with a average-ish name, unless you count Belle and Jasmine as normal-ish names
Her name is princess Eilonwy! How is she left out? To be honest The Black Cauldron is a little more adult. But it’s about two children, she should be there.