Disney Princesses

Events

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

February 4, 1938

This was Disney's first animated feature-length film. This innocent princess, just fourteen, is called the "Fairest of Them All." After a brief encounter with the Prince, the two become immediately infatuated with each other. Her stepmother, the queen, sets out to kill Snow White once her beauty surpasses hers, making her the fairest in the land. She orders her huntsman to kill her, but he cannot; he stops in his attempt, claiming that he cannot bring himself to kill anyone of such beauty, and urges Snow to run away and escape the Queen.
She moves in with the dwarfs, who promise her protection and sharing their home so long as she continues to do housework. Although normally gentle and childlike, she becomes motherly and authoritative when with the dwarfs.
Snow White cannot see the evil in anything in the world, making her vulnerable to her jealous stepmother, who transforms herself into a old hag to convince Snow into eating a poison apple. The Witch/Queen is chased away until falling to her death, but not before getting Snow White to eat the apple and fall into the "Sleeping Death". The Prince hears of Snow's death, and rides into the clearing to find her. He gives her "Love's First Kiss," breaking the spell.

Cinderella

March 4, 1940

Cinderella was born to wealthy parents, just outside of a small but powerful kingdom. After her mother's death, her father married Lady Tremaine in order to give his daughter a mother figure. However, he too passed, and Cinderella was raised in abuse and virtual slavery to her stepmother and stepsisters. With her mice friends she is witty and sarcastic, but with Tremaine she is fearful and obedient. Overall, Cinderella remained sweet, humble, and kind, despite her living conditions. She was faithful that if you believe in something enough, it will come true.
When her stepsisters and stepmother destroy her hope of going to the ball, she is met by her Godmother. The Fairy Godmother insists that she attends the ball, magically granting her a dress, glass slipper, and carriage--all of which will disappear at midnight.
At the ball, she attracts the attention of Prince Charming, who is enchanted by her appearance. They waltz and talk privately, but just before they kiss, the clock begins to strike midnight and Cinderella leaves abruptly; she leaves behind only a glass slipper.
The next day, The Duke uses the slipper to find the Prince's unknown woman from the night. Lady Tremaine discovers it is Cinderella and locks her in room, though Cinderella escapes when the mice free her. After the Duke arrives at her house and fits the slipper onto her foot, she is brought back to the castle and is reunited with and married to the Prince.

Sleeping Beauty

January 29, 1959

Aurora, the third official Disney princess, is gentle, loving, curious, and thoughtful. She is respectful and obedient to her fairy aunts' rules, even when she doesn't agree with them. Prince Philip, her true love, is a man that she met and fell in love with in the same day after dancing with him in the woods.
After pricking her finger on a spinning wheel due to Maleficent's curse, she falls into a deep sleep that can only be broken by True Love's Kiss.
Aurora is asleep and helpless as Philip defeats Maleficent. He then kisses Aurora, waking her and breaking the curse. She smiles as she realizes that Philip is both her true love and the man that she is betrothed to.
Despite being the main character of the movie, Aurora speaks less than any lead character in a Disney cartoon feature except the silent Dumbo. She only has 18 lines of dialogue and doesn't even speak after she's awakened from the curse.

The Little Mermaid

November 17, 1989

Ariel is the seventh and youngest daughter of King Triton, the ruler of the undersea kingdom. Though her passion for exploration and adventure often get her and her friends into trouble, she always assumes full responsibility for her actions. She grows up with a longstanding, yet forbidden, desire to join the human world. Ariel is independent, headstrong, and determined. As a teenager, she becomes infatuated with a human prince named Eric, and gives up her voice, family, and life she's known to join him in the human world. During the final battle with the evil sea witch Ursula, Ariel tries to fight but is quickly restrained. It is Eric who kills Ursula, saving Ariel, her father, and the other prisoners of Ursula.

Beauty and the Beast

November 22, 1991

Belle is an intelligent and undeniably beautiful girl living in a small village. Her love of books gives her more intelligence than the other townspeople, as well as an elevated vocabulary, active imagination, and open mind. As a result, Belle is an outcast in her town, seen as odd and a "funny girl," beyond her beauty. She dreams of getting out of the town and finding an adventure.
Belle is somewhat a free woman for her time and refuses to be mistreated, undermined, controlled by anyone. This is particularly apparent as she fends off repeated advances from the conceited, arrogant hunter named Gaston. Gaston makes it clear that his ideal marriage with Belle includes her having "six or seven" good-looking sons with him, massaging his feet, cooking his dinner, scrubbing the floors, doing dirty work, and no reading, as he considers intelligence in women to be ridiculous.
When her father is taken prisoner by the Beast, Belle not only bravely chases after him to find him, but also takes his place. It is during her time as prisoner that she matures as a character and a woman, creating a friendship with the inhabitants of the castle as well as the Beast, eventually falling in love with him. The Beast is injured in a fight with Gaston, and dies while Belle sobs over his body. Her display of love for him breaks the curse, both bringing him back to life and restoring him to human form.

Aladdin

November 25, 1992

Jasmine is the free-spirited, confident, and kind daughter of the Sultan of Agrabah. She lives a lavish life, but due to her status as princess, she is forbidden to leave the palace and therefore spends her her life sheltered in her royal home. She often feels suffocated by the laws of the kingdom, including those that restrict her socialization with subjects and force her into marriage. In her society, she is treated as an object and a tool, and therefore spends much of her childhood yearning to breakaway from palace life and live where she is respected and able to make her own choices.
At the start of the movie, Jasmine is seen resisting her father's attempts to have her married. She claims that she will only marry for the sake of love, rather than wealth, power, or tradition; she finds the practice sexist and demeaning. She runs away from home disguised as a peasant, but quickly gets into trouble when she tries to give a poor boy an apple without paying for it. She is rescued by Aladdin, and continues to bond with him throughout the movie--even though she thinks he is Prince Ali.
After Jafar takes the throne, he proposes that Jasmine become his queen, which she hotly refuses and proceeds to throw a glass of wine on his face. When Aladdin returns, Jasmine distracts Jafar with a kiss but they are caught. While Aladdin fights Jafar, Jasmine is trapped in an hourglass and it is up to Aladdin to save her, her father, and the kingdom.

Pocahontas

June 23, 1995

Pocahontas is the seventh official