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Friday, 1 September 2017

12 Favourite Women in Disney Films

I love Disney films. Always have. The songs, the humour, the characters and story lines. Disney characters are often misfits struggling to find their place (Belle, Hercules, Ariel) and I’ve always identified with that.

Pretty much all of the Disney women are brave, resilient, stay strong and are kind at heart. I do agree that the 'true love conquers all' message can get tiresome and fanciful. However, Disney films are not all about romance, they are about finding yourself, believing in your dreams and looking out for the ones you love. It’s great that most of these women do meet wonderful men in the process, but they all have major aspirations and the romances are not all superficial and based on meeting each other for five minutes. (And let's be real; these are kids films, they're not supposed to be realistic).

Esmeralda. ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ is my favourite Disney film, and she is my favourite Disney heroine. She’s a gypsy who believes in justice and wants emancipation for her people. She stands up for what she believes in and befriends Quasimodo, seeing past the ‘deformities.’ She helps to free Paris and fight against Frollo. Her and Phoebus are two of my favourites and they make a great couple too. And let’s be honest, she’s freaking beautiful and a sexy dancer.

Mulan. She wants to help her family and find herself. She embarks on a brave journey by dressing up as a man and fighting for China, beating the Huns and saving the whole country. You can’t get more incredible than that.

Pocahontas. Down-to-earth, big hearted and kind, Pocahontas is a lovely character. She cares for her people and tries to bring peace between them and the British settlers. I was sad at the end of the first film when John Smith went back to England, but it’s nice that she finds someone else in the second film.

Belle. Bookish Belle is intelligent, loving and beautiful inside and out. She wants to be free from her life in small town France, and dreams as big as the stories she reads. She brings out the good in the beast, rather than cowering from him.

Jasmine. She's not my favourite now, but she was my favourite as a kid so I want to pay homage to my younger self. Jasmine is kind, smart, quick-thinking and loves Aladdin for who he is, not because of how much/little money he has. I think their story is a good example of how love isn't about money or superficial things. She even says 'when I marry I want to marry for love.' 

Megara. I like Meg because she has a sarcastic, dry sense of humour, which the other women don't have. Hercules is one of the more underrated films but it's one of my favourites, and I love the characters of Meg and Hades because they make me laugh. I also like how she doesn't instantly fall at Hercules' feet (I probably would) and has a mysterious devil-may-care attitude to her. But in the end she helps Hercules and realises not all men are shit and shows her love for him.

Ariel. The storyline around a woman giving up her voice and leaving her family to be with a man she hardly knows is seen as a bit iffy. HOWEVER, Ariel's dream is to live on land and she does meet the lovely Eric in the process, not to mention saves him from drowning! Ariel is headstrong and stubborn and wants to do her own thing like most Disney protagonists. And we both have red hair HOORAY (though sadly I wasn't born with it).

Moana. I LOVE THIS MOVIE. When she cheers 'I am Moana!' I cheer with her. She's cute and spirited and driven and strong. One of the great things about Disney films is people believing in strong values like family and love and courage. She sings her way to restore peace to her island, and has fun with the hilarious Maui. And no romance in this one, which is a refreshing break.

Elsa and Anna. Doing these two together because Frozen is mainly about their relationship. I do think Frozen was seriously over-hyped and think Tangled and The Princess and the Frog are just as great. Yeah, Frozen is a fun movie but the over-the-top reaction was crazy. Yeah, I get it, two sisters rather than a woman meeting a man, and Elsa even makes the funny line 'you can't marry a man you just met.' This isn't the first movie in the world to have women choose love between each other over a relationship with a man they hardly know - 'Aquamarine' is a great live action example. I have a lot of sympathy for Elsa over having these strong feelings of fear and feeling that she has to 'conceal, not feel' them. Let it go is an empowering song about facing your fears and being yourself, and the sassy dress she wears at the end of the song is gorgeous - can I get one? Anna is sweet and brave enough to go and find her sister. Both of them show courage and love. But the best character? OLAF!

Rapunzel. She's sweet and courageous, just like all the other heroines. She has a horrible (step) mother but keeps up her spirits. This film has all the general humour and quirks of past Disney films. BUT WHAT HAS DISNEY DONE TO THE ANIMATION??? 90s animation was better! NOOOOOOOO! Anyway....I love her relationship with Flynn and how that develops, and would say Tangled is just as good as Frozen. The character development regarding Punzy and Flynn is probably better.

Tiana. Last but certainly not least. I relate to her having this major dream - me with my music and writing, her with wanting to own a restaurant. Her father had the same dream but was unable to accomplish it in the way he wanted to. She has a strong work ethic and a deep love for her family. And Prince Naveen is QUITE the charmer. The Princess and the Frog is actually one of my favourite Disney films.
Now THAT'S more like it, to me anyway...haha

So there you have it. Obviously all Disney heroines rock, and they're all pretty similar in terms of overall character. Strong, resilient, brave characters that overcome obstacles to reach a goal. Favourite Disney men: Phoebus, Aladdin, Flynn Rider, Prince Naveen and John Smith.

My favourites are the Renaissance and Modern ones opposed to the 'Classic Three' because I identify more with them and prefer modern films, although I do like the film 'Cinderella' a lot.
The 'Classic Three'; Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora are often criticised and viewed as passive and demure. There is nothing wrong with being passive and demure; it doesn't make someone less of a woman. Granted, Princess Aurora is not a 'strong' character but then the story is more about Maleficent vs the three fairies, all whom are women. Snow White gets out of a dangerous situation and looks after a bunch of men who offer her shelter and protection. Cinderella just wants to go to the ball and experience freedom. Yes, she meets a man she knows for ten seconds and marries him, just like Ariel and many of them, but these movies aren't meant to be realistic and modern Disney has moved away from that. I also don't include Merida because I haven't seen Brave, and don't include Jane, Wendy, Maid Marion, can't name everyone. But they're all fabulous.
Who are your favourites?

Think this is cute, hehe xx


  1. Wow... I loved reading it... I too love watching them.. There stories and individual journey through struggle is inspiring... They surely are fabulous 👍

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I'm Zarina Macha, an author, blogger, and musician from London. I write about stuff on the internet 'cos having opinions is fun -- if you want to join the games, please note your thoughts below. All thoughts welcome, even if they're mean (just no spam links please -- can't tell you what a liability those are to remove).
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