14 Awesome Disney Animated Heroines Who Aren't Official Princesses
You might think a “Disney Princess” is basically any leading woman in a Disney movie, especially if they're royalty. Yet, Disney doesn't hand the term “princess” to just anyone. Disney only has 13 official princesses on their list: Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, Moana, and the newest addition, Raya.
Yes, Mulan isn't a princess, and there are some leading ladies that are princesses but not on the official list. It's all a bit confusing. The official requirements are that the character must be human or human-like, a main character in their film, and be royal or perform a heroic deed in Mulan's case. It helps if they have an adorable animal companion.
Even so, there are many strong characters who deserve to be Disney Princesses due to their one-of-a-kind stories and their heartbreaking pasts. Some of them fit the Disney Princess description perfectly, while others are princesses in their own ways. So, here are animated heroines that deserve the “princess” title just as much as the women on the list. Some of them technically are princesses, while others have all the qualities one should possess!
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Kida is the princess of Atlantis at the start of the film, but she ends up becoming queen by the end. She never made it on the official Disney Princess list because Atlantis was anything but a big hit, so there was very little merchandise for it after release. Plus, like many of the other mentioned characters, Kida wasn't the main character in Atlantis.
Yet, Kida is one of the most unique princesses in a Disney film. Not only is she immortal, but she has several magical abilities, and she's not afraid to fight back when the situation arises. She's one of the most fearless princesses, but she also has a kind heart, making her a great role model. She often puts others above herself, as any great leader should.
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Despite being called “Princess Anna” regularly, Anna isn't an official Disney Princess. One reason for this could be because of Frozen 2's ending, where Anna becomes the new Queen of Arendelle rather than a princess. However, the main reason Disney doesn't classify her as a princess is that Anna and Elsa are profitable enough as their own franchise. So, from a business perspective, Disney chose not to link them to the princesses at all.
Even with all that in mind, Anna is still a strong candidate for a Disney Princess. In the first Frozen film, Princess Anna risked her life to find her sister and save Arendelle, proving she's as strong and dedicated as the official princesses. Plus, every princess needs an adorable companion, and Anna has Olaf.
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Elsa starts out as a princess in Frozen, but she never became an official Disney Princess for the same reasons as Anna. Early in the first film, Elsa becomes a queen, making her no longer a princess. Also, the Frozen franchise is extremely marketable without Elsa being an official princess.
Yet, Elsa has all the qualities of a modern-day princess. She's independent, can rule Arendelle without a man helping her, and also has one of the most iconic Disney dresses ever shown on the big screen. One downside is that she doesn't have a cute companion in the first film, but Bruni (the salamander from Frozen 2) fits the bill later on. On top of everything, she has magic powers that she learns to control and uses to help her kingdom.
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Megara is a princess in traditional Greek mythology, but she's not a Disney Princess, likely because she's not the protagonist of her film. She also starts off on the villain's side, but has an impressive character arc where she switches allegiances to help Herc out. In some ways, it feels like she's more relatable than the official princesses, which is why some people don't mind her being marketed separately.
Like any Disney Princess, Meg has her own song and a love story. Yet, she differs from many princesses because she refuses to be a damsel in distress, and she's sarcastic as all get out. She's also one of the few heroines to have a romantic history before meeting her love interest in the film.
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At the end of Wreck-It Ralph, Vanellope is revealed to be the princess of the Sugar Rush arcade game. She even interacts with the other Disney Princesses in the sequel, but she's still not an official princess, likely for marketing reasons. This may also be because she says that even though her code says she's a princess, she's actually a racer.
Vanellope might not be elegant and glamorous like many of the other princesses, but royalty doesn't have to be. She's comfortable being her quirky self, and that's what matters. Like any good princess, she's confident and always determined to do what she feels is right.
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Princess Eilonwy is a princess in her film, but many people aren't familiar with The Black Cauldron. That film was swept under the rug by the Mouse House for a good long while, so, Disney almost definitely didn't include her since she wasn't marketable enough. Plus, she's only 12 years old, which is much younger than the official Disney Princesses.
Other than being royalty, Eilonwy also deserves the Disney Princess title because she's courageous, strong, and has more complex emotions than some of the other princesses. The film is also loosely based on an older story, much like many of the Disney Princess movies. Many fans consider her a “forgotten Disney Princess” since she checks the boxes but never earned the official title.