Disney Princesses, perhaps Disney’s biggest selling and most well-known franchise. Launched in 2000, there were eight official princesses: Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, and Mulan. Tiana, Rapunzel and Merida have since been added, with Moana looking set to join the line up when her film comes out at the end of the year.
But what makes a princess a princess, you might ask? That list contains a few unusual suspects – you might remember Mulan not being royal or marrying into any kind of royalty, and where the heck are Anna and Elsa? Never fear, I am here to give you a run down on this most cash-making of franchises.
Firstly, what about being a genuine princess?
Snow White, Aurora, Ariel, Rapunzel and Merida are all born into royalty. Jasmine, as a Sultan’s daughter, is golden. Pocahontas, as a chief’s daughter, also gains entry into the club.
Cinderella, Tiana and Belle get a royal ring on it and they’re in.
Mulan is a total badass. She meets the other “princess requirements” and also received grace from the Emperor. Is that tenuous? Yes. Do we care? No. #MulanFTW
Requirements to be a Disney Princess (being an actual princess isn’t particularly necessary):
you have to have had a primary role in a Disney animated feature film.
NO ANIMALS. (Sorry, Nala. Although a fish tail is acceptable. So is being a frog for a large part of your story)
you can’t have appeared primarily in a sequel (Melody, Ariel’s offspring: DENIED)
you are marketable (Vannelope and Sofia fail here, due to age)
your film did well at the box office (bye-bye, Kida, you didn’t make enough cash money)
you can’t be TOO successful (Elsa and Anna make so many dollars on their own that they don’t need to be part of a franchise)
nobody wants to pay royalties for your glorious human face (no Giselle, boohoo)
I hope that clears a few things up for you. If you are feeling the injustice of some of the princess-dissing that has come to light, may I suggest this blogpost from The DisGeek podcast, which gives a little more consideration towards the princesses shunned from the franchise. Enjoy!