Part 3 of the series will be short. It covers the dark period of Disney history when movies were made and watched, but not really liked or remembered. The following three represent 75% of Disney’s non-Caucasian princesses, and coincidentally they often don’t make the cut into lists of Disney princesses. The other thing they have in common? They all reflect virtue above beauty, so I wouldn’t mind my daughters looking up to any of them as role models.
Aside from that Pocahontas looked to have been drawn in MS Paint, this Native American girl was awesome. She showed true bravery and prevented a war (and stopped the Commonwealth of Virginia from being established… okay let’s not let real history interfere with our judgment of cartoon characters). This was unique about her, unlike many other Disney princesses who were the cause of violence. Also, despite disagreeing with her own father and village just like Ariel, Belle, and Jasmine, she voiced her dissent respectfully and made the tough decision to put family first. Not to say that love has to take backseat to family, but her maturity and sense of responsibility was completely absent in all her predecessors.
Well okay, this girl brought honor to her family by single-handedly eliminating an invading army and saving an entire empire, using a combination of her brain and skills. She deserves a spot next to Iron Man and Captain America, not alongside Snow White or Cinderella!
My only gripe is, by what definition does a villager’s daughter who ends in an ambiguous relationship with (i.e. not even married to) a general count as a princess?
Until accepting the financial proposal from the Nigerian prince actually makes anyone rich, I don’t think marrying a broke prince on exile from a no-name foreign kingdom makes anyone a princess. But whatever, she’s marginally more legit than Mulan in that regard.
Tiana was poor but believed in the American Dream. She worked hard (stand aside, Cinderella), learned several skills, and had a plan for her life. Unlike those predecessors who were useless without their men, she kept on fighting even when turned into a frog. Her dream of opening a restaurant came true by her own determination, not by any fairy godmother. If I had any say (no of course I don’t) in my daughters’ aspiration to be like any princess, Tiana would be my top pick.