Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

Frozen will be hitting the big screen this week and will introduce us to a new Disney princess in the form of Anna. The movie will see Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee in the director’s chair for a film that is loosely based on the classic tale The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson.

To celebrate the release of Frozen and the introduction of Anna we take a look at some of the best Disney princesses over the years.

- Belle: Beauty and the Beast

It was back in 1992 when Beauty and the Beast hit the big screen and we met the book loving and selfless Belle. Beauty and the Beast remains one of the greatest Disney movies of all time, while Belle is one of the studios most iconic heroines.

Belle puts the welfare of her father before her own as she offers her own freedom in return for his when he is captured by the Beast.  While she fears the Beast and the two don’t see eye to eye they begin to form a bond that is about accepting someone for who they are and not how they look; a fantastic message for a young audience.

While Belle is beautiful, she is not some helpless maiden as she is able to stand for herself and see off the advances of the rather greasy Gaston. Belle’s love for the Beast sees her break the spell and the pair live happily ever after.

Belle remains one of the most popular of all of Disney’s princesses and the studio was praised for depicting her as a strong, intelligent and independent character when the movie was released. Beauty and the Beast would go on to become the first animation film to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. 

- Ariel: The Little Mermaid

Ariel hit the big screen for the first time back in 1989 as the lead character in the fantastic and much loved The Little Mermaid. The Little Mermaid was the twenty-eighth feature film from Disney, while Ariel was the fourth Disney Princess.

Ariel is the daughter of King Triton and the youngest of seven sisters. While the daughters of Triton are expected to behave in a regal manner, Ariel is the rebel of the family and is more interested in the human world.

However, when she makes a pact with a sea witch, to trade her beautiful voice for the chance to walk on land, her world spirals out of control threatening the lives of everyone she knows and loves.

Ariel is another of Disney’s independent and headstrong characters, as she wants more than just the life she is expected to lead as a princess. As much as The Little Mermaid is an exciting love story, it is also a father & daughter tale of how parents must let go of their children and let them make their own way in the world.

- Jasmine: Aladdin

Another headstrong and fiercely independent princess hit the big screen in 1993 as we were introduced to Jasmine in Aladdin.

The character of Jasmine was based on the Princess Badroulbadour from Aladdin; which was part of the One Thousand and One Nights series; directors

Ron Clements and John Musker put a new spin on this well-known character for the new film.

Jasmine is princess of Agrabah and wants more in her life then merely finding a suitor and getting married; which is the path that her father insists on pushing her down. In secret Jasmine ventures into the city of Agrabah… this is where she comes face to face with ‘street-rat’ Aladdin.

Jasmine is determined to marry for love and joins forces with Aladdin - who is disguised as a prince to win Jasmine’s heart - to stop Jafar; Jafar wants to take over as Sultan and take Jasmine as his bride.

Jasmine continued the new breed of Disney Princess - following in the footsteps of Ariel & Belle - as intelligent and headstrong who is not afraid to fight for what she wants.

- Tiana: The Princess And The Frog

When Princess And The Frog was released in 2009 Tiana made Disney history as the first African America Disney princess.

Tiana is a young hardworking woman who lives in the vibrant New Orleans. She strives to achieve her goal of opening her own restaurant. She is a woman who is driven hard by the desire to better her life and she works long and hard to get the money together to buy her own place.

However, just when it looks like things are on the up for Tiana, she is transformed into a frog after trying to break a spell that has been put on Prince Naveen; who has also been turned into a frog.

The pair must work together as they embark on a dangerous quest to find a way to break the spell… but they fall in love along the way. Is this love enough to turn them back into human form?

Tiana was one of the most relatable Disney princesses as she was a woman who was working her to make her way in the world and achieve her dream; she was not someone who came from wealth and privilege.

- Rapunzel: Tangled

Rapunzel is one of the most recent Disney princesses with Tangled being released back in; the film would be the fiftieth movie from Disney.

Based on the story of Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm, the film followed the young Rapunzel who was stolen from her parents as a baby and raised by Mother Gothel.

Mother Gothel needs the power of Rapunzel’s hair to stay young and she keeps her ‘daughter’ locked in a tower for eighteen years to ‘protect’ her from the world.

But Rapunzel dreams of nothing more than stepping out of the tower and finding her way in a world that she doesn’t know or understand. When she disobeys her mother and leaves the tower, she enlists the help of Flynn Ryder to take her to see the lanterns that she has seen on the eve of her birthday for the last eighteen years.

Despite her lack of knowledge of the world and its dangers, Rapunzel throws herself into her new adventure and she is a character that you really do fall in love with. Rapunzel is perhaps the most contemporary of Disney’s princesses and it was great to see her connect with a modern day audience.

- Aurora: Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty is a movie that was released over fifty years ago, and yet it remains one of Disney’s timeless classics. Aurora was the third of Disney’s princesses and was as sophisticated as she was beautiful.

Aurora may have lived a sheltered life - taken deep into the forest by three fairies at the wish of her parents to protect her from the evil of Maleficent - but she still dreams of being swept off her feet.

And swept of her feet she is when she meets Prince Phillip in the forest; Phillip believes her to be a peasant girl and not the princess that he was betrothed to as a child. Phillip is told he cannot marry this peasant girl while Aurora is ordered never to see Phillip again.

But true love conquers all as Phillip springs into action to save Aurora when she pricks her finger on a spinning wheel and falls into a deep sleep. Aurora is one of the classic Disney princesses and she remains one of the greatest.

Other fantastic Disney princesses include Pocahontas, Mulan, Merida (Brave), Cinderella and Snow White.

Frozen is released 6th December.

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