The current line-up of the Disney Princess franchise. From left to right: Snow White, Pocahontas, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Aurora, Jasmine, Ariel, and Mulan.
Disney Princess is a Walt Disney Company franchise, based on fictional characters who have been featured as part of the Disney character line-up. The six original members of the franchise were Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle and Jasmine, who were later joined by Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, and Rapunzel. The franchise has released dolls, sing-along videos and a variety of other girls' products, apparel, home decor and a variety of toys featuring the Disney Princesses.
In early 1999, when Andy Mooney was hired by Disney's Consumer Products division to help combat dropping sales, the idea for the Disney Princess franchise was born. Soon after joining Disney, Mooney attended his first Disney on Ice show. While waiting in line, he found himself surrounded by young girls dressed as princesses. "They weren’t even Disney products. They were generic princess products", he mused. Soon after realizing the demand, the Disney Princess line was formed.
Despite limited advertising and no focus groups, the various Disney Princess items released became a huge success. Sales at Disney Consumer Products rose from $300 million in 2001 to $3 billion in 2006.
- Snow White, originally voiced by Adriana Caselotti, is the first Disney Princess and made her debut in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).
- Cinderella, originally voiced by Ilene Woods, is the second Disney Princess and made her first appearance in Cinderella (1950).
- Aurora, originally voiced by Mary Costa, is the third Disney Princess, and first appeared in Sleeping Beauty (1959).
- Ariel, voiced by Jodi Benson, is the fourth Disney Princess and first appeared in The Little Mermaid (1989).
- Belle, voiced by Paige O'Hara, is the fifth Disney Princess and first appeared in Beauty and the Beast (1991).
- Jasmine, voiced by Linda Larkin with vocals provided by Lea Salonga, is the sixth Disney Princess and first appeared in Aladdin (1992).
- Pocahontas, voiced by Irene Bedard with vocals provided by Judy Kuhn, is the seventh Disney Princess and first appeared in Pocahontas (1995).
- Mulan, voiced by Ming-Na with vocals provided by Lea Salonga, is the eighth Disney Princess and first appeared in Mulan (1998).
- Tiana, voiced by Anika Noni Rose, is the ninth Disney Princess and first appeared in The Princess and the Frog (2009).
- Rapunzel voiced by Mandy Moore, is the tenth Disney Princess who first appeared in Tangled (2010). She was inducted into the line-up as the 10th princess on October 2, 2011.
Left to right: Jasmine, Pocahontas, Alice, Aurora, Mulan, Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel and Belle.
Other Disney heroines have appeared in franchise merchandise, but are not considered part of the Disney Princess franchise.
- Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) was included in the PlayStation 2 game Kingdom Hearts as one of the Princesses of Heart, all of whom were official Disney Princesses besides her (and the game's original princess, Kairi). Alice has appeared in official Disney Princess art, and is included in the Disney Princess music video It's Not Just Make Believe and The Perfect Princess Tea with the then eight official princesses, though she still remains excluded from the official lineup.
- Tinker Bell was once included under the principle that the princess need not be of royal heritage. However, it was decided she was not suited for the series "mythology". She now stars in her own Disney franchise, the Disney Fairies.
- Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame has appeared in some official Disney Princess merchandise and live events, but she still remains excluded from the official lineup.
- Giselle from Enchanted was originally going to be added to the line, until Disney realized it would have to pay the actress, Amy Adams, royalties for using her likeness.
On the Princess Collection 2 CD, songs by Maid Marian (Robin Hood), Nala (from The Lion King, who later becomes queen at the end of the film) and Megara (Hercules) are included.
On the Disney Princess Sing Along Songs: Once Upon a Dream DVD, sing-along segments with Megara (Hercules), Princess Minnie (Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers), and Princesses Mei, Ting-Ting and Su (Mulan II) are included.
On the Disney Princess Sing Along Songs: Enchanted Tea Party DVD sing-along segments with Alice (Alice in Wonderland), Maid Marian (Robin Hood) and Princess Melody (The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea) are included. Sing-along segments with both Alice and Princess Melody (Melody is Ariel's daughter) are included in the Disney Princess Sing Along Songs: Perfectly Princess DVD as well.
Aside from the pre-existing princess songs from the films, there have been original songs produced for the Disney Princess franchise. All of the songs are sung by the princesses, with the exception of "Where Dreams Begin", which is sung from the perspective of the eight princesses, (before Tiana came) but not by the princesses themselves, and is merely credited as being sung by "Disney Princess".
- "Where Dreams Begin"
- "The Way To Bake (A Delicious Cake)" (sung by Snow White)
- "Someday My Prince Will Come" (sung by Snow White)
- "A Holly Jolly Christmas Snow" (sung by Snow White, Grumpy, Bashful and Doc)
- "The Night Before Christmas" (sung by Snow White, Grumpy, Bashful and Doc)
- "Every Girl Can Be a Princess" (sung by Cinderella)
- "I’m Giving Love for Christmas" (sung by Cinderella)
- "It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" (sung by Cinderella)
- "Waiting For My Prince" (sung by Princess Aurora)
- "Christmas With My Prince" (sung by Princess Aurora)
- "My Birthday Wish" (sung by Princess Aurora)
- "Keys To The Kingdom" (sung by Princess Aurora)
- "Happy Birthday, Princess!" (sung by Princess Ariel)
- "Manners And Etiquette" (sung by Princess Ariel)
- "I Just Love Getting Dressed For Tea" (sung by Princess Ariel)
- "One Dance" (sung by Princess Ariel)
- "Christmas in the Ocean" (sung by Princess Ariel and Sebastian)
- "Ariel's Christmas Island" (sung by Princess Ariel and Sebastian)
- "The Perfect Princess Tea" (sung by Belle)
- "The Princess Dance" (sung by Belle)
- "So Very Glad You're Here" (sung by Belle)
- "Holidays at Home" (sung by Belle)
- "The Christmas Waltz" (sung by Belle)
- "Musical Chairs" (sung by Princess Jasmine)
- "I've Got My Eyes On You" (sung by Princess Jasmine)
- "Peacock Princess" (sung by Princess Jasmine and Iago)
- "These Moments We Share" (sung by Pocahontas)
- "Silver and Gold" (sung by Pocahontas)
- "Cups and Saucers" (sung by Mulan)
- "The Holly and the Ivy" (sung by Mulan)
- "The Twelve Days of Christmas" (sung by Snow White, Cinderella, Princess Aurora, Princess Ariel, Belle and Princess Jasmine)
- "The Beauty of the Season" (sung by Snow White, Cinderella, Princess Aurora, Princess Ariel, Belle and Princess Jasmine)
- "Christmas Is Coming!" (sung by Snow White, Cinderella, Princess Aurora, Princess Ariel, Belle, Princess Jasmine and Pocahontas)
- "If You Can Dream" (sung by Snow White, Cinderella, Princess Aurora, Princess Ariel, Belle, Princess Jasmine, Pocahontas and Mulan)
- "It Will Happen" (sung by Snow White, Cinderella, Princess Aurora, Princess Ariel, Belle, Princess Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana and Rapunzel)
- "The Glow" (sung by Shannon Saunders)
All the princesses are available for meet-n-greets in the Disneyland Resort in California. Additionally, Snow White has her own ride known as Snow White's Scary Adventures. In 2006, as part of the "Year of Million Dreams" celebration, the Fantasyland Theater began hosting the Disneyland Princess Fantasy Faire. The show has Lords and Ladies teaching young boys and girls the proper etiquette for a prince or princess and features appearances by the Disney Princesses themselves. Princesses that have appeared include Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Mulan, Tiana, and Rapunzel Princess MinnieThe princesses are also featured in parades and shows throughout the resort, including Fantasmic!, A Christmas Fantasy Parade, Disney's Electrical Parade and Mickey's Soundsational Parade.
At Walt Disney World Resort the princesses are also available for meet-n-greets, but in more specific locations. Cinderella and her friends appear at Cinderella's Royal Table in her Magic Kingdom castle, as well as "Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner, formerly known as the Cinderella's Gala Feast Dinner, at 1900 Park Fare in the Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The other princesses are showcased at the Princess Storybook meal - breakfast, lunch and dinner - at Akershus Castle in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. This particular meal is known to feature many guest Disney Princesses, including Alice, Megara, Esmeralda, Princess Minnie, Wendy Darling and Jane. In 2012, the Disney Princesses will have a new meet and greet attraction called Princess Fairytale Hall at the Magic Kingdom.
Many shows and parades across the property feature the princesses, including Fantasmic, SpectroMagic, Dream Along with Mickey, the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade, Mickey's Boo-to-You Halloween Parade and Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. A store named Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique opened April 5, 2006 at the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World. The salon allows girls 3 and up to be transformed into Disney princesses with hairstyling, make-up, manicures, dresses, wands, crowns, etc. A second salon opened in Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom on September 10, 2007. Prices range from $45 to $280. On January 22, 2007, the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort began its first Pirate and Princess Party. This hard ticketed event features "Disney's Enchanted Adventures Parade" and a specially themed fireworks spectacular called "Magic, Music and Mayhem". The parade features the six main Princesses attended by knights and dancers. Each land is themed accordingly to a pirate or princess. Among the themed areas are Jasmine's Court in Adventureland, Ariel's Court in Fantasyland and the Princess Pavilion in Mickey's Toontown Fair. The princesses available for meet-n-greets include Jasmine, Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Snow White and Belle.
Disneyland Paris features the special nighttime show Disney's Fantillusion which involves the princesses as the finale. The four princesses that appear are Snow White, Ariel, Belle and Jasmine.
The Disney Cruise Line ships feature musical stage shows which feature the Princesses. Ariel, Tiana, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Aurora and Snow White also appear for meet-and-greets on the ship. Other popular Disney heroines appear for meet and greet sessions as well, such as Alice and Wendy.
Films and television
The Disney Princesses' television appearances were compiled into the Disney Princess Collection, a series of compilation DVDs containing episodes from Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and two Beauty and the Beast specials. A later DVD series was released, entitled Disney Princess Stories featuring content similar to the previous release. Princess Party Palace (formerly known as The Princess Power Hour) was a television series on Toon Disney from 2000 until 2007. It aired episodes of Aladdin and The Little Mermaid.
Belle had her own live-action series called Sing Me a Story with Belle. The first eight Disney Princesses also made appearances on the animated TV series, House of Mouse.
In early 2007, Disney announced Disney Princess Enchanted Tales, a new series of direct-to-video features that feature new stories for the Disney Princesses. The first movie in the series, entitled Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams, was released on September 4, 2007. It is a musical film featuring new tales about Princess Jasmine, and the first new tale about Princess Aurora since the original Sleeping Beauty.
Originally, Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: A Kingdom of Kindness was announced as the first film in the series, which contained a different Princess Aurora story, and had a Belle story rather than a Princess Jasmine story. Disney made this change without any sort of notice. Currently, the series is cancelled and only "Follow Your Dreams" exists.
Rapunzel is starring in Tangled Ever After a short 5-6 minute long episode on Disney Channel some time in Spring 2012 and it will show her wedding with Eugene Fitzherbert.
Disney Princesses have appeared in various other media, such as video games, including Disney Princess (2003), Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey (2007) and Disney Princess: Magical Jewels (2007). In addition to those games, they also appear in the Kingdom Hearts game series, where they are labeled as the seven "Princesses of Heart", a term for young ladies with entirely pure hearts which would open the way to Kingdom Hearts if gathered together. Cinderella, Belle, Aurora, Snow White and Jasmine are featured in the game as five of the seven Princesses. The other two Princesses of Heart are Alice from Alice in Wonderland and game series heroine Kairi. Though featured, aiding him while Sora is in their worlds, Ariel and Mulan are not among the Princesses of Heart.
While all seven princesses of heart and all Disney princesses from first to sixth appear in the first game, only Belle, Ariel, and Jasmine reappeared in Kingdom Hearts II with Kairi, though the others are mentioned. Mulan, however, makes her first appearance as the player visits her world. She serves as a tradeable character in the party similarly to how Ariel was in the first Kingdom Hearts.
Belle and Jasmine, along with Ariel and Alice, appear in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as figments of Sora's memory but their roles as Princesses of Heart are not brought up, and Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days when they each meet Roxas.
In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora feature along with their homeworlds Dwarf Woodlands, Castle of Dreams, Enchanted Dominion. Digital versions of Alice and Jasmine appear in Kingdom Hearts coded.
As of now, the only Disney Princesses who have not yet appeared in the series are Pocahontas,Tiana and Rapunzel.
Disney Princesses also appear in Kilala Princess, a Japanese fantasy/romance manga produced by Kōdansha that debuted in Nakayoshi in April 2005. The plot of the manga revolves around a girl named Kilala and her adventures to find her kidnapped friend with the help of the first six Disney Princesses, who are Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle and Jasmine.
On December 24, 2006, Peggy Orenstein published, “What’s Wrong With Cinderella?” in the New York Times. In her article, Orenstein discussed her concerns about the effects of princess figures on young girls. Orenstein used the Disney Princesses specifically to present many of her points. Orenstein also noted the pervasive nature of Princess merchandise and that every facet of play has its princess equivalent. Tamara Weston of Time criticized the franchise, referring to the princesses as "damsels in distress" and bad role models for little girls.
Other sources have also voiced concern that the franchise could give young girls the wrong message. However, other parents say that young girls would eventually grow out of this phase.