Disney movies are almost an essential part of childhood, and consequently they are beloved by both adults and children. People have their favorite movies, and their favorite Disney princesses.
The Disney princesses are strong, kind, smart, and bold, and no matter what they endured they stayed good people. Perhaps that’s part of the reason people love them so much. They were always more than just princesses; they were people who could overcome hardship. Over on Tumblr, a Walt Disney Confessions blog encourages people to share what their confessions about their favorite Disney princesses. We’ve collected the best of them.
67. History Matters
I wish Pocahontas wasn’t named Pocahontas… like, the story is good, the music rocks, but having the whole story linked to a historical figure whose life is so unlike the movie makes me not like the movie.
66. Say Yes to the Dress
I bought a dress entirely because it reminded me of Aurora’s peasant outfit. It was an impulse buy; I normally never wear dresses! But I feel so elegant and cute in it that I can’t help loving it. Sometimes when I’m picking apples off the trees in my backyard I start singing “Once Upon A Dream.” I feel like I have the Disney magic back and I love it!
65. Girl Crush
Ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted to be with Esmeralda, or be her. While I understand that she is a problematic character, she was my “gay awakening” so she has a soft spot in my heart.
64. Be Brave
Moana inspired me to conquer my fear of water. I wanted to be strong like she is; she’s so tough and toned and that helped me out a lot. I started teaching myself to swim in the pond the river forms by a hiking trail near my house, and then the river itself after a few months.
Now I’m not afraid of the water at all. Whenever I get nervous, I think of Moana diving down to get the heart of Te Fiti at the end of “I Am Moana” or hum “How Far I’ll Go” and “Keep Swimming.”
63. What’s in a Name?
I was never sold on any names from my home country or native language for my daughter until I realized how close Tihana was to Tiana in sound. I named my daughter Tihana not just so she has a princess with (almost) her name and a tie to her heritage, but so she has a strong role model to look up to. Tiana is a hard worker, a dreamer, and a loving person who I would be proud if my daughter took after.
62. Father-Daughter Relationship
I always cry when Ariel says goodbye to Triton. He reminds me of my own father – he showed abusive behaviors at first (like destroying her possessions), but then he realized how awful he was being and tried to make up for it. I love the way they expanded it in the musical too.
61. A Good Heart
As a victim of abuse by my own parents, BOTH versions of Cinderella mean so much to me. The story of an abuse victim still being able to grow into a kind and loving woman just resonates so well with me, and I honestly think both films did a good job portraying that. It wasn’t just a matter of “why doesn’t she leave?” It was more “is there a way out at all?”
60. Just Enjoy It
I’ve been on both sides of the “Frozen coin.” I think being surrounded by cynical college kids in animation school when it came out jaded me to it for a while. I strangely enough changed my mind when I went to work at The Disney Store. Seeing how loved it was by kids and adults alike and how friends would pass through belting “Let It Go” together made me feel a little silly and want to give it another shot. I will admit it has flaws, but I find that now in the shadow of how much I enjoy it.
59. Get to Know Elsa
I used to hate Elsa, but now I think I let the fandom dictate my opinion on her. Now that the Frozen fandom has calmed down a bit, I don’t hate Elsa, in fact, I actually like her. She’s not my favorite, and between the Frozen sisters, I prefer Anna, but I realize that I hated the fandom’s portrayal of her more than anything.
58. It’s Okay to Be Single
I like to think that Elsa is asexual like me. Although it would be cool to give Elsa a girlfriend, I kind of hope they will keep her single.
57. Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl
I admire the fact that Tiana was able to work both a night shift & morning shift without blowing up at people. As someone fired from a coffee house chain (I flew off the handle at a customer working a double shift during finals week), I’m trying not to lose my current job by channeling my inner Tiana.
56. Girls Like Girls and Boys
When I came out as bi to my husband, we played a 20 Questions version of which Disney character was my sexual awakening. He was guessing Ariel, Belle, Tinkerbell, etc until I finally told him Jasmine. I thought it was really funny he didn’t think of Jasmine because Aladdin is his favorite Disney movie
55. Stand Up
Rapunzel standing up to Gothel showed me it was normal to be angry towards my abusers instead of staying nice and compliant “like good girls should.”
54. Life in Summer
“When Will My Life Begin” Reprise (the song Rapunzel sings when she first leaves the tower) captures all the joyful feelings I used to have. It makes me miss the time I could enjoy summer without unexplained depression.
53. Tiny Dancer
People used to make fun of me because my waist looks too small for my body. When I saw Lily James was cast in Cinderella I was so happy because she’s naturally tiny like me. But when I saw how many people saying she was “starving herself” or “encouraging harmful body types” I cried. I don’t want to cosplay as Cinderella anymore because I’m afraid of that happening to me too.
52. Princess at Any Age
I’m so pleasantly surprised that Disney chose an “older” actress to play the live-action Mulan (Liu Yifei is in her early 30s). It makes me hopeful that maybe in the future we’ll have more Disney Princesses/Heroines who are canonically 21+, like Elsa and Kida. Not that there’s anything wrong with the classic teenage princesses, but I do think it’s good to show that you’re never too old to be a princess!
51. Representation Matters
When I was little I hated my long and thick curly hair. Then I watched Hunchback of Notre Dame and saw Esmeralda be this beautiful, brave woman and have hair like mine. I carried a Esmeralda doll with me everywhere. She was my hero and showed that you can have non-straight hair and be wanted.
This is why I don’t understand other people when they say that having a Princess from another culture wouldn’t be important. They need their Tiana, Mulan, and Moanas.
50. Life in Song
When I heard the song “God Help The Outcasts” from Hunchback of Notre Dame for the first time I started crying. Never before in my life had I heard a song that sums up my feelings about helping others. That song was life changing.
49. Make Me Feel
I feel empty inside all the time because of depression. Moana singing to Te’fiti makes me feel deeply. She calms the monster inside and gives Te’fiti self-esteem. It is one of Disney’s most beautiful movie scenes.
48. Be Kind
I really love Cinderella and the live action from 2015 was amazing. Personally, I have a mother like Lady Tremaine so I know how it feels to be powerless and constantly abused. I feel really angry at people like her who throw their sorrow onto others since they don’t have the strength and power to continue being happy through all the bad things in life.
47. Good Hair Days
I haven’t told anyone this, but the reason I recently dyed my hair red is partially to look like Ariel!
46. Seeing Myself
The Disney characters I connect with most are Elsa and Baymax. I have Asperger’s syndrome and I can see pieces of my personality in both of them. Like Elsa, I’m introverted and have social anxiety. Like Baymax, I like routine and tend to take things too literally/seriously. I think these two characters are the closest Disney has come to representing people with mental conditions. It makes me feel a little better about my disability and gives me hope that one day I’ll have a happy ending too
45. Giving Hope
I’m going to be moving across the country this fall to go to my dream college and escape my abusive family. Listening to “Almost There” and “I Am Moana” makes me feel like I can handle the change and it will all work out for the best. Moana and Tiana inspire me and I watch their movies at least once a week. I’m so grateful these wonderful, strong characters exist to help give me hope when things are bad.
44. Respect This Princess
I always love how Aurora manages to respect her aunts, while still breaking the rules and having agency – but still in a responsible way that keeps her as a good role model. The fairies tell her not to talk to anyone, and she doesn’t, until Phillip softens her up a little. Instead of never seeing him again, she invites him to the cottage so that the three fairies can meet him. When her true identity is revealed, she releases her emotions in a healthy way, but also chooses to go to the castle.
43. Give Her a Story
My adoptive mother is a real-life Tiana, which is why she’s my favorite princess. I know a lot of people have issues with Princess and the Frog sanitizing the 1920s South (and trust me, it’s warranted), but it made my mom happy to see a Black woman not only be the protagonist, but also that her race wasn’t the center of the whole story. She said it’s important to let Black characters have stories that aren’t only about race; like how for Tiana it was about getting her restaurant.
42. Real Princess
Cinderella is one of the most realistic characters I’ve ever seen in any film, animation or not. The representation of an abuse victim constantly reaching her limit with her situation and life, and yet still managing to keep herself in check by recognizing how bad her alternatives is just so relatable. Especially when she breaks down right before the fairy comes, not to mention all the times she loses her cool. She knows her stepfamily is purposely taunting her and she loses it sometimes.
41. Leap of Faith
Watching Pocahontas as a kid was what really got me into cliff diving as an adult. Yeah, it’s definitely not the same, but it’s secretly why I wanted to make it a hobby.
40. Princess Like Me
I’m an Arab girl, and I remember being four or five years old crying to my dad because there wasn’t an Arab Disney princess. I was so distraught over it as I was in my wanting to be a princess stage, and all my dad could do was laugh! I didn’t understand until my dad got the movie for me, and I ran around the house screaming, I was so happy! Representation mattered then, and it still matters now. Jasmine will always be my favorite.
39. Run off
My friends are graduating getting married and pregnant. Family and religion tell me to do the same. I want to cut off my hair and run away like Mulan because I don’t want to shoulder responsibilities to fit into their norm.
38. More Princesses
I wish there were more variations in Disney princesses. It means so much to have a princess that looks like you and it can’t hurt to have more heavyset princesses or ones with short hair or that are mixed race.
37. Love the Skin You’re in
When I was a kid, I always thought my skin color was bad. I used to wish I had paler skin, especially around puberty, so I stopped playing outside, which I know sounds stupid but I used to be darker as a kid. I wish I had more tan role models as a kid just like me, it would have helped with my confidence and how I felt about my heritage. I applaud Disney for having POC princesses. I just wish it would have happened sooner.
I know it bothers a lot of people, but even as a feminist, one of the reasons why The Little Mermaid is so special to me is because Ariel loses her voice for part of it. I work a lot with kids with different levels of disability, including some who are nonverbal, and I grew up with a speech impediment myself. It means a lot to me to see a movie acknowledge how much of a struggle it can be to communicate non verbally, but also acknowledge that human connection is still possible.
35. Just a Young Girl
I hate it when people victim blame Ariel. Yes, she made a dumb move by agreeing with the contract with Ursula, though at the time Ariel was emotional and not thinking straight. Her father had just, in a violently aggressive fit of rage, destroyed all the human treasures she was collecting, her main source of dreams and happiness. Ariel had a choice: take the risk and have a slight change of actual true love, or as Sebastian says it, stay in the ocean and be miserable forever.
34. A Lot Alike
Sometimes I feel like Cinderella because I’m expected to do everything in my house, and if I don’t I get yelled at and verbally & mentally abused. Only difference is that I lost my kindness and I don’t have an evil step-mother. I just have an evil mom.
33. Gimme More
Whenever I say I want another black princess, people bring up Tiana as if that is supposed to squash my argument. I love Tiana. I adore her. She makes me so happy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have another black princess. I want another Native American princess too.
32. Curly Haired Curls
Merida has the same wild, curly red hair as me, and after 21 years of life, she finally helped me get some pride and acceptance in my hair texture. I hated my curly hair so much, and my mom would always take away my straighteners when I bought them behind her back. But they did such a fantastic job animating Merida’s hair in 2012 that I haven’t straightened it since.
31. Wedding Bells
Cinderella’s wedding dress is gorgeous. When I go wedding dress shopping, that dress is going to be my inspiration.
30. Out There
I always get really odd looks when I tell people that my two favorite Disney films are Hunchback of Notre Dame and Tangled. I think Quasimodo and Rapunzel are very similar and I know they have a lot in common with me. I was bullied as a kid for multiple reasons, I had a very abusive relative, I wanted to get out there and explore the world, and I didn’t let my appearance or my abusive relative stop me from following my dreams. The movies are just so inspiring to me and I’m grateful for them.
29. Love Your Laugh
Ting Ting’s laugh reminds me so much of my own. I used to hate my laugh, but after watching Mulan 2 I started to like it.
28. Princess Preference
I prefer Tiana, but at first I wasn’t too bothered by the fact that Lottie was the fandom favorite because other bubbly characters like Rapunzel were popular. But then Frozen came out and everyone fell over themselves to praise Elsa and hated Anna because Elsa told her not to marry someone she barely knew, even though Tiana successfully kept Lottie from doing the same and without ever shaming her. I haven’t been able to look at the Disney fandom the same way since.
27. Unique Faces
I noticed many beautiful characters have overbites (Rapunzel, Phoebus, Jane Porter, John Smith, Elsa), so I do not believe that Disney uses beauty stereotypes, they just do their characters with realistic details to make them unique and lovable. I don’t know any other animation studios who does that besides Dreamworks.
26. Part of Your World
I’m a closeted trans girl still living with family who won’t accept me. I’ve always had a connection to The Little Mermaid since I was young and, as I hide myself from my family and bury myself in fear, “Part of Your World” both makes me want to cry and gives me hope. I’m one of those “bright, young women” that the song speaks of and one day, I’ll be able to stand. One day.
25. She Really Is a Funny Girl
Sometimes, I like to play “Belle” on my phone as I walk around my school with a book in hand because I relate to her a lot. Even better, “Belle” once played while I was at a bookstore in the mall.
24. Oh Romeo
Learning that Belle’s favorite play was Romeo and Juliet made me feel better about it being my favorite too.
23. Tale of Two Belles
Truthfully, I prefer the live-action version of Belle over the animated one. Cartoon Belle is TOO perfect; kind of a Mary Sue. Live-action Belle is more realistic and believable.
I lived a year with my dad, his girlfriend, and her daughter (who is a year older than me), and despite not having liked it as much as imagined, one thing that I’ll always laugh about is how sometimes his girlfriend’s daughter would go out for a night or two with her friends and left me at home without a hair brush. Because of that, I had to brush my hair with a fork, like Ariel. Although it wasn’t that comfortable, it is still a funny and memorable moment for me.
21. Give Melody a Chance
The Little Mermaid 2 was a poorly made sequel and could have been executed better, but I love Melody and I wish people wouldn’t give her so much hate.
20. Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow
Out of all the Disney deaths, probably the saddest for me is Snow White’s. Even though we already know how things will turn out in the end, Disney played up her funeral scene exceptionally well. Just the solemn organ music alone is enough to choke me up.
19. Snow White Defense Club
Snow White is 100% underrated. High-pitched voice aside (which, BTW, was actuallly the trend in the 30s so back off Andrea Caselotti’s voice), she’s actually very brave and mentally stable. You try being kicked out of the only home you’ve ever known, lost in the woods, and forced to break into a stranger’s home just to find shelter!
18. Scars Are Beautiful
I was in the line to meet Elena and Cinderella and there was hardly anyone else there because of the hurricane. When I met Cinderella, I saw she had a really noticeable scar on her chest and all I could think in that moment was that I wasn’t alone in having ugly looking scars. It made me realize that if someone as beautiful as Cinderella could have scars like mine, then my scars must be beautiful too. Thank you, Cinderella!
17. Friends With a Princess
My family used to do our living room up in ocean theme stuff and when the Little Mermaid series or movie was on, I used to pretend I was hanging out with Ariel and her friends, teaching her about human things and how they really worked. Even though I’m an adult now, I sometimes still like to imagine in my head that I’m chilling out with her when I’m alone and bored enough. “Yeah, Ariel, this is called a ‘computer’. It lets me do stuff like chat, listen to music, and do confessions.”
16. More Than One Kind of Person
I’m so tired of seeing so-called “progressive” conversations within the fandom that undermine the significance of Tiana because she is Afro-American as opposed to a native African. Yeah, it would be interesting to see Disney’s take on a native African fairy-tale, but acting like the culture of slave-descended Black Americans is not also worthy of representation is prejudiced and insulting.
15. Wardrobe Fit for a Princess
I’m so obsessed with Jasmine’s purple dress from the first Aladdin movie. I wish Disney used it more in her newer designs as opposed to the dumb re-design of her blue outfit. I think her purple dress is so much more princessy, and much prettier!
14. Always Room for Improvement
I wish there were Disney books that explored what each of the Princesses’ passions are. For example, Tiana could teach about the food industry and business. Ariel could explore the sea and land, discussing biology and earth science. Just something like that would be fantastic and help make the Princesses better role models.
13. Sister Sister
I absolutely ADORE the “Dream Big, Princess” campaign. It makes children see that their favorite princesses can achieve anything, they can do anything, and that all of the princesses are valuable. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of trash talk over Cinderella and Aurora being terrible role models, and seeing Disney promote them as dreamers and kind people, worthy of inspiring children to be kind to everyone makes me SO happy. Every princess has worth, and this campaign is proving it.
12. Just Like Me
I really want a Disney Princess who’s very obviously physically disabled but is still considered beautiful and strong. I’m an amputee with a fake arm and stuck in a wheelchair after a bad truck accident, and there have been people who tell me I’m not as attractive as I used to be, and even more act as if I’m some useless weakling. I just want something, anything, to tell me that it’s okay to be like me.
11. Dream Big
The first time I watched Frozen, I cried because it made me realize I didn’t have a good relationship with my younger sister. Frozen helped me realize I wanted to be friends with my sister. After I watched it, I went to my sister’s room to tell her I loved her.
10. Amazing Princess
When I was younger, Snow White was my favorite princess. I rewatched the movie recently, and I still love it. Snow has such a sweet soul, and the movie is funny and heartwarming. Whenever I watch it now, I always imagine how people would’ve reacted when it first premiered. Being the first movie of that kind, I bet they were amazed the whole time.
9. Learning Curve
I understand that Merida acted selfishly in her movie, but I don’t get why people are still using it to put her down. The point is she realised she was wrong and learnt from her error in the end. Come on, cut the girl a break!
8. Give Sequels a Chance
Though many people hate Pocahontas 2, it will always be my favorite Disney movie. I like how they showed that first love is not always the last, and that ending a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t stay friends. Plus, nearly all my childhood memories are connected with this film. It was the very first Disney cartoon I’ve seen in my life and I used to rewatch it every week with one of my sisters. I can’t even describe how important it is to me. Pocahontas 2 will always be something special.
After my sister’s divorce, I went to her house and we watched Cinderella 3 (I’m much younger than her and had brought it with me). Anyway, late at night I heard her crying and singing the song from that movie that plays at the end. “I still believe in destiny, that you and I were meant to be. I still wish on the stars as they fall from above, I still believe in love,” even though she acted like she hated the movie. It broke my heart to hear that.
6. Brighten Your Day
I have social anxiety, so meeting the face characters really scares me, but Anna is my favorite Disney character and on my last day in Disney World I decided to go through with it anyway. When it was my turn, Anna walked up to me and called me a princess. I know she does that for everyone, but thinking back to it always lifts my mood.
5. More Princesses Please
With Coco and Moana doing so well, I really don’t want people to say that animated films with leads of color don’t make money. And at the same time, I’m hoping that means we’ll get more diverse films from Disney. I really want to see more diverse princesses as well. I want princesses with muscles, chubby princesses, princesses from Spain and Japan. I want it all.
4. Multi-Faceted Women
I wish people knew more about the Aladdin and The Little Mermaid TV Series, because they show that Jasmine and Ariel are more than just whiny teens. They’re responsible, caring, courageous and confident young women. Yes, sometimes they need saving but that’s only human. We can’t be strong all the time and neither can they.
3. Time for a Queen
I wish that we could have more Disney princesses or protagonists in general having a strong parental trait towards younger or other characters in general. Or even better, the protagonist is a queen with a realistic but healthy relationship with her husband and kids.
2. Ariel Was Right
I honestly wish people could see the good in Ariel and see how destructive her dad was. Yes, Ariel was reckless but her father clearly didn’t help this. Yes, he worries about her but he also hates an entire group of people, which is wrong. Think how some parents won’t accept their children for being LGBT, lover is another race/belief, etc. It’s destructive and you can’t blame Ariel for wanting to leave that. She did wrong too, but she’s a teen. Her dad is the adult who should have known better.
1. Alternate Universe
For some reason when I was little and saw The Princess and the Frog trailer, I thought Tiana would like start the movie as a princess? Like not marry into royalty. I love the film as it is, but sometimes I still wonder what it would have been like if the movie went in a different direction.