Disney Princess is a franchise incorporating select female heroines from the Disney Animated Canon, many of whom actually are princesses (by birth or marriage).Disney officially applies this title to (in order of their film releases):
Disney has included others in the merchandise at times, such as Alice of Alice in Wonderland and Giselle of Enchanted, but they have never officially been added to the roster. Anna from Frozen is expected to be the 12th to join the line-up.They were just a bunch of characters, but then people at Disney realized how popular they were with young girls, and then made a toy line of them in a manner likeBarbie. This includes not only dolls, but a whole variety of merchandise, as is usual with Disney. The line also makes role models out of the princesses, often Anviliciously teaching the values of honesty, kindness and recycling in their Direct-to-Video shorts and films.They also feature prominently in the Kingdom Hearts series, where some of them are the seven "Princesses of Heart" and features one of the original characters as one. They had their own book series, Disney Girls, in which a handful of 9-year old girls in Orlando, Florida discover that they are Alternate Universe counterparts of the princesses. There was also a Shōjo (Demographic) manga, Kilala Princess, that starred the princesses.Compare Disney Fairies.
Cinderella had a silver dress in her film, a blue dress in the franchise. Her hair was also darker.
Aurora's hair is lightened from a dusky blonde to a much lighter color. Her skin also tends to lighten up a bit in comparison.
Advertised Extra: Pocahontas and Mulan. They're both considered "official princesses", but they are left out of majority of the advertising.
Art Evolution: When the franchise first debuted in early 2000, the princesses were simply shown in their unmodified dressed from the films. Later on, they started to make their dresses more elaborate, such as giving them more frills, mink trims, recoloring them all gold, being encrusted with jewelry, making them sparkle, and now, having them appear metallic. Recently, their looks have been adapted for modernity, with all of the princesses from before 1995 getting an update on their look. It appears to be for the 3D animation seen in Sofia The First.
Artifact Title: It would seem so, but the Disney Princess line was created in 2000, and Mulan and Pocahontas were already inducted in. Disney's definition of "princess" is more "popular heroine", than a literal title. The less popular Disney heroines, like Esmeralda, Megara, Wendy, or Alice, are occasionally seen in merchandise, but were never a part of the official line-up. Eilonwy and Kida, on the other hand, are not so lucky.
Authority In Name Only: The princess title is applied rather broadly to some of these characters. Six were born royal, and three married into it (though one of those was to a prince in exile). However, Pocahontas and Mulan never actually become princesses.
The Beautiful Elite: All the princesses are attractive, and is often a major point of the movie. Especially justified with Aurora in that she was given a blessing to be gorgeous. Notably, their lives appear much more glamorous in the merchandise than their movies: only Ariel, Jasmine and Aurora lived as princesses during the beginning of their movies, and the first two of whom take a stint at being a peasant.
Clothes Make the Legend: Their most iconic dresses are still the base for many of their new outfits. Cause of a couple of issues when merchandising Ariel, Mulan and Pocahontas: Ariel's most iconic outfit is a bra, Mulan's most iconic outfit is a dress that represented a life she hated, and Pocahontas' dress is notably more practical and plain than the other ladies', although she is sometimes put in her European ballgown from her second movie.
Costume Porn: All of the girls have themed dresses: holiday, flower, designer, gold, bejeweled, etc. The iconic costumery of the princesses is a very popular subject for fan artist's to play with: you can find mod, hipster, school girl, historic, designer, and more versions of their dresses if you look.
Damsel in Distress: Most of the princesses were in distress in their movies at least once, most notably Aurora, Ariel, Jasmine and Rapunzel who were in mortal peril and whose rescue was the climax of the movie.
Ermine Cape Effect: In their movies, they have modest dresses that they wear most of the time, but in the merchandising, the fancy gowns are the most prevalent. In the Enchanted Christmas midquel, Belle's favorite outfit is a scarlet cloak and pink dress, both bordered in fluffy white fur.
Expy: Cinderella, Ariel and Belle get rock-star-doll counterparts in the form of Ella, Ari and Gabrielle - the popDreamers. There's a music album.
Fairytale Wedding Dress: Cinderella, Ariel, Tiana and others just for the toy lines and artwork. And now you can buy one for your own wedding! Prior to Alfred Angelo designing those wedding gowns, Kirstie Kelly was in charge of "Disney Fairy Tale Weddings", and had four collections, each featuring lines inspired by Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White. Each collection featured bridal gowns, bridesmaids dresses, flower girl dresses, and jewelery.
Friend to All Living Things: Every Disney princess had some kind of Animal Friend, or even a whole posse: Snow White and Aurora had various woodland animals (Snow White is usually pictured with songbirds, and Aurora with the owl); Cinderella had birds, mice and a dog; Ariel had a fish, seagull and crab; Belle has her horse; Jasmine had a pet tiger that drove away unwanted suitors; Pocahontas had a raccoon, a hummingbird, an army of technicolor leaves, and later a pug; Mulan had her pet dog, a dragon, a cricket and her horse; Tiana had a firefly and a trumpet-playing alligator; Rapunzel had a chameleon and later a horse ally; Merida had her horse Angus (and of course her mother and brothers as bears).
Rapunzel has her purple and lavender dress with pink touches.
Jasmine has a two: one she wears when her engagement with Ali is to be announced, and a slightly varied version seen in The Return of Jafar.
All the girls get a few in the various non-canonical outfits.
Hair Decorations: Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora as a peasant, and Jasmine all wear headbands. Cinderella, Ariel and Belle wear bows as commoners. Tiana, Aurora and Rapunzel wear tiaras as princesses. Mulan is given a beautiful comb from her father, which she leaves in place of his military draft when she goes to the army. Rapunzel has her hair decorated with flowers when it's braided, which is her main look at the parks. Pocahontas never has anything in her hair (except in the sequel), and Merida is the only princess who never has anything in her hair (because surely her hair is decoration enough).
Hot Consort: Cinderella, Belle and Tiana. It goes the other way too, as Aladdin and Flynn marry into royalty, making them the Hot Consorts.
Hotter and Sexier: In some stickers and pictures, they use the same pictures of the princesses as they always copy and paste onto merchandise, only there's a very noticeable cleavage line drawn onto their outfit. Rather jarring considering Snow White's both rather flat-chested and her dress is pretty high cut, yet she still apparently has the boob-line.
Hourglass Hottie: Most of them, particularly those made during The Nineties. The exceptions are Snow White (who is 14, and existed in a time when less curvy figures were fashionable), Mulan, Rapunzel (who is wide in the hips, small in the bust) and Pocahontas (who is the opposite of Rapunzel - wide in the bust and shoulders, small in the hips).
Iconic Outfit: Pretty much every Disney Princess has one of these. Ariel is a bit unfortunate, in that her most memorable attire is as a mermaid, and she only wears a Seashell Bra. So her representation varies the most out of all the princesses—either she's shown as a mermaid (sometimes balancing on her tail in art) and her tail is decorated and bejeweled, or she's dressed in the pink dress. Ariel's redesign shows her in a green dress, the same colors as her tail.◊
"I Want" Song: In chronological order: "I'm Wishing"/"Someday My Prince Will Come", "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes", "I Wonder", "Part of Your World", "Belle (reprise)", "Just Around the Riverbend", "Reflection", "Almost There", "When Will My Life Begin?", "Touch the Sky" (although not sung by Merida). Unusually, it took Jasmine 15 years to get her own "I Want" Song. She didn't have one in the original Aladdin or in either of its sequels, but finally got one in her mini-movie on the Disney Princess Enchanted Tales DVD.
Long Hair Is Feminine: Applies to most of the Disney princesses to some measure, provided it was fashionable at the time the movie was made.
Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas and Merida have long hair.
Cinderella and Tiana have shoulder-length hair.
Mulan originally had long hair, but after cutting it, she now has medium-length hair.
Rapunzel was born with long hair that eventually grew up to be 70 feet long, but after Eugene cut it, Rapunzel's hair resembles a pixie cut.
Refreshingly averted with Snow White, who bears a classic 1930's bob, resembling finger waves.
Magical Girl: There is a Manga in that genre, Kilala Princess, featuring most of the princesses. No, they are not magical girls themselves. They are just helping the heroine, who is.
Missing Mom: Ariel, Belle, Jasmine and Pocahontas don't have mothers, but fathers.
Modular Franchise: No Disney Animated Canon work depicts these heroines together in any combination, but that's about the only place where they haven't been brought together. However, in pictures of the ladies all together, they are often shown staring off at various directions or looking straight ahead into the "camera": this was to acknowledge that they're not really "together" and existing in the same universe. The line has even extended to include Pixar heroine Merida.
Ms. Fanservice: Ariel and Jasmine perhaps have the most exaggerated figures and the most skin showing. Jasmine especially, as she is seen through the eyes of the male hero who is in love with her.
That said, most of the princesses are from various real-world countries—it is never explained which one. It can be presumed Snow White is from Germany, as the fairy tale it's based on is set there, as well as the inspiration for the clothing. Similarly, Sleeping Beauty is probably set in France, as the anthem of the French monarchy plays at Aurora's arrival, and the movie is based upon the French version of the fairy tale.
Neutral Female: Despite being stereotyped as "sitting around waiting to be rescued", this trope is actually averted. Never has a Disney Princess stood and watched while the man fought; at worst they're incapacitated by magic or attempting to fight as best as they can. It isn't ideal, but at least they're not just standing there shrieking.
No Name Given: Snow White, Cinderella and Belle's respective beaus in their respective movies. However, Beast was given the name Adam in a CD-Rom game made by Disney. Cinderella's prince, according to Disney press material, is actually named Charming. Snow White's prince is sometimes referred to as "Ferdinand", but this is actually a misinterpretation from fandom, who mistook Shirley Temple referring to various Disney characters like Snow White, the Seven Dwarfs, and Ferdinand—the Bull, not the Prince. "Frederick" and "Florian" are names given to the prince, allegedly.
Pretty in Mink: Many of their holiday dresses have fur trim. One set was their dresses all trimmed with white fur and them carrying white fur muffs.
Princess Classic: Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora. The other princesses, when in their ballgowns, sometimes get placed over here. Rapunzel is a more modern version, with a bit more energy and verve, but still embodies all of the traits associated with them.
Princesses Prefer Pink: Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle and Rapunzel each have at least one dress that is pink, though none of them are the main costumes within their movies.
Proper Lady: The three classic princesses Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora are all well-mannered and humble, quite different from the newer heroines.
Public Service Announcement: Cinderella has one reminding parents that children less than 4'9" (145 cm) tall need a booster seat when riding in a car. (She is the only one whose originating fairy tale specifically states that she goes for a ride in a wheeled vehicle.) Ariel and Aurora promote ocean protection and forest fire prevention, respectively. Belle and her friends head a campaign for healthy eating and exercise.
Purity Personified: Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora and Rapunzel are usually depicted as being the most innocent (and flawless)—the other princesses at times count, too.
Rapunzel Hair: Jasmine's hair goes down to her thighs, Merida has hair down to her hips curled (and would therefore be enormously long straight) and Rapunzel... Well...
Satellite Love Interest: The lack of character of the Snow White's Prince and Prince Charming (and occasionally Prince Phillip and Prince Eric) is subject to much mocking by fans. The princes with the most development—Aladdin, Beast and Naveen—also are in the title of the movie, or otherwise the title doesn't mention a character at all, in the case of Flynn. Cinderella's prince got a lot more likeable and charismatic in the sequels, in particular A Twist in Time. Part of why Snow White's and Cinderella's princes are so bland is that the animators had difficulty animating realistic men. They originally had a much larger part in the story, but due to time constraints and difficulty, their role was slashed.
Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Even though some of the princes are undeveloped, all of them are good men—or at least, in the case of Naveen, the Beast and Flynn, become so at the end of their movies.
Sliding Scale of Beauty: This is Disney so none of the princesses ever fall below World Class Beauty standards, though one or two repeatedly get mentioned as being the most beautiful both within their respective universes and sometimes even in Real Life. This is usually visually represented by having the female lead drawn differently in comparison to other female characters. The best example would be that of Belle and the Bimbettes. Merida is perhaps the only princess whose physical attractiveness is never mentioned or implied in her movie, although is apparent from her appearance.
At least six new shorts were prepared for a direct-to-DVD series called Disney Princess Enchanted Tales, but the ban on Direct-to-Video Disney sequels killed the line after the first volume. As a result, only one Aurora short and one Jasmine short became available, and the ones for Belle, Mulan and Cinderella (as well as a second one for Aurora) might never see light of day. The original DVD of Cinderella III: A Twist in Time contained a preview and a trailer for the unreleased Aurora tale, that show just enough clips for fans to piece together the storyline.
A Spear Counterpart called Disney Heroes was planned to focus on many of the male protagonists (as well as other heroic characters like Robin Hood and Peter Pan) but fell through when the few action figures released sold poorly.
Teen Protagonist: All the Disney Princesses are teenagers, the majority of which are in the 16-18 age range (Snow White is 14, Cinderella and Tiana are 19). Generally the girls are this young in part because they're at that age in their fairy tales, and because girls relate better to them.
The merchandise and sequels as compared to the original films. This hits the first three princesses especially hard, because while the later ones are remembered for a few stock traits, any semblance of a personality from the earliest princesses is replaced with generic "sweetness". Can you imagine the plastic heroine of Cinderella II: Dreams Come True going after a cat with a broom?
In Belle's Magical World, the Beast's castle looks like a bland fairy tale castle whereas it looked gothic and elegant in the original film. They manage this even when showing the same rooms which appeared in the original film.
Virtual Paper Doll: A few games and on their main site now. Some of the dresses they wear are heavy on the Artistic License, as they make absolutely no sense for the time period or area that they live in. Mulan's many European ball gowns for one.
Voice Types: In the musical films the princesses are likely to be sung by sopranos.