Follow TV Tropes


Franchise / Disney Princess

Go To
Eleven reasons why everything is better.note 
Image by SilentMermaid21. Used with permission.
Moana: I'm not a "princess", I'm the daughter of a chief!
Maui: If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you're a princess.

Disney Princess is a franchise incorporating select female characters 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. note  Esmeralda of The Hunchback of Notre Dame was an actual Princess until 2004. Anna and Elsa from Frozen were expected to be the 12th and 13th to join the line-up, but it appears (for now, anyway) that Disney plans on retaining the Frozen brand as a unique entity from the Disney Princess franchise, although Anna and Elsa are included with the other princesses in an extended cameo in Ralph Breaks the Internet. Princesses Sofia and Elena are also excluded, though characters from the Disney princess line regularly feature in the former.note 


They were just a bunch of characters, but then people at Disney realized how popular they were with young girls (because of the Princess Phase), and then made a toy line of them in a manner like Barbie. 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 teaching the values of honesty, kindness, and recycling in their Direct-to-Video shorts and films.

Beyond their respective films and the Disney Princess line, they appear in a wide variety of other Disney-created media:

Compare Disney Fairies, Frozen.

This product line provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: It's not uncommon nowadays to see a previous female character who never actively engaged in battle being portrayed as a full-blown Action Girl, parody or otherwise. Cinderella seems to take the cake, as she's not only gotten a sequel movie where she kicks ass, but she was ready to do it again in Ralph Breaks the Internet.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Downplayed in Ralph Breaks the Internet. The princesses are shown to be more confrontal than normal and enjoy poking fun of C-3PO. There are still quite friendly.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Cinderella has a silver dress and strawberry-blonde hair in her film, but in the franchise she usually has a blue dress and golden blonde hair.
    • Aurora's hair is lightened from a dusky blonde to also golden blonde. Her skin also tends to lighten up a bit in comparison.
    • Snow White's skin has gone from white to pale beige and her hair now has blue highlights.
  • Advertised Extra: Pocahontas and Mulan. They're both considered "official princesses", but they are left out of majority of the advertising. To lesser degrees than Pocahontas and Mulan, Jasmine and Tiana also get this treatment. Many have took notice how often these 4 particular princess usually get the crap end of the stick, and some have speculated it to be race related issue, as they are the only non-white princesses, and ironically some of the far more recent and recognizable ones. Despite that, they are less likely to be showcased. Also notable is that three out of four have considerably less finery than the other princesses - Jasmine has a Bedlah Babe outfit, while Mulan and Pocahontas have simple dresses.
  • 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. For The New '10s, their looks were adapted for modernity, with all of the princesses from before 1995 getting an update on their look.
    • Snow White was also made svelte unlike the movie where she was realistic.
    • Merida got controversy over her original art as she was made svelte. Unlike Snow White who still has her sveltified art, Merida's is gone.
It appears to be for the 3D animation seen inSofia the First.
  • Artifact Title: Disney's definition of "princess" is more "popular heroine" than a literal title. The line was created in 2000, and Mulan (not a princess by blood or marriage) was included from the start. Other Disney heroines who lack princess status, like Esmeralda, Megara, Wendy, or Alice, are occasionally seen in merchandise, but were never a part of the official line-up, or only briefly considered in.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • The redesign of Pocahontas outfit adds glittering jewels. It seems the only jewels on Pocahontas' redesign costume are turquoise, which was popular among Native the Southwest. A Native from coastal Virginia would more likely wear shells than turquoise as decoration.
    • Jasmine will find herself sometimes wearing a European style Pimped-Out Dress that would not have even existed around her time.
  • 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 Snow White lived as princesses during the beginning of their movies, the last two of whom take a stint at being a peasant.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The three original princesses, Aurora, Snow White, and Cinderella. Cinderella has been almost entirely marketed as a yellow blonde in the merchandise, but her official color was supposed to be "burnt orange", similar to strawberry blonde.
  • 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 did not fit, 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.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Each Princess has their own color, and a 3-year old girl can spot them from across the Disney Store. Snow White is white (or the primary colors), Aurora is pink, Cinderella is blue, Ariel is sea green, Belle is yellow, Jasmine is aquamarine, Pocahontas is tan, Mulan varies between red or green and yellow, Tiana is green, Rapunzel is lavender, and Merida is royal blue or dark teal. Makes it real easy to tell which princess is currently your daughter's favorite.
    • Before Tiana and Rapunzel came along and took green and purple for themselves, Ariel and Jasmine tended to switch off who was green and who was purple (Aurora was purple at times as well, to compromise for her dress alternating between pink and blue throughout her movie). If it was Jasmine's turn to be purple, she wore the shimmery outfit from the end of her movie.
  • Cool Crown: Their tiaras come in many forms, although Aurora and Tiana are notable for having tiaras that are a part of their main look (Tiana wears three!).
  • Costume Porn: All of the girls have themed dresses: holiday, flower, designer, gold, bejewelled, etc. The iconic costumery of the princesses is a very popular subject for fanartists to play with: you can find mod, hipster, school girl, historic, designer, and more versions of their dresses if you look.
  • Damsel in Distress: Several of the princesses were in distress in their movies at least once, most notably Aurora (until Merryweather tweaked the spell), Jasmine, who was trapped in an hourglass filling with sand, and Snow White, who was lucky she woke up, who were in mortal peril and whose rescue was the climax of their movies. Notable averted, however, with Mulan, Merida, and Tiana, who were all very active in their own movies and were not rescued from danger. Furthermore, Cinderella, Ariel, Jasmine and Rapunzel, qualify as damsels out of distress or Defiant Captives, despite Rapunzel being tied up by Gothel at one point.
  • Detail-Hogging Cover: The artwork for their merchandise is way more detailed than in their movies.
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • Snow White and Cinderella end up with just their stepmothers after their fathers die.
    • Tiana lost her father in World War I.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Pocahontas, Rapunzel, and Moana all go barefoot for their entire movie, and this carries over to most related materials. Aurora is barefoot while living as the peasant girl Briar Rose, but gets shoes when she's made up as a princess and taken to the palace. While Ariel wears heels for most merchandise, in most story-related materials (books, movies, etc) she is shown barefoot a lot more.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The girls dresses weren't nearly as elaborate originally.
    • Esmeralda was a Princess until 2004.
  • Ermine Cape Effect: In their movies, the princesses have modest dresses that they wear most of the time, but in the merchandising, the fancy gowns are the most prevalent.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Even when not all of them are, it's still better.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: The art features plenty of sparkles, often to unbelievable extents, especially in their holiday attire.
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: They get plenty of jewelry to wear, at least in their merchandising art outfits.
  • Expy: Cinderella, Ariel and Belle get rock-star-doll counterparts in the form of Ella, Ari and Gabrielle - the Pop Dreamers. They also had a music album. Around the same time, there was also the Disney Girls children's book series, which centered around girls who were basically otakin of six of the princesses.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: Cinderella, Ariel, Tiana wore fancy wedding dresses in their movies, and the others have dresses 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 jewelry.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Every Disney princess has 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 (and of course her mother and brothers as bears).
  • Gem-Encrusted: The Jewel Princess set has jewels studding their dresses and the fur on their capes.
  • "Gift of the Magi" Plot: In the Disney Princess comics, Aladdin trades his canteen for a telescope holder and Jasmine shows up to say she traded her telescope for a canteen holder.
    Aladdin and Jasmine: [to each other] I wanted to get you a gift.
    Jasmine: I guess great minds do think alike.
    Merchant: They do this every week.
  • Going Through the Motions: Everyone on the Disney Princess website, until Disney removed the animation and simplified the games.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: One of their holiday dress sets, as well as a golden set. Mulan's redesign has put her originally in a golden dress.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Although the exact period is usually fuzzy.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple:
    • Rapunzel has her purple and lavender dress with pink touches.
    • Jasmine has two: one she wears when her engagement with Ali is to be announced, and a slightly varied version seen in The Return of Jafar.
    • Aurora sometimes wears a purple dress as a compromise between her pink and blue dresses.
    • All the girls get a few in the various non-canonical outfits.
  • Gratuitous Princess: The franchise is one of the best-known examples of marketing non-princess characters as princesses:
    • This is most notable with Mulan, a character who is a tomboy and was never a princess in the entirety of her film, but was nevertheless included in the Disney Princess canon and received girlier, more princessy merchandising.
    • Other non-princesses included in the Disney Princess lineup at various points include Esmerelda of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Alice of Alice in Wonderland.
    • The titular Pocahontas is The Chief's Daughter, but she was marketed as a princess from the very beginning, including merchandising showing her in a Pimped-Out Dress that contrasts with her expressed interest in simplicity and disinterest in the trappings of society.
  • 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).
  • Happy Holidays Dress: The girls have several variations over the years. Belle is notable for being the only princess to wear a holiday dress in a movie (namely Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas).
  • Honorary Princess:
    • In 2013, Mulan joined the franchise along with Pocahontas (sometimes considered as honorary too, being The Chief's Daughter ), Tiana, and Rapunzel. She is actually the daughter, and the wife, of military men, but still: Mulan was included in the franchise mainly so Asian little girls could have "their" Disney princess. Mulan actually nearly married a prince in the sequel, and when she offered her hand, a counselor of the king said he should accept, as an heroin such as Mulan will be a better daughter in law than "simple princesses".
    • In a meta example, Kida. While she's not officially recognised as part of the franchise, she has shown up in a few Disney princess media like My Princess Collection.
  • Honorary True Companion: Alice is sometimes included in the line, and was featured in the Disney Princess magazines in the early 2000s.
  • 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 due to the fact that they always copy and paste them onto merchandise, only there's a very noticeable cleavage line drawn onto their outfit and they have svelte bodies. Rather jarring considering Snow White is rather flat-chested and her dress is pretty high cut, yet she still apparently has the boob-line. In the art sge is also turned into a svelte Barbie doll despite her never looking like that in the cartoon. Some princesses such as Ariel, Jasmine and Tiana have cleavage in the cartoons.
  • Hourglass Hottie: Most of them, particularly those made during The '90s. The exceptions are Snow White (who is 14, and existed in a time when less curvy figures were fashionable), Merida, Mulan, and Rapunzel (who are wide in the hips, small in the bust and all part of the 3D styled princesses) and Pocahontas (who is the opposite of Rapunzel - wide in the bust and shoulders, small in the hips).
  • Iconic Item: Each of the princesses tend to be represented by a primary and secondary symbol of their movie:
    • Snow White: Her apple more than anything else, along with her red bow appear quite frequently.
    • Cinderella: The glass slipper is her primary symbol, and a pumpkin (usually just a pumpkin, not the carriage) next.
    • Aurora: Her crown stands out the most (it's used at Belle's Cottage in Walt Disney World to symbolize that Belle's favorite book is the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty), with The Tragic Rose being secondary (since it's more commonly used to represent Belle).
    • Ariel: Seashells are used most often, but her symbols tend to be accouterments of sea-related things.
    • Belle: The Beast's rose is frequently use to represent her, and more rarely, the mirror.
    • Jasmine: The Genie's lamp (being an overall representation of her movie) is used most often, but also frequently a jasmine flower (or even the small white song birds she frees).
    • Pocahontas: Her mother's turquoise necklace gets used as often as an array of colorful leaves (Colors of the Wind and all).
    • Mulan: She has the biggest predicament, as the one symbol really associated with her is reflections; not even mirrors, but just the phenomena itself (although some tangible objects could be used like her sword, medal, or lotus comb, none ever stuck to the public consciousness). She generally is just represented with something that looks Chinese.
    • Tiana: The lilies from the swamps get used exclusively, including a lily pad and vines.
    • Rapunzel: The sun symbol of Corona, as well as the colorful daisies and flowers that decorated her hair appear the most.
    • Merida: Her bow represents her personally, but her mother as a bear is used frequently as well.
  • Iconic Outfit: Pretty much every Disney Princess has one of these, usually their princess dress. These outfits are so iconic that elements of them are often used in non-Disney fairy tales to make it instantly clear who the character is:
    • Snow White: Nearly Snow White's whole outfit tends to get used as being iconic—yellow skirt, red-slashed blue sleeves, white collar, and red bow are used in pieces or even all together to represent her.
    • Cinderella: The big ballroom dress in blue (usually with short, attached sleeves) is almost always used to represent Cinderella.
    • Aurora: The white neckline is the most iconic part of it after the crown, though a dress is often pink. More relevant is that fairy tale princesses often are similar to Aurora in appearance—long, curly blonde hair with violet eyes in pink is a very common way to represent a princess, and in particular, Japan tends to make Sleeping Beauty-inspired princesses more overt.
    • Ariel: In her mermaid form it's her purple Seashell Bra. In human form it's her pink dress (though the redesign gives her a flowing green one that matches her mermaid tail).
    • Belle: Less common to see Beauty from the fairy tale look specifically like Belle (save perhaps brown hair), it's more common to see the Beast be quite inspired by the Disney version.
    • Jasmine: A unique example, as the folk tale is rarely represented in the media, but when a Bedlah Babe needs to make an appearance, you'll bet she'll be dressed to look like Jasmine.
    • Pocahontas/Mulan: Since neither are represented in fairy tales, generally the only depiction is the Disney version.
    • Tiana: The Frog Prince's princess is more and more often represented as a young black lady.
    • Rapunzel: Rapunzel's Rapunzel Hair being blonde is a very common depiction of the princess anyway.
  • "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.
  • Kid Hero: All the Disney Princesses are teenagers, the majority of whom 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.
  • 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.
    • Snow White, Cinderella, and Tiana have shoulder-length hair, though they are usually depicted as wearing their hair up.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: Seems to be a trend with the Revival-era princesses, who are all shown as a baby/child at the beginning of their movie. This also occurs with two out of three of the Walt-era princesses (Cinderella and Aurora, but not Snow White). For whatever reason, it's done with none of the Renaissance-era princesses, unless you count the direct-to-video prequel The Little Mermaid III: Ariel's Beginning.
  • Missing Mom: Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, and Pocahontas don't have mothers, but their fathers are still around. This is even among the Princesses' questions when quizzing Vanellope in Ralph Breaks the Internet:
    Jasmine: Do you have daddy issues?
    Vanellope: I don’t even have a mom!
    Jasmine, Ariel, Pocahontas, Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Elsa, Anna: (Excitedly while posing) Neither do we!
    • For the record, Aurora, Mulan, Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, and Moana are the princesses whose mothers manage to stay alive for the entire movie.
  • Modular Franchise: No Disney Animated Canon work depicts these heroines together in any combination until Ralph Breaks the Internet. 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. Pocahontas as well, being dressed in the shortest skirt of the franchise and many camera angles in her movie highlight her beauty. Likewise, in her film, John Smith doesn't shoot her because he's so stunned by her beauty. Most recent princesses actually seem to try and avert this, since less focus is placed on their beauty and their clothes are less revealing.
  • Multi National Team: After decades of being comprised of ambiguously European princesses, The '90s happened and we got in succession:
  • Near-Death Experience: Some of the princesses, official and honorary, experienced this:
    • Snow White was almost killed by the huntsman, but he spared her life.
    • Maleficent placed a death curse on Aurora, but Merryweather altered it into a deep sleep.
    • Ariel almost drowned upon transforming into a human, but Flounder and Sebastian took her to the surface.
    • Belle almost drowned in icy water, but Beast saved her.
    • Mulan was shot in the chest and wounded, but treated quickly.
    • Anna froze to death, only to come back to life because her Heroic Sacrifice is considered an Act of True Love.
    • Elsa was almost murdered by Hans, but Anna sacrificed herself to save her.
  • 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 licensed Disney CD-ROM game made by a third party company, but many official Disney company sources and record-keepers have declared the Adam name to be false, including Walt Disney Animation Studios, Glen Keane, the Walt Disney Archives and the Disney Animation Research Library.
    • Cinderella's prince, according to Disney press material, is actually named "Prince 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. Amusingly, the Prince has other names that have been used to reference him (depending on who you talk to), and every single one of them start with the letter "F". Even on Once, where he's Abigail's prince (as Snow is with Ella's Prince Charming).note  Amusingly enough, the closest thing to a canon name for him is "Prince Buckethead", a Self-Deprecation in an earlier screenplay of his first meeting with Snow White.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Pretty much a prerequisite — see Friend to All Living Things above.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: When a princess officially becomes a Disney Princess, they get a glitzy makeover so they can all share a unified art style. However, after fan backlash on Merida getting the "princess treatment," despite being an awkward Action Girl, they ceased using her Disney Princess design. On the roster on the official website, she uses art from her movie which is not only a different art style, but is 3D when the others (even Rapunzel) are 2D. We still feature her briefly used Disney Princess art at the top around here, though.
  • Official Cosplay Gear: So many outfits that young girls can wear. It was seeing girls, at a "Disney on ice" show, trying to dress as the princesses, but having no official outfits to wear, that inspired a Disney exec to start this line. Now official dresses of all sizes are available in many department stores.
  • Parental Abandonment: Every princess lost at least one parent, except for Aurora (who didn't even know her parents until her 16th birthday, as she was being protected from a curse), Rapunzel, and Merida. Mulan has both parents alive and well (with her grandmother for added measure), and her plot is trying to prevent losing her father.
  • Parent Service: The merch tends to make all the girls a bit more curvy than in the films. There's some of it in the films. Notably Ariel is effectively nude when she turns into a human, Jasmine gets dressed up in a sexy slave outfit by Jafar, Pocahontas gets a long shot where she's climbing up a rock and her behind is in the center of the camera, and Mulan takes a naked dip in the river.
  • Period Piece: All the Disney Princess movies take place at some point in the past, often (but not always) in a vaguely pre-industrial world.
    • Snow White: Sometime in The Middle Ages.
    • Cinderella: The level of Hollywood Costuming makes it hard to say for sure, but it appears they were going for the Victorian era.
    • Aurora: "After all, this is the fourteenth century."
    • Ariel: Sometime during Wooden Ships and Iron Men.
    • Belle: Eighteenth-century France.
    • Jasmine: "Arabian Nights" Days. Although one DVD edition in the audio commentary said it was 15th century Iran.
    • Pocahontas: "In 1607, we sailed the open sea".
    • Mulan: Sometime in the days of Imperial China. Beyond that, her movie is an Anachronism Stew that randomly mixes elements from different Chinese dynasties.
    • Tiana: The Roaring '20s, specifically 1926, according to an onscreen newspaper.
    • Rapunzel: Extremely vague. The fashions seem to point towards The Renaissance, but this is contradicted by a reference to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
    • Merida: Medieval Scotland.
    • Moana: Set at the end of the "long pause" in Polynesian history, whenever that was. Archeologists disagree over the dating, but it's (maybe) in the range of 300-600 AD.
  • Pimped-Out Cape: Many of their outfit variations include fancy regal capes, especially the holiday ones.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: While their main fancy dresses are pimped out (just more by fancy lines and fabrics more than decorations), the merchandise pimps out their dresses even further.
  • Pink Product Ploy: The background color of their products is almost always pink.
  • 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: Surprisingly doesn't appear as much as you might expect. Although Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, Rapunzel and Aurora have pink costumes - they don't wear them for very long and their iconic gowns are different colors. Aurora is usually advertised in her pink dress, possibly to break up the monotony of blue outfits. This trope may also be the reason Mulan gets advertised wearing her pink dress from the beginning of the movie.
  • Proper Lady: The three classic princesses Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora are all well-mannered and humble, quite different from the later princesses.
  • 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 (after all, 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: While Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, and Rapunzel are usually depicted as being the most innocent, the other princesses at times count.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Due to Long Hair Is Feminine, a few of the princesses.
    • Rapunzel is the most literal example, since her movie is an adaptation of the Trope Namer. Her hair is roughly seventy feet long, justified by being magic.
    • Jasmine mostly keeps hers tied up, but when it's let down in one scene, it nearly reaches her knees.
    • Merida's hair is quite long but as it's quite curly, one can imagine it'd be even longer if it's straight. Her mother's hair reaches down to the floor.note 
    • Ariel's goes to just about waist length when she's human.
    • Pocahontas's is quite long, though the length is hard to determine, since it's constantly being blown in a Dramatic Wind. She apparently had several animators working on just her hair.
  • Rebellious Princess: Ariel, Jasmine, Mulan, and especially Merida. Pocahontas downplays it, as she resists an Arranged Marriage and goes against her father's wishes.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: They are often shown wearing their tiaras, and sometimes royal capes (the latter especially with their holiday dresses).
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Par for the course for a Disney Princess animal sidekick.
  • Royal Blood: Notably, Snow White is of royal blood, but it isn't of any importance to the story.
  • Rule of Glamorous: Many of their outfits are designed to look pretty over anything else, even when beyond what real life could do, such as Ariel wearing fancy clothes underwater.
  • 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 likable and charismatic in the sequels, particularly in Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.note 
    • Eric got some decent character development eventually, but not until the Broadway musical since most Little Mermaid spin-offs take place before Ariel meets him.
  • Simple, yet Opulent: Their main princess dresses are mostly on the low end of "pimped out", if even that. Belle's and Tiana's dresses are the exceptions.
  • 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.
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: Oh, so very shiny.
  • Spear Counterpart: The short-lived Disney Heroes franchise, whose lineup consisted of Aladdin, King Arthur, Hercules, Peter Pan, Robin Hood and Tarzan, was meant to be the boy-centric equivalent of the Princess franchise. It was discontinued quickly after very poor sales.
  • Spoiled Sweet: All those born in royalty to begin with. And all of them, after the end.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: While Snow White was the very first princess to be created by Disney, the lead princess in this franchise is Cinderella, Disney's second princess. As a result, she gets more attention than Snow White and has more merchandise made than her. Case in point: whenever Snow White gets re-released on home video, there's very few pieces of tie-in merchandise released (with the 2001 release only getting a Happy Meal and the 2017 release only getting a set of collector's dolls), while whenever Cinderella gets re-released, tons of tie-in merchandise is made. Tellingly, Cinderella has two sequels while Snow White has none.
  • The Theme Park Version:
    • 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 Beauty and the Beast: 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.
    • Conversely, Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World transforms the lush, gorgeous fantasy Virginia of the first movie into a bland forest landscape with bleak colors.
    • In 2013, the princesses are expected to appear in the Disney Parks in their new redesigns.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Ariel and Jasmine in their animated series, Cinderella and her prince in A Twist in Time, and Rapunzel and Mulan over the course of their actual movies.
    • The princesses as a whole became more action oriented in the 90s, with the exception of Belle (not that she's not proactive; she's just not as much of an Action Girl as the others).
  • Trope Overdosed: At least where The Beautiful and Princess Tropes are concerned, to the point where about half the page images includes at least one Disney Princess.
  • True Blue Femininity: The most common color for the princesses to wear in their films. Only Pocahontas and Rapunzel don't have any dresses that are wholly or prominently blue. Even Pocahontas still has her mother's blue necklace.
  • Tutu Fancy: The "Ballerina Princess" set has tutu variations of the princess dresses, which would be practical if not for the loose tiaras included.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: There are apparently a lot of variations that can be made based on their gowns.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: What do we have as the bad guys? An evil queen/Wicked Stepmother, another (non-royal) Wicked Stepmother, an evil draconic fairy, an octopus sea witch, an Egomaniac Hunter/bully, an Evil Chancellor-turned-Evil Sorcerer, an evil British governor, a ruthless Hun leader, a witch doctor that can manipulate shadows, an abusive old woman who poses as the parent of her kidnappee, and a hideously deformed demon bear.
  • 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. Snow White's original actress actually had opera training, and Aurora's original voice actress was chosen specifically because she could easily sing high-register notes.
  • Xenafication:
    • Cinderella becomes an Action Girl in A Twist In Time, infiltrating the palace, trying to steal back the Fairy Godmother's wand and escaping from a demonic pumpkin carriage to crash her own wedding.
    • Belle in the live action remake too. She's already trying to escape the castle on her first night and has a more direct role in the climax.
  • Younger Than They Look: Almost every princess is under eighteen.


Video Example(s):


Cinderella's Dress (1950)

The classic version, the Fairy Godmother gifts the Princess to be a magical dress for the ball. Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / GorgeousGarmentGeneration

Media sources:

Main / GorgeousGarmentGeneration