Most people grew up watching Disney movies, and with each movie, a new Disney princess was unveiled to audiences worldwide. Each princess served as not only the heroine of each tale being told, but also a leader among women, and an icon and symbol for what society values and how women should act. There’s been a lot of debate over which Disney princess was the most memorable, with possible candidates being Cinderella, Aurora, and Snow White. In no specific order, we offer you instead…

Beauty and the Beast’s Belle

Beauty and the Beast tells the story of a vain prince who is turned into an atrocious beast when he refuses to help a witch disguised as a beggar, and the young woman (Belle) who gets lost in the woods and meets the beast. Belle’s challenge in the movie is to tame the beast so that he may know kindness, love, and humility, which will turn him into a prince again. Belle makes our list of the most memorable Disney princesses because of her compassion, individuality, and independence, and her ability to teach and see the inner character of a person. Not only does Belle grapple with the beast’s anger and cruelty, she also works with him to teach him everything from etiquette to empathy. Her actions with the beast are never demeaning, despite that fact that she is far more cultured than he. She is incredibly courageous, taking on the task of living with the beast and challenging him to exercise love and mercy.

The Most Memorable Disney Princesses Of All Time

Pocahontas’s Pocahontas

In the Disney film Pocahontas, Pocahontas is a young member of the Powhatan tribe. Pocahontas tells the tale of the first Englishmen settling in Virginia. While the rest of Pocahontas’s people are scared, hateful, or worried about the coming of the white man, Pocahontas reaches out to the newcomers and falls in love with one of them, John Smith. Not only does she refuse to acknowledge racial barriers, she also demonstrates a love and compassion for humanity, animals, and the land. She is portrayed as brave and noble, even demonstrating the courage and willingness to sacrifice herself for her people. Pocahontas teaches us about love, responsibility, dedication, and caring for the planet. A woman wise beyond her years, Pocahontas breaks cultural barriers and encourages people to see with their hearts instead of their eyes.

Aladdin’s Jasmine

A character with an adventurous spirit, Jasmine defies the cultural stereotypes of her time. In the movie, Jasmine is a wealthy princess living in her father’s castle. Yearning to break free from the walls that protect her from the outside world, Jasmine decides to leave her opulent home. By dressing as a peasant and exploring the city, Jasmine sees how her father’s subjects—the impoverished—live. Jasmine demonstrates that she values more than just superficial things in life. Despite Jasmine’s desire to be outside of the castle and among the people, she reveals her identity as a princess in order to spare Aladdin’s life. Not only does she exercise compassion in this moment, but throughout the movie she proves that she is a person who values truth and honesty, freedom and opportunity, and equality and fairness. In a movie with a great take on how the other half lives, Jasmine is a heroine who’s willing to risk a lot for the betterment of others.

Burt Muncie is a freelance writer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Burt suggests that Disney fanatics check out the princess dolls here from if they’re looking for a gift.

Image credit goes to sandyaluna.