The Walt Disney Company is known for some of the most iconic animated films ever created. Walt Disney himself pioneered so many of the classics, bringing animation to life. Disney created this idea of “Happily ever after” with princesses and princes. These strong female characters exude confidence, hope, hard work, and overall determination.
In these five films, all the princesses have had to persevere and move forward through some kind of difficult situation. Through their determination, they came out the other side better. In the success of their work, each princess was rewarded with a magical ending. While they all began as animated films, each has since been remade into live-action films, replaying their story all over again for the world to enjoy.
Cinderella 1950 & 2015
Cinderella (1950) was one of the films Walt Disney created in his home in Los Angeles. The classic film is about a girl who is “forced to be a slave in her own house” when her father passes away, to her evil stepmother and step-sisters. The animated version brought memorable songs and characters like the talking mice Gus Gus and Jaq. The live-action film is no different, thankfully! In 2015, Lily James starred as Cinderella with all the same familiar songs and characters, adding some new music to the scene. It was ranked #3 on Rotten Tomatoes’ “All 21 Disney Live-Action Remakes Ranked.”
The Little Mermaid 1989 & 2023
The Little Mermaid (1989) is about an underwater princess who wants to “Be where the people are.” Ariel is a tough, strong-willed female who wants what she wants and will not stop until she gets there. Since the original film, it has been remade into a live-action featuring Halle Bailey. The new film was released on May 26, 2023, grossing over $414 billion at the box office.
Beauty and The Beast 1991 & 2017
Beauty and The Beast (1991) gives us a peek into the small town where Belle resides with her father. The French-inspired scenery and catchy songs like ‘Be Our Guest’ make for a fun and entertaining princess movie. The live-action version starred Emma Watson, depicting almost an exact replica of the original film. Some may even argue the live-action was just as good, if not better than the classic animation.
Mulan 1998 & 2020
Mulan (1998) is one of the pivotal films for Disney princesses. She is the epitome of strength and loyalty, showing great love for her family. This film changed the way a Disney princess could look, being that she pretended to be a male soldier to save her family from despair. The live-action is filled with reprised songs and Chinese culture bringing the animation to life.
Aladdin 1992 & 2019
Aladdin (1992) is a classic for many of its characters. Genie, Jafar, and Lago are all comedic reprieve throughout the film. Princess Jasmine wants to explore the rest of the world, entering Aladdin an average poor boy. The remake features Will Smith as Genie, which was previously played by Robin Williams. The live-action was detailed bringing new music to light, but keeping the same overall Disney magic.
Since these classics came to be, so many other Disney Princesses have been introduced. Now, Disney is the home to Moana (2016), Princess and The Frog (2009), Tangled (2010), and many more. Disney has recently released the live-action remake of Moana. Which princess do you think is next for their spotlight?