Happily Ever After! It’s something everyone dreams of. Disney movies have helped shape the definition of Happily Ever After. In a world where things look dreary, Disney Princesses have given us hope that good wins over evil. Though the way the happy endings have occurred has changed, knowing all things work out for good is a message of hope that everyone needs. These are the best Disney Princess Movies with powerful life lessons that spread the message of hope, love, and justice.
Best Disney Princess Movies with Powerful Life Lessons
The best Disney Princess movies are ones where the princess has an active role in their story’s outcome and share a powerful life lesson we can all learn from. While I adore Sleeping Beauty, I did not include Aurora because she didn’t even know she was cursed and never knew she was rescued.
Snow White (1937)
Snow White is the original Disney Princess. I love her story because she still kept hope and love in her heart even after her attempted murder and being a runaway. She made things work in her favor. I think Snow gets a lot of flack because she was rescued by the Prince, but even before her death and rescue, she was making a pretty awesome life for herself. Snow managed to start a new life with friends and had a purpose.
Cinderella is another princess that does get enough credit for making her own future. She was being abused by her stepfamily and still had hope for a better life. Yes, she may have had some help from the Fairy Godmother but without Cinderella dreaming and wanting a better life the Fairy Godmother would have never appeared. Other than the story being amazing, the animation of her dress during the ballroom scene is amazing! The ballroom scene is actually said to be Walt’s favorite piece of animation.
Another reason to love Cinderella is that without her movie, the Disney company would not be what it is today. Disney was on the brink of bankruptcy, Cinderella saved the Studios.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Belle in the Beauty and the Beast is smart, brave, and strong. She dared to be different in a time where girls all were all “supposed” to act in another way. I see her as the first Disney feminist. She not only read about places, but she also dared and dreamed of a better life than the one she was living. Belle stood up to the Beast’s anger and helped to soften him and break the wall he built around himself. She may have been “rescued” by the Beast but she was pretty awesome on her own. I think Belle could have taken on Gaston herself and won.
Mulan was a war hero. She risked so much to bring honor to not only her family but her country. Like many young women, she felt like she didn’t just match what society wanted. She wasn’t graceful, she spoke too much for her culture, and was also going through the stage where we don’t always know what we are becoming. Faking being a male soldier was risky, but she did it and became a better soldier than all the men!
Mulan shows us that you can do anything you put your heart into!
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Tiana didn’t even really believe in fairy tales. She believed in hard work. It’s kind of funny that she becomes a “fairy tale” in the movie but her strength is that she continues to believe in her dreams and hard work. Not only does she make her own dreams to come true but she influences others to work hard and make their dreams come true as well.
Rapunzel made so many choices that led her to save herself. First, she dreamed and intuitively knew that there was something more about her life. Then she dared to leave her tower, dared to trust Flynn, and then dared to resist Mother Gothel. She is a fighter!
Merida is a balance of believing in flights of fancy and making your own destiny. Merida hated the idea of an arranged marriage and wanted to control her life. She may have made some mistakes along her journey but does everything she possibly can to correct them.
Merida is the first princess to not have a love interest proving a man is not needed to help at all.
Queen Elsa and Princess Anna show us love can be the most powerful weapon we possess. Whether it is romantic love or love between sisters, love can save the day. I have to give major props to Anna. She braved so many things to try to help Elsa, even things that put her in danger. Frozen 2 looks like it is going to be amazing and I can’t wait to see more of their adventure.
Though Moana doesn’t like to be called a princess, she is as pointed out by Maui. Moana is another princess that bucks tradition like Mulan and Merida to make her own way. She is super strong and not about to even let a demi-god scare her out of saving her people and land. Moana was braver than Maui and proved it when she came face to face with TeKa.
Another thing that is awesome about Moana is that even though she defies tradition she listens to her parents and gets their blessing before crossing the ocean.
Do Disney Princess Movies have a Good Message for Young Girls?
My answer is yes. Even Snow White and Cinderella show that bravery has many sides and is not always wielding a sword like Mulan. Sometimes the most courageous thing is believing and hoping for a better future. It’s courageous to trust people again after being abused like Rapunzel, Snow White, and Cinderella show us. Meekness, kindness, and a soft heart are not anti-feminism but rather show how tough we can be even faced with trials.
In my own personal life, I faced abuse as a child. Do you know easy it could have been to harbor hate and never trust people again? To believe my happy ending was not out there because I didn’t see it in real life? Fairytales give hope to so many!
What is your favorite Disney princess movie and why? Let me know in the comments.
If you are looking for a great Disney Princess Gift idea, check out my Disney Princess LEGO Gift Guide.