Female Disney Characters: Stories and Significance

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Happy Women’s Day to all Disney Wire readers! Today, we must know about some of the most significant female Disney characters that have left an impact on our lives. Probably you still don’t know some of them and would want to watch the shows that exhibit their characteristics!

Disney has been a company for almost a hundred years, and we have seen more than 100+ female Disney characters. Some of them are groundbreaking, whereas some rarely do anything but leave a massive impact.

A lot of female Disney characters are global icons. Disney movies tell us that female characters can be more than the stereotypical damsel-in-distress, often seen in popular series or films. Even Disney has had similar stories but has changed narrative over time.

Disney has shown female characters in various forms such as princesses, lions, spacefarers, spies, fish, and more. All of them have the qualities to be the heroine of their movies.

Female Disney Characters

Here are some of the influential female Disney characters of all time:

#1 Cinderella (Cinderella)

One of the most famous fairy tale female Disney characters of all time is Cinderella. The story begins with her mother dying. After some time, her father married Lady Tremaine thinking that she needed a motherly figure in her life. But the father passed after the marriage.

After this, her stepmother would treat her horribly, along with her daughters Drizella and Anastasia. They would force her to work as a maid. She used to do all the work from laundry, feeding the cat and the livestock.

Despite living in a toxic environment with abusive relatives, Cinderella remains kind, loving, and determined to find her independence.

Furthermore, she also develops a friendly bond with birds and a lot of mice in the house. These animals were trapped by Tremaine but rescued by Cinderella. Due to this, the mice and birds will become her loyal companions. They would provide her company and help her with her work.

Since she was extremely kind and optimistic, Fairy Godmother visited her and helped her become a princess again.

#2 Sally (The Nightmare Before Christmas)

Sally is an inventive and brave woman and is the deuteragonist of the movie. Dr. Finkelstein created Sally; a humanoid robot made up of different pieces stitched together.

However, she is not allowed to go outside. Hence, she poisons Dr. Finkelstein with nightshade and then sneaks out. She is compassionate and also sweet-tempered.

Throughout the movie, she shows love and cares for Jack Skellington and is always worried about his well-being.

We see that Jack has some Christmas plans which Sally has a bad feeling about it. But despite that, she still helps him to create the Santa Clause outfit.

Also, she has voiced her opinions and concerns to Jack even though he never listened to them. However, she is forgiving and does not hold a grudge against him even though sometimes Jack does not pay attention to her.

Furthermore, we have seen she is exceptionally cautious whenever she thinks something is wrong, such as she once fogs up the whole town.

Image Source: Pinterest

#3 Nala (The Lion King)

The Lion King female Disney characters are as impressive as their male characters, and Nala is one of them. She is the deuteragonist of the 1994 movie “The Lion King.” Moreover, she is Simba’s childhood best friend, the Prince of “Pride Lands.”

When the kingdom of “Pride Lands” is taken by Scar and his army of hyenas, she rebels against them and helps Simba reclaim the throne again. Later she marries Simba and gives birth to 2 cubs Kion and Kiara.

As a kid, Nala was sassy and sarcastic. She used to encourage Simba when needed. Simba sometimes tries to claim Nala’s ideas as his, but she does not like to be overlooked.

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As she becomes an adult, she becomes mature and responsible. We see that when she meets Simba again, she tells him that “Pride Lands” needs a leader like him. In the movie, she voices her opinion even though many try to shut her down, but nothing can beat her down.

Image Source: Flickr

#4 Ariel (The Little Mermaid)

The Little Mermaid female Disney character is Princess Ariel. She is the youngest and the seventh daughter of Queen Athena and King Triton, the rulers of Atlantica, an undersea kingdom.

From a very young age, she admires the human world, the forbidden land for mermaids, and wants to explore it once in her life.

It is stated that The Little Mermaid is based on the Danish fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen. However, in the Danish story, the princess loses the Prince and dies, but the Disney adaptation gave us a happy ending.

female Disney characters

#5 Snow White (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)

Snow White is one of the earliest female Disney characters and the first member of the official “Disney Princess.” She is known for her optimism and kind heart. Both of these are her greatest strength and have helped her in many hardships she faced throughout her life.

At the beginning of the movie, she sees the charming Prince and starts to develop feelings. However, she learns that her stepmom, The Evil Queen, is trying to kill her.

Thus, she was forced to run away from her castle and find shelter in a small cottage where seven dwarfs were living. Since she is a refugee now, she is determined to reunite with her Prince and live happily ever after.

Image Credit: Halloween Costume

#6 Rapunzel (Tangled)

Rapunzel is the princess from the Kingdom of Corona. The character is famous for her long, golden, and magical hair. When she was a child, she gets kidnapped by a wicked crone and locked in a tower far away from her castle.

For 18 years, she would live there and become captivated by the “floating lights” that would appear once a year on her birthday. She is a fee-spirit and determined girl, and throughout her life, she wanted to escape from the tower to experience the world.

But Gothel, her only parental figure, was strict and ordered her to never step outside the tower.

Gothel used to emotionally abuse and manipulate her throughout her life, which made her believe that the outside was very dangerous. She thought living in the tower was the best place that would shelter her from all the danger.

Moreover, with the help of Flynn Rider, a thief, Rapunzel escaped from the tower to explore the world and learn more about these “floating lights.”

female Disney characters

Badass female Disney characters

You will also find strong female Disney characters who have shown their courage and bravery in their movies.

#1 Fa Mulan (Mulan)

When we talk about the strongest female Disney characters, the first name that comes to our mind is Mulan. She is the protagonist of the 1998 Disney movie “Mulan”. The folk tale of Hua Mulan inspired the story.

Moreover, Mulan is the 8th official “Disney Princess” and the only one not from a royal family even after marriage.

Mulan is the daughter of a war veteran who is very stubborn and strong-willed. When her father is called back to the battlefield to fight Shan Yu, Mulan takes his place and disguises herself as Ping, a male soldier.

Image Source: Flickr

#2 Esmeralda (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Esmeralda is a very powerful, intelligent, cunning, street-wise, and optimistic character. She is a humanitarian and tries to protect bell-ringer Quasimodo from Claude Frollo.

Also, she is the only person in France who has openly rebelled against Claude during his time. When the judges accused the Romani culture to be gangs that practice witchcraft, she was the one who stood against them.

Due to this, Esmeralda was the prime target of Claude, but we see she outsmart Claude’s plan all the time even though the situations she has been into are not easy to escape.

Also, when Claude captured her, she remained strong and fierce and refused to degrade herself in front of him.

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Image Source: Pinterest

#3 Black Widow (Marvel Movie Series)

Natalia Romanoff is another female Disney character who is a perfect spy and an assassin. She is one of the founding members of Avengers.

When she was a child, General Drevkov brainwashed her in the Red Room. She even lived as Melina Vostokoff and Alexei Shostakov’s surrogate child for a short time while living undercover in the US.

After “Destruction of the North Institute,” Natalia suffered from psychological conditions, and later she graduated from Red Room as Black Widow.

At first, she was working with KGB and later was one of the most important agents of SHIELD. One of her missions as an undercover agent is to go inside Stark Industries and look at Tony Stark. He was a target at that time. During this, Natalia helps Stark to defeat Ivan Vanko, who was planning to harm Stark.

Black Widow Generated $60 Million From Premier Access Says Disney

#4 Megara (Hercules)

Megara, commonly known as Meg, plays the role of the deuteragonist in the movie. She is an independent and free-spirited girl. But she is in pain after her ex-boyfriend left her.

Meg’s appearance is also different than typical female Disney characters we see in their animated movies.

After she meets Hercules, who is innocent and genuine, her outlook changes slowly. She sees that there are still good people in the world.

Moreover, she thought low of men due to past experiences. Thus, when she first meets Hercules, Meg seduces him and then accuses him of putting on an innocent façade. But it changes when she spends some time with him and starts to have feelings for Hercules.

Also, Meg is very afraid of height. However, she overcomes when she has to save Hercules at the end of the movie.

Image Source: Flickr

#5 Rey Skywalker (Star Wars)

Rey is another strong and courageous female Disney character who is the protagonist of the movie. She is a scavenger and gets tangled in the war which was between the First Order and Resistance.

Later, she uncovers that she can use be a Force-user and then seek out to look for Luke Skywalker, the Jedi master.

In her journey, she meets with Kylo Ren, the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia and the movie’s main antagonist. Despite them being enemies later eventually fall in love with one another.

Moreover, in the movie, Rey is caring, optimistic, and kind. Her parents abandoned her when she was small. But she still hopes to reunite with them.

Also, she is very reserved, likes to work alone, and do not share her personal feeling with others. Even though she is vulnerable, Rey does not show that side of her to anyone and always keeps her feelings to herself.

We have only seen her opening up to two people in the movie, Kylo Ren and Leia.

Rey Skywalker

#6 Merida (Brave)

Merida is a Scottish Princess who belongs to the Kingdom of Dun Broch and is the daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor and has three siblings Hamish, Hubert, and Harris.

She is the 11th official “Disney Princess” and the first one from the Pixar movie.

Merida is bold, courageous, rebellious, and a daring girl who doesn’t fit the typical princess role.

Merida rebels a lot in the movie and does not want to follow the tradition that a princess would have to follow. All she wants is to be an ordinary girl who does not have to follow the rules.

Also, she is athletic and likes horse riding often rides Angus, her horse. She practices archery as well and is the best in her kingdom.

Moreover, in “Cutting the Class,” we see her sword-fighting skills.

Her personality is a mix of both her parents. She is loud, rowdy, and impulsive like her father. Whereas in terms of not listening to others and being stubborn, she is like her mother.

female disney characters
Image Source: Medium

Final thoughts

Most of the female Disney characters play an essential role in their movies. There are so many Disney women who inspired us to become strong and independent.

The best part of Disney movies is that they mostly portray their female leads as brave, courageous, and outspoken.

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