Recently, an acquaintance from college put up in her facebook status that Mulan and Belle were her favorite Disney princesses, followed by her writing a blog in which she makes a complete top 10 list. While I don’t always agree with her reasoning, it definitely got me thinking about my own top 10 list of female characters. I would have done only Disney, but I just couldn’t bear to not include some of these fine ladies:
For those of you unfamiliar with the (animated) story, Anastasia is the daughter of the last Russian Czar who misses her train to get the heck out of dodge as the revolution begins. She also gets amnesia and is raised in an orphanage, only to meet a con-man who is looking to get the reward for finding the princess. He drags her to France, while being doggedly pursued by a sorcerer-ish guy who sold his soul to kill her whole family, where she suddenly remembers who she really is and then gives it all up to be with, you guessed it, the con-man.
Why is she one of my favorites? Well first, this girl is not afraid. She is willing to take a chance. She is willing to trust. And she is willing to do things differently than those around her. Plus, she’s got a set of pipes and an imagination that one can only envy.
Megara sells her soul to Hades to save her boyfriend who leaves her. Because she is indebted to Hades, she is his weapon against Hercules before he starts his uprising against Zeus. She and Hercules fall madly in love.
Why is she one of my favorites? Well besides her outfit, her amazing hair, and her killer catch-phrases like “It’s been a real slice”, I like that she is obviously willing to do anything for love. So I’m a sap. Sue me. I also like that while the Greek-mythology equivalent to the devil owns her soul, she does a pretty great job of doing the right thing.
8. Rose Petal
While I’m sure most of you have no idea who Rose Petal is, I can tell you from countless times watching her movie, that Rose Petal is a helluva gal. Rose Petal lives in a garden with her similarly created flower friends like Iris and Buttercup. How did they get there, well there once was a little girl who loved her rose garden more than anything. When it came time for her to move away from that house with the rose garden, she cried over her flowers, and her tears created these delightful little singing flower-ish people. Of course, there is an evil spider who hates Rose Petal so she tricks her into coming over then holds her captive in a tower. No sunlight means no more Rose Petal. Her friends tear down the tower to save Rose Petal.
Why is she one of my favorites? Because no matter what, Rose Petal chooses to see the good in people, er, spiders. All of her past experience would dictate that this spider is no good, but she is willing to give her a chance in hopes that she really has changed. Top it off with a catchy tune, and you’ve got yourself a movie.
7. Barbara Manatee
Barbara Manatee is a character on the fictional soap opera “Endangered Love” which Larry the Cucumber likes to watch during his free time. While watching episodes, he sings love songs to his stuffed manatee and dances with her.
Why is she on of my favorites? Well, in the episode of Endangered Love, she is rejected by Bill because she doesn’t speak French. So she learns French. 1 point for Barb. She in turn rejects Bill because he cannot dance. 2 points for Barb. All the while she has her eyes on the prize : making it to the ball. 3 points and an obvious win for a woman who knows what she wants.
Dory is the short-term-memory-challenged gal we meet along the way as Marlin tries to find his son Nemo who has been captured by a scuba diver. She comes in handy because while she may not remember much of anything important, she is able to read human and speak whale.
Why is she one of my favorites? Dory is the epitome of friendly. She makes friends with everyone she meets, including sharks. She is the eternal optimist, and she’s always willing to have fun. And let’s face it, she’s 88% of the reason people watch Nemo to begin with.
Pete’s Dragon was never at the top of Disney’s big hit list, but I never understood why. In this story, we have a boy, Pete, who has an invisible pet dragon named Elliot, who comes to the aid of children who really need him. Since Pete has just been adopted by a mangy family, it’s safe to say Elliot is needed. But when Pete runs away from his “family” he finds a lighthouse keeper and his daughter, Nora, who take him in, clean him up, and send him to school. Elliot helps keep the flame on the lighthouse lit during a huge storm and Nora’s true love Paul is able to make it back to port after being lost at sea for many years. Pete becomes one of the family and Elliot goes on to help another child in need.
Why is she one of my favorites? Nora is hospitable. She has a gracious imagination to believe anything about Pete’s dragon. She takes care of her drunken father. She goes to bat for Pete time and time again. And she’s loyal to a presumably dead Paul.
So Wilbur the pig is the runt of the litter and he is saved from the butcher only to meet Charlotte the spider who is obviously a wonderful lady. She makes a name for Wilber which continually saves him from the butcher until he is able to win a prize at the fair. At which time, Charlotte lays her egg sac and dies.
Why is she one of my favorites? Charlotte has an extensive vocabulary. She’s certainly not arrogant; she takes the time to patiently teach those around her while she used her big words. And she is selfless until the bitter end in making sure the Wilbur doesn’t become bacon.
Belle (in the Disney version) is the daughter of a crazy inventor. Her thirst for knowledge is insatiable and she never seems to quite fit in. However she does attract the attention of local hottie Gaston who decides he will marry her whether she is game or not. Meanwhile, daddio has gotten lost in the woods and then imprisoned by a Beast in an enchanted castle where the domestics are humanized furniture, dishes, etc. When Belle agrees to take her father’s place, the Beast decides to try to woo her to hopefully break the spell that turned him into a beast. But Belle never forgets her dad and asks for permission to go see him. The villagers, led by none other than Mr. Wonderful, Gaston, learn of the Beast and decide to go kill him. Belle rushes to warn him but is too late and he is stabbed by Gaston. Before he dies, they reveal their mutual love and the Beast is transformed back into a human and so arthe servants. YAY!
Why is she one of my favorites? Well for starters, she’s not afraid to do her own thing and be her own person. She loves to read and learn. And while she must know she’s pretty (her name says it all), she isn’t the slightest bit arrogant or slutty about her beauty. She is also willing to give the Beast an opportunity to be her friend after imprisoning her. She also meets the beast where he’s at when dealing with him. She sees past the exterior and into his heart. Even if he hadn’t turned into a handsome piece of mancake, I’m pretty sure she would have married him.
Lucy is the youngest of 4 siblings sent off to live with a professor during the war. Whilst playing hide and seek, Lucy stumbles upon an entrance into an enchanted land where animals, trees, and other usually quiet objects talk and move. She meets a fawn who tries to lull her into a false sense of security only to become her friend and tell her to flee. When she returns to her siblings, she tells them all about the magical land, and of course they don’t believe her so she takes them to the land. This of course starts the thaw on the frozen land and alerts the Evil Queen and then all heck breaks loose as the magical kingdom awaits the return of Aslan, the good King who has been gone for many years. And when Lucy’s brother Edmond betrays his sibs to team up with the queen and then changes his mind, Aslan has to trade a life for a life. After he is killed, the war breaks out but Aslan comes back and the evil queen is defeated making Lucy and her sibs the kings and queens of Narnia until they accidentally return home 20 years or the same day later. (This one isn’t as simple so definitely read it.)
Why is she one of my favorites? Lucy has the ultimate faith of a child. She makes friends and trusts with pure simplicity. She also is completely full of goodness. She is also unafraid and unshaken in her convictions. In the other stories, she is the model of love for Aslan, and since Aslan is a symbol of our Lord, who wouldn’t think that’s great?
She is the very intelligent friend of none other than Harry Potter and Ron Weasley and throughout all of their years in school works with them to defeat the Dark Lord. She eventually falls in love with Ron Weasley and they live happily ever after. (How is it that this is the shortest synopsis?)
Why is she one of my favorites? Well besides being super smart and proud of it, she is super loyal. She is a great and wonderful friend. She is proud of her heritage (muggle-born). She will research any topic and make an informed decision. She is beautiful and confident and always planning ahead.
Well there’s my list. Agree or disagree, I don’t care. But here’s my opinion on the leading ladies.