I saw my friend Eva’s do a post like this over on her blog, Coffee, Classics, and Craziness, and thought it was so fun, I was inspired to do my own definitive ranking of the Disney Princes and Princesses.
But then I decided to add something more. I wanted to do something special for the month of July, and I decided to pick a theme for the month!
For the month of July, everything on Allison’s Well (and my author blog) is going to be about . . . DISNEY.
A Disney theme somehow felt appropriate for the hot summer months.
So now, without further ado, the first of four Disney themed blog posts – my definitive ranking of Disney princes! Going to kind of let my hair down for this one. 🙂
Note: I will shoot straight with you and admit that for some of these Prince’s I’ve only seen clips or scenes. But, eh, so what?
That’s not going to stop me from forming opinions about them BECAUSE I CAN MAKE SNAP JUDGMENTS WITH THE BEST OF THEM.
# 11 – Prince Eric
Plus, he has A LOUSY MOTIVATION. His goal? To find his one true love. That’s it – nothing else, zippo.
Who are you man? What are your ambitions, your dreams, your duties, your passions?
Get a job, Eric. Get a hobby. Get SOME KIND of identity outside of this girl that hasn’t even showed yet.
Yeah, I know he kills the witch (so that’s more than what the Charming Twins from Cinderella and Snow White accomplish) and he’s kind to Ariel before he realizes that she’s “the one” – but I don’t care: I don’t like him. He just ACTS SO STUPID.
And he looks stupid.
# 10 – Prince Florian
I’m going to give Florian one extra point (maybe half a point) because his part was so small he almost doesn’t exist.
IT NEARLY HAPPENED. Not every fairy tale needs a prince charming, and so this was almost a win for me. 🙂
BUT OTHER THAN THAT, YIKES. I don’t see anything going for him. We know nothing about him except that he likes to walk in the woods and he’ll kiss any girl standing (or lying) still.
And as far as looks . . . dude, what’s with the lipstick? Was that from kissing Snow White? Or was he kissing some girl BEFORE Snow White? #TwoTimer
# 9 – Prince Charming
Somebody needs to work out at the gym a little more, judging from the way he LUMBERED after Cinderella.
It wasn’t the shoe story that was passed down for all time in Cinderella’s kingdom, it was the story about how a girl in high heels and a ball gown could outrun their crown prince. *tsks*
But anyway, lack of physical development aside, Charming is pretty much the professional boyfriend character. He’s the fairy tale equivalent of those Popular Boys At Local High school in teen-dramas who’s “nice enough” to notice the girl who dresses in clothes she got at Goodwill and has super-white teeth . . . but that’s all.
And by the way, I love Goodwill. I don’t think scoring clothes there is a bad thing at all. 🙂
I do like his voice, though, so he has that going for him. I like his voice more than Prince Philip’s. And speaking of which . . .
# 8 – Prince Philip
Phillip rather reminds of those nameless princes in old fairy tales. They do good, prince-like deeds, but we can never really CONNECT with them. He’s a good guy, he’s just . . . flat.
But not his headgear. That is definitely not flat. It is quite pointy.
So yeah. He got a few extra points because the he’s nicer looking than the Charming Duo. And the outfit’s interesting, but otherwise . . .
# 7 – Li Shang
I liked this character before I saw the movie. Finally a Disney “Prince” who has an identity other than looking for his true love! Hooray!
But then I saw the movie.
In theory I could have loved Shang. Unfortunately, the vocal performance was really sissified and his character ended up standing around looking stupid while Mulan stole all the glory.
There could have been more than enough glory for both Mulan AND Shang, but instead I ended up being annoyed with Mulan and disgusted with Shang. When a guy is portrayed as clueless and useless, that makes me mad. But when a MILITARY guy is portrayed as useless, that REALLY incites me.
Yes, he’s present for every battle, he trains the goofballs under him, but other than hitting his marks, there’s nothing special about him in his personality or deeds. What could have been an interesting relationship with him and his father was pretty much left lying on the table. Other than Mulan (and even that is under developed), he feels isolated from any of the other characters. This makes him not only boring, but even more clearly nothing more than a vehicle to make Mulan look good.
WRITING TIP: Making a male look bad is NEVER going to make your female character look good. That little trick never works in any capacity. Remember that, kids.
Anyway, Shang gets an extra point for being in the military, so he’s ahead of the Charmings and Philip only by a technicality. Over than that – THUMBS DOWN.
# 6 – Aladdin
He’s kind of cute, but he’s really young – a kid, really. I put Aladdin in a slightly different category than the rest of the princes because he strikes me as a boy, not a man. Does that make sense? Another words, if I were an animated Disney Princess, I’d think of Aladdin as a kid brother, not romance material.
Anyway, he was kind of cute and he had a nice voice, but I felt that the character of Aladdin was far more developed in the Broadway version (big mistake cutting Proud of Your Boy, Disney) and I guess Adam Jacobs will always be my Aladdin so it’s hard for me to get excited about any other impostor.
^ my boy!!!!!!!!!! ^
Aladdin lost a few points because (even though I like his voice) I didn’t really connect with this portrayal of Aladdin, or his animation. Plus, he has terrible taste in princesses. He could have done better than Jasmine.
# 5 – Naveen
I cannot NOT smile when I see that face. I literally laughed and awww every time I see him or think of him. I MEAN LOOK AT HIM!!!
I adored Prince Naveen’s voice – it made everything he said sweet, charming, and hilarious. And then we have his personality, which was also sweet, charming, and hilarious. 😀 It’s hard not to love this impossible, ridiculous prince with his awkward sweetness and fuddly manner. He’s simply adorable.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t connect with Naveen in his human form at all. I was actually a little upset when Naveen is transformed back into a human!
So I’m at a bit of a Catch-22 with Naveen. I think he’s a keeper as a frog. But . . . as a human? Um . . .
I don’t know how to resolve my self to any of this!!!
# 4 – Kristoff
GAAAH, I love Kristoff so much! He’s the only 9:00 – 5:00 “Prince” in Disney. He’s just a regular, blue-collar Joe.
I liked that there was no SHAME in that. In most stories (not just Disney) it’s common for the ordinary guy with the “humble” job to be elevated at the end into some entirely different position that doesn’t suit them at all (Han Solo *cough*). I’m glad that Kristoff was not embarrassed by his ordinariness or his job and stayed Kristoff at the end.
I like that he’s a bit uncultured and a tad rough around the edges. He’s more REAL, as opposed to the “perfect” guy that is usually presented in Disney movies.
He is also not defined by his lady-love, nor has he any interest in finding romance! He has a job he’s proud of, something he’s passionate about, a good friend (Sven) and he’s CONTENT WITH THAT.
And guys, he’s so sweet and noble!!! He pretty much sacrifices EVERYTHING for “someone he just met” – before he even likes her. He doesn’t love her yet, but after losing his sled (basically his livelihood) and everything on it, he STILL decides to help her. Yes, admittedly, part of his motivation is the fact that he’s stringing along with her in the hopes he’ll get a new sled, but I personally believe that was just Kristoff being a tough guy. He was going to help her with or without a reward, because he is a good fellow.
Kristoff lost a few points because, sadly, he is sometimes used as a vehicle for the feminist thread in Frozen. He stands there looking stupid during the WORST SCENE IN ALL OF FROZEN . . . where Anna punches Han.
*sighs* Come on, people. Didn’t we have enough fem-power to suit you already? Must you hog EVERYTHING? THAT WAS KRISTOFF’S JOB TO DEFEND HER HONOR. He already didn’t save Anna with a kiss of true love. Okay, fine, that was fitting with the story, but he NEEDED to be Anna’s hero at least a LITTLE bit at the end.
That scene makes me so mad, I want to punch the filmmakers, well, like this –
So, yes, unfortunately, Kristoff loses a few points because the filmmakers had a tendency to hold him back and use him as the fall guy for the feminist agenda. Kristoff had all the potential to be my top favorite. All blame rests solely on the filmmakers. I don’t blame poor Kristoff.
# 3 – John Smith
If you say John doesn’t count as Disney Prince, I’ll belt you. Ahem, just so we’re clear.
I kind of consider John Smith (and his love interest Pocahontas) to be in their own category. They are most definitely adults, whereas all other Disney heroes and heroines are most definitely young adults or even kids. There’s a depth and a maturity to their personalities, their behavior, and their romance that is missing from any other Disney couple. So, while they are counted as an Disney “Prince” and “Princess” – I shall always seem them and their romance in a completely different arena from the standard Disney fare. I REALLY, REALLY LIKE THEM – but they’re so different, that when I stack them up against the other Disney Princes, it’s difficult for him to compete in a “genre” that is so unlike him.
AM I MAKING ANY SENSE?
WHATEVER. JUST KEEP READING.
Anyway, I REALLY LOVE John. He has a burning curiosity and a need to explore the situations and people. It doesn’t take much for Pocahontas to introduce him to a new way of thinking, since he’s quick to change his perceptions and embrace new ideas without in any way compromising on his moral character, which never wavers. *arm pump* He’s charming, down-to-earth, and heroic. He’s noblehearted and willing to sacrifice himself for other people. He’s adventurous to the core and HAS to wrestle things to the ground and tackle new challenges. He’s a natural leader and a classically strong ALL MALE MAN. I love it! He’s also low-key, adorably flirtatious. Ahem.
^ ISN’T HE CUTEST THING? ^
Plus, he’s voiced by Mel Gibson (I can actually see a lot of his personality and demeanor in John Smith too) so what’s not to love? Okay, maybe his animation. Because we’re coming down so close to the wire, I had to shave off a few points on that front, because the animation isn’t my absolute favorite. It’s still good – and I can see a lot of Mel Gibson’s expressiveness there, but the sharpness of the animation, to my mind, didn’t suit John as much as it suited Pocahontas. That, and he can be seen as a bit of a vehicle as he could be lumped into the Evil White Male Who Must Be Enlightened group, so he lost a few points there, as well. But not much! *beams at character with affection*
# 2 – Flynn Ryder
Aside from being one of the most genuinely funny and charming characters to have been launched out of Disney, Flynn also possesses a wonderful character arc from selfish thief to selfless hero. And unlike some of the other lackluster princes, his vocal performance is out of the ball park.
He’s charismatic, he’s charming (actually, he thinks he’s more charming than he really is, which adds to his humor). He’s a rogue with a good heart that he hides under a not-very-thick veneer of sarcastic quips. And DID I MENTION HE’S HILARIOUS?
He can also be totally ridiculous and do the most absurd and undignified things .
And he’s so BRAVE! Seeing his transformation from an out-for-himself thief to the self-sacrificing hero is beautiful. I loved how when he is captured and is facing death, all he can think about is saving Rapunzel. And when he rides to the rescue, he is willing to die for her and preforms the ultimate sacrifice in a scene that never fails to move me.
It can be really hard to nail the “prince-consort” character without making the guy look like a useless appendage to the female counterpart. The male who’s sole purpose is to revolve around the female telling her and everyone else how wonderful she is. *insert gag*
But not so with Flynn Rider. He’s his own fully realized character OUTSIDE OF RAPUNZEL and he’s his own man. His self-image is intact enough to be the Crown-Consort, and this position gives him a little more freedom as far as behavior and duties, which would suit Flynn. He’s not responsible enough to be the heir, but he’s perfect as the heir’s right-hand man. One rather has the idea from his stories about life in an orphanage (and the way he watches over Rapunzel) that Flynn WANTS to have people to care for and will be very good at it. He’s the diamond in the rough character who finally receives the nudge he needed to put his courage and kindness to proper use.
Points lost? Um, NOT MUCH. Again, he SOMETIMES stands there looking weak and male while Rapunzel steals all the thunder, but, fortunately, not too often. Other than that, I adore his character, love his voice, and I have no complaints about his animation.
Flynn didn’t lose the top position through any fault of his own. This leaves only NOSTALGIA and that CERTAIN SOMETHING to take home the medal for Favorite Disney Prince.
ARE YOU READY, GUYS? HERE WE GO. MY TOP FAVORITE DISNEY PRINCE OF ALL TIME.
You probably won’t be surprised to find out that it’s . . .
^ funniest / best pick-up line ever ^
HAHAHA. Just kidding.
No, the actual winner of the Best Disney Prince is –
STILL KIDDING. Though I DO love Gaston. ?
Okay, no joke this time. Third time’s the charm.
The winner is –
# 1 – The Beast
What can I say about him? What can I possibly add?
The Beast is US. You and me. The Beast represents every lost soul. We are often our own worst enemies. Our beastly tendencies and the curses we bring upon ourselves nearly consume us. We rage and mourn and struggle, fighting for our humanity. And it is only the response of True Love that saves us. It is then that The Beast – and we – are saved, it is then that we are transformed, it is then that we are made beautiful.
For pure nostalgia, for pure affection, for pure ANIMATED GENIUS, I must choose the Beast as my favorite Disney Prince. He’s an incredible character, powerfully animated by my favorite Disney animator (Glen Keane) and brilliantly voiced by Robbie Benson, who truly added in all the false hardness and the tentative vulnerability that were vital to this gruff part.
OHHHH, MY BEAST. He’s horrible and he’s wonderful. He’s harsh and he’s playful. He’s full of bitterness and he’s full of childlike wonder.
He’s temperamental, he’s cranky, he’s insecure. He’s also trustworthy, kind, and noble.
He’s afraid, he’s angry, and acts like a little boy. He’s also brave, gentle, and a mature sacrificial man.
He’s oblivious, but also sensitive. He’s an awkward slob, and he’s also a true Prince. He’s a lost soul, but he’s becoming a hero, there is good inside of him still, trying to claw its way out, crying out to be seen. And someone sees it!
*pauses a moment, overwhelmed by emotion*
Gradually, the Beast begins to transform into his better self, and finally he’s free. He becomes the hero because he extends mercy to someone who doesn’t deserve it. And then he dies finally knowing the Truth, no longer railing against it. And because of this he lives again through glorious redemption.
Excuse me, I have to go sob for a few minutes, I’ll be back.
*returns a few minutes later, blowing nose*
On a less serious note: I really only liked The Beast as a beast, I had trouble resolving myself to his human form (the same conundrum I faced with Naveen). *sighs* I felt a bit of a disconnect after he was transformed.
Funny story, in the audio commentary for Beauty and the Beast, the creators admitted that they were worried about this and a lot of people “wanted their bison back!”
And there you have it! My definitive ranking of the Disney Princes.
Now, what is YOUR definitive ranking of the Disney princes? OBVIOUSLY, I HAVE TO KNOW.
Next week, we’ll have my definitive ranking of every Disney Princess and there will be two more Disney-themed posts after that, SO STAY TUNED.