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Every Disney princess movie ranked from worst to first

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Walt Disney Studios

Every Disney princess movie ranked from worst to first

Disney princess memes and quizzes have become ubiquitous in the past few years—who among us hasn't taken "which princess matches your personality?" Disney princesses reimagined as hipsters, parents, modern-day career women—the list goes on and on. But there’s nothing like going back to the source material for the true answer to the question: who’s the fairest of them all? Using data from IMDb rankings, with the number of IMDb user votes to break any ties, Stacker ranked every standalone movie released by Disney that featured a princess character, from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” to “Moana.”

It’s important to note that this ranking goes beyond what might be considered the animated princess-sphere, and includes movies like “Enchanted” and “The Princess Diaries,” which also feature royalty and are Disney creations, but are not “Disney princesses” in the traditional sense.

Whether you consider yourself an Ariel or more of a Jasmine, there’s something for everyone here. Read on to see where your favorite falls in the rankings.

RELATED: Best animated TV shows of all time

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Walt Disney Studios

#29. Pocahontas 2: Journey to a New World

Year released: 1998

IMDb rating: 4.9

Directed by: Tom Ellery, Bradley Raymond

Runtime: 72 min.

Picking up where the original film leaves off, “Pocahontas 2” sees Powhatan’s daughter journey to England with her animal companions Meeko, Flit, and Percy. According to IMDb, the character John Smith is voiced by Donal Gibson, the younger brother of Mel Gibson, who voiced John Smith in the original film.

 

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Walt Disney Studios

#28. Cinderella II: Dreams Come True

Year released: 2002

IMDb rating: 5.0

Directed by: John Kafka

Runtime: 73 min.

Narrated by Cinderella’s mouse friends, Jaq and Gus, “Cinderella II” tells the story of how Cinderella becomes a princess but loses touch with herself. Brooke Allison received two DVD Exclusive Award nominations for Best Original Song for “Follow Your Heart” and “Put it Together (Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Boo).”

 

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Walt Disney Studios

#27. Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams

Year released: 2007

IMDb rating: 5.3

Directed by: David Block

Runtime: 56 min.

This Disney princess film is a compilation of short stories about Aurora (“Sleeping Beauty”) and Jasmine (“Aladdin”). It was originally intended to be part of a larger series of “Disney Princess Enchanted Tales,” but the plans were scrapped after the release of “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning” in 2008.

 

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Walt Disney Studios

#26. Belle's Magical World

Year released: 1998

IMDb rating: 5.6

Directed by: Bob Kline, Cullen Blaine, Dale Case, Daniel de la Vega, Barbara Dourmashkin, Rick Leon, Burt Medall, Mitch Rochon

Runtime: 92 min.

Paige O’Hara, the original voice of Belle in “Beauty and the Beast,” reprises her role in this sequel to the 1991 film. The 1998 movie is divided into three chapters that include two original songs and are intended to teach children lessons about love, kindness, and forgiveness.

 

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Walt Disney Studios

#25. The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea

Year released: 2000

IMDb rating: 5.6

Directed by: Jim Kammerud, Brian Smith

Runtime: 75 min.

Ariel’s daughter Melody is forbidden from entering the ocean for fear that she will encounter a sea witch, but when she turns 12, she runs away to the sea. Ariel must turn back into a mermaid to rescue her daughter from Ursula’s clutches with the help of her friends. Pat Carroll, the voice of Ursula in the original film, returns as the voice of Ariel’s sister Morgana in this direct-to-DVD film.

 

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Walt Disney Studios

#24. Mulan 2

Year released: 2004

IMDb rating: 5.7

Directed by: Darrell Rooney, Lynne Southerland

Runtime: 79 min.

Mulan and husband-to-be Shang encounter obstacles on the way to their wedding in this sequel to the action-packed 1998 film “Mulan.” World champion ice skater and Olympic silver medalist Michelle Kwan is featured as the voice of the shopkeeper in the village, according to IMDb.

 

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Walt Disney Studios

#23. The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

Year released: 2004

IMDb rating: 5.8

Directed by: Garry Marshall

Runtime: 113 min.

This Garry Marshall-directed sequel to the well-received “Princess Diaries” starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews was released in theaters in August 2004. Unlike many of the films on this list so far, which were direct-to-DVD sequels, “The Princess Diaries 2” enjoyed box office success, taking in more than $100 million worldwide.

 

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Walt

#22. Aladdin: The Return of Jafar

Year released: 1994

IMDb rating: 5.9

Directed by: Toby Shelton, Tad Stones, Alan Zaslove

Runtime: 69 min.

Disney released “Aladdin: The Return of Jafar” directly to video in 1994, its first direct-to-video sequel. Robin Williams did not appear as the voice of the Genie in this sequel, due to a disagreement with Disney.

 

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Walt Disney Studios

#21. Cinderella 3: A Twist in Time

Year released: 2007

IMDb rating: 6.0

Directed by: Frank Nissen

Runtime: 74 min.

Lady Tremaine, Cinderella’s evil stepmother, reverses the course of events that led Cinderella to Prince Charming. Cinderella must win back her prince before he marries one of her ugly stepsisters instead. Primetime Emmy winner Holland Taylor lends her voice to the film.

 

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Walt Disney Studios // IMDB

#20. Into the Woods

Year released: 2014

IMDb rating: 6.0

Directed by: Rob Marshall

Runtime: 125 min.

This star-studded production of the Sondheim classic features Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) and Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy). Of course, what would a princess story be without a witch (Meryl Streep)? With the longest runtime of any film on this list, the 2014 film version of “Into the Woods” clocks in at 125 minutes and is a modern amalgamation of the stories of the aforementioned princesses, a baker and his wife, “Little Red Riding Hood,” and “Jack and the Beanstalk.”

 

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Disney Television Animation // IMDB

#19. Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

Year released: 1997

IMDb rating: 6.1

Directed by: Andrew Knight

Runtime: 72 min.

This direct-to-video sequel to “Beauty and the Beast” features the vocal reunion of Tim Curry and Bernadette Peters. The pair played Rooster and Lily St. James in the 1982 film version of “Annie,” 15 years prior to the release of “Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.” In the film, Belle discovers the Beast’s deep-seated hatred for the Christmas season, and endeavors to change his mind.

 

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Walt Disney Studios // IMDB

#18. The Princess Diaries

Year released: 2001

IMDb rating: 6.3

Directed by: Garry Marshall

Runtime: 111 min.

This film stars Anne Hathaway in her breakout role as 16-year-old Mia Thermopolis, a San Francisco high school student who learns she is the heir to the throne of fictional European country Genovia. It was based on the young adult novel by Meg Cabot.


 

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Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // IMDB

#17. The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning

Year released: 2008

IMDb rating: 6.4

Directed by: Peggy Holmes

Runtime: 77 min.

The prequel to the original 1989 film, “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning” depicts a world where music was banned from the underwater kingdom of Atlantica. Ariel, Triton’s youngest daughter, takes it upon herself to restore music to the kingdom. “Ariel’s Beginning” features the voices of Jodi Benson and Samuel E. Wright as well as Sally Field.


 

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Buena Vista Home Entertainment // IMDB

#16. Aladdin and the King of Thieves

Year released: 1996

IMDb rating: 6.4

Directed by: Tad Stones

Runtime: 81 min.

This movie follows the obstacles Aladdin and Princess Jasmine face leading up to their walk down the aisle. The return of Robin Williams as Genie makes this worth a watch. It’s also the first installment in the Aladdin franchise to feature a completely new score, as opposed to themes adapted from the original movie.

 

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Walt Disney Pictures // IMDB

#15. Pocahontas

Year released: 1995

IMDb rating: 6.7

Directed by: Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg

Runtime: 81 min.

Native American chief Powhatan’s daughter falls in love with an English soldier, John Smith, in this drawn-from-reality story about the real Algonquin princess’s romance with the man who led the colonization of her people’s territory in the 17th century. Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz’s music won the film two Oscars: one for Best Original Score and one for Best Original Song (“Colors of the Wind”). This was the first Disney film to feature a mixed-race romance.

 

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Disney Enterprises Inc. // IMDB

#14. Maleficent

Year released: 2014

IMDb rating: 7.0

Directed by: Robert Stromberg

Runtime: 97 min.

Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning star in this retelling of “Sleeping Beauty” from the perspective of Maleficent, the fairy queen who curses Aurora. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Achievement in Costume Design, and made more than $240 million at the U.S. box office alone.

 

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Disney Enterprises Inc. // IMDB

#13. The Princess and the Frog

Year released: 2009

IMDb rating: 7.1

Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker

Runtime: 97 min.

Tiana, Disney’s third princess of color after Jasmine and Pocahontas, is a hard-working waitress with dreams of owning a restaurant in New Orleans. Her dreams are thwarted by Prince Naveen, who—disguised as a frog—turns her into a frog. Each must race to break the spell and resume their true forms. The film was a three-time Oscar nominee and featured the voice of Oprah Winfrey.

 

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Walt Disney Pictures // IMDB

#12. Enchanted

Year released: 2007

IMDb rating: 7.1

Directed by: Kevin Lima

Runtime: 107 min.

Princess Giselle (Amy Adams) of Andalasia has landed somewhere smelly, disorienting, and nothing like home: New York City. With the help of her new friends, a lawyer and his daughter, will she be able to fight the Evil Queen (Susan Sarandon) and get home to her happily-ever-after? Sing along to the film’s three Oscar-nominated songs and find out.

 

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Disney/Pixar // IMDB

#11. Brave

Year released: 2012

IMDb rating: 7.1

Directed by: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell

Runtime: 93 min.

In this Disney/Pixar joint effort, Merida, the princess of Scotland, aspires to be an archer. Her curly red hair sets her apart from the other Disney princesses, as does her reckless spirit. There was a 14-person animation team assigned to deal with duplicating the musculature in the horses and Merida’s curly hair.

 

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Walt Disney Productions // IMDB

#10. Sleeping Beauty

Year released: 1959

IMDb rating: 7.3

Directed by: Clyde Geronimi

Runtime: 75 min.

Princess Aurora is put into a deep sleep by mistreated fairy, and only a prince can break the spell. With help from three good fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, Aurora is able to escape the curse. According to IMDb, Princess Aurora’s long, willowy body shape was inspired by that of Audrey Hepburn.

 

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1950 Disney // IMDB

#9. Cinderella

Year released: 1950

IMDb rating: 7.3

Directed by: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske

Runtime: 74 min.

Mistreated stepdaughter Cinderella is able to get to the Royal Ball, despite her stepmother’s objections, thanks to the help of her animal friends and fairy godmother. The film was a turning point for Walt Disney Studios; they hadn't had such a critical commercial success since “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was released in 1937. In a way, it was the studio’s very own rags-to-riches story, as it enabled them to begin production on a slate of other projects and break ground for Disneyland within the decade. It was also the first film to be worked on by all nine of the so-called “Nine Old Men” of the Disney animation department.

 

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Disney/Disney // IMDB

#8. Frozen

Year released: 2013

IMDb rating: 7.5

Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Runtime: 102 min.

After the Golden Age of Disney films in the late 1980s and early 1990s, “Frozen” once again reinstated Disney as a household name. It was the first full-length Disney (non-Pixar) film to win the Golden Globe (and later the Oscar) for Best Animated Feature Film in 2013 since Tarzan in 1999. The movie’s signature song, “Let It Go,” sung by Elsa (Idina Menzel) and written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez broke pop music records and became popular with toddlers and young children all over the world. Sisters Anna and Elsa and their story of finding true love as a family was so popular, it was later made into a Broadway musical.

 

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1937 Disney // IMDB

#7. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Year released: 1937

IMDb rating: 7.6

Directed by: William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen

Runtime: 83 min.

Snow White was the first Disney princess movie and the studio’s first full-length animated feature film, as well as the highest-grossing animated film of all time (adjusted for inflation). Any fan of fairy tales knows the story of Snow White's adventures with seven dwarfs (all based on real people). At the age of 14, Snow White is the youngest Disney Princess.

 

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Disney // IMDB

#6. Moana

Year released: 2016

IMDb rating: 7.6

Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker

Runtime: 107 min.

Polynesian princess Moana sets out to make things right with the ancient demigod Maui, whose curse threatens her island. The action-adventure tale features a score by Lin-Manuel Miranda of “Hamilton” fame. “Moana” was the first Disney film to feature a cast primarily of Polynesian descent, including Dwayne Johnson.

 

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Walt Disney Studios // IMDB

#5. The Little Mermaid

Year released: 1989

IMDb rating: 7.6

Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker

Runtime: 83 min.

“The Little Mermaid” was one of the original films of Disney’s Golden Age: Princess Ariel, the youngest daughter of King Triton, makes a deal with an evil sea-witch in exchange for the chance to meet a human prince on land. The film won two Oscars, for Original Song (“Under the Sea”) and Original Score.

 

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Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida // IMDB

#4. Mulan

Year released: 1998

IMDb rating: 7.6

Directed by: Tony Bancroft, Barry Cook

Runtime: 88 min.

Mulan is Disney’s first gender-bending princess, dressing as a man to take her father’s place in the army and becoming a heroine to the Chinese people in the process. Harvey Fierstein, Eddie Murphy, Lea Salonga, and Ming-Na Wen were some of the famous voices featured in the film.

 

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Walt Disney Animation Studios // IMDB

#3. Tangled

Year released: 2010

IMDb rating: 7.8

Directed by: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

Runtime: 100 min.

In this take on “Rapunzel,” a damsel in distress (Mandy Moore) escapes her tower and goes on an adventure with a thief, discovering herself and her world for the first time. It was the first animated Disney Princess film to receive a PG rating by the MPAA rather than a G rating. At $260 million, it has been the most expensive film to create in the animated Disney canon so far.

 

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Walt Disney Productions // IMDB

#2. Aladdin

Year released: 1992

IMDb rating: 8.0

Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker

Runtime: 90 min.

Aladdin, another thief, falls in love with Princess Jasmine. In order to win over her father, he passes himself off as a prince. The two-time Oscar winner, for Best Original Song (“A Whole New World”) and Best Original Score now enjoys a second life on Broadway, where it has been running since 2011.

 

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Walt Disney Productions // IMDB

#1. Beauty and the Beast

Year released: 1991

IMDb rating: 8.0

Directed by: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

Runtime: 84 min.

This “Tale as Old as Time,” tells the story of Belle, a young French woman imprisoned by a fearsome prince-turned-beast. Can she break the spell in time to turn him (and the rest of the castle) back into their human forms? This beloved 1991 film was remade into a live action movie in 2017, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens.



 

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