This Disney list details the best of the animated classics featuring cultural and racial diversity. Favorite movie quotes, songs, and the main voice actors!
Disney has been creating inspiring princess movies for decades! These stories provide themes for girls, women, and people of all ages to aspire to, with magic and song sprinkled in!
This list details the best of the animated classics featuring cultural and racial diversity – subjective and in no particular order. Also included are favorite movie quotes, songs, and notes on whether the main voice actors are accurate to the film.
This Pacific Island princess declares to god Maui:
I am Moana of Motunui. You will board my boat, sail across the sea, and restore the heart of Te Fiti.
Maui laughs in her face, deceives her multiple times, and throws her off the boat, with song and dance to boot. Despite this, Moana maintains her identity and ambition. Eventually, she learns that basing one’s ambition on another person, or demi-god, is not the best idea and that having a backup plan is wise. Her backup plan then turns into her main plan – i.e. trusting herself! Fantastic girl power, and excellent self-determination. Moana (2016) doesn't mess around!
Based on the Chinese legend of Fa Mulan dating back for millennia (over 2000 years), Disney's Mulan (1998) presents a fun-spirited and powerful story that brings honor to us all – and to the original legend. Mulan breaks the rules in order to save her father and ultimately the entirety of China as well. Mulan even makes a romantic connection with a man – as a man! Luckily, Shang still has feelings for Mulan as a woman too. Yay for being open-minded, Disney!
Beauty and the Beast
Why is this considered cultural representation? Belle, the Beast’s human form, and all the rest are white! Although overrepresented in Disney movies, Caucasian people are still part of diversity! That’s why there’s just one white princess on this list – Belle in Beauty and the Beast (1991). Nevertheless, Belle beautifully demonstrates that intelligence, curiosity, and kindness are characteristics that fit a princess properly.
Ah, one of the few Disney prince movies: Aladdin (1992)! This charismatic prince of thieves steals our hearts, along with Jasmine’s and the Genie’s. Arabic, Middle Eastern, this Disney movie is ultimately just plain fun throughout! Bravery and agility do come in handy for a prince!
This film is controversial to some due to the actual history of Pocahontas. However, the main character of Disney's Pocahontas (1995) is fantastic representation for women. Pocahontas exemplifies adventure and respect for nature in this Disney princess movie.
The Princess and The Frog
This is the first Disney film featuring a Black princess – Tiana in Princess and the Frog (2009). This film doesn’t get enough credit. Tiana is hard-working, ambitious, and awesome! Too bad she's portrayed as a frog for most of the movie instead of her beautiful human animated self. She learns that professional ambition and love are not mutually exclusive, and always aspires to do the right thing.
Read more detailed list at Best Animated Disney Movies With Diversity