In celebration of Kingdom Hearts’ recent 10-year anniversary (Oh god no, I’m not that old!), I’d like to dissect the decision that left most people scratching their heads: making Alice a Disney Princess.
For those of us that haven’t played the game in some time, the plot in Kingdom Hearts involves the seven Princesses of Heart being kidnapped. The list comprises Snow White, Aurora and Jasmine who are born into royalty, Cinderella and Belle who have married into royalty. Alice is the sixth and Kairi is the seventh because shut up.
The seven Princesses of Heart from Kingdom Hearts
Kingdom Hearts defines its Princesses of Heart according to how much light is in their hearts – typical vague Disney logic. They are kidnapped and brought together to summon the Final Keyhole.
But what on earth about Alice makes her princess-worthy? She’s an absent-minded little girl who wandered into a magical realm and just barely managed to keep herself alive. She’s not royalty, although she came from a wealthy family.
Alice may be a force to be reckoned with in Japan, but there are many other Disney heroines who more readily fit the bill.
Ariel from The Little Mermaid.
Ariel comes readily to mind as she was born into royalty AND married royalty. Her actions were selfish and nearly caused the downfall of her kingdom. However, she has inner and outer beauty, a beautiful singing voice and a romance that is resolved by the end of the film, which the Disney Wikipedia defines as the basis of each Disney princess.
She was even featured in the first three Kingdom Hearts games. Why wasn’t she kidnapped?
Maybe Ariel is too selfish to have a heart of pure light. What Disney princess receives the least credit for having such a pure heart?
Pocahontas during her song “Colors of the Wind.”
Pocahontas is probably the least noted princess in Disney cannon. Born the daughter of a Native American chief, she is considered by Disney to be a princess, though she isn’t included on any lists that I can find.
Her mother is dead, which automatically categorizes her with previous Disney princess (Snow White, Cinderella, etc). She’s friends with the animals and through song, bestows the wisdom of the Powhatan people upon her love interest, John Smith. She risks her life to prevent a war and to save her love. She does not marry him in the end, although their relationship is resolved with the words “Whatever happens, I’ll always be with you, forever.”
There was some legal trouble with the film because it strayed so far from the true story it was based upon. Disney tried to make amends by making a more accurate sequel, but Pocahontas seems to have faded out of the memory of most Disney fans.
Maybe controversy makes a Disney princess less appealing. What Disney princess was motivated by selfless actions and hasn’t been the center of any controversy?
Kida possessed by the blue crystal.
Kida from Atlantis: The Lost Empire is a good choice. Believe it or not, this was not a Don Bluth movie like Anastasia – it is an honest-to-god Disney film. Though, it wasn’t widely received, but the film is considered a cult favorite due to its animation style.
Kida is the princess of Atlantis whose mother recently… well, she didn’t quite die, but she glowed blue, went funky and became absorbed in a blue crystal. Though Kida doesn’t sing, she does have the childlike curiosity of Ariel and wisdom of her people in a manner resembling Pocahantas. She falls in love with Milo and their relationship is resolved by the end of the film.
Considering Kida is the only princess listed who hasn’t made it to the House of Mouse, a TV series where every known Disney character meets to hang out, maybe there’s something I’m not seeing. Is it the singing? Is the singing necessary? Fine, then we have more options.
Kiara and Kovu as adults.
Stop picturing humans. Kiara is a Disney Princess and the star of The Lion King II. Her father is Simba, king of Pride Rock, which makes her a princess. It is mentioned on more than one occasion that she will grow up to be queen. Though motivated by the selfish desire to explore the world on her own, she undergoes character development and eventually works to combine two broken prides and accept previously rejected lions.
This is a princess who sings, falls in love, has her romantic situation resolved by the end of the movie, and undergoes character development. Just because she’s a lion, she’s not a princess? That’s not politically correct, Disney.
Mulan looks like a Disney Princess.
Finally, the last option is Mulan. A forewarning: Mulan is not and never will be a princess. She’s a peasant who marries a general. She is not royalty and never will be, but for some reason she keeps popping up on lists of Disney Princesses.
Mulan sacrifices everything from her identity to her future in order to fight in the stead of her injured father. She sings and undergoes more character development than any other princess on this list. She even has two trusty animal sidekicks. Her romantic situation, while not a focal point of the movie, is resolved by the end. She can also kick major heartless ass, as seen in Kingdom Hearts II.
Most of the Disney Princesses from left to right: Jasmine, Snow White, Mulan, Aurora, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Belle and Ariel.
So there we have it: Ariel, Pocahontas, Kida, Kiara and Mulan would make better princesses than Alice. Of course, Rapunzel and Tiana would make excellent additions to this list, but their movies came out long after Kingdom Hearts debuted.
Do you know someone who should be part of this list? Are you righteously angry on behalf of all capable Disney females? Leave a comment below.
I had to do a lot of research for this. Some of my sources are below: