20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (2024)

Highlights

  • Disney has a long history of creating strong and powerful princesses that have captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. Here are some of the most powerful Disney princesses, ranked in no particular order:
  • Eilonwy (The Black Cauldron)
  • Rapunzel (Tangled)

Disney has been creating exceptional characters and charming, feel-good movies for generations. While the franchise and its approach to animation and storytelling changed a lot over the years, nothing changed more than their Disney princesses. Many of their traditional princesses were damsels in distress, but many now are capable warriors.

As Disney started to change so did their stories and how they told them. Thanks to new exciting Disney characters and the inspiring remakes of some of the most underrated female characters, these stories came to life once again to inspire and motivate people, from children to adults, around the world.

Updated July 6th, 2024, by Mara Cowley: Disney remains a powerhouse in the animated film industry even before they purchased the rights to iconic IPs such as Marvel and Star Wars. Their Disney Princess movies are what ultimately catapulted them to fame. Right back from their very first Princess move in 1937 up to today, they have brought a variety of princesses from all walks of lives, even honorary ones who bear no royal title at all to the silver screen. With so many wonderful characters, the dispute of whom the strongest Disney princess is remains a source of debate, as there are plenty worthy of the title. A few more such Disney princesses are now included on this list with its latest update.

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In this case, "strong" does not refer just to physical strength. It can also mean mental fortitude. Also, honorary Disney princesses will be considered.

20 Ariel (The Little Mermaid)

Determined To Follow Her Heart

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (2)
The Little Mermaid

Release Date
November 17, 1989

Runtime
63 Minutes

Director
Ron Clements , John Musker

Thanks to her adventurous spirit and kind heart, Ariel is one of Disney's most beloved princesses. She is a captivating character who decides to follow her heart and chase after her dreams, despite having to make extraordinary sacrifices. While Ariel isn't physically powerful, she is still strong thanks to her resilience and unshakable spirit.

Ariel sacrificed her unique ability to communicate with creatures of the sea, as well as her enchanting voice to be able to walk among humans and find her true love. However, Ariel's most special qualities are her curiosity and courage which reminded fans to follow their hearts, even when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds. Thanks to these powerful messages The Little Mermaid remains one of the best mermaid movies to this day.

19 Alice (Alice In Wonderland)

Has A Unique Strength

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (3)

Release Date:

07/28/1951

Director(s):

Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson and Hamilton Luske

Runtime:

75 mins

Alice is Disney's most whimsical female protagonist who has a unique kind of strength which has captivated fans for decades. Alice is an honorary Disney Princess who doesn't possess any magical powers. However, she has a vast imagination, dreaming up her own fantastical world where animals would "reside in houses and be dressed in shoes and trousers." After telling her sister how she wishes to live in her own world, she dismisses Alice's ideas as "nonsense".

However, a child's imagination shouldn't be cast aside as nonsense. Alice's imagination is accompanied by her strong will. These serve to help her get through a dangerous and often surreal world. Alice proves her unique kind of strength is sometimes needed to face certain situations.

18 Cinderella (Cinderella)

Demonstrates Great Resilience

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (4)

Release Date:

03/04/1950

Director(s):

Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson and Hamilton Luske

Runtime:

74 mins

Cinderella may not stand out as very strong, as arguably she did nothing to release herself from her situation, instead waiting for the fairy godmother and the prince to rescue her. But looking beneath her gentle exterior reveals a woman of great resilience.

Despite being treated like a slave by her stepmother and stepsisters, her will is strong enough to maintain a positive outlook when her situation seems hopeless. The live-action adaptation develops her character further, showing she sought to honor a promise to her mother to "Have courage and be kind". Proving that kindness is not weakness, she’s even strong enough to forgive her stepmother for years of abuse.

17 Jane Porter (Tarzan)

Embraces The Unknown

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (5)

Release Date:

06/18/1999

Director(s):

Chris Buck and Kevin Lima

Runtime:

88 mins

Tarzan's Jane Porter is open-minded and passionate. While she may not possess any supernatural powers or isn't exceptionally strong, her bright mind, resilience, and ability to adapt to new situations are all great assets. She has a kind heart, a desire to protect the jungle's wildlife, and brilliant artistic skills.

Jane is a devoted scientist, a unique role for a woman from Victorian-era England, and an explorer who fearlessly left what she knew to travel across the world and enter the dangerous jungle. Disney fans fell in love with her contagious inquisitiveness and willingness to embrace the unknown.

16 Megara (Hercules)

Learns To Break Free Of Her Past

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (6)
Hercules (1997)

Release Date
June 13, 1997

Director
John Musker , Ron Clements

Runtime
93 Minutes

Another honorary princess, Megara is funny and far from a typical damsel in distress. Meg's sharp wit allows her to navigate the challenges of her complicated world that's filled with deadly monsters, and heartbreak. Unlike other Disney characters, Meg has a more devious side to her, but starts to wrestle with her conscience after following Hades' orders to lure Hercules into a trap. She even gives her life to protect Hercules.

Her seemingly cold demeanor actually hides a big and loving heart. Meg's strength doesn't come from physical prowess but from wisdom and inner strength. Her fierce independence and good heart inspired Disney fans to stay open to love even if their hearts got broken by someone. Meg's heart was broken by a man from her past, yet over the course of the movie she learns to let go and embrace a new start.

15 Belle (Beauty And The Beast)

Sees The Good In Others

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (7)

Release Date:

11/22/1991

Director(s):

Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise

Runtime:

84 mins

Belle is one of the most intelligent Disney characters of all time with a heart of gold. Beauty and the Beast's princess is every bookworm's favorite, and she uses her knowledge to help not only her father but everyone else who needs help, including her captor.

Belle never panicked or lost her ways, keeping calm even during incredibly stressful situations. She was able to use her reasoning and strong persuasion skills to achieve her goals, and even change the heart of the Beast. Mentally, she is one of Disney's strongest princesses.

14 Vanellope Von Schweetz (Wreck-It Ralph)

The Most Powerful Glitch In The Arcade

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (8)
Wreck-It Ralph

Release Date
November 2, 2012

Director
Rich Moore

Studio(s)
Walt Disney Pictures , Walt Disney Animation Studios

Wreck-It Ralph gave fans one of the cutest and strongest female leads in Vanellope von Schweetz. She's not only a strong Disney princess but also a strong-willed one who was always proud of who she is and never gave up on her goals. This skilled racer quickly became many Disney fans' favorites who could all relate to Vanellope's emotional story.

Despite being one of the smallest Disney protagonists, she actually had one of the coolest powers of them all thanks to her glitch. Vanellope was able to instantly teleport herself from one location to another and once she realized the power of her special ability she became even stronger and her glitch eventually helped save everyone's life in her realm.

13 Jasmine (Aladdin)

Very Insightful

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (9)
Aladdin (1992)

Release Date
November 11, 1992

Director
Ron Clements , John Musker

Runtime
90 Minutes

Aladdin's Disney princess is not the most skilled fighter, but she is a rather intelligent character. Jasmine can't be fooled by anyone since she is able to read people's true intentions instantly. She's also not afraid to challenge the laws of her land: that she must marry a prince, and is unafraid to leave the safety of the palace and see "a whole new world".

Jasmine is also one of the kindest Disney princesses, and she does have some combat skills and is capable of defending herself if needed. Thanks to her surprising physical strength, kind heart, and fine mind, she's still one of the most popular Disney princesses of all time.

12 Anna (Frozen)

Demonstrates Great Character Growth

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (10)
Frozen

Release Date
November 27, 2013

Director
Chris Buck , Jennifer Lee

Runtime
102 minutes

Due to her isolation, Anna was quite naive at first. When she met Prince Hans, she became engaged to him that day. However, when Elsa runs away from Arendelle, Anna is firm in her resolution to go after her. She feels a strong sense of duty to protect her sister, though she doesn’t have her ice powers.

In the second film, at a critical moment, Anna is the one who strives to do "the next right thing". After it seems Olaf and Elsa have left her, Anna bravely wakes up the stone giants, causing them to give chase as she makes her way to the dam. Risking her life, she encouraged the giants to break the dam, though this could've cost her her life. At the film's end, she becomes Queen of Arendelle. Anna certainly proved herself a capable young woman who would make an excellent Queen.

11 Tiana (The Princess And The Frog)

Achieves Her Goals Through Her Own Hard Work

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (11)

Release Date:

12/11/2009

Director(s):

Ron Clements and John Musker

Runtime:

107 mins

Tiana is one of the most relatable and resourceful Disney Princesses. Thanks to The Princess and the Frog, Disney fans could finally meet the studio's first Black Disney princess who had impressive skills and powerful abilities both as a human and a frog.

Tiana is inspiring and ambitious, and she is not afraid of hard work and does everything in her power to achieve her goals no matter how impossible they might seem. Tiana can think for herself, and she's quick to adapt to any new situation.

10 Eilonwy (The Black Cauldron)

Strong-Willed But Good-Natured

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (12)

Release Date:

08/24/1985

Director(s):

Ted Berman and Richard Rich

Runtime:

80 mins

When talking about Disney princesses, it's likely regarding characters such as Snow White, Cinderella and Belle, and very unlikely Eilonwywill ever be remembered, or even come up. From the 1985 movie The Black Cauldron, this young princess demonstrates a strong and unshakable will. She more than once chastises the main character, Taran, for reasons not deserving her antagonism, but the hard edges around her personality soften over time.

The affection she has for others, especially Taran, shines through this hard exterior of hers, and she has the wisdom to know that she can drop her defenses around the people she cares about. Couple this strong personality with her magical abilities, and it results in one strong, bonafide princess.

9 Rapunzel (Tangled)

Has Powerful Hair

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (13)

Release Date:

11/24/2010

Director(s):

Nathan Greno and Byron Howard

Runtime:

100 mins

The Tangled version of Rapunzel is one of the most powerful Disney princesses thanks to her magical golden hair that has an impressive length of about 70 feet. She can use her hair to move objects, disarm enemies, or as a rope to swing around.

What makes her powers even more important is their magical healing properties. When Rapunzel sings, her hair starts to glow and gains the ability to heal the wounded, even reviving those who recently died. While Rapunzel shows bravery and determination, she's also very inexperienced in using her powers and doesn't know much about the world which takes away from her strength.

8 Esmerelda (The Hunchback Of Notre Dame)

Always Stands Up For What Is Right

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (14)

Release Date:

06/21/1996

Director(s):

Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise

Runtime:

91 mins

Based on a novel of the same name, The Hunchback of Notre Dame delved deeply into societal issues such as religious oppression, xenophobia, and how those who are seen as different are often ostracized from society. This is an struggle both Quasimodo and Esmerelda share, and it helps to develop their bond throughout the course of the movie.

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However, Esmeralda would not stand for injustices to go unchallenged. She demonstrated her strength through her heart, always standing up to the wrongs of the world, even if it risks her own safety. She is a Princess and a hero of the people, standing up against the oppressors when others fear to do so.

7 Kida (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)

Uses Her Great Skill To Protect Her Land

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (16)

Release Date:

06/15/2001

Director(s):

Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise

Runtime:

105 mins

Atlantis: The Lost Empire is one of the most beautiful Disney movies with a great adventure story, funny characters, and one of the most impressive princesses. The movie deserves a live-action remake. Kida is a strong warrior princess who is skilled at combat and uses Atlantean martial arts and tactics to defeat her enemies and protect Atlantis.

What makes Kida exceptionally strong are the magical powers she gains through the healing crystal she wears around her neck. Kida can even merge with the Mother Crystal, becoming indestructible in that state. She is a powerful and great leader who eventually becomes Queen.

6 Pocahontas (Pocahontas)

Exceptionally Brave And Trusts Her Heart

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (17)

Release Date:

06/23/1995

Director(s):

Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg

Runtime:

81 mins

Pocahontas is not only physically strong but smart, brave, and always mindful of others. Her father wanted her to choose a normal life and marry Kocoum, giving the analogy of being like a steady river. But, Pocahontas knew she had a different purpose, and was unafraid to follow her dreams, saying how rivers "aren't steady at all!" The movie not only gave fans superb characters but some of the most beautiful scenes ever created in Disney animated movies.

Her strength also lies in being able to change the hearts of both her father and John Smith, the Englishman she falls in love with. Thanks to her influence, Smith is taught the value of appreciating and protecting the world around him. Pocahontas was instrumental in bringing peace to her homeland, when her people and the English settlers led by Governor Ratcliffe were about to start a war. She's also brave enough to give up all she knows and travel to England in the sequel Journey To A New World.

5 Raya (Raya and the Last Dragon)

Adventurous And Skilled

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (18)

Release Date:

03/05/2021

Director(s):

Don Hall and Carlos Lopez Estarda

Runtime:

107 mins

Raya and the Last Dragon is not only one of Disney's most beautiful animated movies, but it's also an exceptional fantasy-adventure story that gave the world the first Southeast Asian princess. Raya is a true warrior princess who is especially talented at hand-to-hand combat and sword fighting.

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One of the most adventurous princesses, Raya is not afraid to go out into the world alone and face her enemies who often have supernatural abilities. Thanks to another great character in the movie called Namaari, Disney fans also got their first evil Disney princess instead of the usual evil Queen adversary.

4 Mulan (Mulan)

A Highly Capable Warrior

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (20)
Mulan

Release Date
September 4, 2020

Director
Niki Caro

Runtime
1h 55m

Mulan is without a doubt Disney's most iconic warrior woman. Out of a strong desire to protect her ailing father from conscription, she disguised as a man and joined the army in his place. She arguably influenced many other Disney princess characters who came after her awe-inspiring story.

Mulan is a powerful and savvy female heroine with military training who is also courageous and fearless even during life-and-death battles. She's also one of the most experienced princesses when it comes to fighting multiple adversaries at the same time and leading armies to victory. Fans can also enjoy multiple versions of Mulan, including a live-action version of her story.

3 Elsa (Frozen)

Masters Her Ice Powers

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (21)
Frozen

Release Date
November 27, 2013

Director
Chris Buck , Jennifer Lee

Runtime
102 minutes

Elsa is one of the most powerful Disney princesses thanks to her incredible ice powers. The heiress to Arendelle's throne is easily capable of manipulating ice, snow, and water. While she is a queen, Elsa did start out as a princess. She can not only easily use her abilities to disarm her enemies or build an ice castle, but can use it to completely freeze any living creature without killing them. While her powers seem virtually limitless, Elsa is often influenced by her emotions and doesn't know how to fully control her abilities.

However, in Frozen 2, Elsa finds her place among the Northuldra, and learns to master her abilities. Upon being revealed as the lost 'fifth spirit', Elsa is shown to have even more power than she first realized.

2 Merida (Brave)

A Brilliant Archer

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (22)

Release Date:

06/19/2012

Director(s):

Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman and Steve Purcell

Runtime:

103 mins

Merida is one of the most unique Disney Pixar princesses, not only because of her exceptional fighting abilities but also because of her stubborn and arrogant personality. She's also a brave and courageous fighter who proved her capabilities during many battles. So much so that she also became one of the most iconic archers in movies ever.

Merida is also great at sword-fighting and horseback riding, and she can be a tactical leader. While she doesn't have any magical powers, she's still one of the strongest Disney princesses. Thanks to her extraordinary archery skills and critical thinking she's able to stay far away from her enemies and win a fight before it would even get started.

1 Moana (Moana)

Can Wield The Ocean

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (23)
Moana

Release Date
November 23, 2016

Director
Ron Clements , John Musker

Runtime
107 Minutes

Moana is Disney's most inspiring princess. She may have supernatural powers allowing her to control water, but she's also a brave, intelligent, and independent girl who overcomes her fears to save her people and home from destruction.

Moana's magical power is her unique connection with the ocean. She can communicate with the ocean the same way she can with humans, even being able to ask it for help or make it obey her will. Thanks to these extreme powers and persistence, she could easily win any battle.

Honorable Mention: Tinker Bell (Peter Pan)

Her Cute Appearance Hides A Fiery Personality

20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (24)

Release Date:

02/05/1953

Director(s):

Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi and Wilfred Jackson

Runtime:

78 mins

Peter Pan is a movie brimming with magic and mischief, but no one brings quite as much of both as the titular character's sidekick, Tinkerbell. As one might expect of a fairy, she's tiny, flies around on wings, and has magic at her fingertips, mostly in the form of pixie dust.

She can use this material to grant others the ability to fly, but don't make the mistake of thinking Tinkerbell is a selfless character that goes out of her way to help others. In truth, Tinkerbell is quite sassy, with a fierce personality. Her closeness to Peter Pan can awaken jealousy in her, causing her to be spiteful and rude to anyone he interacts with. Though not quite a Princess, and in spite of her cute exterior, she is one headstrong and fierce character.

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20 Strongest Disney Princesses, Ranked (2024)
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