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MAY 2005


One hundred twenty heroines were nominated. Only two live action characters made the list (two more than the Heroes), but many were nominated, from Casey Brown (of Candleshoe) to Casey Carlyle (of the recently-released Ice Princess). Like the heroes, heroines of modern Disney cinema were favored, with more than half appearing in films of the last two decades.

25) Kida, Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Voices: Cree Summer (Adult), Natalie Strom (Young)
Animator: Randy Haycock
If Milo Thatch had simply given in to popular belief, he would have never discovered Atlantis and never met Kida, the legendary land's princess. Some people may write off Atlantis as a creative and financial failure, others may simply fall asleep during it. But enough of the people who voted either respect the film or at least stayed awake during Kida's parts.
Atlantis Links: 2-Disc Collector's Edition | Standard DVD | Review | Animated Classics

24) Mia Thermopolis, The Princess Diaries (2001) and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)
Actress: Anne Hathaway
At the start of The Princess Diaries, Mia Thermopolis is a girl whose high school experience is more accurate to many viewers than the glamorized portrayal seen in most films and television shows. It's not miserable, thanks to a cynical but loyal best friend. However, shyness and clumsiness keep Mia out of the popular cliques and at the receiving end of jokes. All that changes when Mia learns that she is the princess of a little European country called Genovia. Upon this news, the ordinary looks and awkward exclusions are gone. Through it all, Mia remains true to herself and her real friends. Her enemies are not wicked stepmothers or sorcerers but simply the status-seeking and holding fake teenagers who occupy so many high schools today. Thanks to an earnest breakthrough performance and charismatic follow-up by Anne Hathaway, Mia is a most likable klutz, a girl whose good qualities are not lost even in a fairy-tale transformation, a three-dimensional princess down-to-earth even in power.
• "I think Mia deserves a high honor because not every awkward teenager finds out she is a Princess and learns to deal with it with grace and humor. She is reality...a princess that girls can relate to." - "LizzieMcGuire"
Related Links: The Princess Diaries: 2-Disc Special Edition DVD | DVD Review | The Princess Diaries in Live Action Countdown | The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement DVD | DVD Review | Recent Live Action Disney Films (1980-Present)

23) Jessie, Toy Story 2 (1999)
Voice: Joan Cusack
Toy Story gave us lots of cool toys which made up the collection of the young boy owner, Andy. Adding to the mostly male cast of characters, Toy Story 2 introduced Mrs. Potato Head, Tour Guide Barbie, and Jessie, the preferred heroine of voters. This extremely enthusiastic yodeling cowgirl co-starred with Woody on a short-lived but eminently popular TV show long before Andy was ever born. Her hand-sewn hat and fake cowhide chaps resemble the design of Woody, but her owner history is less cheerful. Whereas Woody has had a more or less treasured place in Andy's room for as long as anyone can remember, Jessie was abandoned by her owner, a young girl who fell prey to growing up. Beneath the sassy exterior, there is hurt but also hope. As usual, Pixar gives depth to their creations that make you forget all about computers and simply admire the humanity.
Toy Story 2 Links: The Ultimate Toy Box DVD (out of print) | DVD Review | Standard DVD (out of print) | "When She Loved Me" in Songs Countdown | Pixar - Other Animation

22) Perdita, 101 Dalmatians (1961)
Voice: Lisa Daniels
Animators: Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston
Perdita is a heroine of the nurturing, motherly variety. When her puppies are stolen, she will stop at nothing to get them back, facing cold temperatures and crossing a raging river, not to mention a lot of walking. On the way home, experiencing one ordeal after another, she remains a calm and reassuring source of comfort for her puppies.
101 Dalmatians Links: DVD Review | Limited Issue DVD (out of print / Platinum Edition in 2007) | 101 Dalmatians in Animated Classics Countdown | Animated Classics

21) Wendy Darling, Peter Pan (1953)
Voice: Kathryn Beaumont
Always surrounded by a group of boys, Wendy Moira Angela Darling gets saved a lot (mostly by Peter Pan), and is very much a stereotypical girl. At the same time, she is not lacking in admirable traits. She is renowned for her storytelling and takes on the role of mother to all the Lost Boys. While John and Michael forget all about their past life during their stay at Never Land, Wendy stays true to her parents and knows that they can't run away forever. Like all girls her age, she deals with jealousy, both toward Tiger Lily, and from Tinker Bell.
Peter Pan Links: DVD Review | Special Edition DVD (out of print) | Finding Neverland DVD Review | Peter Pan in Animated Classics Countdown | Animated Classics Page

20) Lady, Lady and the Tramp (1955)
Voice: Barbara Luddy
Animator: Ollie Johnston
Lady comes across as innocent, naοve, and easy to take advantage of. But Tramp surely wouldn't do that to this cute little dog who catches his eye. What establishes Lady as heroic is the love she has for her family, illustrated by how concerned she is in protecting the baby and pleasing Jim Dear and Darling.
Lady and the Tramp Links: Limited Issue DVD (out of print; Platinum Edition: March 2006) | DVD Review | Animated Classics Countdown Page | Animated Classics

19) Miss Bianca, The Rescuers (1977) and The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
Voice: Eva Gabor
Animators: Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, David Pruiksma
"Voiced by the late and great Eva Gabor, Miss Bianca provides class to both The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under, two of Disney's most underrated films. With her smooth Hungarian accent and her stylish clothes surely designed by the mouse equivalent of Gucci or Prada, Miss Bianca is a good Disney heroine." - Joe (Wonderlicious)
Related Links: The Rescuers DVD | Review | Madame Medusa in Villains Countdown
The Rescuers Down Under Gold Collection DVD | DVD Review | Animated Classics Page

18) Violet, The Incredibles (2004)
Voice: Sarah Vowell
Violet may have twice as many superpowers as anyone else in her fantastic family of superheroes, but she easily has twice as many insecurities as well. The ability to turn invisible should be a dream come true for a socially-awkward teenager, but that power as well as the gift of force fields creates some angst for Violet as she and younger brother Dash show up on Mom's flight to Nomanisan Island. She is called on to save her family, and proves heroic a number of times. The experience certainly helps her develop some surely needed confidence. Overall, Violet may be a polar opposite from the flawless princesses who sing in the woods and save the day or (more likely) have the day saved for them. But like the other members of the Parr family, her imperfect persona is most appealing to postmodern audiences who appreciate side orders of reality and humanity served with their main course of fantasy.
The Incredibles Links: 2-Disc Collector's Edition | DVD Review | The Incredibles Store | Pixar - Other Animation

17) Alice, Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Voice: Kathryn Beaumont
Animator: Ollie Johnston
"Like many other Disney heroines such as Snow White and Cinderella, Alice was not really the creation of Walt Disney and his studio. As many probably know, she was the main protagonist of Lewis Carroll's classic nonsense stories Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. To tell the truth, the Disney studios were never the strongest team to bring heroes and heroines of literature to the screen. Although charming, well-animated and good at singing, previous protagonists such as Snow White, Cinderella and Prince Interchangable were undeniably ciphers. Fortunately, Alice doesn't fall foul to such poor (or would those be "good"?) traits. Although she certainly has good personality traits, Alice is not a 100% Goodie-Two-Shoes. She equally gets annoyed, answers back to adults and makes cheeky comments. Yet to me, this is a good thing as it provides a more realistic girl. Although some criticize Kathryn Beaumont (the voice of Alice) as being a bit snooty in tone, her performance ranks among my favourite Disney voice characterizations. She has an amusing tone and rarely seems twee. Although Alice may not be everybody's favourite Disney heroine, she's most certainly in my Top 5." - Joe (Wonderlicious)
Alice in Wonderland Links: 2-Disc Masterpiece Edition DVD | Review | Alice in Wonderland in Animated Classics Countdown | Queen of Hearts in Villains Countdown

16) Dory, Finding Nemo (2003)
Voice: Ellen DeGeneres
Dory, the forgetful Regal Tang from Finding Nemo, might not be the most helpful partner on a rescue mission. But she ultimately aids and inspires her company, the missing fish's worrisome father. While traveling to the Great Barrier Reef, she overcomes her memory impairment and swims into audience's hearts as one of the most popular, endearing, and entertaining characters to grace the big screen in recent years.
• "Dory is appealing to me for two reasons. The first is her caring nature; she always tries to befriend and help the fish that she meets. She could be bitter because of her memory problems and abandonment by her family, but instead she is sweet and playful. That speaks volumes about the strength of character that she possesses. The second reason I like Dory is her sheer humor. She is one of the funniest characters in any Disney movie, often unintentionally. Also, anyone who can speak whale is automatically cool in my book." - BrandonH
• "Hilarious and seemingly smart, at times." - rbozzdblust
Finding Nemo Links: 2-Disc Collector's Edition DVD | DVD Review | Pixar DVDs

15) Lilo, Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Voice: Davleigh Chase
Animator: Andreas Deja
A lonely Hawaiian girl, Lilo may not have parents or friends, but she does find a meaningful companionship with Stitch, the ball of trouble from another planet. Lilo's faithfulness to Stitch, in the face of grave danger, is admirable.
• "The youngest heroine I've seen: she saved Stitch from his evil ways, remembered 'OHANA' and the importance of a family, and with the help of Jumba and Pleakley, 'defeated' Gantu. At such a young age, she tried 'training her dog' Stitch by dressing him up as Elvis and letting him perform on the beach! She is very courageous, in my opinion, because she continues to be strong after Myrtle and Company tease her and her dog for being 'weird.' Obviously, nothing's wrong with Lilo as I consider her to be a heroine!" - RJKD23
• "Lilo is the person in the middle when it comes to her well-being and safety. She is a little girl with a mixed-up family, a mutant experiment on her hands, a social worker inspecting her and her sister all the time and she’s also trying to fit in. Throughout the bizarre course of events she never loses her unwavering faith in her beloved ‘ohana’. She is the constant in the movie, as she always stays faithful. She is never spiteful to anyone and always helps people with their problems. She is an unlikely choice but is nonetheless a wonderful ‘Disney Heroine’." - James Taylor
• "Lilo's belief in 'ohana' (nobody gets left behind or forgotten, as you know) helps bring her and Nani together for the first time since losing their parents. Lilo's belief in 'ohana' also leads her to her extended family: Stitch, Jumba, Pleakley, Cobra, and the 'cousins.' Ohana is a powerful philosophy, and Lilo embodies it beautifully." - William Raymer (Blissey02)
• "Lilo is one adorable little girl but even that doesn't make her to be the average five-year-old you might have in the neighborhood. Before Stitch came along, Lilo was a disturbed child, one who would likely grow up practicing witchcraft or even go goth! Yet despite being ostracized by her peers, Lilo has true values, that which she devotes to Ohana and to friends to whom she can truly relate to (I'm talking about Stitch!)" - toonaspie
Lilo & Stitch Links: DVD Review | DVD | Upcoming 2-Disc Special Edition Information
Lilo & Stitch in Animated Classics Countdown | "He Mele No Lilo" in Songs Countdown
Previews: Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch | Stitch! The Movie | Island of Adventures

14) Snow White, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Voice: Adriana Caselotti
"Although some people criticise this princess as weak protagonist, Snow White will always be one of my favourite Disney heroines. She's sweet and, although not exactly very strong, is very endearing because of this. She's easy to relate to once we discover that the beautiful yet insane and witch-craft loving Queen is wanting to kill her for a petty reason. Her singing voice is lovely, too. Yet something strikes me (not on the movie but on the Disney theme parks); why is the Snow White ride in Fantasyland named after her when it has far more to do with the Queen/Witch?" - Joe (Wonderlicious)
Snow White Links: DVD Review | Platinum Edition DVD (out of print) | Snow White in Animated Classics Countdown | Disney Princess Stories: Volume 2 | "Someday My Prince Will Come" in Songs Countdown | The Queen in Villains Countdown | Animated Classics Home

13) Jane, Tarzan (1999)
Voice: Minnie Driver
Animator: Ken Duncan
"Jane is a quirky British girl who looks beyond proper appearances (and manners) and finds the man of her dreams. She also has cute underwear." - pinkrenata
Tarzan Links: DVD Review | 2-Disc Collector's Edition DVD (out of print) | Tarzan in Animated Classics Countdown | "Strangers Like Me" in Songs Countdown | Animated Classics

12) Aurora, Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Voice: Mary Costa
Animator: Marc Davis
"Sleeping Beauty would not work unless people cared about Princess Aurora. Part of her appeal is definitely her innocent nature. She has lived with three good-hearted people her entire childhood, and they have protected her from the most vile aspects of the world. The scene that truly defines Aurora is her afternoon with Prince Phillip. She dances, sings, shares her dreams, and ultimately mesmerizes both the prince and the audience." - BrandonH
Sleeping Beauty Links: DVD Review | 2-Disc Special Edition (out of print) | Sleeping Beauty in Animated Classics Countdown | "Once Upon a Dream" in Songs Countdown | Maleficent in Villains Countdown

11) Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins (1964)
Actress: Julie Andrews
• "Beautiful in appearance and voice, loving, exceptionally magical, and 'practically perfect in every way,' Mary Poppins is the shining star of Disney heroines. Though children's concerns may be brushed to the side by many, they are of immense importance to Mary Poppins, a mysterious figure who breathes fresh air into the Banks' staling family life. Her talents with children couple with her firm grasp on the adult world enabling her to befuddle both from their errant ways of thinking. Not only is she a source of comfort and amazement, but she reconciles a father with his wife and even moreso, his children and touches all our hearts deeply along the way. Julie Andrews' Oscar was a well-earned one." - Aaron Wallace
• "From one of the most beloved musicals and Disney films of all time comes Mary Poppins; a witty and charming character. The original Mary Poppins of Pamela Travers' books wasn't very nice (from what I remember, she was extremely rude), but with a stellar performance by Julie Andrews and a sprinkling of Disney magic, Mary goes down as one of cinema's greatest protagonists." - Joe (Wonderlicious)
• "I have always loved Mary Poppins. She has taught us many lessons over the years: 1) that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, 2) that the biggest word you'll ever hear is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, 3)that jumping through chalk paintings is possible, and 4) that cleaning your room is fun. She is the Nanny every kid wants." - "LizzieMcGuire"
Mary Poppins Links: DVD Review | 40th Anniversary Edition DVD | 40th Anniversary Soundtrack (2-Disc Set) | Mary Poppins in Live Action Countdown | Classic Live Action Disney Films (1941-1979)

10) Nala, The Lion King (1994)
Voices: Moira Kelly (Adult), Niketa Calame (Young)
Animators: Anthony De Rosa (Adult), Aaron Blaise (Young)
From childhood playmate to object of affection, Nala is by Simba's side in two quite different ways and is especially needed each time. As cubs, Nala is as precocious as the king-to-be, and the duo's mischievous nature does have unpleasant consequences. Nonetheless, they learn and grow together as best friends until true tragedy strikes and they are separated. When Nala shows up again, she provides a much-needed reminder for Simba to face his past, conquer his demons, and claim the throne he has been conned out of. The feisty Nala doesn't get as much screen time as many of the leading ladies on this list, but she does propel the climactic conclusion of the film and gets a chance to participate in some of the feeling of the love tonight.
The Lion King Links: DVD Review | The Lion King in Animated Classics Countdown | "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" in Songs Countdown | The Lion King II: Simba's Pride | The Lion King 1½ | The Lion King Merchandise and DVDs Around the World

9) Elastigirl, The Incredibles (2004)
Voice: Holly Hunter
Some moms feel like they are pulled in every direction, but Helen Parr knows quite literally what that's like. Convinced that an ordinary suburban existence is the best for her three kids, Helen keeps her powers of flexibility secret, but still finds the occassional reason to call upon them in her challenging new job: mother of three. She's there to provide advice at the uneasy times that "fitting in" entail for insecure daughter Violet and restless son Dash. When not dealing with school and self-confidence issues, she's tending to Jack-Jack, a task which she makes look easy but clearly isn't so for others (like babysitter Kari). While she's fairly heroic in parenting, Helen tackles still more as she assumes a superhero role like the old days (when she was known as "Elastigirl"). This is to scold and perhaps rescue her husband who has already reverted back to Mr. Incredible without letting her know.
• "Timon/Pumba fan" on Elastigirl: First you take a very talented Oscar-winner Holly Hunter, add a brave, hard-working and fun character, and very beautiful looks! LOL When you combine those features what do you get? One of the most entertaining and most likable characters of all time. ELASTIGIRL ROCKS!!!
The Incredibles Links: 2-Disc Collector's Edition | DVD Review | The Incredibles Store | Pixar - Other Animation | The Pixar Films on Disney DVD | Special Editions

8) Cinderella, Cinderella (1950)
Voice: Ilene Woods
"Being one of Disney's earlier heroines, Cinderella is often criticized for waiting around for something to happen rather than doing it for herself. At the same time, I think Cinderella is very admirable in her patience and willing to help her step-family, despite their treatment of her, as well as her commitment to her dreams. She is definitely not a heroine in the modern sense of the word, but sometimes there's nothing wrong with a little old-fashioned charm." - pinkrenata
Cinderella Links: DVD Press Release | Preorder the Collector's Gift Set DVD | Preorder just the Platinum Edition DVD | Disney's Platinum Editions | Animated Classics Countdown | "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" in Songs Countdown | Lady Tremaine in Villains Countdown | Disney Princess Stories: Volume 1 | Cinderella II: Dreams Come True Review

7) Esmeralda, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Speaking Voice: Demi Moore
Singing Voice: Heidi Mollenhauer
Animator: Tony Fucile
• "My favorite Esmeralda scene is when she corners Phoebus with his own sword. Extremely feisty, Esmeralda proves herself to be a very strong woman on many occasions. Even so, she does not lack in sensibility and is able to see good in people, even when nobody else can (that is, she is able to see beyond Quasimodo's disfigured face and Phoebus' lack of everything but so-so looks)." - pinkrenata
• "Seemingly the first 'tough' heroine, she is not afraid to speak her mind or fight for what she believes in." - rbozzdblust
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Links: DVD Review | DVD | "God Help the Outcasts" in Songs Countdown | Hunchback in Animated Classics Countdown | Judge Frollo in Villains Countdown | Animated Classics Page

6) Megara, Hercules (1997)
Voice: Susan Egan
Animator: Ken Duncan
• "As possibly the most unlikely of Disney heroines, Megara, from 1997's Hercules, appears, at first, very strong. She fights off her own villains and to Hercules she is irresistible. In reality though she is corresponding, bordering on unwillingly, with the hotheaded underworld god Hades. She helps the un-trustworthy immortal turn the indestructible Hercules destructible, as she is his only weak link. He is angry with her for lying to him; he saves the day, but then is suddenly distraught for the evil Hades transported his beloved Meg to the unappealing underworld. Herc' of course rescues her from Hades evil clutches, and is then transported up to his family's home, along with making a tough choice of living there with his family or down on Earth with his true love Megara. His choice is Meg and in the end, they both get what they want. In the movie, Meg is surprisingly insecure and needs Hercules to go on. It is a refreshing difference from typical damsels, and is a great choice for heroine." - James Taylor
• "Megara is, to me, one of the most realistic heroines in the Disney canon. Even in a fictional story, every choice she makes is understandable and you can feel for her past. She's also one of the few heroines who isn't LOOKING for love, but just can't help but be smitten by the hero, in her case, Hercules. Not only that, but she's also one of the only heroines (if not the only one) who dies for the love of their life, even if she does come back in the end. Then there's her true human quality: the flaw of making mistakes." - Disney's Divinity
Hercules Links: DVD Review | Gold Collection DVD | "I Won't Say (I'm In Love)" in Songs Countdown | Hades in Villains Countdown

5) Pocahontas, Pocahontas (1995)
Speaking Voice: Irene Bedard
Singing Voice: Judy Kuhn
Animator: Glen Keane
"The love story shown by Disney between John Smith & Pocahontas is truly romantic and very heartfelt. Unlike most people, Pocahontas lacked ignorance (which, of course is a good thing) and because of this, taught John Smith a new perspective of life and the world around. Pocahontas shows bravery in the scene where she saves John Smith from death. She can be described as 'gutsy' for disobeying orders but 'heroic' for following what she believes is right, or going where the wind takes her." - RJKD23
• "The svelte Native American princess is a true gem among Disney heroines: Pocahontas rejects her prince in shining armor for causes greater that her own personal ambitions, and she's to be commended and admired for that. What's even more gratifying is that despite the setbacks in her love life, she still winds up happy and content, a major heads-up to girls that you don't need a man to complete yourself. Definitely an acquired taste, Pocahontas is for the cultural sophisticate who doesn't mind a brainy, headstrong beauty for his companion." - Prince Eric
• "I believe Pocahontas to be one of the strongest Disney heroines because she went against what society had conformed to in terms of racial boundaries and followed her heart. She fell in love with John Smith because of the person he was inside, not because of the color of his skin. She could have easily dismissed him as another 'white demon' as the rest of her tribe did, but she chose the path of love, not hate. The dramatic final confrontation when she saves John's life moves me to tears almost every time I watch it. Even at the cost of her own life, she stood up for what she believed in and protected the man she loved. I find her story to be moving because she's such a role model even for people today because interracial love and marriage still isn't very common and is oftentimes frowned upon. You could even apply Pocahontas and John Smith's love to the issue of gay marriage going on in the United States at the moment. Forbidden love, love not accepted by society, love that's looked down upon. Pocahontas knew that love was love, no matter what the circumstances. When that same emotion is felt by two people in love, nothing else matters. At the end of the film, Pocahontas also displays her selflessness by staying with her tribe to help them instead of being selfish and running off with John to England. Although she loved them, she knew she had a certain responsibility to her people and stayed with them. That shows true strength, for she had to make the devestating choice to leave the person that she loved for a greater responsibility. I look up to Pocahontas even today, ten years later." - Izak
Pocahontas Links: Interview with Irene Bedard, voice of Pocahontas | DVD Review | 10th Anniversary Edition DVD | Ratcliffe in Villains Countdown | "Colors of the Wind" in Songs Countdown | Animated Classics

4) Jasmine, Aladdin (1992)
Speaking Voice: Linda Larkin
Singing Voice: Lea Salonga
Animator: Mark Henn
"A girl who follows her heart by breaking the rules also deserves to be a heroine. She may not have saved a city nor did she fight a huge villain (maybe kissing one counts then), but in the three movies, she 'won' the heart of Aladdin as well as Disney fans! Plus, with a tiger at her side, I bet it'd be hard to defeat this Princess!" - RJKD23
"TImon/Pumba fan" on Princess Jasmine: Jasmine is one of the most independent Disney character of all time! She stands up for what's she believes in, and has a great singing voice! Plus she's also in one of the greatest Disney movies ever!
Aladdin Links: DVD Review | Platinum Edition DVD | Aladdin II & III Collection | Disney's Platinum Editions | Aladdin in Animated Classics Countdown | "A Whole New World" in Songs Countdown | Disney Princess Stories: Volume Two | Animated Classics Home

3) Ariel, The Little Mermaid (1989)
Voice: Jodi Benson
Animator: James Baxton
• "In 1989, there was a movie that sparked my Disney 'fanaticity', if you will. It was called The Little Mermaid. In this film, a beautifully precocious teenage mermaid lit up the screen and dazzled our imaginations. Her name was Ariel. Ariel has and always will be my favorite female Disney character. She swims, she sings, and is beautiful. In the case of this countdown, I picked a more heroic lady as first, but this mermaid will always have a place in my heart." - Matt "LittleMerman" Kelley
• "Ariel has and will forever be my favorite of Disney's so-called "princesses." She's from that movie about a mermaid who reached for life above the sea, as I'm sure you've all heard before. Unlike her perfect predecessors, Ariel makes mistakes. Big mistakes, mind you, that risked many lives besides her own. While some call her selfish, I've never gotten than impression. I've always seen Ariel as a completely selfless person who is, at the same time, completely self-centered. Most of what I liked about her character not only came from The Little Mermaid movie, but also the show (which clearly defines her character even moreso). She, as most teenagers are, is looking for someone who she can love and be loved for in return. This particular character has always stood out to me because of her true human character which is a flawed one. That, in my opinion, is much more beautiful than any princess before her." - Disney's Divinity
"The Little Mermaid not only brought in a new era of animated films but a wonderful heroine in the form of Ariel. Glen Keane (animator) and Jodi Benson (voice) brought a true human soul to a cartoon character, something that you rarely see." - Joe (Wonderlicious)
"The rebirth of the Disney films! She was memorable, courageous, and beautifully drawn. She typifies both childlike and adult personalities, being naive and intelligent at the same time." - rbozzdblust
"Timon/Pumba fan" on Ariel: "Ariel is my favorite heroine! She's very beautiful(for a cartoon), she's funny and has as strong character and stands up for what she wants! Plus like Sebastian said 'She has the most beautiful voice.' Plus the movie is fabulous! I LOVE ARIEL!"
The Little Mermaid Links: Limited Issue DVD (out of print / Platinum - October 2006) | DVD Review | The Little Mermaid in Animated Classics Countdown | Different Types of Disney DVD Releases | "Part of Your World" in Songs Countdown | Ursula in Villains Countdown | Disney Princess Stories: Volume One

2) Mulan, Mulan (1998)
Speaking Voice: Ming Na
Singing Voice: Lea Salonga
Animator: Mark Henn
• "Mulan, among Disney heroines, catches my attention not by her looks or her voice, but by her character. She's the Chinese girl who stole her father's armor, impersonated a soldier, destroyed [the Emperor's] palace, and she saved them all. Although I admire other Disney girls/women as well, Mulan definitely marks a standing point among them. She not only has a will of her own, but she has a desire that isn't the focal point of the movie. She proves herself by serving her father rather than by serving herself, which is rare. It was one of the few movies that Disney had released lately, at the time, that I truly thought had heart." - Disney's Divinity
"Mulan is quite possibly one of the greatest Disney Heroines. Like most people in the world, she is afraid to be herself and disappoint her family. Nevertheless, she risks her own life to save her father's by posing as a soldier in China's army. Even after she has been discovered to be a woman she continues to attempt to save China from the Huns. In the end, it is her bravery, care and selflessness that makes her a great heroine." - Jay, "DisneyVillains"
• "Mulan by far has to be one of the best Asians brought to the theatres. Not only did she bring honor to her family but to her country! Plus, any woman who blends action (battling enemies) and romance (bringing home Shang) in her life deserves to be one of the top heroines!" - RJKD23
• "The number one heroine was a very easy choice for me. It's Mulan. She wasn't a passive princess, she wasn't focused on a man, or love, or anything shallow like that. Any of the male heroes would be honored to fight by Mulan's side, and that's what sets her apart from every other Disney heroine, and that's why she deserves to top the list." - Raydawggie
• "Timon/Pumba fan" on Mulan: Mulan is one of the bravest heroines of all time. She risks her life to save her family, and ends up saving the second biggest country in the world. Mulan is an awesome character!
Mulan Links: 2-Disc Special Edition DVD | DVD Review | Mulan II DVD Review | Shan-Yu in Villains Countdown | "Reflection" in Songs Countdown | Animated Classics

1) Belle, Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Voice: Paige O'Hara
Animator: Mark Henn
• "Belle is the type of person that I would like to marry someday. To list just a few of the character's attributes, she is intelligent, loving, caring, free-spirited, and attractively drawn. The main reason that audiences can connect to Belle so strongly is that the filmmakers do not tell us what she is like; they show us." - BrandonH
• "Belle, the book-reading beauty, is the heroine of the most beloved love story of all time, Beauty and the Beast. She is beautiful, inside and out, and when her father gets locked inside a castle with a fearsome beast, she rushes to his rescue. She unselfishly exchanges her own life for her father's and is sentenced to be locked up in the castle forever. Over time, though, she falls in love with the beast, of whom has already fallen head over heels in love with her and suspects that if things continue this way, their love should break a curse set upon him and all the objects in the castle. When Belle returns home when her father gets sick, the beast stops caring about life and Gaston, the villain, strives to get Maurice, Belle's dad, put into an insane asylum. After learning about the Beast's feelings about Belle, Gaston hunts down the beast, and takes advantage of his morose attitude. Meanwhile, Belle and Maurice break out of Gaston's grasp and proceed on up to the castle, to warn the Beast about the villain. When the Beast sees Belle he regains his control and defeats Gaston, and he then he seems as though he is dying. He is transforming however back into a human and they then live happily ever after. Belle is a more modern heroine, not waiting nor needing a prince or a lover. She is unaware of her radiant beauty, and strives to help others when help is needed. She is a wonderful candidate for the coveted role of 'Disney Heroine.'" - James Taylor
• "Belle is a character that, even though not my favorite from the female leads from Disney, she should be. She is a very special mademoiselle - what is so charming about her is that she embodies many positive values. Belle is studious - she reads A LOT for pleasure!!! Belle is confident - she doesn't care about others opinions about her. Belle is loyal and supportive - she defends her father and believes in his ability. Belle dreams - she looks for spirituality, wanting more than a simple provintial life. Belle is honest, anti-superficial and wise - she makes it clear to Gaston that she doesn't want to marry him even if he is so handsome and so wanted; that is an excellent decision (who'd want such an egocentrical man turned maniac for a husband?). She is also very caring and loving - she exchanged herself instead of her father to be prisoner of the Beast forever! Belle is truly one of the greatest heroines because she saved the lives of many - she brought the castle and its inhabitants hope and joy and eventually broke the curse - everyone became human again, which they really wanted! Most importantly, she saved Beast. The Beast had a cold, rock-solid heart and had lost all hope. Belle was able to open his heart, allowing him to develop love and hope - he also became gentle, kind, patient, self-controlling, and forgiving (he gave a second chance to Gaston when the man wanted to kill him)! She was so gentle and patient with him; who would read Romeo and Juliet to someone and then help them learn to read well? Overall, Belle saved Beast from the depths of despair. She truly has the greatest love. As the narrator of Beauty and the Beast says, 'Who could ever learn to love a beast?' - that's Belle. Deep down, the girl is truly a belle." - Sailor Eric (Andres Barrera)
• "I think Belle should be #1 because she taught us many lessons: 1) Never judge a book (or in her case, a Beast) by its cover, 2) reading is good, 3) Prince Charming can come in the most unexpected places." - "LizzieMcGuire"
• "I hope Belle wins for best heroine. She's so brave and kind, yet awkward at the same time, just as many people in this world are." - nachonaco
Beauty and the Beast Links: DVD Review | Platinum Edition DVD | Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World Review | DIScussions: Beauty and the Beast | Beauty and the Beast in Animated Classics Countdown | "Beauty and the Beast" in Songs Countdown | Gaston in Villains Countdown | Animated Classics

While many of the Disney heroines who narrowly missed making the Top 25 have yet to withstand the test of time, some like Bambi's Mother, Pollyanna, and Tinker Bell have and their exclusions will disappoint those who voted for them.

Just Missed the Cut: Nani, Captain Amelia, Elizabeth Swann, Pollyanna, Tinker Bell, Sally, Eglantine Price, Princess Atta, Maid Marian, Bambi's Mother.

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The Heroes & Heroines Countdown was first published on May 23, 2005.