In the Disney universe, the princesses tend to get most of the credit. However, we all know that no good princess story is complete without a charming prince to come in and save the day. Over the years, viewers have seen lots of princes come in and sweep their love interests off of their feet. Many of these stories have even laid the foundation for other characters. While it’s true that things in real life rarely happen the way they do in Disney movies, it’s still nice to think about how these princes tend to have all of the qualities that many women would want in a man. Although there are only a handful of official Disney princes out there, there are several others who have earned the title by default. Continue reading to see our list of the 10 best Disney princes of all time.
Hercules isn’t technically a Disney prince, but most people would agree that deserves to be. After all, nobody can put the “glad” in gladiator like he can. As the star of the 1997 animated film, Hercules is based on the legendary Greek god. The film follows Hercules’ story as he is taken as a baby and made to live as a mortal. As a teenager, Hercules struggles to fit in due to his unusual amount of strength. He eventually finds himself on a quest to prove his place as a god while also fighting to defeat evil. The movie was a box office smash and children everywhere fell in love with the character. He was a great example of what courage and bravery look like. He ultimately became one of the most popular Disney figures of the 1990s. Even almost 25 years after the movie’s release, Hercules and his story have continued to age well.
9. The Prince (Snow White)
Snow White story is one of Disney’s most iconic. As the first Disney prince, he has become the archetype for all of the others. For decades, people all over the world have gravitated towards the pretty young woman who is poisoned by an evil witch then saved by a charming prince. Oddly enough, even though the prince is one of the most important parts of Snow White’s story, he is never actually given a name in the 1937 cartoon in which he first appeared. On top of that, he doesn’t get much screen time. In later iterations of Snow White’s story, the prince is referred to as Florian. But while many see the prince as someone who saves the day and gives the story a happy ending, many believe there’s a deeper meaning behind his role. According to a Snow White expert named Matt Morgan, “The prince is supposed to be kind of like an angel of death, basically a happier version of a grim reaper. When Snow is being careless around the well at the beginning of the movie, the ‘prince’ hears her and goes to investigate. She gets her first glimpse at the prince when she gets her first glimpse at death; when she almost falls into the well and dies”. He added, “He arrives on a pale white horse (which is what Death was often portrayed riding at the time). He kisses her. The ‘kiss of death’ is a way people knew someone had passed before they knew about taking pulses. When you die, the air is expelled from your lungs. Folklore said this was death kissing you to take the ‘breath of life’ from you”.
8. Eugene Fitzherbert
Eugene Fitzherbert may not be an official Disney prince, but he deserves a spot on this list nonetheless. In fact, in many ways, his character still functions as a prince. However, the creators of Tangled decided to make him a thief so that he could get away with having more of an edge. According to Alchetron, the movie’s director, Nathan Greno, said, “When you look back at some of the past Disney princes or something, a lot of them are kind of soft and they’re not like people we think are that cool, I guess. They’re good guys, so I guess we sort of took that to the other extreme. We like cocky, arrogant sort of characters…I think the trick is when you’re creating a character like that, if you have this cocky character, you have to hit him over the head with a frying pan a dozen times or something, and he needs to kind of pay for being that way. Those characters, if they’re done right, can be so funny. On the flip side, if they’re not done right, they can be really off putting”. Eugene is known for being brave, strong, and loyal. The way the character was created and written turned out to be one of the biggest factors in the project’s overall success. Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t look like there is going to be a Tangled 2.
7. Prince Kristoff
Not only is Frozen one of the most popular movies in recent Disney history, but it’s also one of the most successful animated films of all time. Released in 2013, Frozen was an instant hit. Thanks to its awesome animation, great characters, and catchy songs, Frozen attracted viewers of all ages. Although Elsa is the most popular character in the movie, Prince Kristoff is also a fan favorite. Not as clean-cut and slender as the other Disney princes, Kristoff has a more rugged appearance thanks to life in the mountains. As with the other princes in the Disney line-up, Kristoff is always around to save the day and the princess.
6. Li Shang
Li Shang doesn’t always get as much attention as some of the other princes on this list, but we believe he deserves it. Introduced in the 1998 movie, Mulan, Li Shang’s character was based on a real-life Chinese military general who died in 180 B.C. In the film, Li Shang comes from a military family, and he is very caught up in following protocol. This is a sharp contrast to Mulan’s more sporadic attitude. However, as they say, opposites attract and Mulan and Li Shang eventually become husband and wife. Although Li Shang got his happily ever after with a woman, B.D. Wong who voiced the character acknowledged that Li Shang’s sexuality may not have been so cut and dry. According to Out, Wong said, “I don’t want to disappoint anyone and I don’t want to be a coward or anything like that … ok, but you know what. OK, no. Fluidity is a very important thing to acknowledge”. He continued, “When we made the movie, fluidity was not a word. We didn’t talk about fluidity. Now we have fluidity. Now we watch Shang and his choices and his actions, and see it through fluidity. And this whole idea that there’s a needle and it goes from zero to 100 and it doesn’t have to be one place or another. It can move. You can change your pronouns and then change them the next day if you want and that’s good and should be the way it is.”
5. Prince Charming
Introduced in the 1959 animated film Sleeping Beauty, Prince Charming has become the gold standard for princes everywhere. He definitely lived up to his name, and even though he doesn’t actually exist, he is the kind of man that women all over the world dream of having. Despite being known as Prince Charming, however, the character is never actually given a real name. The fact that he and the prince from Snow White are nameless is very interesting when considering the level of importance they’ve been given over the years.
Although Prince Adam was born a prince, he was cursed to turn into an ugly beast as punishment for his cruel ways. After his appearance changes, Beast decides that he wants to stay hidden from the world. However, that changes after he meets Belle. When the two eventually find love, the curse is broken and the Beast’s handsome face is revealed. Unlike many of the other stories, it is actually the prince who needs saving in this one. The tale of The Beauty and the Beast is also designed to remind us that there’s more to people than what they look like.
3. Prince Naveen
As the first (and currently the only) Black prince in Disney history, Prince Naveen is a groundbreaking character. Like the Beast, Prince Naveen has been cursed to turn into an animal. However, in this instance, Prince Naveen became a frog instead of a large beast. The only way the curse can be broken is if Naveen is kissed by a princess. This eventually happens when he connects with Tiana.
It’s unclear whether or not Simba is officially a Disney prince, but if he isn’t he definitely should be. Simba is arguably one of the most memorable Disney characters of all time, and it’s easy to see why. After watching his father be killed at a young age, Simba leaves home and is raised in the wild. Once he is older, he returns home to claim his rightful throne. What’s not to love about a story like that?
One of the things that make Aladdin’s story so special is that he actually married into a royal family and not the other way around. Aladdin comes from very humble beginnings, and it wasn’t until a chance encounter with Princess Jasmine that his life started to take a new path. He deserves the number one spot on this list because he has all of the qualities the other princes have and then some. Aladdin is a great friend, he’s down to earth, and he isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes in.
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