I grew up watching a lot of Disney movies. Even though I very rarely played with Barbie dolls and didn't really consider myself a girly girl, there was something about Disney heroines that captured my imagination.
And, yes, I realize that most of them are princesses. Blame the Mouse House for that one!
Here are my top 5 favorite Disney heroines of all time.
1. Belle, Beauty and the Beast
A princess who was brunette (huzzah), able to see inner beauty (double huzzah) and--wait for it--LOVED TO READ! So the fact that Belle spent most of her time ignoring those around her in favor of having her nose in a book...you could say I related to that. Also, I think this is one of the most beautiful movies Disney ever made, both story-wise and visually.
2. Ariel, The Little Mermaid
Two words: headstrong teenager. Ariel wasn't going to let anyone or anything keep her down: not her strict merking father, a terrifying sea witch, or the fact that the love of her life happened to live on land while she was supposed to be under the sea. It doesn't hurt that this film has my favorite all-time Disney soundtrack. Every song is a winner. And who hasn't picked up a brush from their vanity table and thought..."Look at this stuff. Isn't it neat?"
3. Dory, Finding Nemo
I thought long and hard about whether to include Pixar on this list and then, finally, decided I couldn't not have Dory on here. Besides being hilarious, Dory is also extremely loyal and the fish you'd want by your side in the most dire of circumstances. Her advice to "just keep swimming" has popped up in my head on many occasion. Besides, she can speak whale!
3. Duchess, The Aristocats
Admittedly, I'm not much of a cat person and Duchess is a cat. But she's also beautiful, sweet and a fierce protector of her brood. I also loved the romance between her and "wrong side of the tracks" alley cat, Thomas O'Malley. In fact, I think I loved her so much because he did. I Can Haz Kitty Romance?
5. Jasmine, Aladdin
Okay, I admit. This one is here by default only because she's the first mainstream character I ever saw who shared my Middle Eastern heritage. As a character in her own right, I don't think she was particularly special. But it was really great as a kid to see my culture depicted in such a positive light (and I really do love this movie).
What about you? Who's your favorite Disney or Pixar heroine?