Forget damsels in distress! Some animates heroines have a little more substance than waiting patiently for a prince to arrive. With each new decade, we see more dynamic and powerful female characters, who can stay gorgeous while still kicking butt. With Brave coming out in theaters, we're guaranteed to see one of the coolest animated (and Scottish) heroines of all time, Princess Merida. And this brings us to our first on the list...
Disney's Mulan proves that being a woman has nothing to do with dresses and frills, and a whole lot more to do with what's inside. And it's not totally a fairytale--she's based on the legendary Chinese heroine, Hua Mulan! In Mulan, she takes her father's place to fight the Han army. But in order to do this, she must disguise herself as a man. But this is risky when she falls in love with Li Shang, who still believes she is a man! Earlier in the movie, she was dubbed unfit for marriage, but at the end of the film, Li Shang appreciates her for her true self, even if she's not typical wife material.
Belle might not be your first thought when you think of kick-butt animated princesses, but despite the fact that she never actually had a throw-down with a villain, her strong convictions and intelligence make her unique. Like Mulan, Belle wasn't typical wife material at the beginning of Beauty and the Beast. She was beautiful, but spent so much time reading that she definitely stood out among the rest of the French maidens. And instead of being shallow and going for the dashing jerk, Gaston, she looked deeper within the soul of the hideous Beast, eventually gaining her reward: upon changing him into a softer-hearted creature, she finds that he was a good-looking prince all along. Hey, she had her cake and ate it too. It's not often that a girl finds that the nice guy is also the handsome, rich guy.
Coraline is a brave and dreamy eleven-year-old girl who is less-than-happy about her parents moving her to a new home, and spending all their time working on a gardening catalog instead of hanging out with her. Most kids in her situation might wish for different parents, but in Coraline's case, her wish comes true...or does it? Her new parents give her everything she wants, but this new dream might be too good to be true. Coraline isn't the most street-smart kid in the world, but who is at eleven?
Princess Tiana, from Disney's The Princess and the Frog is the definition of an independent woman. As a waitress and aspiring restaurant owner in New Orleans, she has her hands full, but she's fine doing all that by herself, and doesn't have any time for romance...at least until she meets the foreign prince Naveen. At the end of the film, she learns that she can have it all--a successful career, and a great relationship. After marrying Naveen and becoming a princess, she doesn't retire to a life of shopping and lounging--she opens her own private restaurant!
The ten-year-old daughter of Elastigirl and Mr. Incredible, Violet Parr is a young heroine who packs a punch. Like most preteen girls, she is withdrawn and self-conscious at the beginning of The Incredibles. She is too nervous tot talk to the boy who she has a crush on at school, and she always hides her face behind her long black hair. However, once she realizes she is a force to be reckoned with, things change. With her new super suit, she can become invisible and control force fields, which is pretty darn cool!
Vote on our poll below to say which one you think is the best, and let us know if there is a heroine you think should have been on the list!