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Top 10 Best Disney Movies Without a Princess

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Jessica Walsh
These Disney movies don’t have a princess but that doesnt mean they aren’t kickass! For this list we’re looking at fully-animated Disney movies and excluding Pixar, as they don’t typically focus on princess stories. We will be including any movies with characters who are not referred to as princesses directly. If, however, characters in the film became de facto Disney princesses after the fact, their movies remain fair game. We’ve included movies like “Alice in Wonderland”, “Tarzan”, “Lilio & Stitch” and more!

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Top 10 Best Disney Movies Without a Princess

We love the House of Mouse royals as much as the next person, but they aren’t necessary for a great Disney film. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Disney Movies Without a Princess.

For this list we’re looking at fully-animated Disney movies and excluding Pixar, as they don’t typically focus on princess stories. We will be including any movies with characters who are not referred to as princesses directly. If, however, characters in the film became de facto Disney princesses after the fact, their movies remain fair game.

#10: “Lilo & Stitch” (2002)

This adorable experiment has no time for princesses, or any other sort of royalty, because he’s too busy trying to escape exile and the Galactic Federation. Lilo & Stitch is a cute tale about a young, orphaned Hawaiian girl who finds her family in those around her; including her sister, and a strange little blue dog-like creature she’s named Stitch. Action-packed and heartwarming, this story focuses on the idea of ‘ohana’ – Hawaiian for ‘family’ – and how it can be found in the most unlikely of places and creatures.

#9: “Alice in Wonderland” (1951)

Upon spotting a white rabbit with a pocket watch, Alice follows him down into a world that’s both hard to imagine and even harder to comprehend. Based on the endlessly creative novels by Lewis Carroll, Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” takes us on an exciting adventure through this world, where Alice can barely keep herself in one piece, let alone size. There’s talking animals, strange cookies and a Queen of Hearts. While Alice goes on a wild and confusing journey through a world she thinks she wants to be a part of, she grows through the experience and finds comfort in normalcy.

#8: “Tarzan” (1999)

Raised by gorillas from a young age when his parents were killed by a leopard, Tarzan becomes friends with several animals, but hasn’t seen another human for most of his life. When he encounters Jane, her father and the hunter Clayton, he’s just as interested in them as they are in him. While Jane and her father teach Tarzan about humans and what he really is, Clayton has another plan – poaching and killing the gorillas. Somewhere in the middle, Tarzan has to protect what he loves and find a place where he can belong. It’s a heartwarming story that not only has a killer soundtrack, but no need for princesses.

#7: “One Hundred and One Dalmatians” (1961) Pongo and Perdita have the perfect life: two human owners who love each other as much as they do, and a whole litter of puppies on the way to join the family. Unfortunately, Cruella De Vil stops by and offers to purchase all the puppies so she can make herself a dalmatian coat. The owners insist the puppies aren’t for sale, but Cruella, undaunted, orders her men to steal the litter so she can proceed with her dastardly plot. This prompts Pongo, Perdita and a menagerie of animals to work together to save the pups. It’s a film with infinite replay value, a whole lot of heart, and an iconic cast of canine characters.

#6: “Lady and the Tramp” (1955) Another story centered on dogs, this time we have the lovely Lady, who’s used to living a life of luxury with two loving owners and a third on the way. However, with a new baby inbound, Lady has some concerns that her owners might forget about her. She soon finds herself falling for a handsome and mischievous stray dog named Tramp. Lady and Tramp’s worlds collide, and when the baby is threatened, they have to figure out how to convince the humans that they weren’t the source of the trouble in the first place. It’s a film with high stakes and arguably the most iconic pasta scene in cinematic history – no royalty required.

#5: “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996)

Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” saw Disney take the story in a decidedly happier route while still managing to keep its core values intact. Quasimodo is the deformed but loveable bell ringer who lives hidden away in Notre Dame, always dreaming of the outside world. A tale of self-love, acceptance and uprising, Quasimodo’s story sees him meet Esmeralda. Through her, he gains the courage to stand up for his friends against the evil Minister of Justice/his own adoptive father, Frollo. This unique and inspiring tale puts the misfit front and center, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

#4: “Zootopia” (2016)
Zootopia is an idyllic world in which animals live and work side by side, and very little seems to ever go wrong – that is, apart from the odd, petty crime. That all changes, however, when predators start going ‘savage’ and no one can figure out why. New officer Judy Hopps takes up the case with the help of a local con artist, Nick Wilde, to figure out what’s going on and how to stop it. With this movie, Disney returned to its well-loved anthropomorphic roots to tell a great story, with some very timely social and racial commentary mixed in as well.

#3: “The Rescuers” (1977)

Who said messages in a bottle get lost at sea? When one turns up at the United Nations from a missing orphan girl, two mice from the Rescue Aid Society set out to track her down. As it turns out, Penny has been kidnapped by the evil Madame Medusa, who has her sights set on the world’s biggest diamond: The Devil’s Eye. It’s up to Miss Bianca and Bernard to rescue the girl, stop Medusa and get back to safety before the tide rises. This animated movie was quite popular when it was released – so much so that it became the first animated Disney movie to receive a sequel, with “The Rescuers Down Under”.

#2: “Mulan” (1998)

While she is a part of the official Disney Princess lineup, Mulan is never actually called a princess in her movie – and for good reason. Rather then wearing a fancy dress and dreaming about her prince, this young woman of humble origins actually poses as a man to take her father’s place in the fight against the Huns. Posing as a man proves to be a lot more work than she expects, but that doesn’t deter her from protecting her family, her Emperor and her country when they need her most. Of course, it certainly didn’t hurt that this film also gave us one of Disney’s most infectiously catchy songs.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Dumbo” (1941)

“Hercules” (1997)

“The Aristocats” (1970)

#1: “Big Hero 6” (2014)

Who needs a princess when you’ve got an inflatable robot? Hiro Hamada is a normal kid with a knack for robotics. Just when it seems like his dreams of attending San Fransokyo Institute of Technology are coming true, an accident claims his brother’s life. Some weeks later, Hiro accidently wakes Baymax, the medical robot his brother had been working on. With Baymax’s help, he discovers there was more to the accident than it seemed. Teaming up with the remaining students from the robotics program, Hiro becomes a hero in more ways than just his name. It’s a wonderfully refreshing tale of friendship and heroism, and a testament to Disney’s continued ability to tell inspiring stories.


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