Princesses have never lost their charm, whether they’re making it in the real world or finding their Prince Charming and riding off into the sunset. There’s undeniable appeal in those lovely frocks and magical castles. Oh, and let’s not forget, thanks to Prince William and Princess Kate, we now have lovely little Princess Charlotte to admire. If your kids love a good royal tale, then here’s our princess movie list to let them indulge their princess fantasies.
The Princess Diaries (2001)
A staple in our eyes, The Princess Diaries is a comedy that girls of any age will enjoy (even tweens and teens will have a giggle). “Normal” teenage klutz Mia Thermopolis finds out that she is, in fact, first in line for the throne of a small kingdom called Genovia. The film goes to show Mia’s journey of deciding whether she wants to don the crown she’s unexpectedly inherited, while teaching a few life lessons along the way. The awesome part about this movie that is it still relatable to the audience, with normal teenage issues Mia faces, like bestie fights, boy problems, and struggling with embarrassing parents. This is a definite must- watch, with a delightful sequel (Princess Diaries 2) to follow up on Mia a few years later.
“The new old Disney” is a phrase that’s been used to describe this action-packed retelling of long-haired princess fairytale Rapunzel. The updated title, Tangled, refers not only to the main character’s long locks, but also to the tangled web of secrets at the heart of how Rapunzel ended up in the tower in the first place. Its songs, character design, and storyline make this among Disney’s best work to date. Flynn Rider, the kingdom’s most-wanted bandit, stumbles upon Rapunzel’s tower after the successful heist of a tiara, meeting the longtime resident and owner of 70-foot-long hair who is incredibly curious about the world outside. The unlikely pair strike a deal with each other, beginning an adventure that is delightful and at times nail-biting. Even if Disney movies aren’t your cup of tea, you’ll be surprised at the witty and pleasant approach Tangled takes.
It’s been 10 long years since the release of Enchanted, but we had to put it on our list as it’s too good to leave out. Banished by an evil queen, Princess Giselle from a fairytale world ends up in Manhattan, where music, magic, and “happily ever after” are sorely lacking. She is adrift in this strange new place until a divorce lawyer Robert (Grey’s Anatomy’s McDreamy, *swoon*) comes to her aid. Giselle begins to fall for her flawed benefactor, but their storybook romance gets complicated when a prince from her world comes to rescue her. The film is sweet, quirky, and the whole family can fall under its spell.
A Cinderella Story (2004)
A Cinderella Story is exactly what you’d expect from the title: A retelling of a classic fairytale with a modern-day twist. Sam’s father is tragically taken from her after marrying a wicked woman, Fiona. Sam’s stepsisters, Brianna and Gabriella, are spoiled little brats who enjoy making Sam’s life a living hell. Sam also has an online boyfriend whom she’s never met. They make plans to meet at a school dance, where he turns out to be Mr Popular, while Sam has to be back before midnight so her stepmother doesn’t find out she’s gone. Once the film is finished, families can talk about what made it possible for Sam to hold on to her dreams and her self-respect despite Fiona’s efforts to destroy them both – a good topic for everyone to share their opinions about.
Princess Protection Programme (2009)
This is a sweet movie with a great message about friendship. The storyline follows Carter Mason, the daughter of widower, Tom, who is the owner of a bait shop and also works for the CIA. He has been sent a mission to make Princess Roslinda blend into normal teen life to keep her safe. He pairs her with his daughter Carter to attend high school and try to live a regular life. The two get off to a rocky start, but end up becoming great friends. The film shows how true friends get through arguments, but always make up. We recommend showing this to pre-teens, as it could teach a great lesson to them before they head into high school.
Barbie in the 12 dancing princesses (2006)
Who didn’t love Barbie growing up? She was your childhood bestie that you’d play with for hours, dress up countless times, and push around in her car along with Ken beside her. Of course, naturally we had to put Barbie and The 12 Dancing Princesses on our list. Along with her 11 sisters, Princess Genevieve (Barbie) has just found a gateway to a land where the boundaries of fun are only limited by one’s imagination. Back in the real world, however, their father’s kingdom is in great danger. In order to help their father and ensure that the family stays together, Princess Genevieve and her sisters must join forces and rely on the strength of their family bond to help them get through these trying times.
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
This is a modern twist on a classic tale, featuring a girl named Tiana, a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again, and a fateful kiss that leads them both on a hilarious adventure through the mystical bayous of Louisiana. There’s more to this tale than just romance: Tiana is a resourceful, hardworking heroine who’s a strong role model and is one of the first Disney heroines who doesn’t have to be rescued by a man. This could be a great film to show your daughter if she has a bold personality like Tiana.
Ella Enchanted (2004)
The extremely popular movie Ella Enchanted follows Ella, who lives in a magical world in which each child, at the moment of their birth, is given a virtuous “gift” from a fairy godmother. Ella’s gift is obedience. This birthright proves itself to be quite the curse once Ella finds herself constantly pushed around. Determined to gain control of her life and decisions, Ella sets off on a journey she hopes will end the curse. Ella’s journey is far from easy, but necessary in order to find herself, break the curse, and maybe even true love along the way.
The Swan Princess (1994)
Princess Odette and Prince Derek are forced to spend all their childhood summers together. Their royal families hope they’ll eventually fall in love and unite the two kingdoms. When adults, they both love each other, but Odette feels that Derek must prove he knows her worth. After refusing Derek’s proposal, Odette is kidnapped by Lord Rothbart, an evil enchanter who places her under a spell, hoping to force her to marry him so that he can claim her kingdom as his own. Every morning Odette is transformed into a swan, where she remains until the moonlight shines upon the lake and she becomes a princess once again. Derek alone believes Odette is still alive. He sets off to find her, fight for her return, and declare his everlasting love. Families can talk about what inspired this movie: The story of “Swan Lake,” the ballet. It might be fun to read the ballet story together and see what the two tales have in common.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991)
Last but not least, the classic we all know and love, Beauty and the Beast. In honour of the new live-action 2017 Beauty and the Beast remake, we’ve decided to put the original animated magical tale on our list. An arrogant young prince and his castle’s servants fall under the spell of a wicked enchantress, who turns him into a hideous Beast until he learns to love and be loved in return. The spirited, headstrong village girl Belle enters the Beast’s castle after he imprisons her father Maurice. With the help of his enchanted servants, including the motherly teapot Mrs Potts, Belle begins to draw the cold-hearted Beast out of his isolation. Beauty and the Beast broke new ground while recapturing the spirit of Disney traditionalism that ranks with the best of Disney’s animated classics.
By Finn Jelicich