The Best Disney Heroines Ranked

Last updated on November 29th, 2022 at 04:32 pm

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Who is the best Disney role model?

There are so many bold and brave female characters in Disney and, to fit in with the modern world, they are becoming more and more fierce to become the perfect Disney role models for young children.

I am going to rank the Disney heroines below from the most inspirational to the toughest cookie to the most fierce.

You can stream all Disney movies on Disney Plus now.

The Most Fearless

This title is reserved for the absolute badass, Pocahontas.

I loved her independence in a world that was ruled by men. Yes, she was fearless in the physical sense, running barefoot through the forest without stones stabbing her soles, swan diving off an extremely high cliff and racing down a rushing river without so much as a hair falling out of place.

But she was also fearless with regards to refusing to marry a man whom she did not love, as well as standing up to her father and fellow people to encourage them to change their mindset, resulting in John Smith being saved from death.


Pocahontas is so free spirited, I love it - she's so beautiful ... definitely one of the greatest Disney heroines of the '90s

Pocahontas dives from a tall waterfall with the sky a pink hue behind her

She don’t need no man!

Pocahontas fell in love with someone she shouldn’t, rather than marrying Kocoum. She stood in front of her Dad’s wooden club so that John Smith would not be killed. Ultimately, saving John Smith saved many other lives as this act of heroism stopped the war.

This is why Pocahontas is worthy of being named my favourite heroine in the Disney challenge. She was willing to sacrifice herself for the love of her life. Not only that, she was going against her tribe’s traditions, particularly her Dad’s.

Savages II / Pocahontas' Path 【Pocahontas Fandub-Ready】 - YouTube

Family First!

Then, after all of these heroic acts, Pocahontas decided to stay with her family, rather than leave with her love, John Smith. What a whirlwind! And you can paint with all the colours of the whirlwind!

The Smartest

In a world when most Disney princesses were turning weak at the knees for their Prince Charmings, Belle literally fell in love with a beast.

Belle is one of the best Disney heroines as she shows enjoyment inside the local library, hanging from the ladder that crosses the shelves.  She is wearing a blue maiden dress.
Source: Insider

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like he was poor and living in an old shack in the woods; our Beasty boy was pretty well off with his grand, enchanted castle. However, this can certainly be overlooked as when you compare him to Gaston, he too didn’t seem to be the poorest of men either. So, I do feel it is safe to say that Belle can be forgiven here and wasn’t necessarily after a man for his money.


Belle could have been in the running for the most fearless here too. Not only did she stand up to Gaston on several occasions, as well as that creepy Asylum owner, she also condemned herself to a prison so that her father, Maurice, could go home.

Source: Disney

This classic Disney princess certainly acts as a role model for children watching Beauty and the Beast as she inspires them to know their own mind and to do what they feel is right.

Reading Rocks

One of the most compelling personality traits from Belle is her passion for reading. I absolutely love that she expresses a love of reading which encourages children watching her to do the same; and her excitement when entering Beast’s library shows that so much enjoyment can be found in reading books. It’s a lovely sentiment and one that certainly proves that Belle is one of the smartest Disney heroines.

Miss Independent

Some may disagree here but I’ve got to say that Ariel is the most independent of the Disney heroines.

OK, hear me out…

I have chosen Ariel for this title as she explored a new world completely on her own and she did this whilst navigating new body parts and without a voice. That is no easy task!

Source: Inside The Magic

Granted, she did all of this to pursue a man she barely knew but that is a conversation for another day.

TTFN Triton!

One of the saddest moments for me was at the end of The Little Mermaid when King Triton turns to Sebastian and says how much he is going to miss his daughter. It really does tug at my heartstrings. This just goes to show that Ariel does not need her father and is quite happy moving out of the ocean, making it on her own (yes, yes, I know… with Eric! So she’s not completely alone!)

Source: Disney

However, this is very inspirational to those wanderlusters amongst us who may wish to fly the nest at a young age. It gives them a confidence that they can explore the big, wide world by cutting those apron strings and becoming independent.

The Biggest Badass

Oh, hands down, this is Moana!

Moana is one of those Disney heroines that inspire girls the world over. She is loyal to her family but shows great independence as well, learning to sail on the job, softening a narcissistic Demi-God and outsmarting a David Bowie-esque crab.

Source: Disney

She does all of this whilst ensuring her dopey chicken is safe too.


Moana is one of the most mature of the Disney princesses and certainly has a strong element of self-belief. Her song alone, How Far I’ll Go, is inspirational and even makes adults feel like they can accomplish anything!

Source: Disney Plus

Yes, Moana definitely deserves being one of our Disney heroines and is such a role model for children.

The Sassiest Sister

Can the real Mulan please stand up!

Does anyone else feel that Mulan is rather underrated? She is such a great Disney role model to children around the world who may feel that they are struggling with their identity.

Source: Disney Wiki

Similarly to Pocahontas, Mulan is living in a world ruled by the patriarchy and she proves to be the toughest cookie going as she takes her father’s place in the Chinese military.

Break the Stereotype

Mulan is wonderful as she breaks the notion that women should be kept in a box where they are deemed meek and mild.

Source: Disney

No, Mulan is a warrior at heart and this inspires children around the world to search for their own inner-warrior to conquer anything they wish to and be proud of themselves.

The Hardest Worker

Without a doubt, Tiana claims this title.

She inspires all children the world over to pursue their dreams as she has desires to open her own restaurant in a world where she faces challenges of class and racial discrimination.

Source: Disney

Of course, this is a Disney movie so there is the added challenge of being turned into a frog and dealing with a snobbish Prince (also a frog) and navigating their way through a very creepy New Orleans.

Disney Death

Now, if there’s one thing Disney does well, it’s the death of a character as they certainly pull on the heartstrings of the viewer.

Source: Disney Wiki

The death of lovely little Ray was one of the saddest from a Disney movie but it was crucial in bringing Tiana and Prince Naveen together, resulting in Tiana becoming a Disney princess which she very much deserved as one of the greatest Disney role models. Check out some of the other saddest moments from Disney movies.

The Funniest Favourite

Of all the Disney heroines, Anna from Frozen has got to be deemed the funniest. She not only provides us with some slapstick comedy but she is just a ball of energy from start to finish. You cannot help but love her and her quirky humour.

Source: TV Tropes

Anna is perhaps the most realest of all the Disney princesses as she is caught drooling when she wakes up first thing in the morning. We’ve all been there and we love to see it!

Yes, Anna is definitely a great Disney role model for children around the world as it’s her personality that shines through as her most endearing trait. This allows children to recognise that it’s not all about looks and beauty, as previously portrayed in the most classic Disney movies, such as Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.

Who is the best Disney heroine?

I hope you’ve enjoyed checking out this list of Disney heroines and Disney role models. Who is your favourite heroine? Did they appear in the list? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Loulabella xoxo

Originally posted 9 August 2020 and updated 29 November 2022

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