Disney sure loves its princesses. Some are born into it (Snow White and Ariel). Some marry into it (Cinderella and Tiana). Some aren’t princesses at all (looking at you, Mulan) and still appear on the merch. Curiously, few Disney characters take the next step. Let’s shake things up and pay tribute to some Disney queens.
Elsa, from Frozen
Admittedly, paying tribute to the most popular character from Disney’s most popular movie in the past decade isn’t that big a shake-up. Still, Elsa is inarguably the most iconic Disney queen. While most princesses end their story in the same role, her coronation kicks off this movie’s plot.
Interestingly, the Frozen movies see her struggling to balance her political power with her magical power. Both are burdens in the first one, and she learns to accept and control them in the end. By the end of the second one, she gives the crown to loyal sister Anna so she can find true harmony in nature.
Aurora, from Maleficent
Maleficent is not a live-action remake of Sleeping Beauty, but a reimagining. Rather than telling the tale from the antagonist’s perspective, the movie completely warps its narrative to make her the hero. This leads to a brand-new ending where the king is dead (it’s fine, he was evil this time) and Maleficent redeems herself.
Among other changes, Aurora does not remain a princess at the conclusion. She actually becomes a double queen, sovereign of both the human kingdom that was her birthright and the pixie-populated Moors where she grew up. The sequel even sees her marry Prince Phillip, presumably becoming queen of his kingdom as well. Not bad!
Kida, from Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Kidagakash Nedakh — Kida for short — is one of those characters who has the princess title, but not the Disney Princess title. In the eyes of Disney’s merchandising department, pedigree matters less than box office. Even so, the heroine of Atlantis: The Lost Empire has plenty of fans clamoring on her behalf.
Kida has been alive for 8000 years. In that time, she’s seen her kingdom of Atlantis sink beneath the waves, ancient knowledge vanish, and culture stagnate. Her ascent to the throne, also under unhappy circumstances, promises a revitalization. It’ll help to have American scholar Milo Thatch by her side, giving an outsider’s perspective and matching her passion.
The Queen of Hearts, from Alice in Wonderland
We dare not exclude the formidable Queen of Hearts from any list of Disney queens. If any character rivals Elsa as the most famous wielder of this title, it’s the one who doesn’t have any other name. With her decidedly mature appearance and comfort with absolute power, it’s hard to believe she was ever a princess.
The Queen’s presence is felt in Alice in Wonderland even before we meet her. Three playing-card lackeys sing about how she’ll literally have their heads if they fail in some menial task. After a minutes-long, lovingly animated procession of soldiers, she stomps into the scene and makes good on her threat. That is how you introduce a villain.
Or is she a villain? Wonderland is a chaotic place. Everyone is enigmatic, idiotic, downright nasty, or some combination. Perhaps the only way to rule such a mad world is to be a little mad yourself. Perhaps bellowing “Off with their heads!” isn’t an ideal solution to every problem, especially for our poor protagonist. Regardless, we viewers wouldn’t want the Queen of Hearts any other way.
Disney Queens Merchandise at Your WDW Store
Disney queens can be just as interesting, diverse, and lovable as Disney princesses. These four aren’t even the only examples. You can find plenty of merch related to both Disney queens and princesses here at Your WDW Store. We have all your favorite characters in one place.