1989’s The Little Mermaid ushered in a new era of Disney animation. Known as Disney’s Renaissance, it included animated movies like The Lion King, Tarzan, and Mulan. The new era featured a new kind of Disney heroine - one who took matters into her own hands.
Though an official Disney Princess lineup exists to sell themed merchandise, many of the 90s princesses don’t appear. That’s because some of them are animals, most don’t wear princess ball gowns, and some only have the princess title as an honorary measure. If the group ended up at Hogwarts though, one thing’s for sure: there would be a whole lot of Gryffindors among them.
10 Pocahontas (Pocahontas): Gryffindor
The daughter of a chief instead of a king, Pocahontas is one character in Disney’s official lineup who is an honorary princess. She might not wear a crown, but she’s certainly the hero of her movie.
Though the movie is inspired by real events, it strays far from historic accounts. In both life and fiction, however, Pocahontas is a Gryffindor. She’s willing to risk her life to help strangers, putting herself between her people and possible invaders to find out if the situation is really threatening. She even, eventually, makes the decision to leave her family and explore a whole new world in the sequel.
9 Jane (Tarzan): Ravenclaw
An ethnologist in Tarzan, Jane’s job means she spends all of her time studying and analyzing. Ethnology is a specific branch of anthropology that doesn’t just study a particular culture, but compares it to others to find similarities among humanity. In Tarzan Jane and her father, however, don’t study humans exclusively, but set out to study gorillas as well.
With Jane’s ability to find ways to communicate with animals and understand the social order of the gorillas fairly quickly, it’s clear she’s good at her job. Her adaptability means she isn’t just a Ravenclaw with her nose stuck in a book either; she’s able to put what she learns into action.
Some fans might wonder why Jane makes a list of princesses at all. Until 2004, she was part of the official Disney princess lineup as honorary royalty.
8 Nala (The Lion King): Gryffindor
Nala is never officially a princess by Disney standards. Disney doesn’t include animals in their lineup. Since she becomes the queen to Simba’s king, however, she makes this list as a Gryffindor.
Nala is never put off by the fact that she spends her cub days playing with the future king of the pride. In fact, she’s pretty proud of the fact that she’s tougher than him. If Simba’s brave and a showoff, so is Nala. Nala leaves her home - and everyone she knows - behind to find a solution to the pride’s problems after Scar takes over. When she finds Simba, she isn’t afraid to inform him that staying gone is cowardly behavior. She also isn’t afraid to return home and face the consequences of her disappearance.
7 Atta (A Bug’s Life): Gryffindor
Like Toy Story, A Bug’s Life was an early Disney venture with Pixar. The Pixar characters don’t typically get included in Disney’s princess lineup. Of course, Princess Atta is also an ant, so she wouldn’t likely get an invite anyway. Despite being an ant instead of a human, Atta ranks here, and she’s definitely a Gryffindor.
Atta spends a lot of the movie focused on how the colony views her. With her mother as queen, she has a lot to live up to. She wants to make sure she can be as good of a queen, if not better, as her mother. With all that pressure she places on herself, she spends a lot of time afraid. Despite her fear, she makes the tough calls and ends up standing up to the grasshoppers trying to take over.
6 Dot (A Bug’s Life): Hufflepuff
Atta’s little sister, on the other hand, is definitely a Hufflepuff. It’s possible she could sort into a different Hogwarts house if the audience saw more of her journey, but with what we do know of her, it’s the best fit.
Dot is one of the youngest characters in A Bug’s Life, so she spends her time watching Flik put his plans into action and being his own personal cheerleader. She believes in him, even if her big sister exiles him. She also continually works on learning how to fly because she hates not being able to. Hardworking and a loyal friend? Textbook Hufflepuff.
5 Kiara (The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride): Gryffindor
Like her mother before her, Kiara couldn’t feature in the official princess lineup. Unlike her mother before her, however, Kiara is a born royal in The Lion King sequel. She is, as the cub of the ruling couple, technically a princess, even if she’s a lion.
Kiara has a lot in common with her parents. She doesn’t want to be confined to the area closest to the pride. Instead, she wants to explore, and she takes advantage of the few times she’s allowed to do so. It gets her into a little trouble, but she finds a way out of it, willing to face danger head-on. Kiara is also willing to give the exiled lions the benefit of the doubt, believing they deserve a fair chance at joining the family. This Gryffindor has a good heart.
4 Megara (Hercules): Slytherin
With so many Gryffindors amongst the Disney heroines, it’s about time there’s a Slytherin.Though she never gets a princess crown, Megara did date a prince before meeting Hercules. She does fall for the son of a Greek god as well, so she’s an honorary princess in our book.
Meg makes a deal with Hades before the events of the movie play out. That deal makes her secretly work for Hades, helping him get closer to ruling the world. Meg originally made the deal to bring someone she cared for back to life, but her real ambition has nothing to do with Hades. Instead, she wants her own freedom, to be left alone. She’ll do whatever it takes to end up with a peaceful life of her own.
3 Esmeralda (The Hunchback Of Notre Dame): Gryffindor
Like several of the female characters on this list, Esmeralda appeared as part of the official Disney princess merchandise before she was excluded. She even appeared as a character in Disney theme parks for a short time. Again, like so many Disney women of the 90s, Esmeralda is a Gryffindor.
A Romani woman who watched her people be ridiculed and targeted, Esmeralda became a warrior for justice. Throughout The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Esmeralda speaks out against injustice, showing kindness to those who are bullied. She uses any means available to her to fight back, trying to pull herself, and her people, up from the social position they’ve been forced into.
2 Mulan (Mulan): Hufflepuff
Some will argue that Mulan is the bravest of the Disney princess lineup and belongs in Gryffindor. While she is brave, that’s not where her motivation lies. Instead, loyalty motivates Mulan’s every move.
Mulan becomes a soldier in the Chinese army because of loyalty and duty to her family. She takes her father’s place, impersonating a man, so he doesn’t have to go to war in his old age. She continues even after she’s found out due to a need to do the right thing for her country. Mulan is all about loyalty, just like a Hufflepuff.
1 Anastasia (Anastasia): Gryffindor
Anastasia was a 90s animated princess, but when her movie released, it didn’t belong to Disney. It belonged to FOX. With Disney acquiring FOX, she now belongs to Disney, though she’ll likely never be coronated amongst the official Disney princess lineup.
A member of the royal family of Russia, Anastasia disappeared the night her entire family died, and rumors persisted that she was still alive. In the animated version of the story, she suffers from amnesia, and only recovers her memory when she makes the decision to train to be royalty under a pair of con men. Anya isn’t sure if she is really Anastasia until her memory slowly begins to return, but she takes the leap of faith without knowing where she’ll end up. She’s a real Gryffindor.