The Little Mermaid is making a splash in theaters last May, and the awesome Halle Bailey is taking on the role of Ariel. But guess what? She’s not the only black Disney princess we’ve had!
We’ve had some fantastic ladies like Jasmine, Pocahontas, Moana, and Mulan rocking the Disney Princess scene in the past. But let’s talk about something special – all-black Disney Princesses! Can you believe we’ve got not one, but 10 amazing all-black Disney Princesses? Curious to know more about them? Well, you’re in for a treat, so keep on reading!
Ororo Munroe (Storm) From X-Men
Meet Ororo Munroe, a powerhouse with a fascinating background! She’s the daughter of Kenyan tribal black disney princess N’Dare and African-American photojournalist David Munroe. What makes her truly special? Well, she’s not just any mutant; she’s a leader, wise and trusted.
Ororo, also known as Storm, can do some incredible things with the weather – think controlling and manipulating it! Flying? No biggie for her, thanks to her wind-controlling abilities.
Storm made her debut in Giant-Size X-Men #1 in May 1975 and became a staple in Marvel Comics. Fun fact: She was born into royalty and later became the Queen of Wakanda through her marriage to childhood sweetheart King T’Challa, aka Black Panther. But, you know how life goes, and titles can change – she lost her Queen status after divorcing T’Challa. Talk about a dynamic character!
Rodgers And Hammerstein’s Cinderella
In the 1997 adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, the enchanting Brandy Norwood took on the lead role, and the legendary Whitney Houston graced the screen as the Godmother.
Premiering on ABC’s The Wonderful World of Disney on November 2, 1997, this version of Cinderella made waves with its racially diverse cast, earning well-deserved applause. A whopping 60 million viewers tuned in, making it the most-watched TV musical in decades.
Now, here’s where the story takes a delightful turn from the original plot. Our protagonists, Cinderella and the prince, cross paths when he ventures into the marketplace, seeking connection beyond the castle’s walls. There’s an instant charm between them, and a bond forms effortlessly.
Things get a bit teary-eyed at the ball when Cinderella is bombarded with questions about her background and family. Overwhelmed, she escapes to the garden in tears. Returning home, she faces an unusually cruel stepmother, pushing an already emotional Cinderella to pack her things and flee from the cruelty.
Meanwhile, the prince is in a bit of a pickle. He’s tried the slipper on all the maidens at the ball, but no luck. Desperate, he catches sight of Cinderella, recognizes her as his dance partner, and voila! The slipper fits perfectly on her foot, bringing the fairy tale to a magical close.
Aida – Black Disney Princess
Aida is a dazzling Broadway musical adapted from the opera of the same name. Produced by Walt Disney Theatrical, with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Elton John, this musical premiered on March 23, 2000, and continued its magical run until September 5, 2004. Not only did it snag awards like Best Original Score and three Tony Awards, but it also clinched a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.
One of its standout songs, “Written in the Stars,” soared to the second position on the US adult contemporary chart, making its mark in the Billboard top 10. Time even recognized Aida as one of the top ten theater productions of the year.
Kida from Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Meet Kidagakash Nedakh, or Kida, a princess from the lost continent of Atlantis, showcased in the 2001 Disney movie “Atlantis: The Lost Empire.” The creators intended Kida to break the mold of fragile Disney Princesses; she’s a warrior with a strong personality, yet playful and soft.
While Kida isn’t explicitly labeled as a Black Princess, her features, voiced by the talented African-American actress Cree Summer, showcase fuller lips, a wider nose, and dark skin, adding a unique touch to her character.
Queen La from The Legend of Tarzan
Queen La of Opar, a key character and black disney princess in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan novel series, made her Disney debut in The Legend of Tarzan TV series in 2001, the same year as Kida. Banished from her African Waziri tribe for practicing forbidden magic, Queen La emerges as a formidable sorceress ruling over the deserted city of Opar.
Shuri from Black Panther
Hailing from the Wakanda family, Shuri, daughter of the previous monarch T’Chaka and Ramonda and sister of the Black Panther, is a princess known for her technical genius in the movies and master martial arts in the comics. Shuri’s journey unfolds after her brother’s demise, leading her to become the new Black Panther.
Tiana from The Princess and the Frog
As the lead black disney princess character in Disney’s 49th animated movie, Tiana is the heroine of “The Princess and the Frog.” Widely celebrated as Disney’s first Black Princess, Tiana’s story unfolds as she dreams of owning her restaurant while contending with the challenges of being transformed into a frog by an evil witch.
Ursula from Once Upon a Time
In the 2014 TV show Once Upon a Time, Ursula, daughter of King Poseidon, is portrayed as a black disney princess. This unique twist connects her to Ariel as her aunt. Ursula’s love for singing takes a tragic turn after her mother’s death, leading to a series of events that transform her from a mermaid to a tentacled sorceress.
Sadé – Black Disney Princess
While Tiana marked Disney’s first African-American princess, Sadé is set to become the first pure African Disney princess. The movie, currently uncertain in its production status, revolves around an African princess discovering her magical powers to protect her kingdom under threat.
Belle from Beauty and the Beast
In the 2022 Disney movie celebrating the 31st anniversary of Beauty and the Beast, Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, an Afro-Filipina singer-songwriter, takes on the role of Belle. This animation/live-action adaptation pays tribute to the beloved 1991 musical and was initially aired on ABC, later finding its place on Hulu and Disney+.