You’ll often find that ‘top animated women’ lists or the like are oriented around Disney. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like a good Disney classic as much as the next, but growing up the powerful women who inspired me weren’t always from Disney films. So here is my list of the top five empowered and downright fabulous animated women and why they should be role models for everyone.
NUMBER FIVE: Odette from The Swan Princess (1994)
My not-so-secret guilty pleasure films are The Swan Princess trilogy (they did make another one in 2012 but we don’t talk about that) which tell the classic swan/girl tale of Odette. But what makes Odette worthy of this much fought-after spot? Well, firstly we must mention her tomboy childhood phase shown early on in a brilliant montage where she proves she’s just as good as her ‘husband to be’ Prince Derek by fighting with him, beating him at cards and just being awesome. Later on, when Derek sees her beautiful transition into womanhood and declares his love, Odette truly comes into her own with the line “Is beauty all that matters to you?” when told that she’s ‘all he’s ever wanted; she’s beautiful’. Despite pressure from the entire kingdom, Odette refuses Derek’s proposal because he cannot explain her worth beyond beauty. Aside from this she totally kicks ass evading the villainous Rothbart and stubbornly refuses to give him what he wants despite being in a pretty shit situation.
NUMBER FOUR: Anya from Anastasia (1997)
Anya was one of my first childhood crushes, whether it was her red hair or adorkable personality, she stole my little heart and to this day still holds it captive. Not only did Anastasia help me with my Russian history for GCSE, it also teaches that love is more important than wealth and that a girl don’t need no man! Anya grows up an orphan, with no memory of her family or childhood and then by chance meets some scammers who hope to use her as the ‘lost princess’ of Russia for a reward – what they of course later find out is that she is in fact actually the princess. But nevertheless, Anya refuses to be used and later on fights Rasputin to save the man she loves and her own life.
NUMBER THREE: Belle from Beauty and the Beast (1991)
This lady needs no introduction, with her cute white apron, blue dress, ponytail and bookishness, Belle is a secret love of everyone’s. Apart from proving that that women can be intelligent and non-man-oriented, Belle defends her father, assists his crazy invention-makin’ and sticks up to, let’s face it (even though we shouldn’t judge) a hellish looking beast. Though then again maybe she just saw his cuddly side straight away? Belle’s brilliance just cannot be disputed. Going off and rescuing her father, refusing to give in to the ‘handsome’ man about the town, Gaston, and then rescuing her love from said bastard. I mean seriously, this girl kicks ass and all whilst looking adorable and reading numerous books. Talk about perfect woman.
NUMBER TWO: Mulan (1998)
Other than the fact that Mulan is voiced by the BAMF Ming-Na Wen who now plays Agent Melinda May in Joss Whedon’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (she’s beyond kickass, seriously – she totally takes out an army and stuff by herself) Mulan is just a brilliant story of saying a big ‘fuck you’ to gender roles. I mean come on, the tagline is “This time, the princess saves the prince”. How can you not love this film? Mulan totally saves her father’s life and sacrifices herself. Not only does she show honour and integrity with this but she proves to everyone that she is just as strong as the men she fights with. Mulan is the kind of role model I want my children to have, please.
NUMBER ONE: Kayley from The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot (1998)
In our number one spot we have Kayley, the badass, cute-as-fuck redhead from QFC. Kayley is just…awesome. First of all we have her refusing to wear a dress, because she doesn’t feel comfortable in it, then we have her sneaking out from her home despite basically being kidnapped by a bunch of knight-robot-things and running away to the haunted forest, all to rescue her mum and warn Camelot and King Arthur of the big bad’s evil scheme. Along the way she falls in love with and saves the life of a dorky blind guy and they sing an adorable duet, she befriends some slightly deformed dragon rejects and ends the story on a high note of saving Camelot, the King and her mum. Kayley is beautiful, powerful, inquisitive, intelligent and all round badass. Her courage and passion are inspirational, even as I watch this sixteen years on, with a lot more life behind me.
Honorary Mention: If I re-did my list having seen Frozen, Elsa would damn right be on here.
Hope you enjoyed my list and check out my Ultimate 7 for another dream team of fab ladies!