My Pick – 12 Animated Heroines ( A List)

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June 23, 2012 by Liza Lou

With the release of Pixar’s new film Brave making it’s UK release in just over a month, I’ve been checking out trailers. I have already fallen it’s main girl Merida with her Scottish accent and shocking red hair so cannot wait until I finally get a seat and watch the film in it’s glory.
I have watched a lot of animation over the years and as a result have seen the female represented in so many different ways. I thought I would take a look at some of my favourite heroines in animated form and share them with you guys. I didn’t put them in order because that would be too hard, I really do adore each of these in equal measure for their own merits and reasons..
Here they are..

1. Esmerelda: From The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (Disney, 1996).
A Gyspy girl who befriends the deformed Quasimodo. As an outcast herself she wants nothing more than acceptance in society for all and isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in. I love her because she’s quick witted, a little exotic and passionate. She thinks fast, managing to get herself out of imminent danger but helps others too. She also shows she’s no push over when she attracts the attention of men, I so wanted her to marry the hunchback but we can’t have it all can we?
2. Coraline: From Coraline (Laika Inc, 2009)
Coraline reminds me so of myself when I was a young girl. She’s a curious little mite who feels completely misunderstood by the crazy adults around her. I love her stubborn streak but ultimately the best thing about her is that she knows where her loyalties lie. She’s a bit like a darker Alice when she finds her own little world of wonder and gets a little of the ‘grass is greener’ attitude but ultimately this girl knows the difference between right and wrong even if she is a little madam.
3. Tinker Bell: From Peter Pan (Disney, 1953)

How could I make a list like this and not include the fieriest fairy of them all? Okay so she doesn’t speak but with body language and facial expressions like she has she doesn’t need to. She’s like a little fire rocket with her bad temper and mischievous nature but she’s also kind and super cute. Oh, and she leaves a trail of fairy dust behind her.. what more do you want in a girl?

4. Dory: From Finding Nemo (Pixar, 2003)
Dory is a fish, a blue tang fish to be precise, but she is female.I have included her in this list because I remember the first time I ever watched Finding Nemo and thinking I wish I was more like her. She is  the  driving force behind Marlin finding his missing son despite making mistakes. She is a funny thing, she can’t remember the simplest facts but she never gives up. There’s something really special about Dory and it’s completely down to her ‘glass half full’ attitude. She is like an advert for optimism and proves that anyone can succeed if they ‘just keep swimming’.
 5. Kayley: From Quest For Camelot (Warner Bros, 1998)

This is a strange choice for me because the feminist inside of me hates the fact that this girl needs to be constantly saved. She gains kudos though based on the fact that all she wants to do is follow in her daddy’s footsteps and be a Knight. She does show some bravery and strength so all isn’t lost with her and isn’t there something to be said about always learning something new? Kayley is open to new teachings without losing her focus her goal – I guess she’s not all that helpless afterall, hmmmm.
6. Alice: From Alice In Wonderland (Disney, 1951)
Everyone knows Alice. She’s the girl who falls down the rabbit hole and finds herself in a land of bizarre wonderment. I loved her sense of imagination and curious nature and the fact she was perceived as a child rather than a young woman. Her reactions to things around her were typically young such as her crying and her tantrums but she was polite and well spoken too. She grew up in front of my eyes despite the madness she had found her self in and I’ve always had a soft spot for Alice because of this.

7. Ariel: From The Little Mermaid (Disney, 1989)
Ariel is one from my childhood and I thought she was amazing back then and still do to this day. She is breathtakingly beautiful, has a crab for a best friend and got to swim underwater all day. Ok, so maybe they’re not the best reasons to love Ariel but they were my reasons as a youngster and I’m sticking to them.We’ll try to forget that she gave up everything for a man, that kinda taints her a bit but the anyone prepared to give up her family and take the word of an evil octopus witch in order to get it must have some oomph about her.
8. Astrid: From How To Train Your Dragon (DreamWorks, 2010)
I know that Astrid isn’t the main character in her film but she is Hiccup’s love interest so features a fair bit. I had to put her in this list because quite simply she’s too cool for school. She has this stand offishness about her and really knows her own mind making her really hard to impress. She’s not typically girly or sweet and would much rather fight with the boys than kiss them. She does have a softer side but it only comes through a little bit and only when it’s earned.

9. Rapunzel: From Tangled (Disney, 2010)

I’m all for a girl who isn’t afraid to go and get what she wants and Rapunzel does just that. After being locked in a tower for years and years by her ‘Mother’ Gothel, she gets curious as to what is out there and makes a break for it. Of course, she can’t do it without the help of a man but no-one is perfect huh? All those years of being locked up have made her educated and smart though. She shows elements of bravery too and well, is pretty handy with a frying pan.
10. Gloria: From Madagascar (DreamWorks, 2005)
Gloria is a hippopotamus who lives in a zoo and is friends with Marty, Melman and Alex (a lion, a giraffe and a zebra). Throughout three films so far, the trio go on adventures. Being the only girl of group, Gloria is kind and motherly. She’s doesn’t like problems or confrontation and is the voice of reason for her friends. In fact, she’s kinda stereotype girly, even more so in the second film on her quest for love. I still think she’s super and really, really funny!
11. Princess Fiona: From Shrek (DreamWorks, 2001)
Ahhhh, Princess Fiona – teaching all girl’s that looks don’t mean diddly squat since the early 2001.  Of course she has to go on a journey to get there, in fact she starts of as the typical fairy tale princess and then completely turns that on it’s head. She is independent and true to her inner self, eventually. Her good heart proves it is what on the inside that counts while her ogerish ways are hilarious to watch.
12. Jessica Rabbit: From Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Disney, 1988)
Look at her, isn’t she beautiful? The thing about Jessica though is the class she oozes and her underlying want to be treated for what she is and not just what she looks like. She loves her husband Roger dearly and would do anything to protect him. She shows she has brains and a mean slap too, making her strong and pretty powerful in her relationships. Although, lots of characters in the film say she is lucky to have Roger, I think it’s Roger who is lucky to have her.
What about you guys? Do you have a favourite animated lady? Is there someone that simply must be on the above list who I have missed out? Please, Let me know!

photo credits: http://www.fanpop.com/
http://www.disney.co.uk

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