1. We did a detailed census of the 21 leading animated female characters from every Disney film:
2. To be included in our census, a character had to both be human AND have a leading role in a film (no fairy godmothers!). Here is what we learned:
3. Most of the leading female characters were under 20 years old:
4. 61.9% of all Disney females are from Europe:
(Jasmine’s exact location in the Middle East is unclear, as she is from the fictional kingdom of Agrabah — the only clue about where Agrabah is, is that she resides near the Jordan River, which is located in the Middle East.)
5. And an overwhelming majority of the Disney leading ladies are white:
Every single Disney leading lady who is a person of color is from a film from 1992 or later.
6. At the end of most of their films, a majority of the Disney leading ladies are married or about to be married:
This data does not take into account anything that happens in sequels.
7. There are more Disney leading ladies with black hair than with blonde hair:
8. These were the most commonly displayed skills amongst all 21 leading ladies:
For our purposes, a “skill” was a thing that a character showed at least some aptitude for during the course of her film.
9. Nearly half of the leading ladies had some sort of animal sidekick:
A “sidekick” in this case had to be a friend with a name whose purpose was to be a foil or provide some sort of comic relief — talking to random unnamed animals did not count.
In Tiana’s case, she made friends with other animals while she was (SPOILER) a frog herself, and therefore we did not include these animal friends as sidekicks.
10. The Disney leading ladies suffer from a disproportionately large number of dead parents:
11. About two-thirds of the Disney leading ladies are of royal status by the end of their films:
Although Mulan is considered by Disney to be one of the Disney Princesses, she is not born into royalty nor does she marry into it by the end of her movie.
And while Jane does not technically marry Tarzan until the third Tarzan movie, she does go to live with him at the end of the first movie, and becomes queen of the jungle.
12. The most common job held by a Disney leading lady is Princess — only two of the leading ladies are actually queens (with actual ruling responsibilities):
The only leading lady who has a stable full-time job outside the government is Tiana.
13. Nearly half of the leading ladies (47.6%) have blue eyes:
14. And only two of the Disney leading ladies are ever seen wearing pants:
15. Here’s the census in its entirety!
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