Disney Princess Movies in Order: How to Watch by Release Date Order

By Savannah Sanders Posted:
Disney Princesses in animation

For those looking to experience Disney's long history of cinematic princesses, here's an extensive list of how to watch every Disney Princess movie in release order.

While Walt Disney famously said that "it all started with a mouse," the Walt Disney Company's theatrical success, in fact, all started with a princess.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was Walt Disney Productions' first full-length feature film and sparked a royal record of cinematic success that continues to this day. 

Disney Princess Movies in Order of Release

Since 1937, there have been 21 official Disney Princess movies in animation and live-action. 

While other Disney movies have included princesses and royal characters, the following is a list of what's considered official Disney Princess movies and how you can watch them chronologically:

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  • Cinderella (1950)
  • Sleeping Beauty (1959)
  • The Little Mermaid (1989)
  • Beauty and the Beast (1991)
  • Aladdin (1992)
  • Pocahontas (1995)
  • Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1997)
  • Mulan (1998)
  • The Princess and the Frog (2009)
  • Tangled (2010)
  • Brave (2012)
  • Cinderella (2015)
  • Moana (2016)
  • Beauty and The Beast (2017)
  • Aladdin (2019)
  • Mulan (2021)
  • Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)
  • The Little Mermaid (2023)

[ Will Rachel Zegler Get Recast as Snow White Following Controversial Comments? ]

1.) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - December 21, 1937

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Not only does Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs hold the title of Walt Disney's first full-length feature film, but the fairytale is the first animated film ever produced in the United States. 

Inspired by the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs follows young, innocent Princess Snow White as she finds refuge with the Seven Dwarfs while hiding from her vain and murderous stepmother.

Despite doubts that a cartoon movie could hold audiences' attention, Snow White became the highest-grossing film of 1937, sparking the ongoing tradition of animated Disney movies today. 

2.) Cinderella - February 15, 1950

Disney's Cinderella

Despite Disney's success with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the next Disney Princess film, Cinderella, wasn't released until more than a decade later but to just as much financial and critical success as its 1930s predecessor.

Adapted from Charles Perrault's Cendrillon, Cinderella isn't a princess from the start. But due to her kindness, character, and a little help from her Fairy Godmother, she meets Prince Charming. Despite a midnight timeline and her stepmother's evil efforts, she marries the prince thanks to a glass slipper. 

3.) Sleeping Beauty - January 29, 1959

Disney Sleeping Beauty

Disney's final princess movie of the 1950s and the Walt Disney era surprisingly wasn't as successful as its royal predecessors.

Despite its ambitious design and record of Disney's most expensive animated film of the time, audiences and critics noted Sleeping Beauty's star, Aurora, who went by the alias Briar Rose to escape Maleficent's spinning wheel curse, was largely sidelined or asleep throughout the feature film. 

4.) The Little Mermaid - November 17, 1989

Disney's The Little Mermaid

Due to Sleeping Beauty's disappointing performance and Walt Disney's death in 1966, Disney didn't release another princess movie until 1989, reviving both the genre and Walt Disney Animation. 

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, The Little Mermaid tells the story of teenage mermaid Ariel who, much to her father's chagrin, is obsessed with the world above the waves. After saving Prince Eric from drowning, she makes a deal with a sea witch to become human. 

The Little Mermaid proved to be a huge success, with considerable credit given to its updated spin on a princess tale and its Broadway-style songs and structure, which eventually became a Disney trademark. 

5.) Beauty and the Beast - November 13, 1991

Disney's Beauty and the Beast

One of Disney's most acclaimed films to date, Beauty and the Beast stars Belle, a beautiful bookish outsider, who finds herself a prisoner of an enchanted castle where its occupants, including the selfish prince turned beast, are on the verge of being cursed forever. 

For Disney, Beauty and the Beast truly was a "tale as old time" as the studio had been struggling to adapt the French story since the 1930s. 

Due to The Little Mermaid's recent success, Disney also made Beauty and the Beast a musical; and when it was released in 1991, this princess film was a box office juggernaut and the first animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

6.) Aladdin - November 11, 1992 

Disney's Aladdin

While Aladdin's titular character is a confessed "street rat" turned prince, not a princess, the hit animated movie also starred Jasmine, the spirited Princess of Agrabah, who refused to marry someone she doesn't love. 

Hot on the heels of Beauty and the Beast's success, Aladdin became the highest-grossing film of 1992 and the highest-grossing animated film until then. Aladdin wasn't Princess Jasmine's only film, however, as she returned for two direct-to-VHS sequels and an animated series.  

7.) Pocahontas - June 10, 1995

Disney's Pocahontas

Disney's next animated princess was a departure from her preceding royals in that she was loosely based on a real-life Indian princess, the daughter of Chief Powhatan, Pocahontas. 

She was also the first Disney Princess whose story occurred outside of a castle or palace and in which she completely drove the plot. 

Pocahontas offered a romanticized version of Pocahontas and John Smith's historical encounter, transforming the clashing worlds of the English settlers and Native Americans into a star-crossed love story. But while the film was anything but a flop, it fell short of the success of other Disney Princess films from the decade. 

8.) Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella - November 2, 1997

Disney's Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella

This television film, produced by Walt Disney Television, retold the Cinderella story but with Brandy as the title star, along with a groundbreaking racially diverse cast including Whoopi Goldberg, Victor Garber, Paolo Montalban, and Whitney Houston. 

Brandy's version of Cinderella was a more modern, feminist spin on the princess; and despite a somewhat mixed reception, it was a huge ratings success and earned seven Primetime Emmy Awards.

9.) Mulan - June 5, 1998

Disney's Mulan

The fifth Disney Princess of the '90s technically isn't a princess at all but has largely been considered such in terms of branding. 

Based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, in the Disney film, Mulan is a warrior who saves Imperial China after impersonating a man to take her father's place to stop a Hun invasion. 

Like most Disney films of the decade, Mulan was a box office hit and earned various award nominations, including Best Animated Feature at the Annie Awards.

10.) The Princess and the Frog - December 11, 2009

Disney's Princess and the Frog

After the rise of Dreamworks Animation and the conclusion of Disney's streak of '90s hits, Walt Disney Animation returned to its roots with The Princess and the Frog, telling a princess story via the traditional animated format.

The Princess and the Frog tells the story of Tiana, Disney's first African-American princess, who's an ambitious, hardworking waitress with dreams of opening her own New Orleans restaurant. After accidentally being turned into a frog along with a spoiled prince, she must journey through the bayou to turn back into a human before time runs out. 

Despite mostly positive reviews, the film didn't quite meet box office expectations. Disney responded with an effort to disassociate its upcoming movies from the Disney Princess brand, as evidenced by Rapunzel being named Tangled and Disney's later use of the title Frozen

11.) Tangled - November 14, 2010

Disney's Tangled

The first Disney Princess film of the '00s, Tangled told the tale of the lost princess Rapunzel, who was taken captive and held in a tower by Mother Gothel for her magical long hair that gained its abilities through a magical flower

After escaping with the thief Flynn Ryder, she discovers the world for the first time and who she is. 

Tangled was a turning point for Walt Disney Animation in that it was the first Disney Princess movie to rely on the modern CGI animation style. The film also proved to be a huge success with fans and critics, leading to a short film and television series.

12.) Brave - June 22, 2012

Disney's Brave

Pixar's first film with a female lead and the studio's first Disney Princess film, Brave tells the story of Princess Merida, a Medieval Scottish princess who, after refusing to be betrothed, must help her mother who's transformed into a bear before the kingdom collapses.

Merida was a departure from other Disney Princesses, particularly in terms of her tomboy style and her lack of a romantic interest in the film. 

While Brave largely received a positive reception, the movie didn't quite live up to the standard of other Pixar films.  

13.) Cinderella - March 13, 2015 

Disney's Cinderella

One of Disney's first live-action remakes, Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella starred Lily James as the title heroine along with Thor: Ragnarok's Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine, Richard Madden as Prince Kit, and Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother. 

This version of Cinderella further fleshed out the world and the characters of the original film with Lily James' "Ella" living by her mother's instruction to "have courage and be kind."

Cinderella was incredibly well-received and stands as one of Disney's best live-action remakes to date.

Cinderella will be available to stream on Friday, March 8 on Disney+.

14.) Moana - November 23, 2016

Disney's Moana

Set in ancient Polynesia, Moana is the daughter of an island chief who's chosen by the ocean to restore the heart of Te Fiti, the goddess of nature. Despite her father's resistance to anyone leaving the island, Moana embarks on her mission along with the demi-god, Maui, played by Dwayne Johnson.

In addition to grossing $682 million worldwide, Moana received two Academy Award nominations; but through the years, the film and its princess have only maintained their popularity. 

After Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed Moana crossed 1 billion streaming hours on Disney+, he announced Moana 2 is heading for theaters on November 27. A live-action Moana remake is also slated to debut in 2025. 

15.) Beauty and The Beast - March 17, 2017 

Disney's Beauty and the Beast

Disney's second live-action Disney Princess film, Beauty and the Beast starred Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, as well as Josh Gad, Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen, and more in supporting roles.

Unlike the 1991 animated feature, 2017's Beauty of the Beast took inspiration from Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont's 1756 version of the story and presented a more feminist Belle while further fleshing out the Beast's backstory. 

The movie grossed $1.2 billion worldwide and is Disney's second-highest-grossing remake to date. 

16.) Aladdin - 2019

Disney's Aladdin

Another instance of the House of Mouse redoing a '90s animated juggernaut, 2019's Aladdin, directed by Guy Ritchie, starred Will Smith as the Genie, Mena Massoud as Aladdin, and Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine. 

Like the 1992 movie, Scott's Jasmine wants to be in charge of her own life and is given even more scope in live-action. 

Aladdin ultimately grossed over $1 billion worldwide and provided further evidence for why Disney continues to greenlight remakes despite audiences' reception. 

17.) Mulan - September 4, 2020

Disney's Mulan

A readaptation of 1998's Mulan, Disney's Mulan was directed by Niki Caro and starred Liu Yifei, Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Jason Scott Lee, and Gong Li. 

While Mulan's personal trajectory is similar to the animated film, this live-action version introduced several new characters and the presence of magic. 

Mulan premiered in Hollywood on March 9, 2020, but its wide release was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was later released on Disney+ as a Premier Access film, requiring an additional fee. 

18.) Raya and the Last Dragon - March 5, 2021

Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon

Walt Disney Animation's Raya and the Last Dragon introduced Raya, a warrior princess who embarks on a search for the last drong to save her father and the land of Kumandra. 

Inspired by traditional Southeast Asian cultures, Raya and the Last Dragon was released in theaters on March 5, 2021 and on Disney+ via Premier Access. 

While critics were largely positive about the film and Disney's new princess, Raya and the Last Dragon failed to make much of an impact. 

19.) The Little Mermaid - May 26, 2023

Disney's The Little Mermaid

Disney's latest live-action redo and the most recent Disney Princess movie, Rob Marshall's The Little Mermaid starred Halle Bailey as Ariel, along with Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, and Jonah Hauer-King as Eric. 

While, again, The Little Mermaid largely followed the animated film's original plot, both Ariel and Eric's characters were slightly modernized and further fleshed out as individuals. 

Despite Disney's hopes for the film, The Little Mermaid failed to meet expectations with fans and at the box office. 

All the Disney Princess films are streaming now on Disney+.

Read more Disney Princess news stories below:

Little Mermaid 2023's Disney Plus Viewership Ranking Revealed Following Streaming Debut

Wish: How Asha Differs from Other Disney Princesses, Explained by Director (Exclusive)

The Little Mermaid: Every Song In 2023 Remake, Ranked Worst to Best

- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.