Sorting Hat Saturday: Disney Princesses

Time for another Sorting Hat Saturday, and this is the third of five weeks where I’m sorting Disney characters.

Ariel: Gryffindor. Ariel is headstrong, reckless, and rebellious. She yearns to explore the world above and feels stifled by her father’s strict rules, which keep her below water. She doesn’t hesitate to do the things other merfolk see as too risky, like swimming right up by a ship and watching the celebration on the deck, and when the human prince she’s been watching nearly drowns, she reacts instinctively to save him. And, of course, it definitely takes courage to make a deal with Ursula and run away to a new world where she’s a literal fish out of water. Ariel doesn’t back down or give up, and there’s no risk she won’t take. In fact, there’s a fine line between Gryffindor and Slytherin, and I’m almost tempted to say she’s a “use any means to achieve their ends” type of Slytherin. Almost. But not quite.

Pocahontas: Ravenclaw. Ignoring the movie’s historical inaccuracy for a moment … Disney’s Pocahontas seeks understanding. She has a deep respect for the natural world around her, and the kind of wisdom that comes from experience rather than studying. She looks at things from a unique perspective, disagreeing with her father that the river is steady because she sees it as constantly moving and changing. While the other Native Americans and the European settlers look at each other with fear and ignorance, she is not afraid and attempts to teach John Smith respect for other ways of life. She is open-minded, perceptive, and wise – all Ravenclaw traits.

Mulan: Gryffindor. A girl who disguises herself as a boy to join the army, fights in battles, and saves her country is pretty clearly a Gryffindor. You could possibly make an argument for Hufflepuff, because she is motivated by duty as much as thirst for adventure, and tries to do what’s expected of her in the beginning. However, she is happiest once she follows her heart, and the path it leads her down is a Gryffindor one.

Tiana: Hufflepuff. If I were to sum up Tiana in one word, it would be “hard-working”. If I were to elaborate, I’d say that she’s very driven to achieve her dreams and refuses to give up once she decides she wants something. I think you could make a good argument for her being either a very ambitious and goal-oriented Hufflepuff, or a very down-to-earth Slytherin who achieves her ambitions via honest work and perseverance. Although, I think given the choice, she would choose Hufflepuff. Sorting has as much to do with values as character traits, and Tiana prides herself on her work ethic while looking down on Naveen for his more Slytherin way of life.

Rapunzel: Ravenclaw. I think you could make an argument for any of the houses with her. She learns to be brave over the course of the movie, and her longing to escape the tower could be viewed as a Gryffindor longing for adventure (although I interpret it differently). Her insistence that she keeps her promises and reluctance to betray Mother Gothel show a Hufflepuff’s loyalty and sense of duty. As for Slytherin, she escapes the tower by lying to Mother Gothel and blackmailing Flynn Rider, both definitely Slytherins, neither of whom are easily manipulated. She has a cunning mind despite being genuinely naïve and innocent. However, I think if I had to choose, I’d put her in Ravenclaw. Rapunzel is motivated almost entirely by curiosity. In the tower, she dreams of the outside world not because she craves dangerous adventures, but because she wants to see what it’s like out there. She fills her time by occupying her mind: reading, painting, playing chess, etc. It’s not until she realizes she can’t reason with Mother Gothel that she starts planning to escape, and she wants more than anything to know about the lights that float up into the sky on her birthday. She has a bit of all the houses in her, but she’s Ravenclaw more than anything else.

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