8 Winning Disney Films That Use the Princess Niche

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The Princess and the Frog

For decades, Disney has successfully drawn upon the sub-genre of “princess” movies in its drive towards box office glory and critical acclaim, going all the way back to 1937 when Snow White became the first Disney Princess as the main character in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. But when looking at Disney’s line of princesses, you might also notice a disproportionate amount of the characters have come from the past two decades. That’s because during that time, Disney has managed to find continued success in the niche-genre that is all the more clear from the smash success of Frozen — a film that is still going strong in theaters. Here’s a look at how the past eight Disney princess films have fared over the past two decades and why Disney isn’t likely to move away from the niche anytime soon.

8. The Princess and the Frog (2009) — $104.4 Million

Released in 2009, The Princess and the Frog made headlines for being the first animated Disney film to feature an African-American princess. Loosely based on  E. D. Baker’s The Frog Princess, which is in turn based on on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale The Frog Prince, the Disney animated film takes place in 1920s New Orleans, Louisiana and tells the story of hardworking waitress Tiana who is turned into a frog and sets off on a journey to find the voodoo priestess that can make everything right.

The Princess and the Frog would go on to earn $104.4 million at the domestic box office along with $162.6 million overseas for a worldwide total of $267 million. The film is considered a turning point for Disney’s animated division, which returned to making animated musical films based on well-known stories often rooted in fairy tales. The film would later be nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Animated Feature Film, but missed out on all three.

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