4 Inspiring Animated Heroines Everyone Should Know About
Now, more than ever, young girls need good examples to look up to. As much as we would like to deny it, a large part of it will always come from cartoons. While some cartoons should be avoided, some other cartoons should not be missed as they will teach your children a lot.
We have all grown up with Disney’s princesses, and we all love them. The fact is, a lot of them represent an age gone by that was not very empowering to women, and that is something that should not be casually ignored. Now, we are not suggesting that you should never show your daughter The Sleeping Beauty. Rather, we want to point out some of the animated heroines that are maybe capable of teaching your child a valuable lesson. This should especially be kept in mind during the earlier stages of development as children are very impressionable at those stages.
Mulan (Mulan; 1998)
Mulan has set the bar very high for any of the following heroines Disney might choose to create. She is the first Disney’s animated female who took down the main antagonist by herself and represents a big step in gender equality. She shatters the usual design of a female role in fairytales when she becomes a fierce warrior to fight for the honor of her family. And, while she had to disguise herself as a male to do so, she never lost her individuality throughout the story, being both fierce and kind at all times.
Merida (Brave; 2012)
Brave is a movie that is filled with life lessons. Merida is a princess but proves that she is so much more than a daughter of a king. Merida refused the marriage her parents tried to arrange for her and decided to compete for her own hand. A decision that caused a lot of arguments and anger, but in the end, it was the right choice. She shows the importance of the strength of character and follows her own path. But the movie shows even more. It is a story about the love between a mother and her daughter and has great lessons about the importance of family, not acting in anger and being ready to forgive and forget.
Chihiro (Spirited Away; 2001)
Spirited Away is a wonderful story that shows great character development of young Chihiro. Since it is not nearly as popular with the western audiences as the others, we will reveal a bit of plot for those who have not yet seen the movie (you should skip this part if you don’t like spoilers):
At the beginning of the story, Chihiro is only ten years old and traveling with her parents to their new home. They turn at the wrong place and end up in a world of magic. This leads to her parents being turned into pigs and Chihiro being forced to work at a magical bathhouse where she tries to find a way to free her parents and go back to the normal world.
The movie is a great choice for parents who want their children to learn about the value of hard work and perseverance.
Moana (Moana; 2016)
Moana is possibly the second best Disney princess when it comes to teaching lessons to a young girl. Her character is not based around a handsome prince. Unlike even Merida, her story does not revolve around being married. In fact, Moana (the movie) has no romantic sub-plot at all, showing that women can be a lot more than just crazy in love (or out of love).
Moana also teaches everyone about loyalty and self-empowerment. She does everything she can to save her people and refuses to rely on others throughout the entire story. And she even helps a demigod (Maui) to get back on the track of being a hero.
Even before embarking on her journey, Moana is not just a figurehead princess. She was being prepared to be a ruler herself, and she definitely shows the willpower of a leader.
Now, there are many other animated characters that are great role-models for children, especially for young girls. However, we should not pick out every movie someone chooses to show their daughter. Do you know of any other, better role-models in the animated movies out there?
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