Who Is the Most Chivalrous Disney Prince?
The Disney Princesses get a lot of attention but don't forget about the Princes! For every Princess there is a Prince — or at least an attentive guy with a dubious backstory — whose association with the young woman in question presents an opportunity to establish his character and worth.
Not all Princes are created equal, of course, and with few exceptions, each one is at most a supporting character in their movie. Which means every Prince has to prove himself in a fraction of the scenes every Princess gets. But a true royal should be able to do quite a lot with very little, right? With that in mind, let's look at how chivalrous each Disney Prince really is.
11. The Prince (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
Let's see... he hasn't got a name, at least not in the movie — sometimes he's Prince Florian — and his most enduring action is to kiss someone who is in a coma? Not so chivalrous. Granted, early Disney animators had a tough time animating this character so his role, meant to be more robust, was significantly trimmed. But that's no excuse, Prince Florian.
10. Prince Naveen (The Princess and the Frog)
Oh, sure, prince Naveen became a nice guy... after being turned into a frog. He's charismatic and even intriguing, but from a chivalrous perspective, without learning a difficult lesson or two Prince Naveen barely makes the cut.
9. Prince Adam (Beauty and the Beast)
Prince Adam — better known as the Beast — isn't so great as a human. He's selfish and arrogant and dismissive. He's not great when cursed to live as a beast, either, but at least he does come around and learn to love something other than himself. He becomes somewhat chivalrous, or at least has it hammered into him.
8. Flynn Rider (Tangled)
Flynn proves how complicated being chivalrous can be. He's a thief, but not a monster; he ditches his thief comrades, but with good reason. He's arrogant but charming — more like Han Solo than a traditional Disney Prince. And when it comes down to the wire, he's willing to give up his life to save Rapunzel.
7. John Smith (Pocahontas)
As POCAHONTAS begins, John Smith, like so many other Disney princes, isn't the most forward-thinking guy. He reflects the judgmental views of indigenous Americans of the people around him, but he quickly becomes much more accepting, and stands fast with his new beliefs despite being told they are wrong.
He's not officially a Disney Prince, but we can't overlook the main man of FROZEN. Kristoff isn't exactly chivalrous — he's a more rugged, outdoorsy sort — but Kristoff does honest work, takes the right course for good reasons, and seems to understand that Hans is no catch.
5. Prince Charming (Cinderella)
The most charming thing about this prince is his name. He does have a backbone when it comes to dealing with his family but doesn't show a whole lot of personality or drive beyond that. And the fact that he can only identify the woman he loves by fitting a shoe is good in a fairy tale sort of way, but pretty suspect otherwise. A truly chivalrous man pays more attention to people in total.
4. Li Shang (Mulan)
MULAN's Captain Li Shang is not at all like other Princes on this list — in fact, he's not even really a prince; he's an officer. And he doesn't exactly react well after discovering the truth about Mulan. But he also sees Mulan for who she is and what she can offer, and once he knows the truth, he accepts her at face value.
3. Aladdin (Aladdin)
He's very good-looking and he's totally nuts for Jasmine, and Aladdin's heart is in the right place. We're tempted to ding him for the fact that he lies to Jasmine and her family — not exactly textbook chivalry there — but his final gesture towards Genie is so big-hearted and morally upright that things more than balance out.
2. Prince Eric (The Little Mermaid)
In THE LITTLE MERMAID, Prince Eric seems to have it all. He's charismatic, seems to live a balanced life (for a prince), and has a dog. His interest in Ariel is pure, and he actually takes her on a real date — and then is willing to risk himself fighting a terrible sea witch to save Ariel.
1. Prince Phillip (Sleeping Beauty)
On paper, Prince Philip is so chivalrous that he is practically the dictionary definition of the term. He stands up for himself and falls for Aurora because of what he sees in her, not because of her heritage.
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All images courtesy of Walt Disney Animation.