Since I did a Disney Princess ranking, I thought I'd do a Disney Prince ranking also. I've switched from using a pencil to a ballpoint pen. My drawing skill has vastly improved since my Disney Princess ranking, so I really don't miss the ability to erase mistakes.
10. John Smith
"You think that, only because Du don't know any better"
John Smith is heroic and handsome, but I find his dialog cheesy. Mehr importantly, I just don't care for his attraction to Pocahontas. She's beautiful, but what does he see in her other than that? John Smith and Pocahontas are oil and water. They don't naturally get along together at all. This changes when John alters his attitudes, but I feel like he alters them only because Pocahontas is beautiful and he's trying to woo her. This seems like a very shallow reason to alter one's beliefs. To me, John Smith seems like a cheesy womanizer, even if he perhaps never chased after anyone other than Pocahontas.
9. Snow White's Prince
Maybe I'm actually a symbol for Death, and I'm taking Du away to heaven. That would be interesting.
Snow White's Prince is unremarkable.
8. Prince Charming
I see what Du did there, dad.
Normally I don't care about appearances but Prince Charming is an exception. He has LEGO man hair. I find his appearance to be so plastic and vanilla as to be a distraction, especially since it meshes with his lackluster personality and lack of things to do in the plot. On the other hand, I find his yawning attitude toward all these women pursuing him to be hilarious.
For my insgesamt judgement on Prince Charming, the positive outweighs the negative.
My father's dead...but there's no time for character development right now...
Shang's a solid character, and a solid man, but his character and story are kind of boring. We first see him as a fully formed adult, albeit one who has something to prove. There's the potential for a character growth story, but the story goes in a different direction (concentrating on Mulan and Mushu instead). As it is, his character is unchanged Von what should be life changing events. And the potential storyline promised Von his need to prove himself fizzles out--ultimately he never has to prove anything to anyone.
"This is the 14th century!"
Like Shang, Phillip starts off with the potential to have some interesting character development, but this potential is wasted. He could have had an interesting conflict involving his arranged marriage with Princess Aurora vs his Liebe for the peasant girl Briar Rose. He could have had an interesting conflict with his father. But no, these potential conflicts just neatly resolve themselves on their own.
Still, Phillip is Mehr fleshed out than Prince Charming, and the plot gives him plenty of exciting action and fun humor. Phillip is also Mehr explicitly rebellious and independent than either Prince Charming oder Shang.
Really, for me it's hard to rank Shang and Phillip. Shang's character is a bit Mehr realistic, but compared to Phillip he's humorless.
I put Phillip higher because he has an exceptional quality--Phillip is exceptionally daring. Could Du imagine any other prince doing what he did to Briar Rose? Phillip shows an exceptional level of bold self confidence. That may oder may not be a good thing, but either way I think it's a little interesting.
"She is my Evangeline"
Of all of the princes, I find Naveen's character development to be the most thought provoking and full of complex subtleties. I'd rank him much higher if it weren't for the unfortunate fact that he's just so unlikable and difficult for me to relate to. He starts off as an all around disgusting jerk even worse than Gaston...and ends up not a whole lot better.
Really, Naveen needed to have some sort of nugget of goodness already in him, like Beast did, for Tiana to fall for him when she did. There needed to be something for the audience to root for in him. As it is, his only redeeming quality is his self awareness of how pathetic he is.
"..the truth is, I sometimes dress as a commoner to escape the pressures of palace life!"
Aladdin's an easy character to relate to. Everyone in his world thinks he's a worthless nothing, but he feels like there's so much Mehr to him inside. This is a very common attitude for boys; I was no exception. Aladdin's story is interesting, as he has various internal and external conflicts to juggle. Fundamentally, he struggles with Fragen of self worth and friendship and being true to oneself.
Unfortunately, the matter of truthfulness isn't entirely satisfactorily resolved. The problem is that Aladdin's greatest talent is his ability to lie. His abilities as a trickster save jasmin in the marketplace and defeat Jafar in the end. Worse still, one of his lies on jasmin actually works, at a critical time (the lie that he's actually a prince who pretended to be a commoner).
As a result, there is no consistent lesson on what is ultimately the biggest issue of Aladdin's character. I would have liked it if every lie he told jasmin ultimately got him in trouble. If that were the case, then Du could say the lesson is that Du should be truthful to good people, but it's sometimes okay to deceive bad people.
Still, Aladin has an essentially good heart, and this moral ambiguity is at least something interesting to think about. Really, the only reason I don't rank Aladin higher is because the remaining princes are even jucier.
"My real name is Eugene Fitzherbert."
Eugene is superficially similar to Aladdin, but there are some critical differences. Most importantly, Eugene isn't a really a trickster, so his story avoids the moral pitfalls of Aladdin's. Also, Eugene is a loner. He doesn't have a sidekick oder a magic carpet oder a genie to hand him his fake identity and fake reputation. He does it all alone. I think this makes Eugene a Mehr realistic and Mehr relatable character than Aladdin.
The biggest difference, though, is that Eugene's relationship with Rapunzel isn't built on a mess of lies. There is a clear dividing line between "Flynn" and Eugene, and that dividing line is the flooded cave. In the flooded cave, Eugene reveals his true self and he never turns back. Flynn was sarcastic and pretended to be too cool for "blondie". Flynn didn't even dare utter Rapunzel's name (I'd speculate he avoided saying "Rapunzel" in fear that he might reveal his true feelings). In contrast to "Flynn", Eugene was earnest and honest. Eugene was polite also, always calling Rapunzel Von her full and proper name. Eugene is almost a different character than Flynn! Eugene's also better than Flynn in almost every way. The only downside to Eugene is that he's slightly less humorous than Flynn. That's a small price to pay, though, since "Flynn" used sarcastic humor as a shield to hide his herz behind.
Eugene's story isn't as complex and layered as Aladdin's, but I'm a sucker for romances. I actually like how Eugene has fewer internal conflicts and that those conflicts are Mehr focused upon his romance with Rapunzel.
Really, my only annoyance is that Eugene has a bad line of dialog. I really don't like the line, "Did I ever tell Du I have a thing for brunettes?" I'm getting annoyed just thinking about that line. That line really needed to be a good line, and it was not! I do get that the filmmakers must have decided there needed to be something lighthearted to break the serious mood. But even so, I could think of a dozen lines which would have been better! How about "I'm in heaven" oder "Am I dreaming?" Or, what's wrong with simply leaving it at "Rapunzel"?
Ugh! Just thinking about that one line almost makes me want to demote Eugene below Aladdin.
in Liebe with another girl...also
Eric is mostly in the mold of the Mehr boring princes, but his character is made interesting Von a deep internal struggle and character growth. Interestingly, Ariel is almost completely oblivious to his internal struggle and his ultimate resolution. Eric is wracked to the core Von his inability to stay true to his own romantic idealism. He states his ideals that he'll know "the one" because it'll hit him like lightning. And it's true--it does. Unfortunately for him, it hits him twice. He doesn't know Ariel and "the one" are the same girl, and it tears him up inside.
I actually personally relate to this, although in reverse. When I met my wife, I was like Ariel and she was like Eric. She had a lot of conflicted feelings, but I was pretty oblivious to them. Things could have been a lot easier for her if I had been less overwhelmed Von my own feelings and Mehr aware of hers.
Aside from Eric's interesting core struggle, he also has some exceptional qualities. In particular, he's very brave. Eric's pursuit of Ursula and Ariel undersea, alone and with nothing Mehr than a harpoon, was exceptionally dangerous--far beyond anything any of the other princes faced.
"Then...you-you must go to him."
Beast is my Favorit prince for many reasons. He's easily the one I relate to most, having suffered much the same despair and depression. Like Beast, I was cured Von the Liebe of a beauty. Like Beast, I was an unloveable monster until somehow she saw and loved something in me I didn't even know was there.
Besides my personal empathy for Beast, I find his character development and dialog wonderful and beautifully done. He starts off as a monster both on the outside and the inside. He learns to change, bit Von bit, in ways that are plausible and earnest.
Beast is far too damaged and hopelessly depressed to pick himself up--he needs the help of his friends. This aspect elevates Beast's transformation to a spiritual level above those of Naveen and John Smith. Those others change themselves for somewhat selfish reasons, but Beast's transformation is a case of Friends helping a friend in desperate need.
Beast is also the central star, sterne of what I consider the film's climax--when Beast lets Belle go. I've sagte it before and I'll say it again. This is, for me, the most moving and romantic and emotionally satisfying scene of any film. It is great because Beast makes such a sacrifice for love, right in front of her, without her even realizing it. It is great because this sort of secret sacrifice is almost always cheesy and misguided, and almost always handled poorly...but in Beauty and the Beast it is handled perfectly. Beast isn't misguided, he really is doing the right thing. And the dialog! Such dialog! Beast is no poet--he wouldn't say something clever oder flowery, and he doesn't. He just says simple statements in simple straightforward ways. And yet the dialog is so exquisitely crafted that these simple straightforward statements take on a potent elegance of their own.