5 Reasons Why The Princess And The Frog's Tiana Is One Of The Best Disney Princesses To Look Up To

 Tiana in The Princess and the Frog.
Tiana in The Princess and the Frog.
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I love Disney.

I mean, I love a lot of things, but as someone who grew up with not only the Disney renaissance films in my tape library, but some awesome 2000s and 2010s Disney films, I can fully say Disney is a part of my personality. Not to the point where I’d call myself a Disney adult, but if you ask me about anything Disney movie related, I’ll most likely know the answer.

Which is why I need to talk about a movie that I feel doesn’t get half the love it deserves, and that, my friends, is The Princess and the Frog. One of Disney’s last 2-D animated films before they made their focus on CG animated movies later on in the 2010s. But we also need to talk about the protagonist, Tiana, because why aren’t we talking about her instead of Elsa and Anna?

Look, I won’t downgrade any other Disney princess, but Tiana from Princess and the Frog is literally the best princess to look up to. And today, I’m going to get into the reasons why, because she needs more praise and more love.

Tiana and her family in The Princess and the Frog.
Tiana and her family in The Princess and the Frog.

Her Backstory Is Something Anyone Can Relate To

There are so many Disney princesses, and their stories are all pretty unique. Many people can find ways to relate to their favorite Disney princesses in certain ways, like Belle's need for more in her life in Beauty and the Beast, or Moana wanting to explore the sea in Moana. But I just felt that I could relate to Tiana a whole lot more than any other Disney princess out there.

She was a little girl who loved to cook, who lost her father in the war, and now, she wants to work hard to open up her own restaurant in honor of him. I mean, how freaking sweet is that? The fact that she continuously works hard towards this one direct goal is something anyone can relate to and the ways in which she gets there (by working two jobs) is admirable in every way.

Tiana in The Princess and the Frog.
Tiana in The Princess and the Frog.

Her Entire Personality Is About Working Hard To Achieve Your Dreams

There is nothing quite like the Disney princess song, “Almost There.” I sing it on a daily basis. Or at least try to before my neighbors tell me to shut up.

On a real note, Tiana is seriously one of the best Disney princesses because she is all about hard work. She is willing to put in the dirty work for anything as long as she achieves what she wants, and that’s what makes her so great. She is working two jobs to save up the money for her restaurant, while also buying rundown places just because she sees the potential in what it could bring.

Think about that – it’s like saying that even if things might look dark to other people, you see the light that something could bring. That’s how she was with the place she bought for her restaurant, and how she knew she could make her dream come true. That kind of perseverance is rare in someone and it makes me love her even more. Also, Anika Noni Rose, the voice of Tiana, sings her vocal cords off in her Disney princess song, making me want to go out and achieve my goals.

Tiana and Naveen in The Princess and the Frog.
Tiana and Naveen in The Princess and the Frog.

She Never Seeks To Make Naveen Fall For Her – She’s Too Focused On Her Goals

Disney princess love stories are, for lack of a better word, dull. There aren’t many that really captivate me except for maybe Mulan and Shang from Mulan, or maybe even Anna and Kristoff from Frozen, both of which were sort of unconventional approaches to love. But what makes me adore Tiana more is that she doesn’t care at all about men.

In fact, she didn’t even want to kiss Naveen to turn him back into the prince – all she wanted was help financing her restaurant after her place that she bid for was outbid. She was so focused on her dreams and her goals that she was willing to do anything. But never during the movie did we once see her change who she was to make the guy fall for her, like Ariel obviously did in The Little Mermaid. She never actively searched for love – all she wanted was to make her dreams come true.

That’s a great lesson for kids and adults to take away from the film. Never change yourself for someone unless you truly want to change. Besides that, be your authentic self and go out and chase your dreams. And you want to know what happened? Naveen ended up falling for her beautiful self anyway. That’s beautiful.

Tiana and Dr. Facilier in The Princess and the Frog.
Tiana and Dr. Facilier in The Princess and the Frog.

She Doesn’t Take The Easy Way Out

Hands down, Dr. Facilier is one of my favorite Disney villains, just for how scary he truly. He literally is able to talk to legit demons on the other side and to me, that is one of the creepiest villains that is out there. And of course, because he has these special arrangements with the other side, he’s able to strike up deals for mortals – with a price.

Dr. Facilier says to Tiana during The Princess and the Frog that if she gave him the talisman, he’d make her dreams come true, but she knows that’s wrong. She knows her father would never approve of that, and that she realizes she not only wants to be with Naveen, but to do this herself. And she directly goes against him, smashing his talisman into the ground.

It’s a super powerful moment where you see just how determined she is to achieve her dreams, and that she doesn’t need an easy way out.

Mama Odie and Tiana in The Princess and the Frog.
Mama Odie and Tiana in The Princess and the Frog.

But At The Same Time, She’s Open To Other People’s Advice

Even so, Tiana is smart. She’s still open to accepting help from others and isn’t that tied up in her ways where she will refuse a helping hand. Obviously with Dr. Facilier, his deal was evil, but she was willing to work with Naveen earlier on in the film for financing for her restaurant.

But what really shows her being open to advice is the fact that she seeks help from Mama Odie in asking her about life, and that she willingly listens to her advice, about having to “dig a little deeper” to find out what she really wants. It’s a beautiful moment where you really see how great of a person Tiana really is because she’s just looking for help even when she knows she wants to do this herself. It’s probably one of the most human experiences I’ve seen from a Disney princess and I love it.

While I feel that The Princess and the Frog doesn't nearly get as much love as it deserves, it's still one of my favorite Disney princess movies. The soundtrack and animation is great, but Tiana is truly the character for any child to look up to. I know I do to this day, and I know if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you will look up to her too.

Stream The Princess and the Frog on Disney+.