• Joe Pace

Favorite Fictional Characters, #96: Jasmine


Not a prize to be won.

We're heading to Epcot today, and I'm planning to troll Morocco until I find my favorite Disney princess from my favorite Disney movie. Aladdin burst onto the scene in 1993, and at 18 years old I was ensorcelled by the willful, tempestuous young scion of Agrabah. Oh, Robin Williams is at his Hall-of-Fame apex with the genie, and the score stays with me even now. But Jasmine...ah, Jasmine.

Even as the only Disney princess who is not the lead in her movie, Jasmine brings electric charisma to her scenes. She might be relatively naive about reality outside her cloistered castle life, but she's no pushover. There's an overt ambition and strength to her, compared to the more passive, subversive Belle or Ariel. There's also a coquettish, sultry quality to Jasmine. She seems to be the first princess to own her sexuality, with a kind of maturity her peers lack. Aladdin is, with the rest of us, hopelessly bewitched.

I love that rather than the prince saving her, they save one another. There's an equality to their relationship, a mutual trust built on shared adventures as well as shared truth. I wanted my own magic carpet ride, with a smart, sexy, stubborn woman like Jasmine. Well, lucky me.

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