As stated in the beginning of this series, there is only one qualification to be an official Disney Prince. You must be the love interest of an official Disney Princess. Unfortunately for the guys, that is a very narrow window of opportunity. There are some Princes who should be included in the list, but aren’t simply because of their relationship status.
“Enchanted” to my mind is an often overlooked and underestimated film. Prince Edward is a royal in the model of Disney’s very first princes. All it takes is a look and a song and he is in love. Unlike his predecessors, things don’t work out quite as easily. In spite of daring rescue attempts, multiple songs, and a ‘true love’s kiss’, Edward doesn’t save Giselle. In fact, he ends up with a different bride entirely. Story elements aside, Edward is a Prince and deserves recognition as an Official Disney Prince.
Hercules is the son of Zeus, the King of the Gods. To my mind that makes him a Prince. He is heroic, humble, and self-sacrificing. However his Significant Other, Megara, isn’t a Princess (not quite sure why, since she meets all the criteria) so Hercules isn’t an Official Prince. He would make a great addition to the line-up, but sadly he is left out.
Technically, Kuzco is an Emperor, not a Prince. But one must assume that he was a Prince at some point. His adventures in the film, “The Emperor’s New Groove” give him a character arc that is enviable for Disney Princes. He learns, he grows, he changes. All of which without falling in love. He is single and finds value in friendship rather than romance. Unfortunately, no romance equals no status for a Disney Prince.
Each of these characters brings something unique to the Disney Universe above and beyond their relationship to the women around them. As we demand more from the female characters that Disney presents, we should allow space for the male characters to be recognized as well independent of their role in a woman’s story.