The Missing Disney Princesses

UPDATE 12/19/2016: Hello, all. I’ve heard your comments, re-watched films, and re-typed some princesses (and added Moana!). Click here to check out my brand-new updated Disney Princesses MBTI Chart.

You may have seen those images with a Myers-Briggs chart that matches up an MBTI type for each character in a series or film. I did one for Lord of the Rings, the Star Wars one was quite popular for a while, and I’ve seen others for Hunger Games and Downton Abbey, to name just a few. Another you might have seen features Disney princesses.

The problem with these types of charts is it assumes there’s an example of each of the 16 types available. Unfortunately, they’re not always so evenly represented (I had this problem trying to type people in Lord of the Rings — there’s an unusually high number of introverts). Since there’s only 13 “official” Disney princess (if you count Elsa and Anna, who haven’t been officially crowned yet), that makes it rather difficult to come up with 16 types. On top of that, there also seems to be certain personality types which make “better” princesses than others, so there is some overlap. All together, the 13 official princesses represent 11 different personality types:

An MBTI chart for Disney's official princesses. I’ll give descriptions of each type in a moment, along with a bit on why I think they fit each princess. But first, 13 princesses really isn’t that many — they couldn’t have filled out the chart even if there wasn’t any overlap. So let’s add a few of the “unofficial” princesses: Jane, Kida, Giselle, Megara, Nala, and Esmerelda. We’ve now added six more characters, but only filled in two more MBTI types.

An MBTI chart for Disney's official and unofficial princesses.

The “missing” princesses can be explained by the fact that the NF and NT types are less common in real life. The lack of ESTJs (with the possible exceptions of Jane and Kida) is explainable by Isabel Myer’s observation that it is “the most traditionally ‘masculine’ type.” But one of the reasons Disney has been pressured to introduce more racially diverse Princesses is that little girls should be able to see people like them represented in the stories they enjoy. But what about the little INTJ and INTP girls, who see very few positive portrayals of their personality type, especially as female characters? (I asked my INTJ sister if she could think of any female characters who she identifies with as a similar personality and the only one she could come up with was  Dr. Temperance Brennan from Bones.)

Looking back at the chart of just the 13 official princesses, most of the missing personality types are thinkers: ESTJ, ENTJ, INTJ, and INTP. You could say that’s because most women are feeling types, but that’s a bit like saying most books are paperback instead of hardcover. There are more feeling-type women, but there are certainly plenty of thinking-type women as well. The only official Disney princesses who are thinking types right now are Jasmine, Mulan, Merida, and Tiana. The next Disney movie will feature their first Polynesian princess, Moana, and I think I would be awesome if she was also their first “official” princess who was an ESTJ, ENTJ, INTJ, or INTP. Or an ENFJ, since they’ve been left out, too.

Type Explanations for The Princesses

Disclaimer: typing fictional characters is a great way to stir-up disagreements, and it’s very rare that people agree on a typing. The types I’ve gone with for each character reflect my personal feelings, supported by reading other people’s thoughts on websites like personalitycafe.com and this excellent blog post. Please feel free to disagree, and let me know in the comments how you’d type these princesses 🙂

SJ types

The personality group that David Keirsey refereed to as “Guardians” is the best represented in this grouping of Disney characters. It’s really not surprising — they make good heroes and about 40 to 45 percent of the population falls into this group. SJ types are hardworking people who enjoy helping others and want to “do their duty.”

ESTJs are take-charge people who are practical, well-grounded, loyal and organized. They enjoy new experiences that appeal to their senses, such as meeting new people and traveling to a new place. They often ignore their intuition and base most of their decision on past experience. None of the official princesses fit this type, but Jane Porter from Tarzan and Kida from Atlantis might be ESTJs (honestly, I’m not sure, but I’m not sure where else to put them either).

The ISTJ is a very responsible type, and they are extremely hardworking. They value decisiveness and logic, with little time for make-believe or patience with other people’s oversights. Practical and fact-oriented, they are honest and dependable. Tiana from The Princess and the Frog is an ISTJ.

ESFJs are warm, friendly, and people-oriented. They value loyalty, friendship, and harmony. They are typically practical people with well-defined ideas that they aren’t afraid to share. Anna from Frozen is a very good example of this type, particularly in showing the strongly social side of ESFJs and their tendency to trust people quickly. Snow White is another example, and we could also add the “unofficial” princess Giselle, since she was patterned after Snow White’s personality.

ISFJs are as hardworking as ISTJs, but more interested in people than than in facts. They are very considerate, loyal, and will put up with quite a bit of abuse before provoking a conflict. ISFJs aren’t likely to express their inner ideas and feelings except with close friends. Cinderella is a good example of this type.

SP types

Keirsey called the SP types “Artisans,” because they work well with solid objects — whether it’s a weapon or a paintbrush. This group of personality types focuses on the now, and tends to be both fun-loving and realistic. 30 to 35 percent of the population fits in this group.

ESTPs like to take action — they don’t enjoy sitting around and waiting for something to happen. They are realistic, adaptable, and enjoy physical activities. In the case of Merida from Brave, this includes horseback riding and archery. They hate feeling confined, and are impatient with theories or ideas that they can’t see practical application for.

ISTP types are good with tasks that involve some kind of physical skill, and they like to take the time to think before acting so they can complete tasks in them most efficient way. They might seem aloof from other people, but do care about equality and fairness for groups and individuals. Mulan is an example of this type, and so is the “unofficial” princess Megara from Hercules.

ESFPs are friendly and focused on other people. They like observing as well as interacting with others, and have a powerful sense of curiosity. Material possessions interest them, and they often have some kind of a collection that they find ascetically pleasing. They hate structure and confinement as much as ESTPs. Ariel from The Little Mermaid is an excellent example of this type.

The ISFP type likes to work with people and meet their needs, but is generally quiet and reserved. Isabel Myer says they often “have a special love of nature and a sympathy for animals.” Like other SP types, they work well with their hands and are in tune with external sensory details (including things like music). Aurora from Sleeping Beauty is hard to type since she has so little screen-time, but she seems like an ISFP to me.

NF types

Types who rely on Intuition are more rare than Sensing types. The NF types who Keirsey called “Idealists” make up only 15 to 20 percent of the population. They are romantic, intuitive, spiritual, and seek good. Though their rarity in Disney is reflected by rarity in reality, it’s really surprising that this type isn’t more prevalent in fairy tale stories, especially since most NF types (though certainly not all) are women.

ENFJs are very social and have excellent people stills. They have a gift for expressing themselves and can influence other people (usually they have a very strong aversion to hurting others, but they have the potential to be manipulative). Typically honest and imaginative, they may hide their opinions in order to avoid disagreements and maintain harmony. None of the Disney princesses are ENFJs.

We finally got an INFJ Disney princess when Frozen was released last year (and I’ve already written about Elsa as an INFJ). This is the rarest personality type. INFJs are focused on their inner worlds of possibility and rely heavily on their intuition. They care deeply about other people, and avoid conflict as much as possible even if it means hiding their true self.

ENFPs are creative, imaginative, and artistic. They are easily excited by new ideas, but only follow through on pursuing the most important goals. Possibility excites them, and they love interacting with people and sharing their dreams and ideas. Rapunzel, sometimes typed as an ENFJ, is more typical of the ENFP type.

INFPs value internal harmony and have deep feelings that are rarely expressed to other people. They often seem like outsiders in their society and are more concerned with their inner moral code than with external expectations. Even so, they interact well with other people and are very loyal. Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Pocahontas are both examples of this type.

NT types

“Rationals,” as Keirsey described the NT types, are the rarest group — only 5 to 10 percent of the population. They are skeptical, analytical, and independent. Their rarity helps explain why there aren’t more Disney princesses in this category, along with the fact that most (though certainly not all) NT types are men.

ENTJs are problem-solvers who like to lead. They are curious about new possibilities, and enjoy theoretical problem solving as well as coming up with practical solutions for current problems. They are very forceful and decisive. None of the human princesses fit this type. Nala from The Lion King acts very much like an ENTJ, though, especially as an adult who leaves her pride to go off and find a solution to the problem of Scar.

The INTJ personality type is almost as rare as INFJs, and female INTJs are the rarest gender-type combination. They are often cast as villains in fiction, which is a shame because they make such wonderful scientists and detectives (like Basil of Bakerstreet from The Great Mouse Detective, to use Disney as an example [Update: after re-watching this film, I now type Basil as an INTP. Click here to read why]). INTJs are innovative, clever, and very organized. If something isn’t logically challenging, it rarely holds their interest.

ENTPs tend to be independent and a bit impersonal. They are more concerned with their projects and plans than with how those plans will affect other people. They don’t like routine, preferring new experiences that challenge their quick minds. ENTPs are versatile, clever, and enthusiastic about understanding their worlds. Jasmine and the “unofficial” princess Esmeralda are examples of this type.

INTPs are described by Isabel Myer as “the most intellectually profound of all the types.” They are curious, logical, easily bored, and focus on creating theory regardless of whether or not it has practical application. They often have trouble relating to people because they see little value in feelings and find it hard to explain their ideas in a way that makes sense non-experts. None of the Disney princesses fit this type.

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32 thoughts on “The Missing Disney Princesses

  1. Thank you so much for this chart! Turns out I’m an INTP and not an INFJ, so its nice to know why I feel like a mix of Belle and Elsa 😛 I do believe Ana is an ESFP, but otherwise I am so happy to have a chart I actually agree with XD Some of the type charts I’ve seen are atrocious.

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    • Glad you liked it!
      Hum, you could be right about Anna. I can see arguments for both ESFJ and ESFP. Probably the main reason I went with ESFJ (since she seems a bit like both types) is that she reminds me so much of the ESFJs I know.

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  2. I completely disagree with this chart; Anna and Ariel are ENFP to the core, everything about them screams idealism, possibilities, desire to explore…! Ne dom feelers! Ariel isn’t the performer, she even skips the performance she is meant to star in at the start because she’s too busy exploring and getting excited about the unknown (totally not ESFP). Anna is a total clutz, goofy and a bit crazy and unpredictable (none of which are ESFJ characteristics) and she’s completely spontaneous (when she jumps backwards into that guy’s arms, accepts instant marriage proposal, etc- ESFJ are really controlled!)

    Jasmine is by no means ENTP, she’s a total feeler- wants to marry for love, not money (like her father wants), etc. I’m not entirely sure her type but I’d say maybe ISFP. Belle, Repunzle, Snow White etc are spot on but Disney loves xNFP leads ;D

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    • I’m glad you commented. You know you’re doing something right when people have strong feelings about your blog posts, even when they disagree with you 🙂

      I might have to re-watch The Little Mermaid — I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone type Ariel as something other than an ESFP and I sorta just went with the flow for that one (and it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve mis-typed an ENFP as an ESFP). Jasmine could be an ISFP, but she seems more outspoken than I typically think of ISFPs being. She is probably a bit too romantic to be a typical ENTP.

      I’ll stick by my typing of Anna, though. One of the big, defining things about her personality is her warmth and need for connection, which is more of an Fe than an Fi thing. The ESFJs I know are very controlled internally, with their secondary Si, but they can be goofy and clutzy as well. I’ll give you that her acceptance of the marriage proposal is very out of character for an ESFJ, but I think in her case we could chalk it up to her desperation for someone to rescue her from loneliness.

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  3. awwww I don’t exist 😦 Im an INTJ. And, the great mouse detective i never found to be that interesting, so I don’t really want Basil lol.

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  4. I’m INTJ woman (sometimes a little INFJ) from East-Central Europe, and always identyfied me with male characters from books and movies. I’m almost forty, then eventually I have found a few female characters similar to me, but none in Disney movies 😉 Hm, maybe that’s why I stopped watching “disneys” one day 😉

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  5. Nah, Tiana’s an ESTJ. She shows a lot more Te (organizing her life to get what she wants) than Si, but she does use Si and I can see why she is so often typed as an ISTJ. I’d say Esmeralda’s an ENFJ. Everything about her personality focuses on reaching out to people and helping them (Fe), not exploring new possibilities (Ne) like Ariel, a definite ENFP. Same with Rapunzel, but I’d type her as an ESFJ. She has too much Si to be an ENXP. Cinderella is not an ISFJ, she’s an INFJ. She thinks and dreams about the future (Ni) way too much to have Si rather than Ni. Snow White’s an ENFJ for the same reason. And finally, (sorry for how long and boring this probably seems!) Pocahontas is an ISFP like Aurora. The Fi is definitely there, but not the Ne. It isn’t possibilities that excites her, it’s action. Sorry for the long comment.

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  6. Oh! And Elsa is so not an INFJ. Sorry. She is the most ISTJ ISTJ to ever ISTJ. Everything about her focuses on duty, tradition, and what should be done. When she finally “lets it go” and does things for the sake of happiness, it’s her using her lower functions (Fi and Ne) and it’s totally foreign to her and it’s a new concept.

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    • I disagree with this! As an INFJ, and knowing 3 ISTJs in my relatives, I really relate much more to her than I can compare her to them!
      Some examples that make me think that:
      – Caring so much about her parents (being worried for them), and about her sister (she feels so sad not to be able to spend time with her, especially at the end of “Do you want to build a snowman”). That’s Fe to me, at least that’s how I feel it, I would do exactly the same in her position.
      – I don’t think she refuses her sister’s engagement due to traditions but because she cares about her (Fe). Did some similar things to my little sisters in the past.
      – “Let it go”: none of the ISTJs I know has ever “Let it go”. If they started doing it, they would feel (and look) crazy and have panic attacks or so, and a couple of hours or days later, they would trick their mind to go back to their normal life and feel much better and “normal” with that. When I do “let it go” I feel a bit like an emo but I sort of enjoy the melodramatic situation I’m putting myself in, it feels like throwing the “dirty” past away and starting a new ideal life. (NF here) I think the feeling is very well described when Elsa builds her castle, completely forgetting about the rest. Also, if you’ve read things about the “INFJ door slam”, I think you can relate it to the “Let it go”.
      – Creativity: the ISTJs I know are the worst at art / creativity. They would _never_ be able to imagine, design, and have fun creating an ice castle like Elsa does. Really.

      I should watch the movie again to get more examples, but honestly, I don’t see Elsa as an ISTJ at all! Unless my ISTJs examples aren’t good examples (but even if you take characters from movies: Ned Stark in Game of Thrones, Lucius Vorenus in Rome… I think they are both very ISTJ and they wouldn’t do like Elsa.)

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      • I know this was posted a while back, but I must say this: saying an ISTJ, or any sensor for that matter, is not creative or inherently sucks at it, is simply incorrect. N does not equal creativity; it all depends on you. Myers Brigg has never supported that and it is a narrow minded view. I mean no disrespect and perhaps you are exaggerating on purpose. But you might look into personality theory more because a lot of what you said is, again, narrow minded. Like how you said Elsa cared deeply for her family; that’s not Fe; that is human. ISTJs have feelings, just as INFJs have thoughts and can be logical. It is how each part works together that makes up a type. Again, I mean no disrespect; but please look into your subject matter more before making extreme claims.

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  7. Pingback: Fictional MBTI – Cinderella (ISFJ) | Marissa

    • You might be right. I had another commenter type her as an ENFJ, and I guess I could see an argument for ENFP as well. “God Help The Outcasts” does seem like more of an Idealist, people-centered type than I originally gave her credit for.

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  8. I’m a female INTP with an INTJ sister, and we’ve both had this problem. Belle was my favorite princess growing up (and I believe my sister’s too), but I could never fully identify with her. I usually identify more strongly with male characters like Milo Thatch.
    I would love to see an INTx princess from Disney soon– to this day there are hardly any positive female portrayals of those types on screen. Even Hermione Granger, who was an INTP heroine in the Harry Potter books, became an ISTJ in the movies.
    Thank you for making this chart! It’s nice (and interesting!) to see one that more accurately reflects distribution, instead of having one character per slot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks 🙂
      I think it would be great if Disney’s next princess was INTx, but I’m not really hopeful that will be the case. She’ll probably be another Feeling type like so many of the other princesses. It’s a shame personality diversity isn’t more important to screenwriters.

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  9. I agree for all of them! 🙂
    And seriously, thank you, a big thank you for not being like these people who seem to absolutely want to fit one character per box. At times it makes it so unrealistic… Yours is true at least!

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    • Thanks 🙂 That bothers me about many of the Myers-Briggs charts I see for fictional worlds. Sometimes not all 16 types are represented, and sometimes several characters share the same personality type.

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  10. For your INTJ little sister: Daria Morgandorfer, Clarrisa Starling, Satsuki Kiryouin, Raven of the Teen Titans and Kneesocks from the anime “Panty And Stocking” (a definite 16+) are all INTJ. And Satsuki, Raven and perhaps Kneesocks can claim to be princesses too.

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    • ..Susan Sto Helit from the Discworld books is also INTJ – and has a good claim at being a princess (she’s Death’s granddaughter.) She could also look at Granny Weatherwax and Adora Belle von Lipwig.

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      • I think a possible reason for the INTJness of all those characters is that they’re found in works where the author is happy to have female characters drive the plot – what with INTJ being almost a synonym for plotter, in the Machiavellian sense.

        Kill La Kill is a really interesting comparison to Disney princess stories – it could be seen as a anti-Disney princess story. It’s a sort of modern brutal, high-tech, fairytale about female puberty and the major plot device is a “magical” uniform that consumes the teenage heroine’s blood to give her power (..so VERY obvious puberty symbolism.) The uniform emphasizes her sexuality even though she doesn’t want it to (just like puberty) – but then the plot and the heroine dismiss this. She never uses her attractiveness to influence people and there’s no prince; instead the story says “Female puberty isn’t defined by sexuality and fertility but by increased agency.” The super costumes are revealing though, there’s a lot of violence, and there are references to some very nasty parental abuse of a major character, so these might be an issue depending on your sister’s age and personal preferences.

        The show also plays with typical anime fan service in a rather stark way. There’s one famous shot where the heroine is very physically exposed and the watching crowd is cheering with excitement – ignoring the fact that she’s in pain and just suffered a blow that would have killed a normal person, and that (for her own reasons) she’s fighting their oppressor. You can see this either as fanservice or a critque of it – or it could be both. Imaishi, the show’s director, is not a typical anime maker – his stories are always “layered” and he’s definitely making art as well as entertainment, but he does like a taunt the audience – fanservice that’s also a critique of fanservice is very Imaishi.

        ..Satsuki’s a classic INTJ and a lot of her appearances, especially early on, are made from a tower to draw on fairytale symbolism. But she’s the ruler of her world and the most powerful fighter in it, not a prisoner waiting to be rescued.

        The art is also exceptional – think Kubrick meets Soviet Socialist Realism with a touch of Leni Riefenstahl (the story is set in a rather grim dictatorial world.)

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  11. I’m an INTP and remember as a little girl I always wanted to be like the princesses, warm and feeling etc. But I just wasn’t, and never really identified with any of them. I had a major crush on John Smith from Pocahontas, which I consider to be ENTP, maybe because I could see some similarities. However, I remember when I saw Alice in wonderland for the first time, and immediately feeling familiarity. I would say she’s definitely a thinker and very percieving.

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    • As a fellow Female INTP I agree so much with you about almost all of that except I liked Aladdin 😉

      I dont feel like I relate to most characters but I think that Alice is our girl!

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  12. Pingback: Updated Disney Princesses MBTI Chart | Marissa

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