Reel Girl’s List of Awesome Female Characters in Kids Movies

Ok, here is a list. It is a list in progress! I’m just starting. Help me out and give me your suggestions.

THIS IS A LIST OF STRONG, COOL FEMALE CHARACTERS, NOT A LIST OF THE MOVIES THE CHARACTERS ARE IN. Too often, these characters have small parts and that small part is based on helping the male hero along on his brave and important, world-saving quest.

Characters will be awarded 1 – 3 Hs because sometimes a character is heroic but she appears as Barbie with not a hair out a place, or she’s super skinny, or wearing a bikini or belly shirt. A character who dresses like this communicates that how a girl appears is more important than what she is doing. Or, if anything exciting is going to happen to her in life, she’s got to look like that. For male heroes, their actions make them attractive. For females, their “attractiveness” is considered separate from what they do.

I expect this to be a long list. There are many cool females in kids films. I look forward to the day when these girls star in their own movies, with great female and male buddies supporting them, along with their smart, powerful, beautiful moms.

Kitty Softpaws HHH (Puss In Boots)

Imelda HH (Puss In Boots)

The Golden Goose HHH (Puss In Boots)

Bo HH (Happy Feet 2)

Miss Piggy HH (The Muppets)

Beauty H (Beauty and the Beast)

Mulan HH (Mulan)

Hermione HHH (Harry Potter Series)

Astrid HHH (How to Train Your Dragon)

Jessie HHH (Toy Story)

Boo HHH (Monster’s Inc)

Dory HH (Finding Nemo)

Elastigirl/ Helen HHH (The Incredibles)

Collette HHH (Ratatouille)

Eve HHH (Wall-E)

Alice HHH (Alice in Wonderland)

Lucy HHH (Narnia)

Susan HH (Narnia)

Barbie HH (Fairytopia)

Lyra HHH (The Golden Compass)

Ramona HHH (Ramona and Beezus)

Beezus HH (Ramona and Beezus)

Blossom HH (The Powerpuff Girls)

Bubbles HH (The Powerpuff Girls)

Buttercup HH (The Powerpuff Girls)

Kim Possible H (Kim Possible)

Aisling HH (The Secret of Kells)

Nausicaa HHH (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind)

Coraline HHH (Coraline)

Dorothy HHH (The Wizard of Oz)

Glinda HHH (The Wizard of Oz)

Sheeta HHH (Castle in the Sky)

Princess Leia HH (Star Wars)

Dora HH (Dora the Explorer)

Chihiro/ Sen HHH (Spirited Away)

Kiki HHH (Kiki’s Delivery Service)

Ponyo HHH (Ponyo)

Cinderella HH  (Ever After)

Satsuki HHH (My Neighbor Totoro)

Mei HHH (My Neighbor Totoro)

Judy Moody HH (Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer)

Violet Baudelaire HHH (Series of Unfortunate Events)

Lavagirl HHH (The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl)

Arrietty HHH (The Secret World of Arrietty)

Zoe HH (Cat in Paris)

Characters suggested to me from movies that I have not seen:

Mary Call (Where the Lilies Bloom)

Sally (Cars)

Red (Hoodwinked, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil)

Tinker Bell (Tinker Bell)

Nancy Drew (Nancy Drew)

Kit Kittredge (Kit Kittredge: An American Girl)

Sarah (Labyrinth)

Princess Mononoke (Princess Mononoke)

Sophie (Howl’s Moving Castle)

Anne (Anne of Green Gables)

Carmen Cortez (Spy Kids)

Tia (Witch Mountain)

23 thoughts on “Reel Girl’s List of Awesome Female Characters in Kids Movies

  1. How about Lilo from “Lilo & Stitch”? She’s smart, brave, different, and has a tremendous sense of justice at such a young age. She’s my favorite Disney character, to be exact.

    By the way, during a recent trip to Disneyland, I had to realize that she’s been pretty much eradicated from the merchandise ranks. There was Stitch all over the place, sometimes accompanied by a character who is only featured in one episode of the TV series, never even in the movie. “Angel”, Stitch’s love interest who looks almost identical to the blue Stitch but comes in pink… Time to say goodbye to Lilo, I suppose. But she’s such a wonderful character, and I would love to see her on the list.

  2. Here are some characters I have for your list:
    Annie (the new Annie)
    Juniper Jones (Juniper Ascending, yes the movie was awful but she was strong and the protagonist.)
    The mom from Boyhood (I loved that movie… Lots of profanity and drugs and drink thou. If u are thinking about sharing it with your kids…. Get a common sense media review.. Sorry I forgot her name, I don’t pick up names)
    Ranbow Dash (my little pony, friendship is magic)
    May (my neighbour totoro)
    May’s sister (forgot her name!)
    Protagonist from If I Stay and Where She Went (I haven’t read books or seen the movies….. Not yet at least. I think her name is Mia.)
    ~Nikki Roseworth

  3. The Marvel comics movies have some great fake characters. I love the X-men women: Jean Grey, Rogue, Storm, etc.

    A new great role model character for girls is Katnis from the Hunger Games.

  4. Princess Mononoke and Pan’s Labyrinth are AMAZING–but definitely not for kids ages 4-8. They are very violent and feature murder, decapitation, adult themes, etc.

    Re: Hoodwinked, a movie that I love–if you add Red, you might want to add Granny, too. She’s completely non-stereotypical but afraid to tell her granddaughter about it until the end, during which her lifestyle is embraced. 🙂

    Love the blog, keep up the great work! Can’t wait to read the latest three book recs with my six-year-old. I am not sure if you knew of these fairytales, too, but I thought I’d share just in case:

  5. What about Marceline the Vampire Queen and Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time series? Regarding Princess Bubblegum, she sometimes has to be rescued from the Ice King but she’s also a brave, wise ruler and a scientist.

  6. I remember seeing “Where the Lilies Bloom” when I was a kid – it was simply wonderful to see a girl that tough – although I did not understand at that time, why I loved her so much …

    @ movie fan
    Pan´s Labyrinth, the Spanish movie ? I would definitely not recommend that one for kids/teenagers younger than 16 – imho. I was quite shocked.
    It´s an interesting movie, brilliantly made, with a strong heroine, but very violent.
    Greetings, Trip

    • It is quite violent, yes. I guess 10 was an outlier recommendation – if you can handle Alien, you can handle Pan’s Labyrinth, and a few people I know could handle Alien at 10. Fair enough, though. 🙂

      • Hi movie fan !

        I remember seeing “Alien” when I was a teenager of 14 – I was very impressed but had no nightmares or something. I guess the problem is that seeing “Pan`s Labyrinth” as an adult I know that the violence in it is very really which disturbed me very much. Seeing “Alien” as a young person and also seeing “Pan´s Labyrinth” as a young person isn´t probably not as much disturbing because it has this fantasy quality.

        Hope you get what I mean, difficult to convey.

  7. Princess Mononoke. With all the love you show Miyazaki, I’m curious as to why she’s not on this list. She’s powerful, strong, capable, and is the emotional heart of the movie as well. She is the title character, although admittedly not the main protagonist. That movie is riddled with strong characters. It definitely skews towards the higher end of the age range, however.

    While we’re at Miyazaki films, what about Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle? She’s the main protagonist, although the movie is not named after her, and her journey undergoes quite an arc.

  8. If you are doing any old classic movies, you can’t forget Mary Call in Where the Lilies Bloom. Great, great little film that seems almost forgotten…

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