The Best Non-animated Movies About Princesses

When you think of movies featuring princesses, you will likely think of Disney animations set in fairy-tale worlds. However, there are several great live-action princess films. Here are four of the best, and only one is based on a fairy tale!

The Last Princess

Set in 1925 during the Japanese occupation of Korea, The Last Princess is far removed from the types of fairy tale films you would typically associate with princesses. The 2016 South Korean movie depicts the life of the last princess of the Joseon Dynasty, Princess Deokhye, after she is forced to move to Japan at the age of thirteen. With the help of her childhood friend, the Japanese army officer Kim Jang-han, the princess makes several attempts to return to her homeland but is thwarted each time by the Imperial Japanese government. The Last Princess is an emotional and powerful film that also provides westerners with a valuable history lesson. And if you enjoy watching movies set in Japan that feature royalty, you might also enjoy the fabulous ムーンプリンセス (Moon Princess) online slot game, which features a manga-inspired princess and is great fun to play.

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The Princess Diaries

If you are a fan of coming-of-age comedies, you are sure to love 2001’s The Princess Diaries. The Disney film is based on the young adult novel of the same name by Meg Cabot and stars Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews. The plot involves a shy American teenager learning that she is heir to the throne of the fictional European Kingdom. Under the guidance of her estranged grandmother, who is the reigning queen, the teenager Mia must decide whether to claim the throne or renounce her title. While The Princess Diaries is basically a fun movie that will have you laughing along the way, it also brings more serious feminist and equality issues into the limelight if you look beyond the surface story.

Maleficent

The dark fantasy adventure Maleficent was the fourth-highest-grossing movie of 2014 and it received an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design. Based on the 1959 Disney animated movie Sleeping Beauty, the story of Maleficent focuses more on the eponymous antagonist than the Princess Aurora, who the powerful fairy Maleficent forces to fall into a permanent sleep after she pricks her finger on a spinning wheel on her sixteenth birthday. Throughout the film, the evil Maleficent comes into conflict with the corrupt kingdom, and one can even feel some sympathy for the movie’s antagonist. With a great story, superb performances, and stunning visuals, Maleficent, which stars Angelina Jolie in the title role, is one of the best live-action fairy tale films ever made.

The Princess Bride

When The Princess Bride came out in 1987, it was well-received by critics but only had modest success at the box office. Since then, the fantasy adventure comedy has become a cult classic and is often cited as one of the funniest films ever made. In 2016, The Princess Bride was inducted into the United States National Film Registry for its cultural and historical significance. Based on William Goldman’s 1973 novel of the same name, the movie follows the farmhand Westley who, accompanied by companions he meets on his journey, goes on a quest to rescue his love Princess Buttercup from the clutches of the evil Prince Humperdinck. If you have yet to see this classic, you are in for a treat. And even if you have seen The Princess Bride half a dozen times already, you are sure to enjoy watching it just as much one more time.

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Stevie Flavio
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