Megara is another forgotten Disney Heroine that arguably should also be given a place among the Disney Princess line up. The reasons for her inclusion are simple: she harbours many of the characteristics desired in a Disney Princess, and she ends up with Hercules, prince of the gods, therefore making her a Princess. Unlike Jane as we saw last week, Megara was never inserted into the Disney Princess series, even though we see her songs sometimes lumped into Disney Princess soundtrack collections. Aside from that, her place in the franchise has been mostly non existent.
What are the reasons for this? Critically it was a well-liked film though commercially it didn’t do as well as, say, Tarzan. Megara does start out the film on the ‘dark side’ but her progression as a self-discovering heroine makes her interesting to watch. From the get go she’s full of sass, willing to talk down Hades if she disagrees with him. She unexpectedly falls for Hercules (she is still the love interest, after all), but you very much get the impression she’d be tough enough to cope even if the demi-god didn’t elect to be with her after all. Her whole attitude is self-preservational, having no sympathies for men nor is she willing to bow down to them. This is mainly due to a more heroic back story where she sold her soul to save a man she loved (who cheated on her), which makes her develop a less sympathetic character. The backstory and motivations make her a unique character in contrast to the other Disney Princesses and Heroines.
Even her design is fairly unique when it comes to the Disney Heroines. From her dress to her hair, the angles and shapes used recall the stereotypical Ancient Greek vase paintings. She’s indeed a deviation from the sweet, Westernized Disney Princess, which is a possible reason why the the franchise chose not to immediately adopt her. If there’s one thing the Princesses do share, it’s a constant unwaveringly belief in goodness and justice: Megara doesn’t necessarily fit that bill. However, her role as a strong female who saves her prince makes her just as interesting and worthy a female Disney Princess as Rapunzel or Merida. Besides, her film has some of the catchiest songs in the whole Disney collection – check the film out once more!