When you think about the faces of the most iconic Disney characters, certain features leap to mind: Ariel’s impossibly bouncy hair. Maleficent’s angular chin. Scar’s … scar.
Yet, a crucial part of the face that often gets overlooked is something Disney does best. We’re talking eyebrows, people. And let us show you exactly what we mean.
They come in all shapes and sizes, but they are all unquestionably on fleek.
These days, thick, full brows are all the rage, but those of us who lived through the nineties and the early 2000s know that was not always the case. Never a sucker for trends, Disney was way ahead of the times when Jasmine sauntered into the palace courtyard in 1992.
Check out how those eyebrows make her entire look simultaneously elegant and sassy. They establish her as someone who should not be messed with (so clearly, Jafar didn’t take note).
Somehow, Aurora managed to rock perfectly shaped eyebrows in the middle of the woods while living that clandestine peasant life. Maybe it’s her royal genes, but it’s more likely that Flora’s gift of beauty was extremely effective. Either way, it’s no wonder that Prince Phillip was willing to fight a dragon for her after a short little waltz.
Now, just because a certain look works for one character doesn’t make that the ideal. Ariel opts for a much thinner brow than many of her Disney Princess counterparts, but it totally works with her face shape and youthful eyes. Most importantly, they help her get her feelings across to Prince Eric when talking isn’t an option.
Think back to the makeover scene early in Mulan when the poor protagonist was poked and prodded to try to appease the Matchmaker. Once she’s in a full face of make-up, her eyebrows appear much slimmer than they were before. Then “Reflection” rolls around, and it’s obvious she’s uncomfortable with the whole get-up, so she eventually opts for a big life change.
This obviously means growing out her natural brows (oh, and, to a lesser degree, going to war disguised as a man). As she gets more comfortable in her own skin, so too do her eyebrows, and they become a stunning focal point on her face.
Of course, eyebrows shouldn’t just be aesthetically pleasing. They serve a major purpose in helping an animated character communicate their emotions. What other feature could so superbly sum up how Flynn Rider can be both charming and smarmy? Before he became a hero, he was truly Prince Smarming, and those face framers manage to evoke all his many sides.
No matter how you feel about the overall shape of Elsa’s eyebrows, you have to admit they are a phenomenal feat in advanced animation. You can count the hairs on her face. That is something I will never get over, even as technology progresses.
It’s not just the princesses who meet these superciliary standards. As the movie would have us believe, Snow White upsets the Evil Queen’s position as the kingdom’s fairest. Yet, something might be amiss in the magic mirror because these eyebrows can’t hold a candle to the Queen’s achievements.
No shade to Snow White, but the Evil Queen reigns supreme when it comes to brows.
Rest assured, this tradition will only continue.
As an upcoming Disney character, Moana continues a legacy of phenomenal brows that all of us can’t wait to see in action.
Do any other Disney characters deserve some eyebrow appreciation? Let us know in the comments!