Top female characters in Pixar movies include Boo, Dot from A Bug’s Life, Bo Peep in Toy Story, Merida, Barbie, and Queen Elinor. Disney movies may boast their fair share of strong male leads and princes, but when it comes to Pixar, the girls steal the show.
You might be thinking of male duos like Woody and Buzz, or Mike and Sully, but don’t be fooled – Pixar always delivers a powerful female character (or several) to shake things up.
Pixar has been setting a high bar for empowering female role models that young girls can look up to for years, from daring princesses to actual superheroes and even some incredibly gutsy kids.
Which female character in Pixar movies exhibits the most bravery and heroism?
Over the years, Pixar has meticulously crafted a formidable lineup of characters, including some fiercely strong and powerful girls and women that have left an indelible mark.
From humans, toys, fish, and a myriad of other creatures, Pixar’s characters have always been able to draw us in emotionally, thanks to their captivating heroism in their respective movies.
Let’s delve into our top picks for the most exceptional female characters in Disney Pixar’s history without further ado.
15Bo Peep – Toy Story 4
Picture this: Bo Peep, the sassy porcelain doll from Molly’s lamp, never shies away from dishing out witty and flirtatious comments to her heartthrob, Woody, in Toy Story.
After a forgettable role in Toy Story 2 and vanishing altogether in Toy Story 3, Bo makes a comeback with a bang in Toy Story 4. She rocks a new look and flaunts a fresh attitude but retains her signature love-struck gaze toward Woody that we can’t help but adore.
14Dot – A Bug’s Life
Get ready to meet the fiercest member of the ant colony in A Bug’s Life: Dot! Don’t let her young age fool you – she’s a force to be reckoned with.
With her purple and sweet exterior, she’s got a spunky personality and attitude to match. Sure, she may have struggled with learning to use her wings, but that doesn’t stop her from achieving big things.
As a member of the Blueberry Scouts group, she’s already making waves. And when her best friend Flik needs help taking down an evil grasshopper, she’s right there by his side, showing just how fierce and brave she is.
Dot may be small, but she’s mighty!
13Joy – Inside Out
Joy is one of the most amazing Pixar female characters in Inside Out!
She’s the epitome of kindness and does everything she can to ensure Riley’s happiness throughout the movie.
Joy knows just how important core memories are; she’ll stop at nothing to ensure they’re restored. Even if it means risking her own life, she’s ready to take that leap of faith.
When she sets off on a journey with Sadness, they face many close calls to death, which shows how much she cares. Every decision Joy makes with Riley’s best interest in mind, but she also takes the time to learn about Sadness along the way.
12Mrs. Davis – Toy Story
Discover Mrs. Davis, the unsung hero of the Toy Story franchise!
As a single parent, she’s a true rockstar, providing a great life for her children, Andy and Molly, despite the mystery surrounding their father and the big move they make in the first film.
Mrs. Davis goes above and beyond to support Andy’s love of toys, even allowing him to redecorate his room during his Buzz Lightyear phase completely.
And when the time comes for Andy to leave for college, she’s there to convince him to keep his precious friends by his side. Her unwavering support and dedication to her family make her a true inspiration, proving that women can do anything they set their minds to.
11Boo – Monsters, Inc.
This charming and hilarious toddler radiates cuteness and fearlessness as she plunges headfirst into the world of monsters. Even Sulley and Mike can’t spook her!
Her delightful sense of humor is a real treat, as she faces her unexpected situation with aplomb.
As much as we adore Boo, it must be said that her heroic deeds pale compared to some of Pixar’s other remarkable female protagonists. Although she is quite courageous and never causes any trouble for our two favorite monsters, Sulley and Mike, it’s ultimately up to them to save the day.
Boo’s presence makes their adventure all the more delightful, but at the end of the day, it’s their dilemma to solve.
10Riley Andersen – Inside Out
Get ready to meet the ultimate role model for tween girls: Riley Andersen from Inside Out! With Joy leading her through life, she bosses her way through life’s challenges.
Moving to a new city and starting at a new school might throw most people off, but Riley keeps her head up and stays optimistic. And while she’s only human, her emotions never get the best of her for too long.
She truly shines when she allows herself to feel and react to the changes in her life.
Her strength and resilience inspire us all, and she’s the perfect example of handling whatever life throws our way.
9Ellie Fredrickson – Up
Get ready for a heartwarming tale of love and adventure as we delve into the world of Up! Meet Ellie, a fearless young adventurer who captures Carl’s heart and brings him out of his shell.
Their journey together is a testament to the power of love and appreciation as they embrace every moment of their life, from childhood to their golden years.
Though Ellie may not have gotten everything she wanted, like children and a trip to Paradise Falls, she never once complained.
Instead, she cherishes the love she shares with her husband and the memories they make along the way, making their story one of the most memorable love stories in the history of Pixar.
8Sadness – Inside Out
Let Inside Out inspire you with Sadness’ heroic journey!
Despite her reserved personality, Sadness proves to be an amazing character once fate forces her to embark on a mission with Joy. Though she may not be as daring as her counterpart, Sadness fearlessly takes risks and makes sacrifices, all to help Riley.
Throughout the film, she shows incredible courage, such as walking through dangerous territories, and proves that being brave isn’t just for the naturally adventurous.
Sadness demonstrates that anyone can be a hero, no matter their personality type.
7Giulia Marcovaldo – Luca
You’re about to enter the wonderful world of Luca, where male friendship takes center stage, and unexpected alliances form.
Enter Giulia Marcovaldo, a true force to be reckoned with, just like her father before her. This teenage girl is as strong and tenacious as they come, fearlessly standing up for what she believes in.
With her unwavering determination, she manages to convince the entire town of Portorosso to accept her sea monster friends as equals.
But that’s not all – Giulia also takes charge as the leader of their triathlon team, refusing to back down even when pitted against the likes of the formidable Ercole.
Her resilience and courage inspire all, proving that anyone can achieve greatness with a little grit and a whole lot of heart.
6Colette Tatou – Ratatouille
In the kitchen of Ratatouille, she’s the only female chef holding her ground against all the men. And when it comes to love interests, she’s got her eyes set on Linguini and his rat buddy Remy.
But don’t think for a second that Colette will fall for any guy who comes her way. Nope, she’s far too cool and mature for that. She’s a strong, independent woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to set boundaries.
It takes a special kind of dorky and clumsy guy like Linguini to win her heart, and even then, she’s not about to give up her independence just like that. So, let’s hear it for Colette, the kitchen queen, and our ultimate girl crush!
5Jessie – Toy Story 2/3/4
Let’s talk about the one and only Jessie, one of the most iconic Pixar female characters ever! From the moment she was introduced in Toy Story, she proved herself to be a total boss as one of the main leads in the franchise.
At first, she was a bit skeptical of Woody’s attachment to his owner, but it didn’t take long for her to see things from his perspective.
And let me tell you, Jessie is at the top of her game when it comes to being a hero! She’s always there when her friends need her, going above and beyond to lend a helping hand, especially in the third Toy Story movie.
Her heroic acts have earned her a special place in our hearts, and she truly stands out as one of the bravest and most caring toys. Let’s hear it for Jessie, the ultimate toy hero!
Get ready to meet the one and only Edna Mode, the most iconic female personality in The Incredibles and a true legend in Pixar’s lineup!
Her self-proclaimed title as the greatest clothing designer is well-earned, as every superhero outfit she creates is a masterpiece. But don’t let her fabulous fashion skills fool you – she has a fierce attitude to match.
Edna isn’t afraid to speak her mind, especially regarding her disdain for the modern fashion industry and their “spoiled, stupid little stick figures with poofy lips.” And when it comes to anyone trying to pigeonhole her sartorial talents, she’s not having it.
Edna is a trailblazer who’s effectively shattered the glass ceiling for fictional female characters everywhere. We’re all lucky to have her in our lives, dahling!
3Dory – Finding Nemo
Get ready to meet the ultimate heroine of Pixar: Dory! When it comes to heroism, she takes the cake compared to any other female character.
Sure, she may not be the smartest fish in the sea, thanks to her memory issues, but what she lacks in brainpower, she makes up for in heart. When she meets Marlin, a stranger at the time, she goes above and beyond to help him find his son Nemo.
Dory doesn’t let anything stand in her way, bravely facing every obstacle that comes her way, from sharks to jellyfish to dangerous fishing nets.
She’s a true hero who gives her all; without her, Marlin may never have found his son. So let’s hear it for Dory, the ultimate example of courage and selflessness in facing adversity!
2Helen Parr – The Incredibles
Although the boys may outnumber the girls in The Incredibles, the incredible mother, Helen Parr, or Elastigirl, as she is known to fellow superheroes, proves that mothers are indeed real-life superheroes.
When she isn’t delegating the task of saving the world to men, this full-time mother of three children keeps her household functioning by reining in the rebellious Violet, extricating Dash from trouble, and raising baby Jack-Jack.
All this while balancing her husband’s undercover mission as Mr. Incredible.
1Merida – Brave
Pixar’s Brave marks a significant milestone as it introduces its first female protagonist.
It’s no surprise that Disney and Pixar went with a princess as their lead female character, considering Disney’s immense success with princess characters.
The film features Merida of DunBroch, who becomes Pixar’s first and only princess. Inadvertently turning her mother into a bear, she realizes the importance of family and royalty.
While the movie sees Merida coming around to appreciate her mother, her adolescent rebellion doesn’t compromise her strong and self-reliant personality. She prefers to wield her bows and arrows rather than letting suitors vie for her hand in marriage.