Everyone knows at least some Disney princesses. The ones that are on the merchandise that can be found at just about any store are Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Ariel, Jasmine, or the newest addition, Tiana (Princess and the Frog).
Then on occasion you might see pieces of Disney Princess merchandise that have Mulan on them, who is not a princess. There is a difference between a Disney princess and a female Disney character. The most commonly mistaken non-princesses are Esmerelda, Alice, and Tinkerbell. Just about any girl made by that company can be mistaken. Also, just to clear up another common misunderstanding, Anastasia and Thumbelina are Don Bluth princesses, not Disney.
So, in order of year oldest to most modern (but still retro), here are the Disney princesses that always tend to be overlooked or forgotten.
Also, every princess either marries into royalty or is born into it. I'll specify which one these characters fall into.
Princess Tiger Lily from Peter Pan (1953)
(Born a Princess)
Even though she's an Indian (not sure what country native she is) she's still considered a princess in her society. The fact that she's the chief's daughter is why the characters call her a princess and she can also be a damsel in distress in some parts. She's not a major character in the movie but in the stage play that came first she's much more of one. It's also arguable that she's an ethnic stereotype but she's still a princess, one that could be characterized better.
Princess Eilonwy from the Black Cauldron (1985)
(Born a Princess)
The Black Cauldron is a generally easily forgotten movie in itself. It makes sense that the characters, let alone the princess would be forgotten by many. Elionwy is a princess who is not afraid to fight the forces of evil. So, maybe if this film wasn't a box office disappointment Eilonwy wouldn't be forgotten. Also, this is considered one of the darkest if not, the darkest Disney film ever made and it was the first ever to get a PG rating.
Ariel's Sisters from the Little Mermaid (1989)
I know this story is all about Ariel. It's better that it only has one main character. Still, at least giving them names would have given more background to Ariel's story. Learning their opinions of Ariel becoming a human and living with Prince Eric would be interesting. That doesn't need to be done with too much character development. The fact that they hardly exist almost makes them pointless in the movie. Also, keep in mind that their dad is King Triton so Ariel was a princess before she married Eric and that means they all were too.
Nala from the Lion King (1994)
(Married a Prince)
The only reason why Nala would end up on this list is because even though Lion king is such a memorable, amazing movie people forget that she's a princess. Granted, she's not a human but she still married Simba who is a prince. More recognition for Nala would be great!
(Born a Princess)
This movie was a box office success, but a disappointment with reviews. Under the same rules of logic as Tiger Lilly, she is a princess. Only, she's the main character and significantly less racist than Tiger Lilly. Either way, she's a strong female role model and it's a shame that the movie didn't have stronger points besides the music and the princess.
As I wrap this up here are some honorable mentions.
Megara from Hercules (1997)
She wasn't a princess in the movie but in the original Greek Myth she is a princess of Thebes.
Kida from Atlantis (2001)
(born a princess)
She's a princess from an easily forgotten movie but she's not retro.
So, let me know if I forgot anyone! I hope you liked it.