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Honestly, Ariel is essentially Riku as a girl -- wants more out of life than to be confined to a small world when there's so much more out there, and makes a deal with the devil to get it -- right down to the pettiness of doing stuff to hurt people who care about her. She can't be a Princess of Heart if the "hearts of pure light" thing is to be anything other than a joke.
Mulan... well, it'd be really annoying if Mulan managed to get herself kidnapped, considering that she's one of the few Disney heroines who actually knows how to fight. =P
Pocahontas probably wasn't chosen because Squenix doesn't want to reopen that whole bag of worms. Remember, they took the Indians out of the Indian Camp in Neverland in BbS; it would kind of make sense if they were trying to avoid any racial controversies.
And that leaves Alice, who's sometimes appeared in Disney Princess merchandise, whose curiosity isn't enough of a strike against her in the pure heart category to make anyone wonder how she could be there, and who can be safely kidnapped without it seeming contrived and character-weakening. It's not really that surprising that she was chosen, given the circumstances. =P
EDIT: Not to mention that if Ariel was a Princess of Heart, she couldn't have been a party member, because she wouldn't have been available if you went back to Atlantica. I'd much rather have her as a party member than a PoH, because she was kind of awesome as a party member. ;)
I have to agree, Ariel definitely kicked the most fin.
Beast was a real powerhouse, but I feel like overall Ariel was a better team player
Mulan, in KH2, was when she had joined the Army. Remember how the story goes, she learns to fight in the army. So KH takes place long before she disguises herself as Ping, which under that guise she was a terrible fighter, so at that point in time, it is understandable that she could be abducted.
For Pocahontas, That really wasn't a terrible movie. Honestly it's up to opinion mostly as a lot of people thought Hercules was bad, and yet that world has been in EVERY kingdom hearts game up until 3D, and Hunchback of Notre Dame isn't a big favorite either, but now that's a world in 3D. About racial issues, there really were none out of Pocahontas, as it was nothing like the Indians from Peter Pan. And I'll address this now, those Indians from Peter Pan, weren't meant to be racist. think about it, when you were young and you heard cowboy and Indian stories, how they are portrayed in Peter Pan is how you imagined them. And in Peter Pan, Neverland is about bringing the children's imaginations to life, and that is how we thought of them when we were young, before racism was something we understood. So over all, Pocahontas would have been a better choice than Alice, cuz Pocahontas is really pure and understands everything around her. I still feel any of the, we're better
Or how about having included Dumbo in the first game? With the Crow racism claims on that?
Sometimes racism isn't always apt he issue.
He never said the movie was racist either just that if SE handled it wrong people could assume they were being racist. It's a touchy issue that could easily screw anything up with the slightest misunderstanding. Hell, someone said the idea of a dream catcher keyblade would be racist for DDD.
I honestly thought they just avoided Ariel as a princess because they couldn't get around the whole "tail" thing
But I did expect her to be one the first time I played. Alice never really did make much sense to me. Maybe because Wonderland was the first world traveled to and they wanted to get the situation out there from the beginning?
Did you know that popcorns pop because they have a drop of water inside of them that, when heated, it turns into vapor and makes them pop?
Saying Ariel was just curious is true, but her curiosity does not rival that of Alice's. Alice went after the rabbit as she did not know she was going to fall into the hole. She says her curiosity is bad for her because it got her into this mess though it was unintentional, Alice did not force herself down that hole.
Ariel on the other hand, she knows how dangerous the humans can be (humans murdered her mother if you watch Little Mermaid 3), and she still WILLINGLY went to Ursula out of a fit of rage. One cannot compare the two and say they are on equal terms.
In terms of having a heart of pure light, I do not think Ariel fit the bill when it comes to a PoH for this exact reason, she did have darkness in her heart and she is, as Ikkin said, like Riku. Both of them were curious to see outside worlds, neither one of them did it to spite someone.
Also, for the Mulan point, this was in KH1, so we did not know that Mulan had yet to don Ping's attire. If they had Mulan captured in KH1, people would have complained because we would have assumed she could have fought by then, and going through all that explanation for a character with a world not even in the game would have been a hassle.
SE used all the Disney princesses they could at the time (minus Mulan), so they had to resort to an unofficial Disney princess:
List of Unofficial Disney Princesses
The only options they had were Wendy, Alice, or Jane. If I had to choose one, Alice or Wendy would work best.
Even if you don't consider curiosity to be Riku's driving force, there is one other notable dark character for whom curiosity is their main driving force. You know, the guy who was willing to risk an apocalypse out of sheer curiosity -- Master Xehanort himself. ;)
Ariel's motivations require a whole lot of mental gymnastics to suggest they're pure-hearted, in contrast with the rest of the princesses who were chosen, particularly because of the tendency for that sort of curiosity to go horribly wrong in this series. As it stands, it's possible to come up with some kind of description of the kind of character a pure heart provides... but if Ariel was there, there'd be almost nothing to define it.