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In the run-up to Ralph Breaks The Internet, no sequence has been more hyped than Vanellope meeting the classic Disney Princesses. Details of the scene were first revealed during the D23 Expo in 2017, with the news that most of the original voice actors would be returning, and audiences even got their first glimpse this past summer with the film's second trailer. Still, there has been a prevalent question about the premise, with fans wondering why Princess Leia isn't included in the grouping, but co-director Rich Moore has a very straight-forward explanation for the choice:
We decided... I mean there are a lot of princesses that are from Disney movies that are not part of the canonized Disney princesses, you know, and I don't know how they're chosen. I don't know how it goes on. I think it's kinda like the Vatican where smoke comes out of a chimney. 'And Moana is now a Disney princess.' So we decided we're going to use the canonized group of princesses, known as the Disney Princesses. Not that we don't love Princess Leia and Kida [from Atlantis: The Lost Empire] and Meg [from Hercules] and Esmerelda [from The Hunchback Of Notre Dame]. But we decided we're going to go with the official Disney princesses.
A few weeks back I joined a group of journalists on a visit to Walt Disney Animation Studios to witness the goings-on behind the making of Ralph Breaks The Internet, and it was during a question and answer session with co-directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston, and producer Clark Spencer that the subject of Princess Leia came up. According to Moore, there isn't any super specific reason why the Rebel/Resistance leader isn't featured in the scene beyond the idea that there kind of is an "official" list of Disney Princesses and that she's not on it.
So how is that list determined? That wasn't made entirely clear -- though co-writer Pamela Ribon (who also voices Snow White in the movie) had her own thoughts on the question later in the day during a presentation specifically about the Disney Princess scene. In her mind the classification is primarily reserved for those characters born at Walt Disney Animation, which Princess Leia wasn't, and added a special extra caveat involving Disney's theme parks. Said Ribon,
I really thought of the princesses that walk through Disneyland as the Disney Princesses, Disney animation specifically, you know, because that's where I feel like Vanellope is of this house, and she gets to stand next to the same princesses that this building made... I wouldn't have thought in this room you'd have Princess Leia because she didn't seem like who Vanellope was talking to in that version.
For those who don't know about the scene, in Ralph Breaks The Internet Vanellope is being pursued while visiting the website OhMyDisney.com when she winds up in the dressing room of the Disney Princesses -- including Jasmine, Snow White, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Elsa, Anna, Moana, Belle, Rapunzel, Tiana, Merida and Sleeping Beauty. Not only is the little gamer girl from Sugar Rush able to connect with them because she is a princess too, but also because her acts of heroism and badassery are overshadowed by the presence of a big strong man. Before long they're all hanging out in their pajamas and chatting like old friends. And while Princess Leia isn't counted among them, Star Wars does get a bit of inclusion as it's C-3PO who eventually comes in the room to break up the party and announce that the Princesses' next performance is about to begin.
You can actually watch a good chunk of the scene right now by clicking play on the Ralph Breaks The Internet trailer below: