The little Mermaid is the latest live-action remake of a beloved Disney animated film, and while its star-studded cast suggests it might be one of the best yet, it will do well to replicate the otherworldly beauty of the palace of Triton in the original. While live action has its place, animation has allowed Disney to achieve instantly recognizable castles that couldn’t have appeared anywhere else.
In addition to Triton’s Palace, there are the extravagant towers of King Stefan’s Castle in Sleeping Beauty and the alluring spiers of the Sultan’s Palace in Aladdin, and more. Disney fans private soldier voted on which of these iconic structures deserves to be called the best and here are the results.
Note: Ranking lists are live and continue to accumulate votes, so some rankings may have changed after this posting.
ten DunBroch Castle (Brave)
Named after the clan of King Fergus and Queen Elinor, DunBroch Castle in Brave is made up of majestic stone towers with an imposing doorway to complete the stoic effect. DunBroch looks more like a military fortress than a palace, and that’s what makes it perfect for a clan that prides itself on its strength and unity.
Besides that, it also has a secondary function as a prison for Merida when locked inside by Fergus. Many fans enjoyed Brave for its unique down-to-earth Disney princess in the form of Mérida, and the castle is the perfect reflection of that. While not extravagant, its suitability for the popular film made it a popular choice.
9 The King’s Castle (Cinderella)
Just as Cinderella’s visit with the help of the Fairy Godmother must have felt like a dream come true, there is a dreamlike quality to the King and Prince Charming’s home in Cinderella. To audiences who are put in the shoes of Cinderella, her asymmetrical spiers and large interior look like an alien planet compared to where she came from.
The exterior of the castle could just as well have come from a classic painting in the beautiful style of Disney movies of that era and it certainly does a lot to impress the viewer just how important Prince Charming is. Even more than 70 years after the film’s release, many Disney fans can’t help but find it mesmerizing.
8 The Emperor’s Palace (Mulan)
Although located in the Imperial City, a real place in China, the Emperor’s Palace is one of the main elements of the scenery which has been modified to adapt to the history of Mulane. In the film, its two grand floors sit atop a massive platform, and in shades of deep red it represents the heart of China.
The interior is just as big and spacious with an almost reverent feel, making the assassination attempt on the Emperor on the balcony all the more powerful than a statement from Shan Yu. As Mulan technically isn’t a princess, she may never call the Imperial Palace her home, but it still has a strong bond with the film’s beloved protagonist.
seven Mount Olympus (Hercules)
Mount Olympus depicted in Hercules is such a perfect representation of the home of the gods in ancient Greek mythology that for many people its golden waves are the mountain’s iconic image. Even appearing as a place in kingdom hearts 3Mount Olympus is crowned with the meeting place of the gods of Olympus.
Although the film took an entertaining and liberal approach to adapting Greek mythology, its depiction of Olympus is one of the most richly painted locations in any Disney animated film. Hercules may not be as popular as some of Disney’s more serious films, but the effort to create the home of the gods has impressed many fans.
6 King Stefan’s Castle (Sleeping Beauty)
It’s no wonder Maleficent was furious that she didn’t get an invite when the venue looked so impressive. King Stefan’s castle in Sleeping Beauty is huge and has more than a dozen towers that overlook the surrounding land. Inside, the luxurious ballroom provides the perfect place for a love first dance while giant doors provide the perfect dramatic entrance for an evil witch.
Anyone who’s watched Disney’s best fairy tale movie will probably have come to love its extravagance by now, but King Stefan’s Castle is also the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland, which means a lot of those who have never watched the movie will still find it a nostalgic place. It’s no surprise that it proved a popular choice.
5 Sultan’s Palace (Aladdin)
Loosely inspired by the Taj Mahal, the sultan’s giant palace dominates Agrabah in Aladdin with spiers atop massive golden domes that give a sense of the man’s wealth. Nothing has been retained in the design of the palace and the interior is no exception, with a throne room dominated by gilded features and an elephant-shaped throne as well as lush gardens.
Although the palace represents captivity for Jasmine, it’s easy to see why Aladdin thought he would have to promise this level of status and luxury to win over the Sultan’s daughter. While his good looks for much of the film won over many fans, his darker, more imposing appearance in the hands of Jafar, a favorite Disney villain for many, didn’t hurt either.
4 Elsa’s Ice Palace (Frozen)
It is rare to see a princess build her own castle but then FrozenElsa is no ordinary princess. A monument to brutal and cold isolation constructed from the pure ice Elsa can create, her appearance has a powerful impact on Anna, who immediately realizes something is wrong with Elsa upon seeing the Ice Palace.
Its interior is dominated by delicate angular patterns, spiral staircases and the large ice chandelier at the heart of the palace. One of the most symbolic palaces, the fact that it is now abandoned and left to her giant snow monster Marshmallow is proof of the darker side of herself the princess has left behind, giving fans a happier reason to enjoy the Ice Palace.
3 Triton Palace (The Little Mermaid)
The crown jewel of Triton’s Kingdom of Atlantica, the Palace of The little Mermaid sparkles with light from a distance like an underwater mirage. Her interior isn’t seen as much, but unsurprisingly it has the worn feel of any high seas decor with shells and corals making up most of the decorative elements.
In itself, it might have been easier to forget, however The little Mermaid is one of the most popular Disney animated films. However, the film also shows Prince Eric’s castle on land, a very traditional European-inspired building that shows just how great the contrast is between the world above water and the world below.
2 Castle of the Beast (Beauty and the Beast)
Inspired by an actual French castle called the Chateau de Chambord, the home of the beast in The beauty and the Beast is a beautiful but unstable and aging building. Like the Beast himself, the castle is under a curse that makes him a dark, twisted version of his original self before being turned back thanks to the lifting of the curse.
Its interior is elegant and full of iconic locations such as the dining room and the lavish golden ballroom where Beauty and the Beast share their first dance. While the castle is beautiful on its own, it’s the fact that it’s linked to such iconic moments that makes it such a popular castle with fans.
1 Corona Castle (Tangled)
Towering over the island kingdom of Corona where Rapunzel hails from in Tangled, Corona Castle is the home of her parents, the King and Queen. Its distinctive shape within the Corona skyline makes it the perfect subject of Rapunzel’s desire to see the city and learn who it is.
The castle also stands in contrast to the rest of the town, which is bustling and full of life when Rapunzel arrives, as her demise at a young age still weighs heavily on the rulers of the kingdom. However, its return signals a return to the halcyon days of the past and is why the castle has become a fan favourite.
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