Carrie Ann Inaba

D23 Fab Five: Carrie Ann Inaba’s Favorite Disney Princesses

By Ingrid Meilan

Carrie Ann Inaba wears her Disney fandom proudly. “Who isn’t a Disney fan?” the Dancing with the Stars judge asked while catching up with D23. The choreographer says that she’s always inspired by the music in Disney movies. “I love the songs in all the films. They’re just so magical,” she says.

Inaba also loves the films’ characters, and like many fans, she’s drawn to the princesses. But her reasoning may surprise you: “I love the princesses because they all talk to animals!” she tells D23. The long-time animal advocate (Inaba founded the Animal Project Foundation to help pets in need) says she sees herself in the spunky royals, especially when they have a furry friend by their side. “That’s one of the common threads of all the Disney princesses,” she says. “They all have an animal sidekick. So I kind of feel like I’m one of them—although I have a few extra sidekicks!” (Inaba has three dogs and three cats and regularly fosters rescue animals at her home)

Inaba shared her Fab 5 Disney princesses with D23:


1. Moana
“I love the way that she’s so connected to the ocean. I really relate to her because I grew up in Hawai’i and I, too, feel drawn toward the open water. When I was a little girl, I looked out to the ocean and saw the whole world out there the same way she did. I love the way that she became this great, strong leader. Also, her little chicken friend, Heihei, was adorable!”

Ariel and Flounder

2. Ariel
“Who didn’t relate to Ariel? Again, maybe it’s my Hawaiian roots, but sometimes I think that maybe I was a mermaid in another life. I love that in the end, Ariel made peace with who she really was. She wanted to give up being a mermaid and all that came with it, including her beautiful voice. But Ariel wound up getting everything she ever wanted just by being herself.”

Jasmine and Aladdin

3. Jasmine
“Jasmine is a strong woman. She’s seductive and sassy and wasn’t afraid to use her feminine skills to get what she wanted. She wasn’t ever going to marry for money or upward mobility; she was only going to marry for love. And I respected that about her so much because that’s what marriage should be about: love.”


4. Pocahontas
“I really related to Pocohontas’ message that we’re all one. Grandmother Willow would tell her about her connection to the animals and to the earth, and it was something I related to so deeply—and I think it’s such a great theme to teach young viewers that we’re all connected.”


5. Mulan
“Mulan was a rebel! She proved that women deserve the same kind of respect and honor that men do. She was so cool because she risked everything for honor. She took it upon herself to play the son’s role and then she did it better than the guys—and I love that!”