By Jessica Benda
While all Disney films have heart, many take the expression literally. Hearts abound in Disney stories, whether they take the form of gorgeous jewelry, world-powering crystals, or the simple but vital organ beating away.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, amid the usual onslaught of heart-shaped everything, we went hunting for Disney’s best hearts. But while our heroes and heroines often favor hearts as symbols of romance or life, some villains also have a fondness for the shape. Or, in the Evil Queen’s case, the organ.
Upon inspection, we present five of Disney’s best hearts, and five of Disney’s most dastardly.
Queen of Hearts’ Scepter
We value our hearts and our heads, and if we didn’t honor the queen of them, we might lose both. In Alice in Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts brandishes a scepter topped with a classic red heart. And considering how much she waves her arms, we certainly see it in action. An honorary mention goes to the heart suits of the kingdom’s Playing Cards, who truly deserve to live under a democracy.
Heart of the Ocean
Things we wish we could see at the bottom of the ocean: Ariel’s Grotto, Atlantis, a 56-carat blue diamond. The Heart of the Ocean, the stunning necklace Cal gives Rose aboard the Titanic in the 1997 film, was allegedly plucked from the crown of Louis XVI. Eighty-four years after the ship’s sinking, Rose tosses it into the Atlantic. Personally, we would have kept it.
Once Upon a Time Hearts
Nothing says Valentine’s Day like ripping the heart from someone’s chest…at least if you’re Regina Mills in Season 1 of ABC’s Once Upon a Time. Regina spends a fair amount of time trying to stop Snow White’s heart before reforming her ways. The enchanting glow marks these as some of Disney’s best hearts, even if we’d prefer keeping them inside people’s bodies.
Heart of Te Fiti
In Moana, a hulking creature of molten lava skulks through the ocean’s volcanic rocks: Te Kā. But before Te Kācame Te Fiti, a gentle goddess of lush greenery and blossoms. When the demigod Maui stole her heart, she evolved into her villainous counterpart until Moana sailed across the ocean to return it. Throughout her journey, Moana keeps the glowing green ember tucked in her necklace (and like the Heart of the Ocean, it’s tossed into the sea at one point) before finally returning it to Te Fiti to restore the islands.
The Evil Queen’s Heart Box
The Evil Queen never gets Snow White’s heart, but she does have a stylish box to keep it in. Adorned with a gold heart with a tasteful blade cutting through it, its appearance in Disney’s first animated feature marks it as a classic. Fans of the 1937 film and the Evil Queen’s box will be thrilled to know that a replica can be had on shopDisney—but please don’t put any actual hearts in there.
Heart of Atlantis
True to its name, this ethereal crystal pumps life throughout its hidden city to sustain it across the centuries. In Atlantis: The Lost Empire, the lore of the heart is unearthed as Kida and Milo work to save the fading empire. When the levitating heart merges with a host, it’s charged with enough energy to protect Atlantis. Not only is the otherworldly force a true lifesaver, it’s also a testament to Disney’s ever-evolving animation.
Davy Jones’ Heart
Every pirate wants to pocket the hidden heart of Davy Jones. Locked away in the titular Dead Man’s Chest in the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie, it’s said whoever owns it controls Davy Jones and therefore the behemoth of teeth called the Kraken. Crusted with barnacles and still beating, the waterlogged heart of Davy Jones warrants a spot as one of Disney’s best.
Deep within Arendelle’s mountains, the ice harvesters first chant this warning as they (rather violently) wrangle ice from the depths. In Frozen, their song comes true years later when Anna’s heart freezes after an accidental blast from Elsa’s powers. While we’re never supplied a visual of the heart à la Davy Jones, the effects are clear. Anna’s hair whitens as snowflakes spread from her fingertips to her nose, and she finally hardens to solid ice before she’s thawed by an act of true love.
The Bride’s Heart
As the Doom Buggies roamed the infamous attic, guests of the Haunted Mansion were once faced with the Beating Heart Bride. Clad in ghostly white, the Bride’s glowing heart shone beneath the fabric—though considering that she may have killed her husbands, we’re surprised she had one. Originally, she haunted the attics at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom, but she has since been replaced by a new variation: Constance Hatchaway. While unclear whether she’s the same character, it’s evident that the original Bride held one of the most iconic hearts among Disney attractions.
In the wildly popular video game series, Kingdom Hearts, players trek through a slew of Disney and Pixar worlds while attempting to stop an evil force called the Heartless. From Agrabah to Atlantica, players attempt to seal keyholes that prevent the hearts of the world from being consumed. The titular Kingdom Hearts is a source of all power and the culmination of all other hearts. Based off how many times we’ve written “hearts” in this blurb alone, it’s clear they’re unforgettable in this game.