Arts | Stuff We Love | Kids + Media

Girl Powerful: 15 Films with Super-Heroic Female Characters

According to a recent study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, although women purchase more than 50 percent of all movie tickets only 13 percent of movies feature a cast where at least half of the characters are female. And male protagonists outnumber female protagonists five to one.

Superhero movies are among the biggest offenders: Not only do male protagonists vastly outnumber females (think of The Avengers), but also gender-stereotyped portrayals dominate.

Fortunately, positive female role models on the big screen do exist. Here are 15 female characters who — though they aren't officially "superheroes" — have heroic qualities. They save the day or overcome adversity in ordinary and extraordinary ways. We’ve ordered these films by age recommendation, from youngest to oldest.

Mulan: Mulan (1998)

Rated G, recommended for ages 5 and up

Mulan is easily the most heroic of the Disney Princesses. She commits herself to saving her father, her family's honor and ultimately all of China. All she's missing is a song as popular as "Let It Go."

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