– [Strider] Howdy! Let’s look at ladies in animation. Throughout the years, the world of animation has brought us some incredibly powerful women, in both physical and mental power. Whether they’re from the past or present, the sheer fortitude of their character can really stick with us. and can remind me, anyway just how strong we can be in our own convictions. Just no one or no thing stands in the way of these ladies. So today, let’s check out the Top 10 Most Powerful Women in Animation. We’ll be assessing these characters’ mental tenacity, their magical power, and physical power. I’m also excluding anime, as anime characters could fit easily at least 60% of this list. And please excuse me if I missed a particularly powerful character you know, since this is a very broad list as-is. There were way more well-qualified characters than there was space for, so take this list with a pinch of salt. Anyway, onto the countdown. Number ten… Elsa, from Frozen. Apart from maybe Genie, she’s probably the most powerful of not just the Disney Princesses, but all the Disney heroes! Able to create life on a whim, giant ice palaces, and will endless blizzards across the country, all inadvertently during a quarrel with her sister! Born with magical ice powers, Elsa has always been extremely powerful, able to turn thin air into ice and snow at a whim. As many people know, during her childhood, Elsa would often create snow days to play with her little sister Anna, but after she accidentally strikes her sister with an ice blast, she does everything she can to conceal her power from hurting anyone ever again, yet the inherent abilities in her were always far too powerful to be concealed. Years later, during her coronation, her secret is exposed for the entire kingdom to see, and in her panic, she retreats into the mountains and accidentally releases an eternal winter for the entire kingdom. And BOY, do we all remember when she “let it go” for the first time in forever! (rimshot) (Strider laughs) (clears throat) Sorry. It turns out she can easily build an entire ice castle from the ground up, create carefully-interwoven designer dresses out of ice, and she creates further sentient life by sneezing! She can easily fight off a small army of assassins, all while maintaining a perpetual winter that encompasses the entire kingdom. And being isolated, and going through a bad fight with her sister! Fortunately, with Anna’s help, she’s able to reconcile in the end and come to terms with who she is. And once she gains some emotional balance and calm, nothing could stop her winter power, allowing her to test the limits and use of her magic however she wants. The only one thing that can stand in her way is… (Elsa sneezing, magic popping) – [Strider] …the common cold. And for number nine… The Powerpuff Girls. Most of us probably could’ve guessed these young ladies would be contenders. Despite their young age,] Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup have near-limitless superpowers. You name it: flight, super speed, super strength, laser eyes, X-ray vision, supersonic hearing… Hell, they even time travel and go sulk on the moon when they need some “space”! (rimshot, Strider chuckling) Ah… When Utonium decided to try and create sapient homo sapien girls with the contents of his kitchen pantry, he accidentally mixes in some Chemical X, which resulted in the insanely-powerful young ladies we have today. And it’s just as well he did, because Townsville seems to house more monsters and supervillains than Arkham Asylum could shake a stick at. But whether it be giant mechas, super-genius monkeys, or giant supernatural monsters, no creature or being has ever stood in their way that isn’t fixed with a few punches with their weird, fingerless hands. Hell, they even go head-to-head with Satan on a regular basis! (girls zooming) (distorted laughter) (punching sounds) – [Strider] And generally they come out as the winner! They’ve even had to take on their own family and friends, and still manage to stay morally strong and emotionally calm. Blossom – Don’t EVER make us do that again! – Or it will be your last. – [Strider] Nothing stands in the way of Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup. Alone, they’re dangerous. But when they coordinate as a team, they become an unstoppable wall of power, capable of wiping out nearly anything in their path. And for number eight… Star Butterfly, from Star Vs. the Forces of Evil. Oh, this lady… She’s free-spirited, she’s wild, and she’s one of the most powerful magicians in Mewni, inadvertently unleashing explosive wand blasts and powerful spells with a flick of her wrist! And one of my favorite characters in cartoons. Number seven… (fire roaring) – [Strider] Maleficent. Easily one of Disney’s most iconic villains, Maleficent’s cool, controlled nature, her dark design, and dominating presence made her the most memorable aspect of Sleeping Beauty for a lot of people. – Listen well. All of you. – [Strider] Originating from the 1959 film, Maleficent took the spotlight of every scene she was in, as a self-proclaimed “Mistress of All Evil”, Maleficent easily shows off her ability to cast spells, summon flames, teleport wherever, whenever she wants, and can even transform into a dragon on a whim! I mean, Maleficent can be petty. She first pops up to curse a newborn with death, merely for just being snubbed to the christening. – You weren’t wanted. – Not wa– (laughs) Oh dear, what an awkward situation. – [Strider] And vowing to reign a 16-year-long torment on the child before it takes hold. Always knowing when she has the upper hand, Maleficent keeps a calm, collected demeanor, striking like a snake from the shadows. Even if she didn’t get her way in the end, and according to later movies was misunderstood, Maleficent still bewitched generations with her regally wicked presence and show-stoppingly intense power. – Stand back, you fools! (fire roars) (Maleficent laughs) And for number six… Lord Dominator, from Wander Over Yonder. (deep voice)
– [Dominator] That… was… (normal voice)
AMAZING! (metal shifting) – [Strider] Jeebus. This is one lady that nobody messes with. Probably the show’s most all-powerful and threatening antagonist, Lord Dominator well earns her menacing title. She easily conquers planets, dominates galaxies, and spreads general chaos and destruction wherever she goes. And seems to joyfully revel in every second of it! Throughout the show’s second season, Dominator poses as the series’s first actual, genuine threat to Wander and Sylvia. She can easily manipulate magma like freaking Clay-Doh, throws around disastrous ice powers like nothing, sports a ginormous mecha, and keeps aside armies of robots and fleets of ships. Not that she… seems to need them. From her debut episode, Dominator towers over every one of the main characters. Dominator goes the duration of the season successfully conquering planet after planet in a plot to annihilate the entire galaxy. While she was SOMEHOW stopped in the end, Dominator’s sheer power, skill, and expertise in galactic domination, and penchant for spreading general mayhem, made her a true formidable adversary and definitely among the most mighty supervillains in the galaxy. – ♪ I destroy their homes ♪ and then I watch them cry (Dominator giggles) (metal shifting) (deep voice)
♪ ‘Cuz I’m the bad guy! – [Strider] Number five… Wonder Woman. Easily among the most iconic female superheroes of all time, Wonder Woman has been fighting crime and saving the planet for the past 77 years! (dramatic music) – Come on, giant. I’m getting bored. – [Strider] As well as being one of the most well-known comic book characters of all time, Wonder Woman also happens to be one of the most powerful characters. She sports superhuman strength, nearly unmatched durability… (Wonder Woman grunting) (crashing, punching) – [Strider] Super speed, super reflexes, and tops it off with super-enhanced senses. Created in 1941 to help with the war effort, Wonder Woman was designed to help provide a strong, valiant female figure to combat the Axis Powers, and to inspire and encourage real-world women that were doing the same. Over the decades, she’s been in countless adventures, including a great deal of animated shows. One of my favorites that she’s in is the 2001 Justice League cartoon, where we see a much more serious side of Diana and the in-depth complications of her personal life and upbringing in the Amazons. Ever since her inception, Wonder Woman has stood as one of the most enduring and altruistic members of the Justice League, often standing toe-to-toe with Superman and Batman, who seem to be DC’s favorite characters. Always standing up for what’s right and evolving with the times. Wonder Woman remains one of the most beloved superheroes, and easily one of animation’s most powerful women. (Wonder Woman shouting)
– I would not want to be on her bad side. – [Strider] And the fourth most powerful animated woman is… Twilight Sparkle, from Friendship Is Magic. As easily one of the most magically-skilled characters in the series, and Princess Celestia’s star pupil, Twilight Sparkle has been showcasing her expert magic skills since the pilot. (whirring, beams firing) While Princess Celestia could probably be considered the most powerful character in the show, her power is much more implied than actually showcased on-screen. As Twilight’s the show’s main protagonist, we follow her journey going from a loner magic student into a massively-powerful full-fledged alicorn sorceress. Even before she got her wings, Twilight’s always been a skilled spellcaster. Hell, Twilight was accepted into the land’s most prestigious magic school when she was barely twelve years old. Easily manipulating complex spells like levitation, teleportation, force fields, blasts of magic, transformations, time travel… she even has the ability to manipulate the minds of entire towns. Yet this crazily-superpowered unicorn continues to study even MORE powerful magic well into alicorn status. – Of course! I’m sure we can find something. – [Strider] And she shows herself to be emotionally and morally strong as well, learning to better empathize with her friends and always treat them with respect and integrity. (triumphant music) – And I am ready to make new memories here. – [Strider] Her status as an expert spellcasting scholar and alicorn princess sorceress easily make Twilight Sparkle a contender in her own right, but with the help of her friends, this superpowered alicorn becomes an incorruptible, nearly unstoppable force. Hey, it may be cheesy, but it’s true! No one messes with those five when they’re together. (combat sounds) – [Strider] And the third most powerful animated woman is… Marceline and Princess Bubblegum, from Adventure Time. This one is somewhat of a cheat as I’m including two characters, but I just have to include both of them. They’re both great characters. Both Marceline and Princess Bubblegum are seemingly all-powerful in their own way. Bubblegum essentially created civilization and sentient life after the apocalypse, and Marceline is the soul-stealing, vampire-slaying, 1000-year-old immortal daughter of a demon king, who likes to strum the guitar in her spare time. Which, in her case, is quite a lot of time. (guitar strumming)
– ♪ Time will unbind ♪ our memory glue ♪ and I’ll be as nobody-ish ♪ as all of you… – [Strider] But, despite having a thousand years to practice, has never gotten that much better. I mean, she sounds ALRIGHT, but you know, she’s had a thousand years of practice. Marceline was born and raised among humans and shares a deep connection with Simon, A.K.A. the Ice King. Growing up, Marceline dedicated her life hunting vampires and protecting people from them, gaining the power of each vampire she’s staked, including flight, invisibility, transformation, and self-healing. And Princess Bubblegum is… well… she’s essentially the planet’s self-appointed empress. – Banana Battalions Three and Four will initiate Operation Shut The Door, forming a pincer formation around Gumbald’s exposed nether-regions. – [Strider] An incredibly smart scientist, ruler, and world leader, as morally-ambiguous as she can be, she’s always trying to help her kingdom, friends, and planet in any way she can. It’s fine and dandy when you have superpowers at your disposal, but Bubblegum does it all by herself. …well, apart from her ability to blast jellybeans out of her hands. Does… that count as a superpower? (false deep voice)
– [Bubblegum] Finishing move! (spraying) (explosion) – [Strider] And she’s a hell of a diplomat, too. Bubblegum can talk her way out of dangerous situations with some of the most powerful creatures in the universe. PB has an invention for every situation, and her time in the lab has led to… MOSTLY bettering the lives of people. But perhaps not their civil liberties. Though she also delivers a strong commentary on the dangers of mass surveillance, and giving too much power to governments in the process. No matter what intergalactic apocalypse or horror comes their way, almost nothing can stand in the way of Marceline and PB. – Don’t let me sleep too long. Promise to wake me up in 15 minutes. – I promise. – [Strider] And the second most powerful animated woman is… Alexandrite, from Steven Universe. It’s really hard to pick just ONE Gem from Steven Universe, as the show is full of insanely-powerful intergalactic beings that are practically immortal unless completely shattered. But what if we combine the powers and minds of the three Crystal Gems to form a completely new being that can’t be stopped by anything? As the combined form of Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, Alexandrite is the most powerful fusion we’ve seen on the show so far. (roaring) – [Strider] Sporting all the combined minds, mental strength, spirit, and power of all three individual Gems, she stands at 72 feet tall and wields a giant, incinerating fire breath. As all Gems have to be in sync physically, mentally, and emotionally for fusion to work, it can be difficult for fusions to stay together. As such, Alexandrite sometimes struggles to, uh… keep herself together. But thanks to the mutual trust and understanding and care between teammates, Alexandrite still tears through battles, and generally operates as one self-sufficiently oiled tank of power! (crashing) – [Strider] Even if we don’t see her very often, Alexandrite is the unspoken final backup plan the gems call on when everything else has failed. And before we get to number one, just the usual quick Honorable Mentions. Starfire and Raven, from Teen Titans. These two are powerful fighters, but complex and likable at the same time with understandable personal struggles. I’ve left em off the list, though, because I’ve talked about Teen Titans a lot in the past, and not everyone seems to like when I talk about it. But they AT LEAST deserve an Honorable Mention. Toph, from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Certainly one of the most powerful benders to ever live, an incredible earthbender, and even a pioneer of metalbending. She even taught earthbending to one of the Avatars themselves, and she does all this while completely blind. Truly nothing stops this lady. And with those said, onto number one. And the number one most powerful animated woman is… Korra, from Avatar: The Legend of Korra. Easily among the most complex, powerful female characters, from one of the most intense, sophisticated animated shows I’ve seen. In my opinion, Korra displays all the traits and growth of a truly powerful leading hero as the Avatar. Korra has the ability to wield all four elements and bend them to her will, even learning energybending and the incredibly rare ability of metalbending on the spot. As a child, Korra was raised among her tribe of waterbenders where she had already mastered three of the four elements by age four with no problem. When she moved to the city as a teenager to fulfill her duties as the Avatar, she begins training with the son of Aang, the former Avatar. – [Korra] I think I’m doing it wrong. – There’s nothing TO do. Let your mind and your spirit be free. – [Strider] What I like about Korra is we see her grow from this anger and frustration and her personal demons. One of her greatest fights throughout the series is within herself, to find that calm. She’s essentially tasked with the duties of protecting the entire world, being a leader, a diplomat, a warrior, and a general, all at once. Throughout the series, Korra faces many powerful threats, ranging from a xenophobic, fascist cult, an anarchist group that literally poisons her, a dictator, and even a malignant spirit of darkness. But we can also see her emotionally grow throughout these episodes. We see her learning to come to terms with loss and limitations. Korra isn’t just a powerhouse of physical power. But by season four, she emanates the calm and personal control of a world leader, of a woman that has seen cities rise and fall, has stood face-to-face with her mortality, and stood up against powers far greater than her own. Hell, by season three, assassins even try to poison Korra from the inside. (screaming) – [Strider] But she STILL manages to fight them off, and manages to recover both physically and mentally stronger than ever! Even when she’s emotionally crippled by her PTSD after nearly dying… – Your body thinks it is still in danger, but you’re safe here. – [Strider] she manages to face her trauma head-on through time and acceptance commitment therapy. (Korra grunting) – Let it play out. – I can’t! – You can. Accept what happened to you. Don’t fear what might have been. – I have no control! (Korra screaming)
– Don’t be afraid. Hold on. – [Strider] Hell, she freaking bends the poison out of the blood in her veins. Damn I love this character. She is just… awesome. Eventually, in season four, Kuvira, Avatar’s Hitler analogue, tries throwing a giant titanium mecha monster the size of a freaking skyscraper at her. Yet she STILL manages to bring the tyrant down and send the mecha crumbling. (explosion) They even fire a giant spiritual laser at her face, and she fights it off. And saves the dictator in the process! She’s morally right, she’s emotionally balanced, she grows from her mistakes… Just, nothing stands in the way of Korra. Over four seasons, we watch Korra become a calm, incorruptible, unstoppable wind of change in the Avatar world. We see her struggle, but she eventually finds her calm within the chaos. Whenever Korra’s fallen, she’s always gotten back up and kept moving forward. Korra is incredible. I personally consider Korra to be the number one most powerful woman in animation. – But my powers have limits. – You’re wrong. That poison should have killed you. But you were able to fight it off. You think your power has limits. I say it’s limitless. – [Strider] Regardless of our gender, though, these characters have really left an impact on many of us and culture itself. Many of these characters helped revolutionize the way people viewed female characters, with their complexity, their strength, and their personal growth. And many of these ladies have been outright role models to me. And as the years progress, I like seeing these female archetypes change with the times. Some of these characters becoming even more powerful than before. While there’s still many problems and fights to be fought, I like to see in animation the fact that the world is slowly growing. And if you think I missed a particularly powerful female character, or you have a favorite yourself, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. And as always, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next time.