This week’s “Jack the Giant Slayer,” a 3-D retelling of the Jack and the Beanstalk legend, contains all the elements of the classic tale- farm boy, beans, giants, etc. But along for the ride is a new character, Princess Isabelle. At the film’s start, Isabelle has sneaked away in disguise from her overprotective father, the king, to see what the real world is like. Eventually she ends up finding more of an adventure than she’d bargained for when she’s sent skyward into the clutches of some fierce, bloodthirsty giants.

Let’s look at some other movie princesses that enthralled us.

1. Roman Holiday (1953)

Princess Ann is tired of the schedules and demands that are forced upon her during a European tour. When she dares to sneak out one night and enjoy the people and sights of Rome, she crosses paths with American journalist Joe Bradley. Together they do all the things she’s always wanted to do — race around on a scooter, dance under the moonlight and even get into a wild brawl.

2. Star Wars (1977)

Stands up to Darth Vader. Leads the Rebel Alliance in taking on the evil Empire. Enjoys snappy banter with Han Solo. And she does it all with enormous, symmetrical buns on either side of her head. Is there anything Princess Leia can’t do?

3. The Princess Bride (1987)

Don’t let the name Buttercup fool you. This is a woman who’s as resourceful as she is beautiful. And she’d rather risk her life than be forced into a marriage with a man she doesn’t love, the evil Prince Humperdinck. Although she’s kidnapped at one point, Buttercup is no damsel in distress. She survives the Fire Swamp, complete with Rodents of Unusual Size, and many other dangers to be with the man who is her destiny, the virtuous farm boy Westley.

4. A Little Princess (1995)

The girl at its centre isn’t actual royalty. Sara is a child of privilege at an exclusive New York boarding school. When her beloved father is presumed dead while fighting in World War I, Sara is forced into servitude by the school’s cruel headmistress. But no matter the situation, she’s plucky and full of personality, a loyal and generous friend who brings out the best in everyone around her.

5. Princess Mononoke (1999)

She was raised by wolves— what more do you need to know? This gorgeous and wondrous animated fantasy from Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki features a true warrior princess— a fierce young woman named San who can communicate with the spirits. She finds herself in the center of a war between animals, humans (whom she hates) and demons in a mystical 14th century setting.

The film is complex and densely plotted but San’s strength and intensity are never in question.AP