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"Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a young prince lived in a shining castle."
Narrator, Disney's Beauty and the Beast

A classic trope within Fairytales, the Bright Castle is a beautiful structure usually owned by a monarch, magician or powerful creature. It is picturesque, but sometimes cursed or with a dark secret. It can also be the home of the protagonist, who often must either leave the sanctuary, or save it from imminent doom.

The Bright Castle may also contain the MacGuffin, or Deus Ex Machina that the heroes need. It can also represent an ordeal or trap that they must overcome to better both themselves and their cause. May also be a Big Fancy Castle. Often a feature of the Shining City.

Examples of Bright Castle include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, the Bright Castle was a (field) spellcard that affected light-based monsters.
    • The anime also provides a more typical example in the form of the castle of Simlow, home of Princess Adina
  • The castle from Revolutionary Girl Utena.
  • The Kanejou family from B Gata H Kei lives in one. Played for Laughs, naturally.


  • The castle on the Disney logo, which is in turn based on Cinderella's castle. Almost ALL of the Disney Princess films feature this to some extent
    • Snow White's Prince whisked her off to one at the end of the film
    • As mentioned above, Cinderella's prince lives in one, which Cinderella fantasizes about and eventually goes to the famous ball there.
    • Sleeping Beauty lives within one; it is surrounded by a Hedge of Thorns.
    • The Prince in Beauty and the Beast lives in this trope until the Enchantress appears and puts a curse on it. While it is still quite beautiful in many respects, there are signs of what happened there in the decor -- beast face-shaped doorknockers, gargoyles, etc.
    • The Little Mermaid has two: Triton's palace in Atlantica, and Eric's castle by the sea.
    • Aladdin has the Sultan's palace.
    • Pride Rock from The Lion King.
    • Mount Olympus from Hercules.
    • The Imperial Palace from Mulan.
    • Kuzco's palace from The Emperors New Groove.
    • Nedakh Palace from Atlantis the Lost Empire.
    • Tangled has the royal castle of the Kingdom of the Sun.
    • Enchanted, being an Affectionate Parody of Disney Princess films, of course has the castle of Prince Edward. Parodied in New York with the billboard castle.
  • Far Far Away Castle from the Shrek films.


Live Action TV

  • Seen in the first episode of Once Upon a Time (and occasional flashbacks since then). Snow White and Prince Charming were married in it, although oddly, we're never told whose castle it was.

Real Life

Western Animation

Video Games

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