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Disney to come out with first African American princess — thoughts?

June 2, 2009

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Walt Disney Pictures, who are not technically famed for their cultural sensitivity, is coming out with their first ever African American animated female lead in a movie.

The Princess and the Frog, out this December, is a set in New Orleans and according to the official website is “a modern twist on a classic tale, featuring a beautiful girl named Tiana (ANIKA NONI ROSE), a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again, and a fateful kiss that leads them both on a hilarious adventure through the mystical bayous of Louisiana.”

The movie is already being received with both negative and positive feedback, according to a New York Times article, with the former arguing that the prince being a “relatively light color” and the princess spending most of her screen time as a frog is culturally insensitive. Others say it’s a positive change for younger women to look to, instead of the typically lighter skinned female leads like Ariel in The Little Mermaid and Cinderella.

See trailer here:

I think it will be tough for Disney to juggle all the issues at hand just considering their history(though they have been reported to receiving consultations from the likes of Oprah and the NAACP), but we’ll see.

What do you think about their attempt to have more minority presence in their films?


One thought on “Disney to come out with first African American princess — thoughts?

  1. Sabrina Siddiqui

    Personally I think it’s great. I think any time a major production house tries to tackle minority issues, they will deal with criticisms from various parties. That’s just the way it works, and no one will ever be fully satisfied with the end product. I do like that they are at least making the effort to diversify their portfolio, and even though people had serious issues with Aladdin and Pocahontas way back when, I also think that they at least showed other ethnic groups for a change. Oh, and I like that they used the old-school animation for this one rather than the likes of Pixar/DreamWorks. It gives it that Disney classic feel.

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