The Princess and the Frog finally gave millions of Black women and girls a Disney princess they finally resembled: Princess Tiana.
But nearly a decade after the film’s original release, the princess returned this summer in the new Wreck-It-Ralph sequel, and she looked…different. Princess Tiana’s complexion appeared to be lighter and distinct facial characteristics were altered, negating the representation that we thought we had finally achieved.
Anika Noni Rose, who voiced Princess Tiana in the 2009 animated film was not having it.
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In a message posted to her Instagram account, she details her dismay and confusion for the newly released images stating, “I was as surprised as most of her & my fans were.”
However, she decided to be proactive in making a change. Rose made a direct call to Disney, who even offered to meet with the film’s former star. Their explanation?
“CGI did different things to the characters’ color tones in different light compared to hand drawn characters,” they elaborated, Rose claimed.
Still, Rose reiterated to them the importance of representation for Black women and girls around the world, and what this character meant to an entire generation.
“I was able to express how important it is for little girls (and let’s face it, grown women), who felt represented by her that her skin tone stay as rich as it had been, and that her nose continue to be the beautiful little round nose that was so beautifully rendered in the movie,” she said.
Are you buying Disney’s excuse?