Monday, March 30, 2009

A Black Princess for Disney

Disney's new animated movie The Princess and the Frog is set to come out in December and features Disney's first Black princess. How 'bout that!
Good, it's about time.
'The Princess and the Frog' is set in New Orleans in the 1920's. Princess Tiana is voiced by actress Anika Noni Rose and Oprah Winfrey is voicing Eudora, Tiana's mother. Good cast.
But, there is some flack going 'round because her knight in shining animated handsomeness is white. Well he's tan, but not black. Well, he could be Black since I don't know his fictional heritage, but I guess some folks are upset that he just doesn't look black.

Prince Naveen is from Maldonia. Maldonia is a made up place and I suppose it could be made up to be a part of the African diaspora. Naveen is voiced by a Brazilian actor so there may be an accent involved. I don't know.

Disney not brave enough to have a Black Prince along with the princess? Doesn't portraying an inter-racial couple in 1920's Louisiana take some bravery? Hmmmm.
Then there is the toothless antebellum slave talking firefly character in the film. Again, hmmmmm. Well, until I can see it or know more about how it's presented, it's hard to say what Disney is up to.

I do know that the Prince is turned into a frog in the story, so black is not the color he or Princess Tiana are primarily concerned about. You think?


Chris said...

Hey, green is good since he'll be a frog! I guess I'll be seeing the movie with the grandgirls...okay, it's a race! Let's see who sees it first! If you like animation, and 3D, you have to go see Coraline! We loved it!!!!!!!!

Jackie said...

Thanks for the heads up about Coraline.
Yeah, if you are turned into a frog, your human skin color is not your main problem. lol.

Monica Roberts said...

And some peeps in the blogosphere are griping because he looks to some of them like Rick Fox

Nikki P said...

I actually think it's pretty cool that the prince isn't black. i'm a mixed girl (black and indian) and am stoked that there's finally a black princess! i was also very excited about the interracial couple thing, b/c i tend to be attracted to guys outside my race, plus my parents are an interracial couple. it's just nice to have some media validation of interracial romance, that it's slowly becoming part of the norm.

but i can also understand the frustration people may feel that the prince isn't black. that never occurred to me til i read this blog. oh, the sensitivity of it all. i can't wait until these issues won't even matter anymore in America. this is the only 1st world country where it really matters, you know?

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm sure there is a reason for the prince being "Maldonian?" Maybe its to make him appear more foreign? Still, I too think the characters are probably more concerned with green...LOL

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know, the firefly is Cajun, who are an old Francophone ethnic group, traditionally living in the swamps surround the New Orleans area.