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Thread: Disney to release film featuring its first ever black princess

  1. #1
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default Disney to release film featuring its first ever black princess

    Move over Snow White. Make room for Disney’s first black princess.
    With America’s first African-American president in the White House, Disney is counting on an African-American princess to be a big hit in Hollywood.
    But even though The Princess and the Frog isn’t released until later this year, it is already stirring up controversy.

    Disney's first black princess, Princess Tiana - and the 'white' Prince Naveen

    For while Princess Tiana and many in the cartoon cast are black – the prince is not.
    Which has led some critics to complain that Disney has ducked the opportunity for a fairytale ending for a black prince and princess.
    While some have hailed Disney’s decision as a reflection of melting pot America, others say the company is sending out a mixed message.
    Although the black princess’s love interest in the new animated musical is called Prince Naveen of Maldonia and is voiced by a Brazilian actor, he looks more white than black in photographs from the film that Disney have released.
    Since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, all of Disney’s princesses have predominantly been white.
    A native Indian princess was featured in Pocahontas and Jasmine in Aladdin had a Middle Eastern appearance.

    Princess Tiana in a scene from film, based on the tale of The Frog Prince

    The race row hasn’t yet hit the mainstream because the film’s release date isn’t until late in the year, but Internet chat rooms and blogs have been abuzz with complaints.
    One disappointed fan wrote (sic): 'I think it's sad that he is white because its saying that black love isn't good enough and that black men could never be princes.
    ‘Disney had the perfect chance to make its first black prince, but instead it decided to go the controversial route.'
    Another complained (sic): ‘I am very disappointed and I wished Disney had made the prince black,(and the ironic thing is the prince in the movie is white but the evil voodoo villain is voiced by a black actor and is black).’
    Since announcing their plans for the first black princess in 2006 the production of Hollywood studio's 49th animated film has been dogged by racial controversy.
    Originally called The Frog Princess, its heroine was to be a chambermaid called Maddy working for a spoilt white debutante in 1920s New Orleans.
    But the storyline sparked a backlash from critics who claimed it reinforced prejudice and demeaned black people.
    The princess’s original name was perceived by some to be a stereotypical ‘slave name’ and she was also a maid working for a wealthy white boss, which was criticised as being racially insensitive.
    Even the New Orleans setting for the film was questioned as it had overtones of voodoo and slavery.
    Disney has insisted its choice of a black princess was part of a policy to give characters as much diversity as possible.

    As all princesses do, Tiana wishes upon a star in the film which is due for release later this year

    In the past, founder Walt Disney has been accused of being racist, particularly against Jews and blacks.
    One extreme example often cited by his critics was in The Jungle Book which was made in 1964 at the height of the civil rights movement.
    In one scene, Mowgli is told he can't live with Baloo the bear because different species need to keep to themselves.
    Disney also ran into trouble when creating the character of Pocahontas in 1995 for the retelling of the encounter between an English settler and a Native American princess.
    Animators were accused of modelling Pocahontas on model Naomi Campbell, although they said they had used Native American faces as their inspiration.

    Tiana looks doubtful as Naveen - newly turned into a frog - puckers up

    Anika Noni Rose, the black actress who voices the character of Princess Tiana, has insisted that people should look beyond the colour of the character.
    ‘Not only is she the first black princess, she’s the first American princess. We’ve never had an American princess,’ said Rose.
    ‘The scope and the significance is larger than people even realise,’ she added.
    Rose has starred in Dreamgirls but is best known in Britain as the officious secretary Grace in the new BBC series The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency.
    The film also features the voice of chat show queen Oprah Winfrey as Tiana's mother called Eudora. The film is scheduled for release in December.
    Although set in 1920s New Orleans it an adaptation of the classic tale The Frog Prince.
    In the Disney version, Prince Naveen is turned into a frog by a voodoo magician and asks Princess Tiana to kiss him to break the spell.
    But she turns into a frog and the pair must reverse the spell, while in true fairy tale tradition, they fall in love.
    Nobody from Disney was available to comment tonight.

    Mama Odie, the 'good' voodoo priestess of the bayou, from the film

    Disney to release film featuring its first ever black princess... but viewers are outraged that her prince appears WHITE | Mail Online

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Bronze Member Banshee's Avatar
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    Instead of seeing this as Disney not making the prince black, why can't people be excited that interracial love is being depicted as a fairytale? That is something that is still not accepted by all people and I think it's great that Disney didn't shy away from it. Some people's determination to never see things in a good light baffles me.

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banshee View Post
    Instead of seeing this as Disney not making the prince black, why can't people be excited that interracial love is being depicted as a fairytale? That is something that is still not accepted by all people and I think it's great that Disney didn't shy away from it. Some people's determination to never see things in a good light baffles me.
    I see your point but why not have a Black prince too (not that I have an issue with the IR aspect of it). It's always been somewhat more "acceptable" for white males to have relationships with women of color in the movies, definitely not so much the other way (white female/male of color). So it's not like Disney is doing anything particularly "daring" to me it seems forced.

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    What do they mean, the first American Princess. Hello? Pocahontas?

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    african american

    and my god, people bitched disney didnt have a black princess, so they made one, now they're bitching because the rest of the animated cast isn't black to go with her.

    wtf is she, a couch?

    Geesh.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    So glad none of my kids liked/likes Disney. I think the whole storyline is just ridiculous. There so many other fairy tales they could use to vault the new black princess from without all the racial trappings.

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    Um, hello? The prince looks mixed :/

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    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    I didn't realize he was "white" until I read it in the story; he just looks lighter skinned African American to me..

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    He does look mixed. Or like you can't quite place his race or heritage. I like that, it reflects the mixed heritage of America.

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    Silver Member FlyByKnightRider's Avatar
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    Am I the only one offended by Mama Odie? It reeks of the ultimate "mammy" image.

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    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyByKnightRider View Post
    Am I the only one offended by Mama Odie? It reeks of the ultimate "mammy" image.
    Not at all; "mammy" would be more like this:

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    Elite Member MrsMarsters's Avatar
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    Well it's better than the racist cartoons they had back in the day.

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    that guy's hot and im glad they're getting back to the princess stories they're my favorite, i hate all that other crap disney has been doing lately. she's cute too

    ill prolly go see this cuz im a dumbass

    seriously i love Aladdin, the little mermaid and of course all the older princess movies, never really liked beauty and the beast though, the beast was too mean and belle was boring to me...

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    Elite Member angelais's Avatar
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    The prince does look mixed. Italian/Latino/Black. Who knows. I think people read too much into it. So what if the prince isn't "black". The princess is and she'll hook up with him in the end, and they'll live happily ever after.
    Did you know that an anagram for "Conscious Uncoupling" is "Iconic Uncool Pus Guns"? - MohandasKGanja

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