A casting call for The Princess and the Frog began in late 2006 so this movie dispels the rumors that it only came about because of the election of President Barack Obama. I heard about this movie before President Obama announced that he was running for president. The star of the film, Princess Tiana, is voiced by actress Anika Noni Rose and Prince Naveen is voiced by Bruno Campos.
I have blogged about the movie a couple of times and I have mentioned some of the complaints coming from some black folks. The article mentions similar complaints the movie has already received despite the fact that the movie hasn’t been released yet:
After viewing some photographs of merchandise tied to the movie, which is still unfinished, Black Voices, a Web site on AOL dedicated to African-American culture, faulted the prince’s relatively light skin color. Prince Naveen hails from the fictional land of Maldonia and is voiced by a Brazilian actor; Disney says that he is not white.
“Disney obviously doesn’t think a black man is worthy of the title of prince,” Angela Bronner Helm wrote March 19 on the site. “His hair and features are decidedly non-black. This has left many in the community shaking their head in befuddlement and even rage.”
Shaking their heads in befuddlement and rage? Lol, not me. I don’t have a problem with a non black prince being the love interest of a black princess in a Disney movie. It’s not on my list of top 50 concerns. Hell it’s not on my radar. Can black women have the freedom to choose who they want to be with?
Others see insensitivity in the locale.
“Disney should be ashamed,” William Blackburn, a former columnist at The Charlotte Observer, told London’s Daily Telegraph. “This princess story is set in New Orleans, the setting of one of the most devastating tragedies to beset a black community.”
I haven’t heard any complaints about the New Orleans location. So according to Mr. Blackburn, New Orleans is off limits when it comes to where a movie takes place. I swear some folks need to take a chill pill.
Of course, armchair critics have also been complaining about the princess. Disney originally called her Maddy (short for Madeleine). Too much like Mammy and thus racist. A rumor surfaced on the Internet that an early script called for her to be a chambermaid to a white woman, a historically correct profession. Too much like slavery.
I blogged about the name situation last year. I mentioned that Maddy is usually short for Madeleine or Madison. But some black folks were hearing Mammy instead of Maddy (smdh). All of these complaints and the movie won’t be released until December. Like I stated before, we are some hard to please folks.
You can read the entire New York Times article here and check out the latest trailer for The Princess and the Frog.