I don't know if you all know about it yet, but Disney is releasing its first animated movie with a Black princess- that's right! The eighth Disney Princess is BLACK!
This holiday season, Disney will release the animated tale of The Frog Prince, a tale akin to Beauty and the Beast in that a prince is cursed (I cannot remember why in this particular tale) and made into a creature not all that attractive to the masses and the only key to his redemption is a kiss. Yes, in all fairytale, your problems can be solved with a kiss (if only). Also like BATB, you never really know what happens afterward, it's all chocked up to "happily ever after."
In this new Disney version, however, there is more added to the plot. We get to see things after the kiss (with a nice, but predictable, twist) and we get to explore the worlds of the characters.
The last paragraph is where I start to lose my faith in people. Here's just a few of the reactions people have to that and "why" (they think it's all valid, I think it's quite hypocritical) they have them:
-the princess will be named "Tiana": the name's "too ethnic" (and if they had named her "Ashley," it would have been too "white"...or "Jessica," or "Kendra" for that fact ...)
-Tiana is colored (she's a cartoon after all) somewhere between a mocha with cream and a nice dark caramel: she's not "dark enough" (but if she'd have been blue black they would have cried "you're alluding to slaves" or something else just to complain)
-Tiana is a frog for part of the movie: it's racist (no, you're mad that the first black princess will be turned into a frog...I don't remember ever hearing a word about how Cinderella was treated, don't remember anything about the sexism in Mulan, the imprisonment or Aurora in Sleeping beauty- it's because Tiana is black, that's why they're mad about the frog thing)
-the prince is "racially ambiguous": Why couldn't he black? Why does he look white? Why is he voiced by a Brazilian actor? Why can't Disney depict a strong black couple? (Oh, do shut up! It's two thousand effing nine for crying out loud! Yes, Black love is something strong and powerful, but so is White love, Hispanic love, and INTERRACIAL LOVE. But let's be honest, how are you really sure that all of the above aren't actually INTERRACIAL LOVE. We are no longer a society of race-defined love -I know I used race to define it earlier, that was for clarity's sake-, so why shouldn't the movie reflect that?)
-it's set in New Orleans: It's too soon after Hurricane Katrina, that's callous and exploitative of an area that has taken too hard a blow (I'll give you that New Orleans still has some unhealed wounds, but do you know what this movie could do to heal them? Can you imagine all the little girls who want to see where Princess Tiana lives? It won't be like Snow White, Cinderella, or Sleeping Beauty, movies that were all set "once upon a time" and in some far off kingdom- New Orleans is tangible and it means something to people. All publicity is good publicity....)
-the prince is cursed by a witch doctor and there is a distinct voodoo element to the movie: it's demeaning and stereotypical (stereotypical, yes...I'm iffy on "demeaning" because it's really just a plot point. voodoo/black magic was used for relevance within the setting. That's definitely stereotypical, but wouldn't it be just the least bit suspicious if some bulbous little spirit popped in and cursed the prince?)
-it's about a princess: princesses are unrealistic (Shut the hell up. Enough said.)
All and all, I want to see the movie because the trailer (which you can watch herealthough it is within an article) actually seems interesting. It's a children's movie, let's please allow children the ignorance and bliss of not having to rip every little cartoon and/or movie they watch down to how insulting it is to the world. What's next? We can't sing Ring Around the Rosies in kindergarten anymore?HTML:http://www.comcast.net/news/badeaupov/939/disneysfirstblackprincessdrawsfire/?intcid=FCHPFooter_disneyprincess_0610
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