Seventy years ago, Snow White made history for Walt Disney as the star of his first full-length film. In would be 12 years before another princess followed in her footsteps, but follow they would. First came Cinderella (1950), then Sleeping Beauty (1959), Ariel (1989) and Belle (1991).
What did these five princesses all have it common – they were all white. It wasn’t until Alladin was released in 1992, that Disney showcased its first non-Caucasian princess with Jasmine. The diversity continued with Pocahontas (1995) and Mulan (1998).
Now in the 21st Century, Disney will release its first African-American princess in The Princess and the Frog. Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls) will be the voice of Princess Tiana, a young girl who lives in the French Quarter of New Orleans during the Jazz age. Expect lots of Cajun charm.
No word on who her prince will be. But
since I’m guessing Disney isn’t ready to tackle interracial couples (at least not in cartoons), I expect the prince to also be African-American.
Dr. Facilier, the villian, will be voiced by Keith David (Delta Force, ER).
The Princess and the Frog is expected to be released in late 2009.
Photo courtesy of Disney.