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The Princess is an African Queen

It’s a “first” that should have come a long time ago… anyhow (better late than never) Disney has created a black cartoon character.

The African-American heroine in the animated Princess and the Frog has been going down a storm in the States since being released. And we’re sure it will be a hit in Britain too when the film is released here.

90 years after Walt Disney started drawing cartoons, this moment has been a long time in coming.

Of course the Pocahontas movie – about a native Indian girl – was a huge hit when it came out in 1995, with dolls and other merchandise selling to all communities. There’s no reason to believe that the same won’t be the case for Princess and the Frog.

The Princess’s is called Tiana, a name that sounds quite African-American. However it’s worth noting that the heroine (voice of actress Anika Noni Rose) has been given quite light skin. Let’s hope this wasn’t an attempt to make the character more ‘sellable’ to the mass market.

But anyway, it’s still a “first” and therefore worth celebrating.

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2 Responses

  1. This is indeed a good breakthrough and as much as we think we should celebrate the colour barrier is not fully broken how come the prince looks the same as in every film. If anything we shouldnt be promoting watching disney anyway but that could jus be my opinion.(fear enough young African american girls have a idol but what about young black males? arent we allowed to have a cartoon character which we favour cause we can see our selves being them) when they make a black family with a good story line will we see some change.

  2. Umm Pocahontas was NOT a ‘Native Indian girl’- she was an indigenous American woman, Pocahontas was also hardly a progressive representation of the Native American narrative. Secondly I feel the point about Princess Tianna’s complexion is a derisive point- Black people come in all shades and I feel such a point is rather redundant and exclusionary. We need to make moves to get far beyond all this!

    I often feel that if critique is to be launched, then we should endeavour to make it thorough and developed or refrain from commentary. Unfortunately I feel this article is an example of latter, lacking in intelligible critique.

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