Disney was called out for changing Princess Tiana’s hair, skin tone, and facial features
Disney has recreated the artwork for Ralph Breaks the Internet after being rightfully called out over changing Princess Tiana’s features from the original movie.
When the new teasers for the sequel to Wreck-It Ralph showed up over the summer, everyone was a bit confused as to why Princess Tiana didn’t look like herself from The Princess and the Frog. It was apparent that Disney had lightened her skin tone, narrowed her nose, and lightened her hair when you looked at old images of Princess Tiana from 2008. Fans used social media to let Disney know that the changes were not okay. And, thankfully, Disney fixed it. They started to re-create the scenes featuring Princess Tiana as soon as they read the criticism online, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Anika Noni Rose, the actress who voices Tiana, met with Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph team and Tiana’s original animator, Mark Henn, following the backlash online. Rose said the studio claimed the changes in her skin tone happened during the transition from hand-drawn animation to CGI. “I was able to express how important it is to the little girls (and let’s face it, grown women) who felt represented by her that her skin tone stay as rich as it had been, and that her nose continue to be the little round nose that Mark so beautifully rendered in the movie; the same nose on my very own face [and] on many other little brown faces around the world, that we so rarely get to see represented,” Rose wrote on Instagram when it was announced that Disney re-did the animation.
Disney also met with the advocacy group Color of Change, which works to improve racial representation and political equality. They told The WSJ they were happy to see Disney “restore Princess Tiana’s image to that of an unapologetically black princess with full lips, dark skin and dark hair.”
Now, she’s looking much more like the Princess Tiana we know and love.
The changes to Tiana should have never happened in the first place. And many critics have pointed out that if Hollywood studios hired more people of color, then Disney probably would have avoided this mishap altogether. Still, it’s encouraging to see that the studio took the time to correct the mistake. “I appreciate that this far into the process Disney had enough care and respect for all who love Princess Tiana and her legacy to spend the time and money to make the adjustments necessary,” Rose said.
Ralph Breaks the Internet hits theaters November 21.
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