About a month ago I went to see the new Harry Potter movie with some friends. Since I haven’t seen a Harry Potter flick since the second movie I felt a little bored, and at most times lost about what was going on in the film. This post isn’t about Harry Potter though, it’s about Disney’s latest film about the Princess and the Frog.
I was instantly elated, as the trailer started, to see that Disney had done away with computer animation and gone back to the good ole days of old fashioned pen to paper. My animation friend, Dez, told me this film was the first to be done this way in a long time. I about hit the floor when I heard a black woman’s voice and noticed that this princess was a “real” live black girl! The most black people ever to be associated with a Disney production is the current cast of The Lion King on Broadway and the voices of Simba and one of those hyena in the original film. I mean, come on! Is it really that hard to make a Disney heroine black? I was excited, I watched with girl-like joy until I noticed that the character turns into a frog for what seems to be duration of the film.
Have you seen the trailer? The story is about a girl who finds a prince trapped in a frog’s body. As far as I’ve ever heard the story she kisses the frog and gets her prince. In this “twist”, though she herself turns into a frog. I haven’t researched variations of the story of the Princess and the Frog so I can’t confirm or deny that such version exists. All I know is that this is a huge jib and insult.
Finally FINALLY you have a story set in American in what seems to be current times-it’s not pre-colonial Native American era, Victorian England, early 19th Century France, or under the sea. This movie is set in New Orleans circa now. Finally there is a black woman who doesn’t sound like she’s a plantation hand or some Mamie from Gone with the Wind. She sounds, well, like Oprah. Finally the time has come for not only black children but black girl children to have a heroine who looks like them and you turn her into a frog? From the way it looks she’s only really black for the first few minutes of the movie and the last few minutes. True to Disney story telling she’ll be looking for a Prince. Then she finds her Prince. An obstacle will prevent them from being together and the whole movie is based around getting through this obstacle so we can arrive on the other side in a white dress for the Happily Ever After.
It’s bullshit is what it is and a sorry excuse for inclusion. I suppose the folks and Disney are still racist, fascist, anti-Semites after all.