The Princess and the Frog: Original Songs and ...

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The film “The  Princess and the Frog” garnered both accolades and criticism regarding the portrayal of their first animated feature film with an African-American in the lead role. A Princess, no doubt, to add to the bountiful everything-else-but images we have been inundated with up until this time. Ariel, Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, and they even had Mulan, Pocahontas and Jasmine thrown in for good measure but until this film, all the little black girls did not see their own likeness reflected in these movies. 

I had heard some grumblings from my friends who were going to boycott “The Princess and the Frog” saying “why she gotta be the Princess of the Swamp?” lol. But I dressed my daughter up like the princess she is and we happily bought our tickets to this historical event. 

One thing is certain though. How white was John Smith to the Indian Pocahontas? And Prince Charming from Cinderella? There was no mistaking the “whiteness” of these male protagonists who epitomized the alpha male which all young girls came to idealize as the archetype for the “man of their dreams”. 

Let’s look at Naveen, the Prince of Monrovia. 

He’s in-between..Racially ambiguous.  

And most other Disney covers feature both the love interest and the Princess, yet her cover is her kissing a frog. 

Perhaps the marketability of this film depended on whether, what Disney perceived, as the general public not being ready to accept a full-on love story between a black woman and a white man. In regular, non-animated films we still have yet to see a variety of films which include a black woman and a white man since Jungle Fever. 

Hopefully, we can get there one day as in real life this is not the case. 

At least my daughter can see herself represented in the Disney Princess collection now. I guess we have to take it one step at a time.