When the “Wreck It Ralph 2” trailer was released, fans took notice to the changes they made in the most talked about scene in the movie where all of the Disney Channel princesses are spotted together. The detail that caused the most controversy was that Princess Tiana, the franchises’ first African-American princess, was pictured with lighter skin, a sharper nose, and loose curls.
It may not seem like a big deal to some, but to young ethnic children, it was a historical moment when Disney introduced “The Princess and the Frog” starring a character with dark skin, coiled hair, and a wide nose.
The New Orleans aspiring restaurant owner was voiced by “Dreamgirls” actress Anika Noni Rose which is who the original Tiana was modeled after.
When the new version was spotted in “Wreck It Ralph 2” trailer, fans immediately called it out as a step back for inclusion.
Rose took it upon herself to meet with the Disney animators and explained the problem.
The actress wrote in an Instagram post: “My team and I immediately put in a call to the studio to talk about the visual changes, and three weeks ago I had a meeting in person with the ‘Wreck It Ralph’ team, my original animator Mark Henn, and others. They explained how CGI animation did different things to the characters’ color tones in different light compared to hand-drawn original characters, and 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 in fantasy.”
Her post went on to reveal that she and the Disney animators came to an agreement to adjust Tiana’s appearance.
“It was important to me to hear what Disney had to say, and to have an open dialogue about legacy and representation. I also 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. In doing so, they recognize that her legacy is also their legacy; two things I’m very proud to be a part of.”
It’s great to see that the company is moving forward with their effort for inclusion. “Wreck It Ralph 2” hits theaters on November 21.