Anika Noni Rose Celebrates Ten Years of THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG
As the ten year anniversary of the hit animated film, The Princess and the Frog approaches, Tony Award-winner Anika Noni Rose is reflecting on her role as the first black Disney princess.
She tells Variety, "Being the first black Disney princess, that was such a first and it really has changed the way young brown children are looked at in school and fantasy when they are playing. It's no longer 'You can't be the princess.' It's expected and normal."
She continued, "And I see children of all different ethnicities wearing their Tiana gear so what it says is that she speaks to people on so many different levels. Babies aren't looking at her for her skin color. When they see her and they look like them, they aren't old enough to know what that means. They just know that they feel something good. When they see her and she doesn't look like them, it's still them because they are babies and they recognize her spirit and her heart and her gumption and I think that is a great thing."
With the casting of Halley Bailey as Ariel in the upcoming remake of The Little Mermaid, Rose is looking forward to the evolution of casting, at Disney and everywhere else.
"In the landscape of our country, we are seeing more people of color, so it would make sense to have that reflected on screen," she said. "It would make sense for them to be living in lands where they are talking to princesses who don't look like them, where they have a multicultural landscape."
A musical set in the legendary birthplace of jazz -- New Orleans -- "The Princess and the Frog" tells the story of Tiana, a young African-American girl living amid the charming elegance and grandeur of the fabled French Quarter. From the heart of Louisiana's mystical bayous and the banks of the mighty Mississippi the film weaves an unforgettable tale of love, enchantment and discovery with a soulful singing crocodile, voodoo spells and Cajun charm at every turn.
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