Disney has faced criticisms of white-washing Princess Tiana, but they have blamed CGI for lightening her appearance. (Image via Disney)

Princess Tiana Looks Whiter Nowadays, but Disney’s Taking Steps to Rectify That

Disney’s only black princess looked very different in the new ‘Wreck-It Ralph 2’ trailer.

Screens x

Disney’s only black princess looked very different in the new ‘Wreck-It Ralph 2’ trailer.

Back in August, the trailer for Disney’s sequel to “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2,” premiered to much acclaim and excitement. Fans were thrilled to see their favorite princesses together in one room being all feminist and badass.

Many weren’t so excited, however, with the changes made to Princess Tiana’s appearance. While the animators gave Tiana natural, curly hair, they also made her skin noticeably whiter and her features more Eurocentric.

Fans voiced their disappointment in the white-washing of Disney’s only black princess on Twitter.

@niathomas03 emphatically tweeted, “Princess Tiana is NOT LIGHTSKIN!!! STOP DRAWING HER AS A LIGHT SKIN GIRL! I WANNA SEE HER HOW SHE WAS CREATED. YALL GOT ALL THESE SHADES OF WHITE THERES BROWN PENS TOO TF”

Twitter user @STILLSASHA found fault with the way Tiana’s hair was animated in addition to her facial changes. “I know they didn’t give Princess Tiana medium brown brazilian curly bundles and a medium brown skin tone to match”

@ReignOfApril provided the questioning voice of reason to the argument. “I mean… she still looks like a Black woman (with a questionable wig). But one is hard pressed to see Princess and the Frog Tiana in what they’re giving us now. Hair, complexion, facial features have all been changed. The question is… why?”

And @imanimlewis berated Disney for negatively altering the appearance of such a beloved character. “Y’all don’t understand how important Princess Tiana is to Black girls. We finally had a Disney princess that looked like us, and now, she doesn’t. They gave her Eurocentric features and turned her into a racially ambiguous woman. It’s a no from me, dawg.”

@fueledbykierra personally changed Tiana’s skin and features back to the way they should be.

Thankfully, Disney listened to the critiques and reported to the Wall Street Journal that they are going to re-animate the character.

Anika Noni Rose, the actress who voiced Tiana in the original film, “The Princess and the Frog,” posted a lengthy piece on Instagram in which she made her own opinions and involvement in the situation clear.

“I’ve been very quiet on this subject because it was important for me to do my due diligence before publicly addressing something as near and dear to my heart (and face) as Princess Tiana,” Rose wrote in her post. “This summer new images were released where she looked very different, with lighter skin and much sharper features …

“My team and I immediately put in a call to the studio to talk about the visual changes… 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 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…”

Thanks to Rose’s involvement and fans’ vocal critiques, Disney is now taking steps “to bring those things back that got lost in the movie from hand-drawn to CGI.”

Leave a Reply