Anika Noni Rose
Kathy Hutchins /

Tiana was Disney’s first African American Princess and remains the only one at this point.  As such, she holds a high honor in pop culture in general and especially to the millions of black females (or males for that matter) of any nationality that see her as an inspirational figure.

Naturally, she was included in a scene in the upcoming ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ sequel ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’, but things backfired when images of her in that film were released.  In what is probably a cute scene, Vanellope encounters all of the Disney Princesses and encourages them to ditch the tight, formal gowns and slip into some more comfortable clothes.  After that, we see the Princesses lounging in pajamas and sweats.  However, for whatever reason, Tiana… well, no longer looks like Tiana.  Not only are her skin and hair decidedly lighter, but some of her more African features, like her nose, seem streamlined into a more ethnically ambiguous/mixed race appearance.

Fans lashed out online and Disney has announced that they are going back in to alter the animation in these scenes to make Tiana look the way she did in ‘The Princess and the Frog’, with darker skin, black hair and a rounder nose.

As it turns out, this about-face was spurred by none other than Anika Noni Rose, the actor who lent her pipes to Tiana in ‘The Princess and the Frog’ and returned for ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’.  As she states:

“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 [on The Princess and the Frog] 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.”

In all fairness, it seems the ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ snafu was just a mistake, with no harm intended.

When this controversy first broke, one Twitter user posted this video showing the ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ animation team celebrating the wrap of the movie:

Yep, all dudes and mostly white ones.  Honestly, I think this was more a matter of ignorance or insensitivity.  But now that the issue has been raised, Disney is addressing it accordingly.

Do you agree?

‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ stars John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman, with Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson, Jane Lynch, Jack McBrayer, Alfred Molina, Ed O’Neill, and Alan Tudyk and hits theaters on November 21.

Source: Cinema Blend