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Frog Princess - Disney's First Black Princess


Ryan King

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3/19/07

Quoting Blogging New Orleans

http://www.bloggingneworleans.com/2007/03/08/disneys-frog-princess-to-be-set-in-new-orleans/

 

Today began Disney's annual stockholder meeting, which is being held here by the way, and a major movie announcement came out. It seems that the latest animated feature film from Walt Disney Pictures The Frog Princess will be set in 1920s New Orleans and start an African American girl who becomes a princess (I think this is the first African American Disney Princess) throughout the Americanized re-telling of the Russian fairy tale The Frog Princess. In the middle of the summer at Comic Con it Disney told everyone this film would mark a return to traditional drawn feature film for the company. Then, in December, Animated News found a Disney casting call for the feature that included full descriptions of all the main characters of the film

 

[MADDY] A 19-year-old African American chambermaid. Bright, resourceful, ambitious, intense. A little too grown-up for her age. Dialect: Mild southern colloquial.

[CHARLOTTE] 18 years old. A spoiled, southern debutante. A diva. Comic "steel magnolia". Bossy but insecure. Dialect: Southern belle.

[DR. DUVALIER] A 30-40 year old Voodoo magician/fortune teller. African American. Charming, charismatic, smooth and a sinister bad guy. Theatrical and grandiose. Dialect: Elegant, possibly New Orleans Creole.

[MAMA ODIE] An elderly, 200 year old Voodoo priestess/fairy god-mother. African American. Broad, comic, eccentric. Benevolent, wise and all knowing. A mixture of Moms Mabley & Yoda. Dialect: Southern colloquial.

[RAY] A 25-35 year old lovesick Cajun firefly. Warm, friendly, laid back and easygoing. Comically obtuse. Missing front tooth, has a lisp and occasionally speaks in Cajun French. LOOKING FOR AUTHENTIC CAJUN ACTORS.

 

This is a great thing for the city and hopefully will include a relatively (for a cartoon) good portrayal of New Orleans natives (though is unlikely the Cajun will be smart and all of the voices are likely to be Southern rathern than Creole or New Orleanian). The dates of release vary depending on where you look, but Disney owned ABCNEWS's version of the AP story says 2009. I think this is also the first Disney cartoon set in the New Orleans/Louisiana area since The Rescuers and may even avoid the gator cliche in order to have the Voodoo one.

 

3/19/07

Quoting Wikipedia.org

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Frog_Princess_

 

ALSO - I Only cut out SOME of the Wikipedia Link, PLEASE go and read the entire Article!

 

The Frog Princess is an animated film currently in development by Walt Disney Feature Animation. It will be the first traditionally animated (2-D) feature film in Disney's animated features canon since 2004's Home on the Range. It will be directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, with music composed by Randy Newman. It is currently scheduled for release in 2009.[1]

 

The film will be an American fairy tale musical set in New Orleans during the 1920s Jazz Age, and the leading character, Maddy, will be the first African-American Disney Princess.[2]

 

CHARACTERS

 

A list of the film's major characters, as revealed in its casting call:

 

Maddy - A 19-year-old chambermaid.

Charlotte La Bouff - A 18-year-old spoiled, southern Debutante and Diva.

Dr. Duvalier - An African American Voodoo magician/fortune teller. The villain of the movie.

Mama Odie - An elderly, 200-year-old Voodoo priestess/fairy god-mother.

Ray - A lovesick Cajun firefly.

Louis - A Jazz singer alligator.

Prince Harry - A gregarious, fun-loving European Prince, in his early twenties.

Lawrence - Prince Harry's pompous valet.

Big Daddy La Bouff - Wealthy, Southern plantation landowner and father of Charlotte La Bouff.

Eudora - Maddy's mother. In her fifties. Used to be Charlotte's nurse maid.

George - The La Bouff family's cook.

Little Arila - Maddy's little sister. She's little, but very smart.

 

 

The More and More I read about this film..the more I begin to dislike it. Being in the place of New Orleans and introducing spoiled Southern

girls, Voodoo Fortune Tellers and Wealthy Southern Plantation Owners. What is Disney trying to show here? I really DONT get the meaning of this film...

This film, in my opinion, seems VERY out of place.

 

Thoughts? Concerns? Please Discuss!

 

 

3/15/07

Quoting CNN

http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/Movies/03/15/disney.newprincess.ap/index.html

 

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AP) -- The Walt Disney Co. has started production on an animated musical fairy tale called "The Frog Princess," which will be set in New Orleans and feature the Walt Disney Studio's first black princess.

 

The company unveiled the plans at its annual shareholders' meeting in New Orleans.

 

John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Disney and the Disney-owned unit Pixar Animation Studios, said the movie would return to the classic hand-drawn animation process, instead of using computer animation that has become the industry standard. He called the film "an American fairy tale."

 

"The film's New Orleans setting and strong princess character give the film lots of excitement and texture," Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook said.

 

The movie will be scored by Randy Newman, who also wrote the music for Disney's "Toy Story," "A Bug's Life," "Toy Story 2," "Monsters, Inc." and "Cars."

 

Newman performed a song from the score for the shareholders.

 

John Musker and Ron Clements, who co-directed "The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin," and "Hercules" will co-direct the movie. The pair also wrote the story for the film.

 

Disney said its new animated princess -- Maddy -- will be added to its collection of animated princesses used at the company's theme parks and on consumer products.

 

The film is set for release in 2009.

 

Thoughts?

 

-Ryan

Frog.jpg.e4bde9116471653213e2a64b1b86ce4a.jpg

Frog.jpg.e0a594dd3d84456f14733e940769a00b.jpg

Logo For the Movie

Forg.jpg.6882324a383d7aeccaa8196c50b2a1fb.jpg

More Character Concepts...

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It's hard to say how this will turn out, as details are scarce.

 

I think returning to old school animation is a nice move. I haven't liked most of the Pixar stuff, except for the Incredibles. But, I'm not in their target demographic, so who cares what I think.

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Hmmmm...a chance to add a black princess to the "Disney Princess" line...whole thing reeks of opportunism for me, from the standpoint of the Disney company.

 

Still, I'm more interested in how they present this one as a character. If she's just going to be a shallow collection of tired black stereotypes dressed up in the Disney way, I'll be less interested in the film itself.

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First of all, I speak for my great-niece, Madelyn, age 3, when I say.... Maddie IS, in fact, a princess name. (She highly regards herself as one, believe me!)

 

Second-voice I agree with Raven but also thought of Monique (High School Musical/Dancing with the Stars) Coleman. Vanessa Williams is on the payroll at Disney now too (Ugly Betty) so I am betting she shows up somewhere.

 

Third, I am just thrilled that they are going to resume with the hand-drawn animation. No one does it like Disney and I am excited about this movie! And, of course, choosing New Orleans as the backdrop is sooo Disney of them!

 

Shari "Loves any Disney Fairy-tale" Shoufler

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Looking at the picfrom a distance, she kind of looks more like a man than a woman. Don't get me wrong the idea of a black princess is a good idea, but I think they could do a little better job on drawing up the character.

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I remember John Lasseter saying, when he became the new head of Disney animation, that he didn't want to continue Disney's neglect of hand drawn animation...and right now, it looks like he's actually making an effort to bring interest back to the format.

 

The man clearly has a good head on his shoulders. Even he realized that the Pixar formula was starting to get stale, not being blinded by the overwhelming success of each film, the kind of phenomenon that can be so easily intoxicating.

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They need to go back to the beauty and the beast, little mermaid and aladdin formulas. I've read that it's going to focus around the jazz music era. And to that i say yuck. The music in aristocats is jazz-focused and i hate the music. And randy newman has done some good music but it's just not as memorable or endearing as the music in the little mermaid, aladdin, and beauty and the beast. (I love the spoof on Family Guy when they meet Randy Newman and all he does is just write and sing lyrics about every singly thing that they do and it all sounds alike.) They had alan menken on board to do it but decided not to use him because he's working on that movie with patrick dempsey that's animated and live-action. I would much rather have seen him on board. And the whole princess in new orleans just doesn't make sense. Wish they'd chosen something better to try to revive 2D animation with. I see this movie flopping big time. It would honestly surprise me greatly if it does well. Also, the animation style from the picture looks like that of the Proud Family which i detest.

 

If i was guessing who Disney was gonna use for the voice, I would guess Jennifer Hudson or Raven.

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Return to hand drawn movies - Excellent

Black Princess - Excellent

 

The only thing I feel odd about is the film taking place in New Orleans. Perhaps it's because all the other Princesses are from either fantasy worlds or foreign countries, with an exception to Pocahontas. I think since New Orleans is so well known, it takes a lot of the fantasy out.

 

I am really hoping that Disney doesn't make Maddy a completely PC character. That's not to say they should make her a lampoon of black culture

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