Tragicmulattoes's Blog

November 26, 2009

The Princess and the Frog

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“Tis the night before Disney makes history (damn near 100 years after it’s first animated feature film). I’ve purposely stayed away from reading too much about the movie-I want to go in with a fresh mind and a clean lens. It ain’t easy being a skeptic. I, like your average American girl, was raised under the tutelage of the Disney Princesses. Ariel, Pocahontas, and Jasmine have all contributed to my formative ideas of what it is to be a woman. Dainty, scantily clad, whiny, and reasonably rebellious until my prince finally came and gave me a reason to shut the fuck up and live happily ever after. But I digress…

I’m sure (I hope)  the formation of the Tiana character received much attention and input from African Americans and Louisiana natives. Apparently, (as with all Disney flicks) there are some obvious improbabilities; for instance the flick is set in the early 20th century but no reference to the racial climate of a segregated state is presented in the film. Louisiana was a “peculiar state”, indeed. Despite oppressive racism and segregation (the home of Plessy v. Ferguson)  de facto multiracial communities did exist.

I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed that the prince isn’t Black. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s disappointing. Recently it’s been made known that films with Black couples are deemed less digestible for domestic and international audiences (see recent UK photo shop controversy). So the assumption is, if the main character is Black, the spouse should not be Black (think about Will Smith’s career as of late). What’s funny is, there is NO WAY they would have a Black prince getting romantic with a White princess on the big screen. Can you IMAGINE Ariel or Belle pining after Prince Jamal in some tight corset with her bosoms heaving while staring lovingly out the window?? HELL NO. But it’s okay for Pocahontas (yes, I know it’s based on a historical occurrence but let’s not act like they didn’t fuck up the whole story anyway), and Tiana. It sort of harks back to European imperial notions of White female purity. Certainly their bodies can’t be defiled by romantic interactions with non-Whites. But the bodies of women of color are already tainted and therefore need no protection from men of other races, especially not from White men.

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It’s obvious that Prince Naveen is purposely darker than the average White prince, but if he’s supposed to be biracial, they sure did push it with his appearance. Then again, Prince Naveen’s racial ambiguity is very much a reality in Louisiana historically, so I can’t be too mad about that. Plus, they did a great job with the Princess’ facial features! I wish they would have kept the initial Afroish hair though:

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Anyway, I’ll report back if I actually get a chance to see it this weekend. I heard it’s sold out of some theaters already. I have no intention of fighting my way through crowds cuz I have no qualms getting hype with a 10 year old! LOL.

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2 Comments »

  1. 1. I really hate the term “people of color” and Black people’s need to worry about and attempt to group themselves along side every other non-white race who hates their guts!

    2. I was also dissappionted at her having a non-black prince. I have no doubt that a White princess would never have a black prince. In all the other Princess movies there weren’t even Black people present at all! But of course the implications are Blacks are bettering themselves by being with Whites and any other non-black but Whites (and other so call “people of color”) are marrying down when they hook up with blacks!

    3. It doesn’t matter where this prince is suppose to be from, India or where ever, the fact remains if the shoe had have been on the other foot, Indians or any other non-blacks wouldn’t have selected a Black princess for their prince.

    4. I also applaud all the Black people on the message boards (mostly women of course) that raised hell about their princesses actually looking black! Its so natural for us Blacks to be so desperate to have a postive beautiful female role model, that we forget that the representative we select might represent White beauty more than our own!

    Comment by seal — June 20, 2010 @ 4:38 am | Reply

    • The term “people of color” was actually created by black folks—look up the history on it–it’s pretty interesting.

      Comment by slice — August 2, 2012 @ 8:44 am | Reply


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