After Outcry, Disney Reanimates ‘Ralph Breaks The Internet’ To Make Tiana Racially Faithful

‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’, the sequel to 2012’s ‘Wreck-It-Ralph’, is due to hit theaters in less than two months, but even so, Disney is diving back in to reanimate one sequence that had fans up in arms.  In a clip included in a trailer, Vanellope stumbles upon the Disney Princesses and encourages them to trade in their cinched formal gowns for more comfortable attire.  It’s a cute sequence, which would have been fine except that for whatever reason, the animators took Tiana, the first and only black Disney Princess and radically changed her appearance, lightening both her skin and hair color and giving her hair a natural curl appearance.  Some even feel that features like her nose have been streamlined to give her a more Euro-sense of beauty.

As she was originally rendered in ‘The Princess and the Frog’, Tiana had dark, chocolate skin and black hair.  Her eyes did have a light, almost orange tint to them.  But there was no mistaking that she was black.  The ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ version comes across as biracial or multi-ethnic.

This led to an outcry online as actual black fans, who were legitimately positively impacted by the presence of a black Disney Princess, felt betrayed by the fact that Tiana had been given a more racially ambiguous appearance.  Now no one is saying there can’t be a multi-ethnic Disney Princess– there should be– but don’t take the one and only African American lead and turn her turn her into something else.

Though the exact context of the scene is unknown, the fact that the Princesses are in sweats, pajamas and other comfortable clothes gives the impression that this is a sleepover.  That further led to complaints that Tiana should be wearing a head wrap.  If this is indeed a slumber party, then that is valid, but since the movie hasn’t come out yet, they may just be relaxing.  (Tiana is, after all, drinking what looks to be a frozen coffee drink, indicating that she isn’t quite ready to turn in for the night.)

The original voice of Tiana, Anika Noni Rose, reprises her role in ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’, along with other classic Princess voices including Kristen Bell (Anna), Jodi Benson (Ariel), Idina Menzel (Elsa), Mandy Moore (Rapunzel), Paige O’Hara (Belle), and Ming-Na Wen (Mulan).

‘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: The Wall Street Journal

Jason Motes

Jason’s earliest memory is of watching ‘Batman,’ followed shortly by a memory of playing Batman & Robin with a friend, which entailed running outside in just their underwear and towels as capes. When adults told them they couldn’t run around outside in their underwear, both boys promptly whipped theirs off and ran around in just capes. Jason’s father gamely agreed to read him comic books as bedtime stories instead of ‘Snow White.’ (Super Friends being his favorite.) Jason saw all of the original Star Wars movies (and Indiana Jones and Superman and Star Trek…) in the theaters. Yes, he is old. And grew up in the most GEEKTASTIC decade ever, the 80s, devouring a steady diet of GI Joe, Transformers, Masters of the Universe, Princess of Power and (best of all) Jem! (It totally counts as sci fi! They had a sentient computer that projected holograms!) Jason has studied literature, journalism, film history and has a degree in creative writing (and a minor in psychology) from the University of South Alabama. He has worked as a technical writer and proofreader. These days, most of his creative energy goes into his blog and writing for this site! He lives with the cutest puppies ever.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.