‘Wreck-It-Ralph 2’s Tiana Was Redrawn Following Fan Complaints
One can only imagine the excitement that must have rippled through the halls of Disney Animation when they realized that the premise for Ralph Breaks the Internet, would allow them to create a scene where the film’s heroine, Vanellope von Schweetz, encounters all of Disney’s Princesses, from Cinderella to Elsa to Pocahontas and everyone in between. It’s the apex of Disney culture: Witty, self-referential, and full of merchandising opportunities.
I’m guessing they didn’t anticipate the controversy that the scene has stirred up, though. When fans got a look at the Princesses — many of whom were being converted from 2D animation to 3D animation for the first time — some where displeased with the way they looked. There was particular consternation about Princess Tiana from the recent and much beloved Disney film The Princess and the Frog. In some early publicity shots, it appeared that Tiana’s skin had been lightened and that she had been given a digital nose job. Here is a typical complaint:
The original voice of Tiana, Anika Noni Rose, heard the complaints and took them directly to Disney, who heard her and vowed to adjust the character’s look. Rose posted an updated to Instagram, revealing that the company has said they will “make the adjustments necessary” to bring the character in line with her original appearance.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison between the early photo and the most recent trailer for Ralph Breaks the Internet, where Tiana’s appearance already looks to have shifted:
Rose wrote in her post about “how important it is to the little girls (and let’s face it, grown women) who felt represented by [Tiana’s] skin tone” and her original nose — “the same nose on my very own face and on many other little brown faces around the world, that we so rarely get to see represented in fantasy.” That’s why restoring her original look was so important.
If you haven’t seen The Princess and the Frog, it’s one of Disney’s best films of this century, and it will make you miss the days when some animated movies were still made the old-fashioned way. Ralph Breaks the Internet opens in theaters on November 21.
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