5 Possible Problems With The Princess And The Frog

A new teaser trailer for the Princess And The Frog is online, and while the hand-drawn animation is really exquisite, there are still several upsetting things about what's being called Disney's "first black princess" movie.

Although the New Orleans Jazz Age and bayous make a gorgeous backdrop for this story, some of the elements in this (admittedly short) new trailer made me knit my brow. Of course, these snippets of scenes are taken out of context, and no one is expecting the film to be perfect. But after years and years of Euro-centric stories, this American tale should be told properly — without being offensive.

Here's what's troubling:

  • The witch doctor's "curse" seems to involve some kind of African-esque masks; because African people are spooky and scary and have magical powers! Or at least, that's what we want young, impressionable children to think.
  • "Women like a man with a big back porch," says the firefly, slapping his ass. Cut to: The Prince's butt, growing huge, and a white lady screaming.
  • As previously mentioned, it seems like the "princess" spends most of her time on screen not as a black girl, but as a frog.
  • Does Mama Odie, the "good" voodoo lady and the fairy godmother-ish character, look a little Mammy-ish? I mean, she could have been tall and willowy, or hunched and crone-y, or lots of different body types. Just saying.
  • I've said it before and I'll say it again: That toothless firefly is bothersome. Someone needs to get him some low-cost dental care, ASAP.

The good news is that the Princess seems smart, bold and fun — and the doll is sure to be a big seller at Christmastime, giving little black girls who wish upon a star a shot at believing dreams come true.

Here's A New PRINCESS AND THE FROG Trailer!! Hand Drawn Animation Still Looks Nice... [Ain't It Cool]
Earlier: An Early Look At Characters From Disney's Black Princess Movie
Why Has It Taken So Long For Disney To Create A Black Princess?
Why Is Disney's First Black Princess Such A Challenge?