Far from receiving congratulations from the African-American community for finally producing an animated feature with a black princess, Disney is finding itself embroiled in a new controversy every bit as bitter as the one that followed the release of its 1947 film Song of the South . According to published reports, the controversy has already forced the studio to change the title of the film and the name of the lead character. The film, originally titled The Frog Princess , is now being called The Princess and the Frog and the lead character is now called Tiana instead of Maddy. But the controversy has not ended. Charlotte Observer columnist William Blackburn comments: "This princess' story is set in New Orleans, the setting of one of the most devastating tragedies to beset a black community. And then they throw in the voodoo theme [the fairy-godmother character is a voodoo priestess] and an alligator sidekick. When you put New Orleans, alligators and voodoo together, there's no beauty there." The London Independent reports that Disney has now made the prince in the story a man of Middle Eastern heritage and "revised" the race of the villain.

18/07/2008