Almost two years before its hoped-for release of its first hand-drawn animated film produced under the supervision of Pixar's John Lasseter, Disney has already drawn fire for alleged racial and ethnic insensitivities that were detected in its original announcement of the film, according to Disney watcher Jim Hill. Since the original title, The Frog Princess, might be regarded as a slur on the French, the title has been changed to The Princess and the Frog. The main character, named Maddy -- who was to become Disney's first black princess -- has had her name changed to Tiana, since Maddy reportedly sounded too much like Mammy. She will no longer be seen as a chambermaid working for a rich, white spoiled Southern débutante. In a statement, Disney, which said that it ordinarily does not comment on its animated films in the early stages of production, observed: "The story takes place in the charming elegance and grandeur of New Orleans' fabled French Quarter during the Jazz Age. ... Princess Tiana will be a heroine in the great tradition of Disney's rich animated fairy tale legacy, and all other characters and aspects of the story will be treated with the greatest respect and sensitivity."




11/05/2007