When images of all of the Disney princesses getting together in "Wreck-It Ralph 2" first surfaced earlier this summer, most fans were thrilled. But some noticed that Princess Tiana -- the protagonist in 2009's "The Princess and the Frog" -- looked quite a bit different. Now, the actress who voiced her is speaking out about the controversy, and revealing what Disney and Pixar have done to make things right.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Anika Noni Rose discussed a recent report from The Wall Street Journal that said that Disney had reanimated portions of "Wreck-It Ralph 2" to correct the depiction of Princess Tiana. Many social media users pointed out the character's divergence from her original inspiration, including having lighter skin and a smaller nose.
Rose noticed these differences, too, and after seeing so many fans reacting negatively to the change, she decided to call Disney herself to find out what happened.
Three weeks ago, the actress visited the studio to meet with her original "Princess and the Frog" animator, Mark Henn (who Rose said based Tiana's appearance on her own), as well as representatives from the Pixar team that worked on "Wreck-It Ralph 2."
"They explained how CGI animation did different things to the characters’ color tones in different light compared to hand-drawn original characters, and I was able to express how important it is to the little girls (and let’s face it, grown women) who felt represented by her that her skin tone stay as rich as it had been, and that her nose continue to be the little round nose that Mark so beautifully rendered in the movie," Rose wrote.
Disney agreed, and decided to go back and reanimate the sequences featuring Tiana. Rose said that animators personally walked her through "the steps they were taking to bring those things back that got lost in the move from hand-drawn to CGI."
“It was important to me to hear what Disney had to say, and to have an open dialogue about legacy and representation,” Rose said on Instagram. “They did not have to make time to give me a presentation on the process, but I’m very glad that they did. I also appreciate that this far into the process Disney had enough care and respect for all who love Princess Tiana and her legacy to spend the time and money to make the adjustments necessary.”
We're glad that Rose, and all of Princess Tiana's fans, were able to have their voices heard. You can see Tiana, and the rest of Disney royalty, in all their glory when "Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet" hits theaters on November 21.