Nine years after she turned into a frog, Princess Tiana has undergone another strange transformation.
The Princess and the Frog heroine, still Disney’s only African-American princess, makes a cameo appearance in Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 alongside her fellow animated royals. The princess scene was featured in a Wreck-It Ralph 2 trailer released in June, and appeared once again in a different trailer released last week. In the new clip, the 14 princesses have changed from their signature costumes into sleepover-ready pajamas… but that’s not the only change fans are seeing in Tiana.
Watch the new trailer:
On Twitter, some of Tiana’s fans are pointing out that her hair and skin appear lighter in the new trailer, that her nose has been narrowed, and that her “natural” sleepover hair doesn’t look like natural black hair at all. Many didn’t even recognize her at first glance in the trailer. Has Disney’s sole black princess been whitewashed?
That was Tiana? Yikes I thought it was a princess I had never seen before lmao https://t.co/sxUboVfXzo
— utterly unamoosed. (@Audacity__) August 14, 2018
In today’s edition of “you tried it,” Disney decided to reinforce colorism by lightening Princess Tiana’s skin in #RalphBreaksTheInternet. Tiana was a dark skin Black woman in Princess and the Frog, now she has light skin and Eurocentric features. What happened to her wide nose? pic.twitter.com/YnX9eFPLm9
— The Cali Nerd (@TheCaliNerd) August 9, 2018
why does princess tiana look so different from the wreck it ralph trailer we got 2 months ago to today’s new still……….let me know pic.twitter.com/h63b4DXE03
— َ (@thebaudeIaires) August 9, 2018
Others are making similar observations about Pocahontas’s look in the trailer.
Disney you ain’t slick Tiana went from full black to half black real quick and Pocahontas went from Native American to a white person with a tan pic.twitter.com/UQrEchQsRp
— ella (@ella56821103) August 10, 2018
But Tiana’s appearance is the more controversial one — especially in terms of her hair, which according to multiple African-American women on Twitter, would not transition from a straightened updo to the shoulder-length curls seen in the trailer. Not to mention, she’d be wrapping her hair before she goes to sleep. (For illustrations, here’s a good thread from @InspectorNerd.)
All in all this is what I feel a more culturally accurate Tiana should look like in the photo. pic.twitter.com/KkSpSzxrPG
— Taylor Goethe (@InspectorNerd) August 10, 2018
Tell me this doesn’t look like that hair they have on the animated Tiana from Ralph Wrecks the Internet. Tell me. https://t.co/DXT1eVEKaR
— April (@ReignOfApril) August 16, 2018
I don’t want to see representations of Black Girls/Women in animated movies limited to light skin and cast off Halle Berry wigs. pic.twitter.com/DYZP1VY0bf
— Black Woman POC who is of Diversity (@Anxiety_Jane) August 11, 2018
Many of the critiques of Tiana’s appearance are coming from female artists of color, of whom there appears to be a shortage at Disney Animation.
*Looks at Tiana’s hair in the movie*
*Looks at this*
…Yeah, makes a lot of sense. https://t.co/T1Zc3ODPXv
— Iron Spike (@Iron_Spike) August 14, 2018
And several women reminded Disney that the criticism comes from a place of love; Tiana means a lot to them, and they care about accurate representation.
Y’all don’t understand how important Princess Tiana is to Black girls. We finally had a Disney princess that looked like us, and now, she doesn’t. They gave her Eurocentric features and turned her into a racially ambiguous woman. It’s a no from me, dawg.
— E-Money 🤑 (@imanimlewis) August 10, 2018
This is what Tiana shoulda been looking like. Hire Black woman animators for accuracy. 😊https://t.co/rYw04jHhHw
— WhatFreshHellisThis (@LisaBolekaja) August 11, 2018
Black women & girls deserve rep with careful attention to what might be hurtful. Mess around with a white princesse’s shading, but colorism is a known quantity. Disney can & should have done better. You should too, given the chance:
— Sarah McKinlayScott (@doctorflopsy) August 11, 2018
At press time, Disney had yet to comment on the perceived changes to Tiana’s appearance.
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 opens on Nov. 21.
Watch: Disney’s princesses reveal how their epic Wreck-It Ralph reunion came together:
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:
- Sarah Silverman shows off Disney princesses in ‘comfortable clothes’ with ‘attainable waistline’ in ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ sequel
- ‘Wreck-It Ralph 2’ directors on internet-breaking, meme-filled teaser: No rabbits were harmed
- The Disney Princesses Assemble: See the Actresses Reveal How They All Came Together for Upcoming ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ Sequel