It looks like Disney has found itself in another hairy situation. Some audiences are taking issue with the way Princess Tiana (The Princess and the Frog) has been depicted in the new trailer for Ralph Breaks the Internet. The trailer shows Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) chilling with a group of Disney princesses, including Cinderella, Aurora, Mulan, Moana. But it’s Tiana who is at the center of the storm, as her hair looks different and more Eurocentric than she was originally seen in her 2009 movie.
Twitter users were definitely not appreciating Tiana’s new hair and overall appearance: “Y’all don’t understand how important Princess Tiana is to Black girls,” said one Twitter user. “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.”
Author and cartoonist C. Spike Trotman pointed out on Twitter: “Black hair is complicated, political, and not something one thread on Twitter can explain.” Trotman offered a “cheat sheet” for Disney, animators, cartoonists, and others about black women’s hair via a string of tweets giving tips including basic information that could be helpful in the future.
“For the benefit of folks who might wanna do better: if Image One is a kinky-haired black girl’s formal look? Image Two, or something like it, has a 99.9% chance of being her ‘lounge look’,” Trotman added. Taylor Goethe tweeted an image of what Tiana look like if she was accurately imagined. All in all this is what I feel a more culturally accurate Tiana should look like.”
Trotman also retweeted a video of mostly white male animators at Disney celebrating the end of production for Ralph Breaks the Internet.
Sources: Deadline.com, Buzzfeed.com