The Disney princesses will help video-game villain turned hero Ralph (John C. Reilly) and his best friend Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) complete their online quest in this fall’s Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2. And thanks to a real-world internet campaign, they’ll now all be looking like their traditional selves — including Princess Tiana.
Last month Disney fans noticed that something was amiss with the Princess and the Frog heroine in the second trailer for Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2. In a slumber party scene, the character appeared to have lighter skin, different, curlier hair, and a narrower nose than her original animated incarnation. Given the drastic nature of those changes, and the fact that they hadn’t been present in the initial teaser, that quickly led to cries of whitewashing, with many Twitter users complaining that the look was a deliberate act of colorism.
So, um…is this supposed to be Princess Tiana in Wreck it Ralph 2? pic.twitter.com/LxBkKjK6zw
— The Great Blaxby. (@HunseckerProxy) 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
This is what Tiana shoulda been looking like. Hire Black woman animators for accuracy. 😊https://t.co/rYw04jHhHw
— WhatFreshHellisThis (@LisaBolekaja) August 11, 2018
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal published on Thursday, those complaints have been heard by Disney, which is reanimating the sequences featuring Tiana in an attempt to rectify the situation. While settling on their present course, Disney animators met with the actress who originally voiced the princess, Anika Noni Rose. The studio was also visited by members of Color of Change, which campaigns for cinematic racial representation. Those representatives included senior campaign director Brandi Collins-Dexter, who provided feedback about the alterations, which involve giving the character “darker hair and a wider nose and mouth,” Mashable reports.
In the wake of that announcement, Rose and the Color of Change group shared messages praising Disney’s decision:
Huge win for Black girls who look up to Princess Tiana! After conversations with @Disney & @DisneyAnimation about the character's appearance in #WreckItRalph2, they addressed our concerns and restored Tiana to her original depiction. #RepresentationMatters https://t.co/lN8j4OA95N
— ColorOfChange.org (@ColorOfChange) September 21, 2018
Color of Change president Rashad Robinson also took to social media to celebrate Disney’s move:
Big news. Because of COC members and convos with @DisneyAnimation, Princess Tiana has been restored to her original depiction. Now when Black girls watch #WreckItRalph2, they’ll see Tiana and other princess of color that actually looks like them on screen #BlackGirlMagic pic.twitter.com/4ZPJm4aZyz
— Rashad Robinson (@rashadrobinson) September 20, 2018
Disney has not yet publicly commented on the story.
[Editor’s note: This post was originally published Sept. 24, 2018 at 12:22 p.m. ET.]
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 arrives in theaters — with all Disney princesses as they should be — on Nov. 21.
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