Disney’s Tiana Actress Responds To Ralph Breaks The Internet Animation Controversy

Tiana kissing the frog

Over the past few years, conversation surrounding the filmmaking industry has evolved-- especially when it comes to on screen representation. Advocacy groups and moviegoers have been calling for more onscreen diversity and inclusion, allowing to see their experience shown to the masses. Disney has been producing a diverse set of animated features, with movies like Moana and The Princess and the Frog introducing princesses of color into the Disney catalogue. The latter starred Dreamgirls actress Anika Noni Rose as Princess Tiana-- a role she briefly reprise for the big Princess crossover in Ralph Breaks the Internet. But as footage was for the scene began being released, fans noticed Tiana's skin color appeared lighter, and her features (especially her nose) were made sharper. After Disney revealed the character would be reanimated for the movie, Rose finally spoke up about her thoughts, and how the situation went down from the inside. Check it out:

My team and I immediately put in a call to the studio to talk about the visual changes, and three weeks ago I had a meeting in person with the Wreck-It Ralph team, my original animator [on The Princess and the Frog] Mark Henn, and others. 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.

Well, this is interesting. It looks like Anika Noni Rose and those involved with the beloved Princess and the Frog movie noticed the physical changes made to Princess Tiana's appearance, and leapt into action to have it rectified. Disney seemed to be open to these conversation, and heard Rose and animator Mark Henn in order to fix Tiana's 3-D rendering.

As a reminder, you can check out a shot of Princess Tiana in Ralph Breaks the Internet below.

Tiana in Ralph Breaks The Internet

In her same Instagram post, Anika Noni Rose spoke to how Disney and the Ralph Breaks the Internet folks ultimately responded, including a presentation about how they were going to adjust Tiana appearance. Rose wrote:

It was important to me to hear what Disney had to say, and to have an open dialogue about legacy and representation. 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.

While the Ralph Breaks the Internet may have offended some by changing Tiana's appearance in its first trailer, the issue was ultimately rectified before the animated blockbuster hit theaters. And if Anika Noni Rose's comments are to be believed, the studio is really trying to make things right.

Ralph Breaks the Internet will arrive in theaters on November 21, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.