Anika Noni Rose, who voices the animated character Tiana, Disney’s first Black princess, just made what some are calling a real power move.
Back in June, Disney released footage of “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” the sequel of “Wreck-It-Ralph” and Princess Tiana is in the film but looks different than she did in her own movie “The Princess and the Frog.”
In the “Wreck-It-Ralph 2” trailer, Tiana appeared with a lighter complexion, curly hair and a thinner nose.
It’s something that Rose worked on changing behind the scenes by meeting with the film’s animators, as well as the person who originally drew Tiana, Mark Henn.
The “Wreck-It-Ralph” artists explained that Tiana and the other character’s skin tone was changed by use of CGI animation, compared to when those characters were initially hand drawn. The initial drawing included a personal request from Rose that Princess Tiana has a round nose and full lips.
Rose said she explained to the animators how important it was to keep Tiana’s original color and features since she inspired so many Black and Brown girls, who don’t typically see themselves reflected in fairy tales.
“I’ve been very quiet on this subject, because it was important for me to do my due diligence before publicly addressing something as near and dear to my heart (and face) as Princess Tiana,” wrote Rose on Instagram.
“This summer new images were released where she looked very different, with lighter skin and much sharper features,” she continued. “I was surprised as most of her and my fans were. Aside from my personal feelings, I noted how people felt online, and I was glad to see that people are still very much in love with and supportive of our Princess.”
The ‘Power’ actress noted her next move after hearing from Princess Tiana fans and other activists, “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 Wreck it Ralph team, my original animator Marke Henn, and others.”
The actress thanked Disney for spending the extra money and time to adjust Tiana’s appearance so deep into the project. Today, a new trailer exists, and the character is back to her original appearance, which people thanked Rose for.
“Love this,” one person wrote. “Thank you for using your voice when ours cannot be heard.”
“Boss,” wrote another. “Thank you so much. Thank you for protecting all the Black and Brown girls and women. I appreciate you.”
“I’m glad Disney recognized that they made a mistake and fixed it,” a third person commented. “Thank you for your hard work. It’s so important.