Because the film was set to center around Disney’s first African-American princess, The Princess and the Frog was under close scrutiny from African-American media outlets from the time that the concept materials were revealed in 2007. Disney changed several key elements to the film after receiving numerous complaints of racial insensitivity.
Besides retitling the picture (it was originally titled The Frog Princess) to avoid the implication that the first African-American Disney princess was somehow ugly or animal, the lead character’s name changed from Maddy to Tiana, since Maddy sounded too much like “Mammy”. A subplot about her working as a maid was also dropped in order to avoid negative stereotypes.
Critics also protested some of the character choices that ended up in the final film, such as the choice to have the black heroine’s love interest be a non-black prince, and the use of a black male voodoo witchdoctor as the film’s villain. Also questioned was the film’s setting of New Orleans, which had been heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, resulting in the expulsion of a large number of mostly black residents. Critics claimed the choice of New Orleans as the setting for a Disney film with a black heroine was an affront to the Katrina victims’ plight.
most of this has come up before but perhaps some things will be new info for you!
one day, i would love to have a conversation about this movie with some one. when it came out, my friends and i were to busy crying to actually critique it (*sniff sniff* the star *sniff sniff*)