Ms. Brooke Christopher sits down with Anika Noni Rose, the voice of Tiana in Disney's The Princess and the Frog to talk about the significance of this movie in particular as Tiana becomes the newest addition to the Disney family of Princesses.
TIANA (voice of Anika Noni Rose) is certainly not the typical fairy-tale princess. Her daydreams are not of faraway kingdoms or castles in the clouds, but of personal success and a thriving business. She has dreams of opening the finest restaurant in all of New Orleans, says screenwriter Rob Edwards. Its a dream thats been instilled in her from her father.
Tiana is an attractive and independent African-American woman, hardworking and strong-willed, but still a loving and loyal friend and a compassionate soul. She treasures her mother and holds her father near and dear to her heart, and although she knows the way wont be easy, believes that she can achieve her ambitions if she works hard enough.
In her sensible pursuit of her lifes goals, however, Tiana doesnt really appreciate what is happening on her way to them. She can never simply slow down and enjoy herself. She has no time for romance, and is certainly not about to waste her time mooning over men—let alone kissing any frogs.
Supervising animator Mark Henn, who is behind Disney heroines Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Belle (Beauty and the Beast) and Jasmine (Aladdin), found Tiana particularly appealing. I think you can more easily identify with her, or want to cheer her on. Our animated leading ladies have evolved over the decades, from just being princesses in peril like Snow White—characters to whom events happen, rather than figures of action motivating their own story. It was an easy character to fall in love with and get in her corner. Tiana has her own motivating desire, and decisions that drive her and make her interesting and sympathetic.
Edwards says his niece cant wait to meet Tiana. Every time I talk to her, she says, Oh, tell me about the princess! I cant wait for her to see the movie.
A BlackTree Media Production
Produced by Jamaal Finkley
Clips provided courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures
The host of Monday Night Conversation Brooke Christopher
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