Thursday, March 5, 2015

Why I Hate Princess and the Frog

This post is actually a response to Bonnie's post on Disney's the Princess and the Frog. She drew a comparison between Mama Odie and Baby Suggs that I can definitely appreciate, but her post also made me think about Princess and the Frog and race. I love Disney but I've always had some issues with this movie. I think it's great that Disney finally decided to include an African-American princess in its lineup. Seriously, took them long enough. However, it bothers me that the movie, which is set in 1920s New Orleans, entirely glosses over the segregation present in that place and time. Instead, it avoids the issue by substituting sexism and socio-economic discrimination. Both sexism and classism were definitely issues that Tiana would have faced, but it bothers me that race is never mentioned. I realize that it's Disney and that they have to think about little kids, but I'd rather they not do a movie set in the pre-Civil Rights era South than gloss over that nasty part of our history.


Ross said...

I would agree whole-heartedly with what you are saying. The movie really does give off a sort of "nothing wrong here, just move along" feeling as well. Another thing that struck me about it was the strong emphasis on magic and voodoo and, more specifically, the evil they present. Since this religion is usually held by people of African decent, I felt the movie was also kind of vilifying those people. Plus its part of a New Orleans stereotype that I honestly find annoying (not the religion, the "Oh, you're from New Orleans? So do you practice voodoo?" questions.)

Breuna Westry said...

I think what Disney was trying to do is make it seem like slavery almost never existed. It reminds me of how Sethe doesn't want to remember the past or pass it down to her children. Disney wants to present to the children that everything was kosher and nothing bad ever happened.