Disney Debuts First African American Princess

Fresno, CA The Princess and the Frog is set in New Orleans and is breaking barriers by featuring Disney's first African American princess.

Many parents here are excited about the upcoming movie ... I even talked with some who plan to see the Princess and the Frog in large community groups.

Disney's multi-cultural princesses include Pocahontas, Mulan and Jazmine ... many say princess Tiana is a great addition to the cast.

Tiana ... the newest princess in the Disney family has parents and residents all over the Valley awaiting her arrival in theaters.

Matthew Tapia said, "I think it's great I hope it does awesome. I can't wait to see it."

Parents in North East Fresno say they've seen movies with many if not all of the Disney princesses ... and say this one is special because it's the first to feature an African American heroine.

Leyla Pazirandeh said, "For kids to see different princess it shows them a different variety of different types of people. It's very nice. I like that."

Storyteller and doll maker Euphenia Tasker says socially this film is long overdue. She says unlike when she grew up there were no images of young African American princesses that she could identify with.

Euphenia Tasker said, "It's very important because we see our own image in this thing. Before we didn't see our own image we saw everyone else's."

There has been some criticism of the Disney movie. Some are concerned that voodoo is used by an evil magician in the film.

Marlise Moore writes for the Advocate ... a local African American publication. She says young girls and boys don't see skin color ... but they are influenced when they see images of princesses and dolls that reflect the world we live in.

Moore said, "It brings pride and confidence it gives them something to be proud of. To go out and buy the princess, that's something to be proud of."

The Princess and the Frog opens in Los Angeles and New York Wednesday, and the film opens nationwide on December 11th.

Disney is the parent company of ABC30.

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