Saturday, March 10, 2007

"The Frog Princess" will introduce the newest Disney princess, Maddy, a young African-American girl

Answering calls from many in the African-American community, as well as all of us at a loss to explain to our transracially adopted daughters why the incredibly popular DISNEY PRINCESSES line of toys and products didn't have a princess for them, Disney announces a new feature film, "THE FROG PRINCESS". In keeping with the rest of the films that spawned princesses, but in a major departure from Disney's previously-stated plans, the film will be produced as a "2-D" cartoon, not as a computer-generated movie.

Here's what Disney had to say:

March 08, 2007



NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana – (March 8, 2007) -- The Walt Disney Studios will continue its fairy tale legacy in animation by taking moviegoers on an all-new "once upon a time" musical adventure with its 2009 release of "The Frog Princess," it was announced today by Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, and John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.

A musical set in the legendary birthplace of jazz – New Orleans -- "The Frog Princess" will introduce the newest Disney princess, Maddy, a young African-American girl living amid the charming elegance and grandeur of the fabled French Quarter. From the heart of Louisiana's mystical bayous and the banks of the mighty Mississippi comes an unforgettable tale of love, enchantment and discovery with a soulful singing crocodile, voodoo spells and Cajun charm at every turn.

"The Frog Princess" is based on an original story written by Disney's acclaimed filmmaking duo John Musker & Ron Clements ("The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin," "Hercules"), who will also direct. Oscar®-winning songwriter/composer and New Orleans native Randy Newman ("Toy Story," "A Bug's Life," "Toy Story 2," "Monsters, Inc." and "Cars") will write songs and the score for this project. Peter Del Vecho, a 12-year Disney animation veteran, will produce.

Commenting on the announcement from The Walt Disney Company's 2007 Annual Meeting of shareholders, Cook said, "We're pleased to be here in the heart of New Orleans to announce 'The Frog Princess,' a great story with all the ingredients that go into making an extraordinary motion picture experience. Like many of Disney's most popular fairy tales, it has elements of magic, fantasy, adventure, heart, humor, and music. The film's New Orleans setting and strong princess character give the film lots of excitement and texture. We're also thrilled to have John Musker, Ron Clements and Randy Newman lending their talents and creative energies to this project. John and Ron helped to usher in Disney's second golden age of animation nearly two decades ago with 'The Little Mermaid,' and are on track to create the Studio's next great fairy tale adventure."

John Lasseter added, "Aside from being longtime friends and colleagues, John and Ron are two of the most influential and imaginative filmmakers in the animation medium, and I am so excited to be working with them in bringing their creative vision for 'The Frog Princess' to the big screen. They've come up with an original story that is deeply rooted in the fairy tale tradition, and it's filled with great humor, emotion, and musical moments. Randy Newman brings fun and excitement to every project, and I couldn't think of a better choice to deliver some wonderful New Orleans style music."

Maddy, the animated heroine in "The Frog Princess," will also join The Walt Disney Company's venerable court of beloved Disney princesses as they continue to enjoy the royal treatment at Disney's theme parks, consumer products, publishing, Internet and other businesses worldwide.