DisneyVoice Acting

Anika Noni Rose, Voice Of Princess Tiana, Breaks Silence On ‘Ralph Breaks The Internet’ Controversy

Anika Noni Rose, the voice of Princess Tiana in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog,released a statement on her her Instagram about the role she has played in Disney’s decision to make modifications to the design of Tiana for the character’s cameo in the upcoming Ralph Breaks the Internet.

Rose says that she was surprised when she first saw the cg version of the character, and noted reactions online and her DMs, before deciding to reach out to the studio.

Mark Henn, the lead animator of Tiana in "The Princess and the Frog."
Mark Henn, the lead animator of Tiana in “The Princess and the Frog.”

She was invited to the studio three weeks ago to meet with the Ralph Breaks the Internet crew, as well as animator Mark Henn, who was the lead animator of Tiana in The Princess and the Frog. During the meeting, Henn showed her “the steps they were taking to bring those things back that got lost in the move from hand drawn to cgi,” such as the character’s richer skin tone and rounded nose.

“It was important to me to hear what Disney had to say,” Rose said, “and to have an open dialogue about legacy and representation. They did not have to make time to give me a presentation on the process, but I’m very glad that they did.”

Rose’s full statement from her Instagram account can be read below:

I’ve been very quiet on this subject because it was important for me to do my due diligence before publicly addressing something as near and dear to my heart (and face) as Princess Tiana.

This summer new images were released where she looked very different, with lighter skin and much sharper features. I was as surprised as most of her & my fans were. Aside from my personal feelings, I noted how people felt online (and in my dms) and I was glad to see that people are still very much in love with and supportive of our Princess.

My team and I immediately put in a call to the studio to talk about the visual changes, and three weeks ago I had a meeting in person with the Wreck it Ralph team, my original animator Mark Henn, and others.

They explained how cgi animation did different things to the characters’ color tones in different light compared to hand drawn original characters, and I was able to express how important it is to the little girls (and let’s face it, grown women) who felt represented by her that her skin tone stay as rich as it had been, and that her nose continue to be the little round nose that Mark so beautifully rendered in the movie; the same nose on my very own face and on many other little brown faces around the world, that we so rarely get to see represented in fantasy.

When we were making Princess and The Frog I’ll never forget Mark asking me if there were any things I wished to see on her, and among the first things I said were a round nose, full lips, and that she be left handed. He made certain to incorporate these things as he created my likeness as a Princess then, and he sat with me in this meeting showing me the steps they were taking to bring those things back that got lost in the move from hand drawn to CGI.

It was important to me to hear what Disney had to say, and to have an open dialogue about legacy and representation. They did not have to make time to give me a presentation on the process, but I’m very glad that they did.

I also appreciate that this far into the process Disney had enough care and respect for all who love Princess Tiana and her legacy to spend the time and money to make the adjustments necessary. In doing so, they recognize that her legacy is also their legacy; two things I’m very proud to be a part of.

Here I am leaving the studios after our meeting. It never gets old walking those halls and being a part of something so very special. Thank you for continuing to love and support Princess Tiana. I’m sure you know that she loves you right back.

Anika Noni Rose.

Latest News from Cartoon Brew