Poor Disney. They finally attempt a return to hand-drawn animation, and — somewhat more admirably for a company with some racist dirt in its past — create a black heroine to add to their incredibly lucrative Princess line, and it’s already backfiring on them. The company’s had to go back to the drawing board after the initial plot for The Princess and the Frog was rejected as possibly offensive. Now they’ve released the first teaser trailer, and — lovely as its vision of Jazz Age New Orleans may be — Defamer’s already pointed out the somewhat questionable stereotype embedded in one of the three characters featured: “a toothless firefly that seems to have fluttered in accidentally from the set of Song of the South 2: Cajun Vacation.”
We’re inclined to believe that the firefly isn’t a racist caricature of southern blacks, but rather a classist caricature of the southern poor, which $244 million for Cars and its redneck tow truck Mater suggest is still totally okay these days. We look forward to our daughter adding princess Tiana to her roster of people she wants to be when she grows up who are not doctors, lawyers, or Pulitzer Prize–winning novelists.