Who is Princess Tiana?

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Princess Tiana is the lead character in Walt Disney Pictures’ 49th animated film The Princess and the Frog, which came out in 2009.

More significantly, she is the 1st Black Princess in the Disney Princess franchise. 

Who is Princess Tiana? [Source: Vocal Media]
Who is Princess Tiana? [Source: Vocal Media]

Princess Tiana’s Story

Princess Tiana, Disney’s 9th princess, is created by directors John Musker and Ron Clements and animated by Mark Henn. 

Apparently, directors based her loosely on 2 princesses: The Princess from The Frog Prince, a fairytale by the Brothers Grimm, and Princess Emma from E.D. Baker’s The Frog Princess, a novel inspired by the former.

Watch the full movie!

Princess Tiana Wearing a Green Gown [Source: Wallpaper Cave]
Princess Tiana Wearing a Green Gown [Source: Wallpaper Cave]

[I]t was certainly about time [for an African American heroine]. But we didn’t approach this movie with that as any kind of agenda. John Lasseter suggested taking the fairy tale The Frog Prince and setting it in New Orleans. The idea of making our heroine African American simply grew out of the setting, and that was an integral part of the story we pitched to John in March of 2006. We all thought it was a great idea. But it wasn’t until later that we fully realized the importance of this in the African American community.

Co-director Ron Clements on the reason behind Tiana’s ethnicity

In the film, Elizabeth M. Dampier voiced the young Tiana, while Anika Noni Rose voiced the grownup Princess Tiana

Tiana’s Character

Tiana Working as a Waitress [Source: Disney Princess]
Tiana Working as a Waitress [Source: Disney Princess]

Disney describes her this way:

Tiana is a visionary who learned the joy of sharing good food with others from her father. She believes the only way to get what you want in this world is through hard work. She is focused and driven to achieve her goals, despite the obstacles she faces.

Disney Princess on Tiana

The audience gets to see all these different sides of her throughout the entire movie. 

As a loving, kind-hearted, and intelligent princess who has a never-give-up attitude, Princess Tiana is an inspiration to all.

In short, Princess Tiana is proof that no matter where you come from, if you believe in your dreams and work hard for them, you’ll find your own perfect, magical place in this world.

Fun Facts About Princess Tiana

Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen [Source: Disney Princess]
Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen [Source: Disney Princess]

Here are some fun facts about this legendary princess and her movie:

  • Like Disney Princess Mulan, Tiana is left-handed.
  • The Princess and the Frog film took over 3 years to complete.
  • Princess Tiana has the most onscreen costumes, 11 in total!
  • It was the first hand-drawn Disney Animation movie since 2004.
  • The film has several references to Aladdin throughout. Check out the images below to see if you can spot these fun Easter eggs!
[Source: Disney]
[Source: Disney]

From Splash Mountain to The Princess and the Frog

New Princess and the Frog Concept for Splash Mountain Renovation [Source: Disney Parks Blog]
New Princess and the Frog Concept for Splash Mountain Renovation [Source: Disney Parks Blog]

Speaking of Princess Tiana, on June 25, Disney announced a piece of exciting news related to The Princess and the Frog:

Disney’s Splash Mountain attraction at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland California will get a revamp: The theme will change from the 1946 film Song of the South to the 2009 movie The Princess and the Frog.

For those who are unaware, Song of the South drew controversy for presenting a glorified view of slavery and for having offensive portrayals of Black characters. 

Consequently, it is not available on Disney’s streaming service.

Going back to the upcoming attraction, here’s one big reason why the change is so meaningful:

The new concept is inclusive – one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year.

Michael Ramirez, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

Currently, the Imagineers are working on the conceptual design.

Soon, they will be able to conduct preliminary reviews and also develop a timeline for the transformation process.

Learn more by reading our full article on the Splash Mountain makeover.

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