"The Princess and the Frog" movie was surrounded by controversy right from the start. The main concerns were portrayal of African- American characters, race issues and the use of voodoo. Disney company was heavily criticized and had to change several key elements of the story early in the production.

Racial insensitivity

The original plan was to adapt fairy tale "The Frog Prince". All the characters were supposed to be Caucasians, but early in the production, the choice was made to make main characters African- Americans. The announcement of first African- American princess was praised, but this led to several complaints concerning plot, story and racial insensitivity.

The film was originally titled "The Frog Princess", but many people complained this name sugessted the first African- American princess was somehow ugly or an animal. So the title was changed to "The Princess and the Frog".

Also, Disney was forced to change several key elements of the story. The main character's name was changed from Maddy to Tiana, since "Maddy" sounded too much like "Mammy". Also, to avoid negative stereotypes, Tiana was changed from maid to a waitress wanting to own her own restaurant.

Prince's race

Another controversy, strongest at the time of film's release, was about prince Naveen's race. Many people expected a black prince and were unplesantly surprised to find out he was, in fact, ambigous. Naveen is, indeed, as ambigous as possible- he comes from a fictional country (whose name suggest Mediterranean location), he has a South Asian name and is voiced by a Brazilian actor.

People from Disney company said they did this on purpose: they wanted the prince to be as "raceless" as possible.

While it's agreed showing interracial romance was a good thing, many people felt prince should have been black. On the other hand, Naveen's personality (being somewhat lazy, wishing to marry a rich girl to get her money) would look really disrespectful if he were a black man.


The filmmakers were also criticized for the use of voodoo magic in a Disney film. Also, it was pointed out voodoo was innacuratelly portrayed in the film.


There were other complaints. The studio was accused of using negative stereotypes about Cajun people in creating Ray's character. Also, some people pointed that the film was full of historical inaccuracies.