In 2009 Disney released their 49th animated classic, The Princess and the Frog. Set in 1920’s New Orleans, Louisiana The Princess and the Frog follows Tiana, Disney’s first African-American Princess. Tiana is a beignet baker and dreams of owning her own restaurant. Here are 10 things you never knew about The Princess and the Frog.
1. Tiana is based off of real-life chef Leah Chase.
Initially, Tiana was supposed to be a chambermaid in NOLA. However, the Black community pushed back against that ridiculous suggestion. Instead, Disney modeled Tiana after, the Queen of Creole Cuisine, Leah Chase. Chase is 93-years old and has fed everyone from Thurgood Marshall to President Barak Obama.
2. Tiana is one of the most well-dressed Disney Princesses.
Unlike most of the Disney Princess, Tiana’s wardrobe is on fleek. Mama has two separate work outfits, she has a stunning green coat, her imaginary clothes, two different gowns for the masquerade ball, her Tiana’s Place outfit and her wedding dress. All in all, that’s 11 different outfits in the film when most of the Disney Princess only have three or four.
3. She is the only Disney Princess with a job.
We all know that Tiana slayys the beignets and she makes money for her efforts. Though Princesses like Cinderella and Mulan were no strangers to hard work, they were not paid for their efforts. On the other hand, Tiana knows how the economy works and how to earn and save money. She didn’t need Prince Naveen’s coins.
4. She’s the second Disney Princess to have a human BFF.
Though we live for Rajah and Flounder, there is nothing quite like having a human bestie. Pocahontas was the first Disney Princess to have human best friend with Nakoma, while Tiana had her man-crazy BFF Charlotte La Bouff.
5. Oprah got involved with the film by accident.
Oprah Winfrey voices Tiana’s mama Eudora in the film, but she got the role on accident. Years before the film’s debut, directors Ron Clements and John Musker pitched the film to Queen O for fun while they were all hanging out at Disneyland. She adored it so much that she asked to be a part of it.
6. Actress Anika Noni Rose who voices Tiana is the reason the Disney Princess is left-handed.
Rose asked that the animators make Tiana a leftie like her, and she’s also the reason why Tiana is the only Disney Princess with dimples.
We adore when Disney throws some history into their films.
8. Mama Odie was inspired by Yoda.
Actress Jenifer Lewis voiced the 197-year old blind voodoo priestess who was inspired by comedian Moms Mabley and Star Wars‘ Yoda.
9. There’s a bit of The Lion King in the film.
The birds in the church shot were the same birds used in The Lion King. We guess Disney is really down for renew, reuse and recycle.
10. The women who fawn over Prince Naveen were based off of real life people.
All of the women worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios.