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There were quite a lot of interesting, behind-the-scenes political stuff that went into the planning of The Princess and the Frog. All tropes pertaining to those anecdotes belong here.

  • But Not Too Black: Averted with Tiana. Dr. Facilier is lighter than even the "olive-toned" prince, probably meant to be Creole, but he's the villain.
  • Facial Profiling: A delicate issue with Tiana's design. It's very clear with her fuller lips and broader nose that Tiana wasn't just a generic white design coated brown. At the same time, artists had a challenge in not playing up any "blackface" stereotypes.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Charlotte has a tinier waist than any real life supermodel, but certain critics have called her "fat", even though it's more like she's just stacked with realistic arms instead of stylized slenderness like Tiana.[1] Some of her percieved pudginess is due to her personality. Charlotte typically wears lavish and flouncy dresses and bounces when she walks. Charlott'es design is over-all very round, despite her tiny waist, and she has full cheeks; they make her expressive and give her a childlike smile, and an excess of baby fat.
  • Politically-Correct History: One should keep in mind that this isn’t the 1920s of our universe, this is the 1920s of the Disney Animated Canon--therefore more idealized and bright. However, there are some nods to actual history, leading to a few notable aversions of this trope.
    • The Fenner Brothers are very condescending to Tiana when they break the news to her that she has been outbid on the sugar mill. Specifically, they say that a person of her "uhh... background" would be in over her head trying to run a large, fancy restaurant, and that she would be happier in her current job as a waitress. Their attitude comes from one of the classic "justifications" for limiting African-American employment opportunities to menial tasks: an assumption that blacks were too lazy or stupid to accept greater responsibilities.
    • The entire "Prince Naveen" element is especially problematic. As cosmopolitan a city as New Orleans has always been, it is still part of the "traditional" South (as people who know the city will always remind you). And the South in the 1920s was not only racially prejudiced, but ethnically prejudiced as well. Simply being "white" in our modern sense didn't quite cut it: only Anglo-Saxons, French, Germans, and Scandinavians were considered truly "normal". It is glaringly obvious that Naveen is from a foreign, non-Anglo country, and it is highly unlikely that any white Southerner - let alone one as prominent as "Big Daddy" LaBouff - would have been pleased at the thought of him marrying his daughter. But instead, of course, Naveen chooses to marry Tiana instead, which raises its own troubling issues as miscegenation was still illegal.
      • Given his attitude towards Tiana and her mother, viewing them as close friends, and even eating at black restaurants, its possible that Big Daddy LaBouff just has an amazingly progressive viewpoint for the time period, a viewpoint that has since been passed on to his daughter (who herself grew up with a black best friend whom she considered her equal).

Notes

  1. Note that Tiana is able to wear one of Charlotte's dresses without trouble.
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