In 2009, Disney released a new animated film, introducing the world to its first black princess. That princess was Tiana and the movie was The Princess and the Frog. What’s more, Tiana’s prince — Naveen — was also a minority, with characters who were primarily of color. It was the first Disney movie since Pocahontas to have a primarily black cast, and the first original Disney movie to do that, as Pocahontas was mainly based on a true story. The Princess and the Frog was a hit and has only grown in popularity in the more than 10 years since its release.
The Walt Disney Company just began celebrating its 100th anniversary and, in celebration of the momentous occasion, Funko released a number of new Pops honoring a number of characters. One of those Pops is Tiana and Naveen dancing in their outfits that they wear at the end of the film. However, when Funko released initial images of the characters, people were quick to notice a BIG problem.
While Tiana’s character was clearly black, Naveen appeared to be white.
be so serious. the way I saw the first pic and was like “why is Tiana holding hands with Prince Eric” — YOU’RE TELLING ME THAT’S SUPPOSED TO BE NAVEEN
be so serious. the way I saw the first pic and was like “why is Tiana holding hands with Prince Eric” — YOU’RE TELLING ME THAT’S SUPPOSED TO BE NAVEEN https://t.co/UKz59J9hij
— Bezi || Black Bookwyrm Reads (@beingabookwyrm) January 25, 2023
STOP THE MF MUSIC https://t.co/Y5F5yFLVna pic.twitter.com/QqOnq3tUC4
— tlou lockdown ♤ (@haworthes) January 25, 2023
While a lot of people were upset — and rightfully so — others joked that the two characters were actually Cinderella and Prince Christopher from the 1997 film Cinderella starring Brandi as the titular princess and Paolo Montalban as Prince Christopher. Since the film has come out, it has become a cult classic, lauded for its extremely diverse casting.
Omg it’s them
Omg it's them pic.twitter.com/BUMavyAsCE
— 🔪 mental killness 🔪 (@JamesPeppersalt) January 25, 2023
Things got so bad, with so many people calling the company out, that Funko deleted its original tweet and released a follow-up tweet, saying that the original image present did not accurately represent the new Funko Pop.
*Our previous post showed an image of the Naveen Funko Pop! that is not true to the product, which is accurately shown here.
*Our previous post showed an image of the Naveen Funko Pop! that is not true to the product, which is accurately shown here. https://t.co/FbfLhy7auM pic.twitter.com/HkZPt8ZRie
— Funko (@OriginalFunko) January 26, 2023
While The Princess and the Frog Tiana and Naveen Funko Pop images were released, they are not yet available for sale on the Funko website. However, since the Disney 1oo Anniversary celebration kicked off on January 27, and these new Funkos are honoring the Disney 100, we expect them to be released at any time.
Next year, Guests will also be able to celebrate The Princess and the Frog when Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World in late 2024. The new attraction is replacing the iconic ride, Splash Mountain. A Princess and the Frog sequel show is also in the works at Disney+.