Princess Tiana from Disney's The Princess & the Frog

Am I being too picky? 

Our first African-American Disney princess spends about two-thirds of the animated film as a frog. That means that black kids, excited about finally seeing a princess that looks like them, will only get to see that image for maybe 30-40 minutes (rough estimate) out of a 1 hour and 37 minutes running time. 

When I posed the question to the hubby he replied, half-joking and half-serious, “Yes,  you are. We need to take what we can get.” 

This isn’t a review of the movie, discussing if it’s good or bad film. But rather a commentary on expectations. 

I remember when the movie was first announced, over two years ago. Emails were exchanged, every meager news items was read, and my sisters, my friends and I counted down the months then the days until we were able to line ourselves up to watch a black princess movie. It was a moment we’ve been waiting for since we were little girls. 

The message in the movie is great. You have to work hard for what you achieve in life.  It is a wonderful aspect that the story focuses on the culture of New Orleans. The actual character of Tiana is a wonderful portrayal of a strong, independent, determined dreamer. And to turn the frog prince fairytale and give it a new spin is fun, new way to think of the story. 

But, I don’t know, I would have loved to spend more time with her as a black girl on-screen than as a green frog. 

Maybe it’s just me. 

Other rumblings I have heard centers around having a non-black prince. For whatever reason, that does not bother me. That is the least of my concerns. And that could be me taking “what I can get.” 

I don’t know. I don’t like throwing the race card at every single perceived slight, but this is the first thought that entered my mind a few months ago once I figured out the plot from the commercials. 

But in the end, I still eagerly anticipated the film. My five-year old exclaimed at every commercial. And after watching the movie yesterday, she gushed, “This is exactly what I wanted.” She is too young to know how long this moment has been in the making, but she loved every single second. 

And when it’s all said and done, that is what matters the most to me. 

What do you think?