Snow White was the first Disney princess to be featured on the big screen in 1937. Now, 72 years later Disney is introducing their latest princess - Tiana. She's the new "fairest of them all" and she's making history as Disney's first black princess.
"Finally, here is something that all little girls, especially young black girls, can embrace. And that is huge,” says Cori Murray of Essence Magazine.
Tiana's timing couldn't be better. The fairy tale princess comes on the heels of what some call a real-life fairy tale: The Obamas.
“This is the perfect one-two punch with Michelle Obama being the first African American first lady in the White House. She has really turned into this style icon. Now we have Princess Tiana. It's just a great time to be an African American woman because we are being showcased everywhere in great light,” says Murray.
While Tiana’s story shares some similarities with previous princesses she is a more modern princess. She has her own career; far different from cartoons of years past. Racial stereotypes used to be everywhere, even in some Disney productions.
But times have changed says marketing guru Linda Kaplan Thaler.
“It used to be that we would see people in black face, we would see minstrel shows we would see black people portrayed in subservient positions. And it is so wonderful that we have finally moved past these stereotypes.”
In recent years Disney has made of point of creating princesses who are more diverse. First there was Jasmine, Pocahontas, then Mulan, and now, Tiana.
Disney's marketing machine is in high gear. The doll was unveiled last month at the American International Toy Fair. The movie will be out by the end of the year.
It’s called "The Princess and the Frog." Set in New Orleans, Tiana is a waitress and a budding chef. She kisses a frog who, no surprise, turns out to be a prince.
Kaplan Thaler says that's where the story still needs some work.
"I think there are a lot of girls even at 5 and 6 years old who might scratch their head and go 'I don't know. I don't know if it's going to be solved by a prince. I don't know if a frog is going to do it.'"