Disney seems to be in overdrive. Along with the announcement of the three disney movies Johnny Depp would star in, Disney has also revealed that Oprah Winfrey will do the voiceover for the character of Eudora in Disney’s forthcoming movie The Princess and the Frog.
On September 24, 2008, John Lasseter, the chief creative office at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, said that Winfrey will lend her voice to the character of Eudora, the mother of the lead character, Princess Tiana, the first African American disney princess. The voiceover for Princess Tiana will be provided by Anika Noni Rose in the Princess and the Frog. Oprah has assumed other voice-over roles in the past, including Bee Movie’s Judge Bumbleton. Earlier, Oprah has lent her voice to the Gussie the Goose character in live-action Charlotte’s Web, and Judge Bumbleton in Jerry Seinfeld’s Bee Movie.
The Princess and the Frog is about a young girl Princes Tiana who lives in the french quarters of New Orleans in the Jazz Age.
The Princess and the Frog will be directed and written by Ron Clements and John Musker. Clements and Musker have earlier worked together on Aladdin, Treasure Planet, and Hercules.
The Princess and The Frog will be released on December 25, 2009.
The Princess and the Frog is the first Disney 2D film after the 2004 The Home on the Range.
Disney has already courted controversy with the Princess and the Frog. The movie has been criticised for using New Orleans as the setting of the film and featuring a voodoo priestess as a fairy godmother.
Charlotte Observer columnist William Blackburn has been quoted as saying “This princess’ story is set in New Orleans, the setting of one of the most devastating tragedies to beset a black community. And then they throw in the voodoo theme [the fairy-godmother character is a voodoo priestess] and an alligator sidekick. When you put New Orleans, alligators and voodoo together, there’s no beauty there.”