Seminar paper from the year 2012 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,3, Ruhr-University of Bochum (Englisches Seminar), course: New Orleans, language: English, abstract: The Princess and the Frog immediately captured the media's and critics' attention since the heroine and later princess, Tiana, is Disney's first African-American protagonist. Some scholars claim that the timely release of the film in the first year of Barack Obama's presidency renders The Princess and the Frog an appropriate marker of America's so-called 'new age' of racial harmony: While a black president resides in the White House, a black princess lives in the Disney castle. When the characters sing "Dreams Do Come True in New Orleans" (Newman), the city - though accurately and authentically depicted - is presented as a dreamspace with racial harmony, contrary to the real New Orleans at that time. In this context, the peculiar absence of racial tension throughout the film might be an approach to overwrite the problematic position the city occupies in the minds of many Americans with a romantic fairy tale by Disney. Therefore it can be said that The Princess and the Frog serves as a tourist brochure for the city which makes viewers nostalgically look back. To prove my theses of how blackness is formed in The Princess and the Frog, I will have a closer look at the setting of the Disney-movie since New Orleans, which is often considered as a place of 'racial difference', plays an important role in the film's construction of blackness. At first I will give a brief overview of the city's colonial history before explaining the concept of Creolization and link this idea to New Orleans. In the following part of my paper, I will analyze the representation of blackness in Walt Disney's film The Princess and the Frog by on the one hand referring to the setting and its depiction and on the other hand taking into account Tiana, the first African American princess, and her illustration in the film. Due to limitations of space and since the portrayals of New Orleans and Tiana provide lots of interesting material for an analysis, the display of voodoo and the study of other characters in the film is omitted in this paper. Finally, in the conclusion I sum up my findings and elaborate on an issue, or respectively, answer a question which was often posed and discussed about after the release of the film: Does Disney neglect stereotypes in The Princess and the Frog or promote them?
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