Saturday, March 17, 2007

Disney FINALLY taps the southside

Wassup, Y'all!

Well it's only been 82 years and a procession of 10 other types of princesses but Disney has finally noticed that it has never rendered an animated, southside princess and decided that now's the time. With the announcement of 'The Frog Princess', an 'American fairy tale musical set in New Orleans during the 1920's Jazz Age', Disney will debut Maddy, a 19 year old chambermaid, a southside homegirl and a character that has some of the hottest female southside talent vying to be her voice...

Now before I get to a discussion of that talent, let me do a little bit of nitpicking with the fact that although Disney has decided to break the mold, I'm a lttle disappointed in 1) the title - Frog Princess? Not Cinderella or Ariel (The Little Mermaid) or Belle (the beauty of Beauty and the Beast) but Maddy, The Frog Princess. Hmmmm...hopefully there will be a logical explanation for that choice when the movie drops... and 2) How you gonna drop a 2D animated movie when the state of the art is now 3D (Computer Generated Imagery - CGI)?? You know the crumbsnatchers are geared for 3D now so when the box office reciepts don't meet the budget, the Disney execs will be going 'See? I told you fools that folks wouldn't buy any damn southside princess!'

If I'm not mistaken, the last big 2D movie out was Sinbad: Legend of The Seven Seas and despite voice talent like Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones that joint lost about $34 million domestically (give or take a few ducets). No one is feelin' 2D animation anymore, especially after you peep what they can do with CGI.

Now getting back to that voice talent for Maddy. Word is that names like Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson and Anika Noni Rose (the third Dream in Dreamgirls) are flexing for the opportunity. I'd have to give the inside track to J-Hud just based on the fact that they can add 'Academy Award Winner Jennifer Hudson' to the movie PR and ol girl is hotter than the sun these days (you have to know that somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight that Beyonce is wondering why her name isn't being mentioned...). Alicia would be a good pick but she'd have to be a dark horse given her homegirl, New York accent (ol Ty is feelin' it but it doesn't seem to fit a 19 year old chambermaid from Nawlins' unless she can mimick that Nawlins Cajun type speak). Should be interesting to see how that race works out.

In the meantime, grudging kudos to Disney for finally gettin' it *and* announcing that Maddy will become a character at their theme parks - good news for biddy bop southside shortys who have been wondering why no princesses there look like they do. Shoot - ol Ty might even chip in for a Maddy doll if they come out lookin' like Alicia Keys...



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