Thursday, July 5, 2007

Disney Finds A Doctor...


Walt Disney Animation Studios announced that Keith David has been cast as the voice of the villain in "The Princess and the Frog".

David will play Dr. Facilier, a character originally known as Dr. Duvalier. The character was described as African-American, mid-thirties, probably Creole with a smooth charisma and sinister personality. No word yet if anything other than the name has changed. Sounds like David's distinctive voice will be a very good fit for the Witch Doctor/Voodoo Magician. I'm a particular fan of his voice-work in the "Spawn" animated series.

This is the third name change known for Disney's 2009 release. First was the title: "The Frog Princess" which became "The Princess and the Frog" because some felt it would offend the French(is this really a problem?). Then the lead character Maddy was changed to Tiana because the name sounded too close to Mammy, a derogatory. racist term(uhm... a little too PC here?). It's not known if Tiana's character has been changed from a chamber maid... afterall, we wouldn't want to offend anyone else. Would we?

One hopes that the wish not to offend doesn't handicap the story. I trust Lasseter on these matters but I find it troubling when they've become so sensitive to complaints that they change the American name of the film simply because it "might, possibly, maybe, conceivably" offend French people? If this is truly a problem for them, then how about they change the foriengn release of the film in... uhm, I don't know... France? I have faith in Uncle John, but none what-so-ever in political correctness. It's wrong, it's fascistic and un-American...

Still, I greatly look forward to this film as the return of classic animation. May it herald a new 2D rebirth. After the 2010 release "Rapunzel" the emphasis will go back on Disney being a hand drawn animation company. This will not be mandated. We know that John Lasseter believes the studio should be "director driven", but I beleive that it will be strongly encouraged so as to differentiate the Disney brand from everything else out there.

5 comments:

CheriBibi said...

I'm French, and American have to understand that FROG is an insult toward us only in the US... And then again, insult may be a bit harsh... I'm afraid they may indeed ruin the spontaneity of this feature by monitoring every hard beat of any single defense association on the continent.

Anonymous said...

I hope this movie is a great tale and makes Disney realize what a mistake it was to abandon hand drawn animation.

But the PC aspect of this really bothers me. They should try and make a great film, not try and please everyone that is looking to be offended. They will NEVER make these people happy because these people are miserable and looking to blame anyone else for their misery.

Make a good film and don't pay attention to people crying about being a helpless victim of some big, cold corporation.

Yuma Linda said...

I hope they hurry and release some production art. I want to see what each character looks like. I want to see more of the settings. I really can't wait for this film! Although like Honor, I do like the original name: The Frog Princess.

Anonymous said...

I'm French too... I don't know anybody in France really being offended by the whole Frog thing. The ridiculous and over bearing argurment of perpetual Political Correctness is really something from American (mostly lawyers and marketeers) and largely a bit of hypocrisy. Unfortunately, it seems to be gaining ground everywhere you look. I think PC should never impede freedom of speech, and parody is protected as such. And to people easily offended, I say just don't watch. Or in the case of such petty things, just grow up ! :)

Anonymous said...

actually rapunzel isn't 2d.