What Disney’s Indefinite Scrapping of ‘Princess and the Frog’ Sequel Release Actually Means

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Tiana, DIsney+ promotional image of Tiana on ship

Credit: Disney

Did you know that Disney was making this sequel?

princess tiana and prince naveen wedding kiss the princess and the frog
Credit: Disney

Related: The Most EPIC Disney Animation Intros of All Time, Ranked

The Walt Disney Company has been at the forefront of the animation industry for a hundred years. With Disney’s 100th anniversary, their world of animation continues to expand — ever since its rather humble origins in Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie (1928) and Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937) — with industry-leading animation to this day. Disney also owns the world-renowned Pixar Animation Studios (and their properties like Toy Story and Finding Nemo), all while maintaining internationally-beloved theme parks such as the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Today, the Disney brand has grown — it’s not just Cinderella (1950), Sleeping Beauty (1959), The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), Hercules (1997), Pocahontas (1998), and later Cars (2006) and Zootopia (2016). Now, Disney encompasses extremely popular properties like Lucasfilm’s Star Wars and Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe, that more or less shape the media landscape as we know it.

The Princess and the Frog
Credit: Disney

The Princess and the Frog (2009) is going to be the face of the new reskin of the previous Splash Mountain ride at the Disney Parks — and now it appears that the retooled Splash Mountain will debut before any sequel ever does.

What will The Princess and the Frog sequel be about?

The Princess and the Frog, originally The Frog Princess, came to theaters in 2009 and was The Walt Disney Company’s final 2D animated feature, produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. Directed and written by John Musker and Ron Clements, it utilized the same traditional animation that built The Walt Disney Company from the days of Walt Disney itself, and followed Anika Noni Rose as Tiana, a hard-working waitress with dreams of a life owning her own restaurant, Bruno Campos as (one of the premier Disney Princes) Prince Naveen of Maldonia who gets turned into a frog by voodoo bokor or witch doctor, Keith David as Dr. Facilier/the Shadow Man, helped along by Peter Bartlett as Lawrence. After a kiss gone awry turns Tiana into a frog herself, the amphibious couple journey with Louis (Michael-Leon Wooley), Ray (Jim Cummings), and meet Mama Odie (Jenifer Lewis) along the way. Oprah Winfrey plays Tiana’s mother Eudora, while Terrence Howard is father James, and Jennifer Cody was cast as Charlotte La Bouff AKA Lottie, and John Goodman is “Big Daddy” Eli La Bouff.

princess and the frog
Credit: Disney

Related: The Seven BEST Disney Princess Songs Ever Made

The sequel to the much-loved film featuring the first Black woman of color to be a Disney Princess in the company’s history is supposedly dealing with Princess Tiana’s future as the Princess of Maldonia, and as such, named Tiana. The sequel would see Tiana setting off on a “grand new adventure as the newly crowned Princess” — meanwhile, “a calling to her New Orleans past isn’t far behind”. All of this was revealed by Deadline all the way back in 2021. Stella Meghie (The Photograph) was also announced to direct and write the “new long-form musical series” that was “coming to Disney+ in 2023”. Unfortunately now, fans of Disney animation may have an indefinite wait ahead of them.

Why is Disney’s Tiana being delayed indefinitely?

waitress tiana in the princess and the frog
Credit: Disney

The previously announced new The Princess and the Frog sequel has gotten a surprising new update recently. Tiana has in fact already had its release date pushed back from 2023 to 2024, late last year. But now, it seems like Walt Disney Animation Studios are no longer willing to even give us a definitive release year, changing from the prior “Coming to Disney+ in 2024” to now merely “Coming soon to Disney+”. Development hell? It’s definitely possible. What’s more likely however, is potentially a slowing down of Disney+ and television releases just like Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios, after the exit of prior Disney CEO, Bob Chapek. With the Disney+ slate likely sufficiently filled under Chapek’s reign and balanced for its current subscriber count, it’s likely time for releases to slow — and for Princess and the Frog’s sequel to potentially benefit from being more culturally relevant come 2024’s Tiana’s Bayou Adventure’s debut in the Parks.

At the end of the day, we may only speculate. However, this series definitely appears to be falling in line with Disney’s recent treatment of 2000s theatrical animated films whose stories still might warrant a revisit. Films like 2010’s Tangled fall into this category, with the sequel taking the form of the television series Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure from 2017. But the Mouse House probably determines the animation cost and projected audience draw (AKA ticket sales) not quite worth the effort — moving the continuations to long-form television instead, and now on Disney+. Or perhaps to give them some benefit of the doubt, with sequel stories too complex to fit a two hour runtime, and better suited to a television mode of delivery. It’s also a nice coincidence that endeavors like this continue to expand the library of Disney+ Original programming for the king of media and streaming. At least they aren’t pulling another Belle’s Magical World (1998).

What do you think about this update regarding the new Princess and the Frog sequel, Tiana? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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