Disney Executive Gives Major Update on ‘Princess and the Frog’ Series

in Disney, Movies & TV

Young Tiana looking hopeful in Princess and the Frog

Credit: Disney

After being delayed to 2024, the new Disney+ original series Tiana (2024), based on The Princess and the Frog (2009), has gotten a significant update from a high-ranking Disney executive.

Tiana standing near her mother in Princess and the Frog
Credit: Disney

When it was first released, The Princess and the Frog was supposed to be Disney’s big return to their traditional storytelling. Not only was it hand-drawn, but it brought back the first Disney Princess in years: Princess Tiana (Anika Noni Rose).

The film follows Tiana before she is a princess and is turned into a frog when she kisses Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos). The two of them team up with various swamp denizens, including Louis the Alligator (Michael-Leon Wooley), Ray the Firefly (Jim Cummings), and Mama Odie (Jennifer Lewis), to return to normal and defeat the villainous Dr. Facilier (Keith David).

Unfortunately, the film wasn’t quite the big hit the studio wanted and faced some criticism. That being said, it has vastly increased in popularity over the years, mainly due to the catchy songs and Tiana’s dedicated and hard-working attitude. And now, The Princess and the Frog is having a massive comeback.

‘Princess and the Frog’ is Bigger Than Ever

splash mountain tiana
Credit: Disney

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Fourteen years after it debuted in theaters, The Princess and the Frog is more popular than ever. Not only have there been rumors of a live-action remake starring Lupita Nyong’o, but a new ride called Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is set to open in Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

While many Disney fans are angry at the loss of Splash Mountain, it cannot be denied that the new ride looks incredible, with many magical scenes and a closer tie-in to the neighboring New Orleans Square. On top of that, a new restaurant, Tiana’s Palace, is opening to bring more Cajun-style food to park guests.

The front of Tiana's Palace as it's being constructed at Disneyland
Credit: Disney

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However, the most exciting prospect is a brand-new animated series for Disney+ called Tiana. Written and directed by Stella Meghie, the series follows Tiana as the “newly crowned Princess of Maldonia on a new adventure, but her New Orleans past isn’t far behind.”

Fans are excited about the upcoming series, which is why it was upsetting that it was delayed until 2024. However, a high-ranking Disney executive has revealed that there is nothing to worry about.

New Disney+ Series Takes Tiana in a “New Direction”

Tiana, DIsney+ promotional image of Tiana on ship
Credit: Disney

Jennifer Lee is one of the most recognized faces for Disney at the moment. Now the Chief Creative Officer for Walt Disney Animation Studios, she is known for directing Frozen (2013) and Frozen II (2019) as well as writing many of Disney’s recent hits, including Wreck-It Ralph (2012), Big Hero 6 (2014), Zootopia (2016), and the upcoming Wish (2023). During an interview with Spanish film site eCartelera, she teased the upcoming series based on Moana (2016) and gave new details about Tiana.

“I love that Disney+ allows us to introduce experimentation and freshness while also exploring our legacy,” said Lee. “Combining celebration and narrative innovation. In that sense, we can play more with the Disney+ series. We’re doing the Moana series (2024), and it’s been a lot of fun. I love it. Tiana is a new world for her, a new direction, and a new voice. I think it’s a very good platform to start playing with things that have meant a lot to many of us.”

Tiana hanging off the side of a streetcar in Princess and the Frog
Credit: Disney

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Lee continued, saying how excited she is for the future of Disney animation: “For me, it is also recognizing that there is no turning back, only moving forward stronger and stronger. How technology has allowed us to maintain the importance of traditional animation through the artists is what excites me the most. There is a balance between the sequels and the original content. There are more Frozen and more Zootopia on the way because they invite their stories to grow. The filmmakers want to expand them.”

While the history of the Walt Disney Company is essential, it is equally important to cultivate what the company is making right now. Too often, studios like Disney want to avoid projects that didn’t work out initially. However, quality always shines through, and The Princess and the Frog has proven that it deserves all of the recognition it has received as of late.

Are you excited for the new Disney+ series Tiana? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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