Blue skies and sunshine are guaranteed, as the start of a new era of one of Disney’s most beloved Princesses is upon us! Late in January 2023, a classic attraction at Walt Disney World, Splash Mountain, closed forever to make way for a reimagined family ride featuring Princess Tiana from the animated movie, Princess and The Frog. This, combined with the fact that Disney+ has greenlit a new series featuring the studio’s first black princess, means Anika Noni Rose will be very busy reprising her voice role for both the attraction and the show.
As you can imagine, this suits her just fine, as she’s proud of the legacy Tiana has with the Disney community, and the world at large. “I think the true legacy [of Princess & The Frog] is the way that it has changed the way children look at themselves,” Anika told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY during our interview at The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection Concert. “Specifically, young brown girls, and the way their friends take them in and what they think when they’re in their own little imagination. It has really expanded that and changed the way children can relate to each other, but most importantly, relate to themselves. Beautiful.”
It’s her deep love for the character so many adore that keeps her tight lipped about any progress that’s been made on the two Tiana-centric projects. “I can tell you nothing about Princess Tiana, and her current movements. So sorry,” she teased when we asked about the upcoming show and the change of Splash Mountain to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. While the closing of the attraction saddened many fans, many more are thrilled for the opportunity Disney’s taken to erase the ride’s racist back story.
Splash Mountain was conceptualized from the 1946 musical film Song of the South, which the company has not made available in any form for more than 35 years. When the ride reopens in late 2024, Br’er Rabbit and other animatronic characters from that film will be gone, replace with Princess Tiana, Louis the alligator, and other beloved characters, as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance. Let’s just hope fans left enough water in the log flume ride to keep it functional …IYKYK!
The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection concert returns to New York City on February 1st at at Lincoln Center to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease, the #1 killer of women. “It is important for me to be here because black women in particular have serious issues with heart health,” Anika added. “We are very often under diagnosed and it is important for us to think about it to talk about it to be about it. So that we can save our own lives before it becomes something that is dire.”
As for how she takes care of her own heart health? “I am pretty regular with cardio,” she says. “I’m not trying to run a marathon but I do walk a whole lot. And I like an elliptical. I don’t eat a whole lot of fried foods, though. I love french fries. But I’m just very aware of what I’m putting into my body and I try to be consistent.”
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(With Inputs from hollywoodlife)