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"The Princess and the Frog" News Story Round-Up

Several news stories about Disney’s The Princess and the Frog are being published in time for the movie’s nationwide release today, December 11, 2009:

  • The Star-Telegram discusses how John Lasseter began re-hiring many animators laid off when Disney shuttered its hand-drawn animation division, and also looks at the research for the character design.
  • The Wall Street Journal talks with directors Ron Clements and John Musker about their path from laid-off to re-hired, as well as some of the changes that were made to the movie in production.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle talks with the movie’s star Anika Noni Rose, following her career and her feelings on being Disney’s first black princess.
  • An AP report from ABC News chats with Jenifer Lewis about her role as the benign voodoo queen Mama Odie.
  • Neil Gabler, author of Walt Disney: Triumph of the American Imagination, writes about Walt Disney’s history with racial issues for the Chicago Tribune, taking note of his personal character and the reaction to Song of the South.
  • The Salt Lake Tribune also briefly looks at the racial issues surrounding the movie, as well as some of the fears and concerns the animators had in returning to hand-drawn feature films.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle also speaks with Mark Henn and Michael Surrey, who were the supervising animators for Tiana and Ray the firefly, respectively, about their experiences through the tough times for hand-drawn animation at the start of the decade and its seeming revival with the release of the movie.
  • Utah’s KSL 5 TV speaks with Randy Haycock, supervising animator for the movie’s Prince Naveen as a frog, about his career arc at Disney from Aladdin and The Lion King to the present day.
  • The Omaha World-Herald talks with Omaha native Jeff Draheim on being the film editor for The Princess and the Frog.

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