Disney plans to redesign Splash Mountain theme park ride featuring company's first Black princess

The announcement from Disney comes after an online petition argued that Song of the South, the film on which the theme park ride was based, was riddled with racist stereotypes.

Reuters June 26, 2020 11:02:05 IST
Disney plans to redesign Splash Mountain theme park ride featuring company's first Black princess

Walt Disney Co said on Thursday, 25 July, it will renovate its Splash Mountain theme park ride to feature Tiana, the entertainment company’s first Black princess and the star of 2009 animated film The Princess and the Frog.

The announcement follows criticism of the current theme for Splash Mountain, which is based on 1946 film Song of the South. A recent online petition argued that the film promoted racist stereotypes.

Splash Mountain, “will soon be completely reimagined” with a story that features Princess Tiana preparing to attend a Mardi Gras performance, Disney said in a blog post.

“Tiana is a modern, courageous and empowered woman, who pursues her dreams and never loses sight of what’s really important. It’s a great story with a strong lead character, set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou,” the company said.

Read the announcement below

Hollywood companies including Disney are revisiting works from the past in light of renewed calls for racial justice following the death of George Floyd in US police custody.

(Also read on Firstpost — Alicia Keys to host Nick News special on race and inclusivity; show will feature Black Lives Matter activists)

(Also read on Firstpost: Gone with the Wind resumes streaming on HBO Max with introduction on race in US Civil War era)

(Also read on Firstpost — Black artists including Idris Elba, Queen Latifah sign open letter, requesting Hollywood to invest in anti-racist content)

The petition on Change.org said Splash Mountain was a “beloved classic” at California’s Disneyland, Walt Disney World in Florida and Tokyo Disneyland. But “its history and storyline are steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes from the 1946 film Song of the South.”

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