Anika Noni Rose Adds Diva Glitz to Disney

Tony-winning actress hopes to empower a generation

1209_LIF_THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG_3.pg

(Source: Disney)

What lessons can people take from the movie?

I think there are some wonderful messages in it, not the least of which is that you should dream as big as possible and reach for the highest star. And when you are finished dreaming get ready to put the work in to make it happen, because it is a very rare dream that comes true just from the wish. I think that is a great message for children because things often seem like they happen so easily for people and they don’t know how much effort was put into it.

How will a black princess resonate with little girls everywhere?

There is no gearing up for … what this is and what it means to society as a whole. For black children that see this movie, and their friends who may or may not be black but who see their friends of brown skin in this light…as royalty…it is so important. This movie is opening up a world to these children with their curly hair, round noses, full lips, and brown skin, to think of themselves as something beautiful and worthy of being held aloft.

Tiana’s mother Eudora (played by Oprah Winfrey) believed in her daughter’s dream to become an entrepreneur even though the task seemed arduous. Why is it important for parents to believe in their children’s dreams?

When you believe in your child the dream might change, the journey might change, but they always have you as their base. You give them wings. I had people who believed in me all times. It didn’t matter what I said I wanted to do. It didn’t matter how far-fetched [the dream was]. I believe firmly that without the sense of structure, this sense of faith in myself, which came from people saying “you can do it, whatever it is,” I would not be here.

Watch “Our World with Black Enterprise” this weekend for an interview with Anika Noni Rose. Check TV listing for times in your area. Also, check out the February issue of Black Enterprise magazine for more of our interview with Anika Noni Rose.

Marcia Wade Talbert and Ed Gordon contributed to this article.

RELATED READING

Review: Tiana Sparkles, but ‘The Princess and the Frog’ Dims Disney Legacy

Slideshow: Hot-Selling Merchandise Fit for a ‘Princess’

Pages: 1 2
ACROSS THE WEB