Disney+ ‘Tiana’ series gets director; concept art

Disney releases new concept art showing Princess Tiana embarking on a “grand adventure” ahead of the release of the new animated series.

Disney gave fans a first look at its upcoming Disney+ show “Tiana,” a new original animated series on the life of the beloved Princess Tiana.

The company revealed concept art for the show Friday, along with the identity of its director: Canadian screenwriter Stella Meghie.

Disney announced in 2020 that a slew of new animated series would be coming to its streaming service, including spinoff shows for Princess and the Frog and the movies Zootopia and Moana.

“Thank you to Walt Disney Animation Studios for entrusting me to continue Tiana’s story,” said Meghie in a Twitter post Friday. The director, whose most recent work includes the film The Photograph featuring Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield, has become one of the most sought-after storytellers for Black film and television. 

“Writing and directing at @disneyanimation was a dream before I even knew it was possible. TIANA coming in 2023 to @disneyplus,” she wrote.

Thank you to Walt Disney Animation Studios for entrusting me to continue Tiana’s story. Extend the legacy of Princess and the Frog. Writing and directing at @disneyanimation was a dream before I even knew it was possible. TIANA coming in 2023 to @disneyplus. #DisneyPlusDay pic.twitter.com/1y5TQtbKEu

— Stella Meghie (@stellamink) November 12, 2021

Princess Tiana made history in 2009 by becoming the first Black character to join the coveted Disney princess list. Princess and the Frog is set in New Orleans during the 1920s, following the life of hardworking waitress Tiana, whose dream is to open up her own restaurant. 

The animated musical romantic comedy enlisted the voices of a heavy-hitting cast, including Tony-winning singer and actress Anika Noni Rose as Tiana, Emmy-winning actor Keith David as Dr. Facilier and Brazilian lawyer turned actor Bruno Campos as Prince Naveen. The film went on to gross nearly $300 million globally. Rose will reprise her role as the princess in the series.

According to the official description of the series, the show will follow Tiana as she “sets off for a grand new adventure as the newly crowned Princess of Maldonia, but a calling to her New Orleans past isn’t far behind.” The concept art shows the princess running aboard a ship with a suitcase in hand.

Disney+ revealed new concept art for their new animated series “Tiana,” which is a spinoff of their 2009 film “Princess and the Frog.” (PhotoCred: Disney+/Twitter)

Meghie said she was a huge Princess Tiana fan when the film was first released and that Tiana was “the first Disney icon that I could relate to visually and experience-wise.”

“It was nothing I was expecting,” she told Essence about getting the call from Disney to bring the Black princess back on the screen. “It reminded me of what one of my mentors says, ‘When something’s for you, it’ll come to you. You won’t even have to chase it.’”

Earlier this year, Disney announced that a Princess Tiana New-Orleans inspired attraction will be featured at both Disney World and Disneyland.

In addition to Tiana, Disney also announced new animated projects including I Am Groot, Spider-Man: Freshman Year, She-Hulk, X-Men ’97 and more.

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