Though Beyoncé Knowles and Jennifer Hudson stole the Dreamgirls spotlight from Anika Noni Rose, it is Rose who apparently beat out Hudson (as well as ladies like Alicia Keyes and Tyra Banks) for the lead role in Disney's upcoming animated musical feature, The Frog Princess. (I'm sorry, but if Tyra Banks thought she had a chance here, then I'd love to have a little bit of what she's been smoking.) Rose will voice Maddy, Disney's first ever black princess -- a role that garnered the interest of practically every black actress/singer in Hollywood. And who can blame them -- heck, this is history in the making. Go Disney!

Set during the 1920s Jazz Age in New Orleans, The Frog Princess will be based on the classic fairytale and feature music from -- who else -- Randy Newman. Pic will also mark the first 2D Disney film since 2004's Home on the Range, and hopes to tap into the spirit of the Broadway-style musicals that were so successful for the Mouse House throughout the late '80s and '90s. In addition, Ron Clements and John Musker (directors of Aladdin and The Little Mermaid) have been tapped to write and direct. The first images of Princess Maddy have already been released, and though it's said to be early concept art, both pictures are in line with what you'd expect from an animated Disney Princess, in that she's pretty and petite with not an ounce of fat on her. How do you feel about the film? Is it just me, or does it feel slightly odd that it's 2007 and we're actually celebrating the fact that a major studio has decided to create their first animated African-American princess? Is this something that should have been done years ago?

CATEGORIES Casting, Cinematical