The Walt Disney has started production on an animated musical fairy tale called "The Frog Princess," which will be set in New Orleans and feature the Walt Disney Studio's first black princess.
The film, set for release in 2009, also is the first hand-drawn film Disney has committed to since pledging last month to return to the traditional animation that made it a worldwide brand.
"The Frog Princess," a musical scored by composer Randy Newman, is "an American fairy tale" starring a girl named Maddy who lives in the French Quarter in New Orleans, said John Lasseter, chief creative director for Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.
Disney introduced its first non-white animated heroine in 1992's "Aladdin": a Middle Eastern character named Jasmine. Three years later an American Indian princess appeared in "Pocahontas."
The creation of the Chinese heroine from "Mulan" came in 1998. Other Disney princesses are the main characters from "Cinderella," "Sleeping Beauty," "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Little Mermaid."