Disney rejected a live-action ‘Princess and the Frog’ pitch

Image via Disney

Following the recent announcement of The Aristocats remake, Disney continues the saga of reviving the classic animated films for a modern audience. Granted, within the collection of live-action adaptations, there have been some definite hits and some devastating misses. According to ScreenRant, Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book is the best remake thus far, closely followed by Cruella and Christopher Robin. However, even more live-action adaptation opportunities are knocking on Disney’s door.

In 2009, Walt Disney Studios released The Princess and the Frog, a romantic retelling of a well-known fairytale. Set in the 1920s New Orleans, the film tells the story of a hardworking waitress named Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) who dreams of opening her own restaurant. After kissing Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos), who has been turned into a frog by an evil witch doctor called Dr. Facilier (Keith David), Tiana becomes a frog herself and must find a way to turn back into a human before it is too late.

Almost ten years later, in December 2020, Disney announced that a television spin-off titled Tiana will be released on Disney Plus in 2022. It will be among the first spin-offs of a Walt Disney Animation Studios film to be produced by the studio itself rather than Disney Television Animation. Writer/director Stella Meghie will helm Tiana. However, before Tiana was considered for Disney Plus, Meghie had reportedly tried to campaign for a live-action adaption of the source material.

Walt Disney Animation Studios CCO Jennifer Lee told The Hollywood Reporter that, “Meghie reached out to Disney’s live-action studio about a potential film adaptation of the 2009 property. Nothing came of it, but last summer, Meghie received a call from her agent indicating that Lee wanted to meet her.”

Unfortunately, hopeful Disney fans will have to settle for the spin-off series instead of a remake, although that sounds like a fair trade considering the touch-and-go releases of past years. Still, Lee establishing contact with Meghie leaves the door wide open for future endeavors.

In the meantime, Tiana comes to Disney Plus in 2022.