Disney's 'Splash Mountain' to drop controversial theme, get 'Princess and the Frog' makeover
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Disney will change the theme of its “Splash Mountain” ride at its California and Florida parks after public pushback over the ride’s association to the Uncle Remus-inspired "Song of the South," the company said Thursday. 

The Disneyland and Disney World log flume ride will be changed to feature characters and images from the 2009 animated film “The Princess and the Frog.” 

“It is really exciting to know that Princess Tiana’s presence in both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will finally be fully realized,” Anika Noni Rose, the Tony Award-winning actress who voiced Tiana, the movie’s lead, said in the announcement. 

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“As passionate as I am about what we created, I know the fans are going to be over the moon. The Imagineers are giving us ‘The Princess and the Frog’ Mardi Gras celebration we’ve been waiting for, and I’m here for it,” she added. 

The 1946 "Song of the South," long derided as racist, is considered one of the most problematic feature films in Disney's catalog. The company has not released the film on its streaming service Disney+ and former CEO Bob Iger reportedly said last year the film is “not appropriate in today’s world.” 

More than 20,000 people signed an online petition posted earlier this month calling for the theme of the ride to be changed to “The Princess and the Frog,” the first Disney animated movie to feature a black princess. 

Disney said in its announcement that its “Imagineers” had been working on the project since last year. 

In the new theme, the ride will pick up the story from after where the movie ends and follow characters preparing for their first-ever Mardis Gras performance in New Orleans. 

“Like Princess Tiana, I believe that courage and love are the key ingredients for wonderful adventures. I am delighted to be a part of bringing this fun-filled experience to our guests,” Charita Carter, the senior creative producer leading the project at Walt Disney Imagineering, said in the announcement. 

The company said the conceptual design work is “well underway” and it will soon announce a timeline for the ride's makeover.