By now (via Wonderland or Fuse) you've probably heard about the new animated movie coming from Disney in 2009 featuring Maddy, an African-American princess. I'm curious to see how they cast the film, and especially how they decide to voice this character. Will she sound Southern since the setting is New Orleans? Will she have an "articulate" voice? (If you're wondering why I put the word in quotes, read this wonderful article by Lynette Clemson in the February 4, 2007 issue of the New York Times called The Racial Politics of Speaking Well.)
Accents in animated films have always fascinated me. In Disney's Lion King, for example, while the child actor who portrayed Nala (Niketa Calame) and the singing voice of Simba (Jason Weaver) had African-American voices, the speaking Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) and the adult versions were white (Matthew Broderick and Moira Kelly, respectively). Anyone else think it strange that a black lioness grows up to be white, and that when the cub sings he switches races?