In Disney’s 81 years they have never given the world a Black Disney Prince.
This year, Marvel hired Ryan Coogler to bless us with the cultural revolution that was ‘Black Panther‘ which Disney distributed. Chadwick Boseman as King ‘T’Challa‘ aka ‘Black Panther‘ was as close as we’ve gotten. But in children’s films, what Disney is renowned for, their films remain predominantly white. Until their 2009 animated feature, ‘The Princess and the Frog‘ which surrounded lead character African American ‘Princess Tiana‘ (Anika Noni Rose) in a world of New Orleans set blackness. However, though the Princess and the Frog placated those of us who cared, there was still disappointment that alongside our first Black Disney Princess, Disney opted for the racially ambiguous ‘Prince Naveen‘ rather than a Black Disney Prince for Tiana to fall in love with.
Fast forward to 2018, and Disney’s latest offering ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms‘, we are introduced to 17-year-old fresh faced British Black talent Jayden Fowora-Knight. Hailing from South London, heritage Nigerian, Fowora-Knight has been cast as ‘Captain Phillip‘ in a reimagining of the classic Nutcracker tale. Though not quite a prince, Captain Philip is lead character ‘Clara’s‘ (Mackenzie Foy) right-hand man on her quest to save the four realms from danger. Captain Philip is Fowora-Knight’s first lead role in a feature film and only his second feature film role, his first a small part in Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One‘ which was out earlier this year.
Handling his role perfectly, we’re excited about Fowora-Knight’s career. TBB Talks caught up with him to find out more about how he got the chance to make history…
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Director(s): Lasse Hallström | Joe Johnston
Screenwriter(s): Ashleigh Powell
Cast: Jayden Fowora-Knight, Morgan Freeman, Meera Syal, Omid Djalili, Mackenzie Foy, Richard E. Grant, Kiera Knightley, Helen Mirren
UK release date: Friday 2nd November 2018