WOC in western cinema animation.
Left to right, we have:
Kida - Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Tzipporah - The Prince of Egypt (1998)
Mulan - Mulan (1998)
Pocahontas - Pocahontas (1995)
Tiana - The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Akima - Titan A.E. (2000)
Lilo and Nani - Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Asenath - Joseph: King of Dreams (2000)
Jasmine - Aladdin (1992)
Audrey - Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Shanti - The Jungle Book 2 (2003)
Esmerelda - The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Marina - Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003)
Jodie Landon - Daria (1997 - 2001)
Chel - The Road to El Dorado (2000)
Yum Yum - The Princess and the Cobbler (1993)
Suzy - Rugrats (1991 - 2004)
With two exceptions, all of the above characters feature in films; I’ve included Jodie from Daria and Suzy from Rugrats because both shows also included tie-in movies. These eighteen ladies appeared on screen between 1991 and 2009: this isn’t the full count of prominent WOC in western animation - for one thing, I’ve omitted Miriam from The Prince of Egypt and Kimi from Rugrats - but unless I’m missing a pretty significant number of films/TV tie-ins, it seems are though there’s been little more than twenty non-secondary WOC in the whole of western animation from the 1930s until now. I repeat: that’s roughly twenty WOC over a period of more than eighty years, all of whom have only appeared in the last two decades - which is to say, at the rate of roughly one a year for twenty years, including at least four instances (Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Lilo & Stitch, Rugrats, The Prince of Egypt) of films with two or more such characters, which is great for those films, but not so much for the yearly average.
Which should put into perspective the enormous significance of Avatar: The Last Airbender and Avatar: The Legend of Korra, which between them feature at least twelve prominent WOC - to say nothing of various three-dimensional secondary characters - plus a pretty much total absence of racism and culturefail, which… are issues for more of the above films than is strictly comfortable, meaning that they are issues at all.
So, yeah: awesome animated WOC, we need more of them! But in the interim, let’s salute the ones we have.
Tell me we don’t need representation again.