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Disney's Newest Princess is from Louisiana

POSTED: Thursday, November 12, 2009 - 9:55am

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:59pm

A talented Louisiana 5th grader is about to see her name in lights. She was chosen for a lead role in a new Disney animated film that's about to make history. "The Princess And The Frog" is the first Disney animated film featuring an African American princess.

10 year-old Elizabeth Dampier won the role of the voice of Tiana, the princess in the movie. "I had many open call auditions and they called me. So I came out to LA, and I did the voice over and I was so excited when I heard that they picked me", Dampier said.

Her parents, Jeanna Dampier, a molecular biologist, and Reggie Dampier, an optometrist, say Elizabeth has always had talent, but getting this role has been an almost three year process. "From day one we knew she had the ability to entertain. And then with her academic skills she is able to memorize things well so that came hand in hand and make her a good actress", Elizabeth's father Reggie said.

"Oprah Winfrey is the voice of her mother and Terrence Howard is the voice of her father. John Goodman is also in the movie and Anika Noni Rose is the voice of 'Tiana' as the adult character, so she is right up there among those heavy hitters", Elizabeth's mother Jeanna Dampier said. To win the role Elizabeth had to develop a New Orleans accent.

"I was excited and I am blessed and privileged that God would give me such an opportunity and that this movie will go down in history", Elizabeth said. Her agent Sharon Sard says it has been her job to help train and guide Elizabeth and at the same time be protective of her, and her career.

"The sky's the limit. She's very articulate, she auditions very, very well. She takes direction very well, very polite as you can tell", Sard said. Elizabeth and her parents will be at the premiere in Los Angeles this weekend.
The movie will be released nationally December 11th.