Animators have been forced to re-draw Disney's first black princess after anti-racism campaigners claimed she had been 'whitewashed' with lighter skin and straighter hair for her latest role.

Princess Tiana was the first black Disney princess, created for the film The Princess and The Frog in 2009. She has been re-animated for the new film Wreck It Ralph 2, in which all the princesses have a sleepover.

When the trailer was released in May, fans noticed she looked considerably different - her skin was lighter and her corkscrew curls had been tamed to gentle waves.

Color of Change, an anti-racism charity that set up a petition to tell Disney to "stop whitewashing" their black characters, said it had been in conversation with Disney, which agreed to restore the princess to her "original depiction".

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Color of Change's original petition said: "Princess Tiana looks nothing like her original character. She is shown here with Eurocentric features; a slimmer nose, loose curly hair and a significantly lighter skin tone than her previous depictions.

"This is unacceptable. Yet again, Disney made the choice to whitewash an image that represents us. They've totally removed and replaced Princess Tiana's full lips, dark skin and kinky hair. By doing so, they are showing us that they don't care about reflecting the diversity of the Black community. "

Following further criticism from fans, the animation company released a new image, featuring a markedly different looking princess, with darker skin and tighter curls.

Brandi Collins-Dexter, Color of Change's senior campaign director, said in a statement: "Disney's decision to restore Princess Tiana's image to that of an unapologetically Black princess with full lips, dark skin and dark hair ... is a victory for Color Of Change members, Black children and their parents, and Black audiences who want to see the variety of shades, shapes and sizes of Black characters accurately represented in the arts."

She added: "By redrawing Princess Tiana — Disney's first and only Black princess — in 'Ralph Breaks the Internet' as she was in 'Princess and the Frog', Disney has shown its commitment to addressing the concerns of Color Of Change members and the Black community.

"Disney is an incredibly powerful and influential company and its decisions have far-reaching implications for other companies that provide entertainment for children and adults around the world."

Disney animators consulted Anika Noni Rose, the actress who voices Tiana, before redesigning the character.

They had to reanimate a portion of the film, inserting the new depiction of the princess.

A fan on Twitter pointed out: "Thank you for making Princess Tiana her actual color again. Should've never changed that to begin with."

Rashad Robinson, the CEO of Color of Change, tweeted: "Big news. Because of COC members and convos with @DisneyAnimation, Princess Tiana has been restored to her original depiction. Now when Black girls watch #WreckItRalph2, they'll see Tiana and other princess of color that actually looks like them on screen #BlackGirlMagic"

Disney came under fire earlier this year for its depiction of Pocahontas in the film, with fans accusing the company of "white-washing" the Native American princess. The company also reshot a portion of its live action Aladdin film after being criticised for not including enough Middle Eastern extras.

Disney did not respond to a request for comment.

This article originally appeared on The Daily Telegraph.