New Peter Pan Trailer Has Fans Questioning Tinker Bell’s Race

Yara Shahidi will play Tinkerbell in the upcoming Disney+ movie Peter Pan & Wendy. / Disney

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m ready for the summer of Black Disney princesses. Coming to Disney+ April 28, 2023, is the live-action reimagining of the J.M. Barrie novel and the 1953 animated classic, the new Peter Pan & Wendy with “Black-ish” and “Grown-ish” star Yara Shahidi playing Tinker Bell.

“In making Peter Pan & Wendy, we set out to craft a film that honors both the original J.M. Barrie text and Walt Disney’s animated adaptation; we wanted to invigorate our retelling with emotional sincerity, an open heart, and a grand yearning for adventure,” director and co-writer David Lowery said in a statement. “Hundreds of incredible artists spent many years bringing this film to the screen; I’m excited for audiences to see their work, to go on this ride, and to rediscover an evergreen tale from a new perspective.”

Last month, February 28th, Shahidi gave us our first look at her as Tinker Bell for a few seconds with a teaser from the trailer for the upcoming film. Shahidi also gives us a sneak peak of the new Tinker Bell doll. The doll is a beautiful smaller fairy form with her curls pulled into a messy bun with a braided crown and swooped baby hairs. It was designed to look identical to Shahidi’s portrayal of the Disney character.

Recently there has been a conversation between fans about the race of Tinkerbell. Some believe that Tinkerbell needs to be played by a white actor to match the fictional character’s appearance. This was also an issue with Halle Bailey adapting the role of Ariel in The Little Mermaid. POC roles are constantly played by white actors and there is not a question on their level of acting but their race. Bailey and Shahidi are providing representation for young Black girls and I love to see it.

Look for Peter Pan & Wendy to premiere on Disney+ beginning April 28th.


By Amariyah Mallory, Freshman, Whitney Young

IG: Dancemari_


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Written by Amariyah Mallory

Amariyah Mallory is a life long learner who's passionate about dance, committed to social justice and service, invested in African America culture and current events, and devoted to writing. 

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