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Disney’s ‘Princess and the Frog’ Leaves 50 Young Fans Hospitalized

princess and the frog disney don't kiss frogs
Credit: Walt Disney Animation

The Princess and the Frog is one of Walt Disney Animation‘s most beloved princess stories and among its most popular animated films. But several young fans of Princess Tiana took their love for the film too far–and were hospitalized because of it.

Related: Disney Loses Nearly 95% of Its Classic Animation Material

tiana princess and the frog

Credit: Walt Disney Animation

A Beloved Princess Story Told As Only Disney Can Tell It

Disney’s The Princess and the Frog debuted at the box office in November 2009 and was an instant hit with fans.

The story, which was inspired by E.D. Baker’s novel, The Frog Princess (2002), and the German folk tale, The Frog Prince, by the Brothers Grimm, follows the journey of Tiana, a young girl in New Orleans with drive, a strong will, and mad cooking skills.

tiana restaurant

Credit: Walt Disney Animation

Tiana is bursting with entrepreneurial spirit and excitement–and she’s not bad at warehouse flipping either. And who doesn’t love a good story about a good person who is also beautiful and understands the value of a strong work ethic on her path toward making her dreams a reality? Tiana’s a protagonist and heroine we can all stand behind.

And when you consider her affinity for making “man-catching beignets,” her talents in frog-morphing, her ability to talk with gators, her expertise in spicing up the gumbo, and her compassion toward a lovesick lightning bug, it’s hard to imagine a Disney princess more deserving of a mass fan following.

tiana's beignets

Credit: Walt Disney Animation

But the sad truth is that Tiana’s influence on young fans hasn’t always been a good thing.

A Slimy and Microbe-Filled Way to Catch a Prince

During the scene of the film in which Tiana is upstairs in her friend Charlotte’s bedroom during a big party, the young entrepreneur accidentally crosses paths with an overly confident little frog who eventually swears he’s actually a prince–Prince Naveen of Maldonia. And the only way the princely young frog can return to the former version of himself is by–you guessed it–kissing a princess.

tiana princess and the frog

Credit: Walt Disney Animation/Canva

Because Tiana is dressed to the nines in one of Charlotte’s gowns, the little frog mistakes her for a princess and ultimately sweet talks Tiana into a smooch, but after reluctantly locking lips with the froggy little prince, Tiana discovers that instead of curing the prince of his, um, ailment, she has taken on an amphibian form herself.

tiana princess and the frog

Not what she planned at all./Credit: Walt Disney Animation

Disney Magic Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All

Not to worry, though, as Disney magic is eventually sprinkled into the narrative, and–spoiler alert–Tiana is transformed from her green-hued, amphibious persona back to that hard-working, level-headed, admirable girl from New Orleans. She ultimately receives all that she deserves and finally embraces the opportunity to open her restaurant in New Orleans and marry her prince.

tiana princess and the frog

Credit: Walt Disney Animation

But while Disney magic easily righted Tiana’s upside-down world in the animated Disney princess film, the same magic wasn’t able to make things right for a group of fifty young fans who likely believed very much in that magic and, admiring the beautiful and quick-witted Tiana so much so that they wanted to be like her and do the things she did in the new film, did exactly what she did in the film–but with shockingly different outcomes.

It probably goes without saying that the young fans–most of them under the age of ten years old–proved their devotion to Princess Tiana by finding and kissing potential amphibian beaus as well.

tiana kisses a frog

Credit: Walt Disney Animation/Canva

But instead of finding a prince and having their lifelong dreams of restaurant proprietorship come true, they instead were “rewarded” with admissions to the hospital to undergo treatment for salmonella infections. That’s according to a post on AOLHealth.

“Inspired by the movie’s iconic smooch, young children–typically girls under ten–have kissed or licked live frogs and picked up the disease from bacteria harbored on the frog’s skin and guts,” writes Liz Neporent of AOLHealth.

princess and the frog disney don't kiss frogs

Credit: Walt Disney Animation

The 50 young romantics who found inspiration in Tiana’s journey also found themselves sick from salmonella infections, which, according to The Mayo Clinic, can present with symptoms including diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, chills, and headache.

“For 50 unfortunate little girls around the country, an amphibious lip lock sent them to the hospital,” Neporent says, naming salmonella as the villain in their stories. Neporent adds that the disease can also be transmitted through through contact with the skin of a frog.

Related: 12-Year-Old Boy Unresponsive, Hospitalized With Mysterious Illness After Disney Trip

Don’t Be Kissing Louis or Juju, Either

And for anyone out there thinking that the luck of those 50 children would have been better had they instead been inspired enough by Louis’s musical prowess and skill to seek out a gator to smooch, Neporent sets the record straight (as if anyone needed a reason to stay out of the path of a gator).

louis the gator

Credit: Walt Disney Animation

“Reptiles aren’t ideal kissing partners, either,” she writes, adding that turtles, for example, can carry salmonella like frogs, and also something called consumption.”

In fact, she adds, the U. S. Centers for Disease Control states that more than 7,000 people get sick annually from handling reptiles, so you probably shouldn’t handle, hold, kiss, nuzzle, hug, or squeeze any of them. We’re looking at you, Mama Odie.

mama odie and juju the snake

Credit: Walt Disney Animation

By all means, don’t stop watching Disney’s Princess and the Frog. We love it as much as the next girl. We’re just taking a stand against kissing frogs–and not just because you might get sick with salmonella. After all, have you ever noticed that not a single one of those amphibians has ever turned into a prince? We’re just sayin’ . . .

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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