A waitress, desperate to fulfill her dreams as a restaurant owner, is set on a journey to turn a frog prince back into a human being, but she has to do face the same problem after she kisses him.
|Title||:||The Princess and the Frog|
|Release Date||:||December 8, 2009|
|Genres||:||Romance, Family, Animation, Music|
|Production Co.||:||Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Director||:||Ron Clements, John Musker, Rasoul Azadani, Jennifer Yuan, Jean-Christophe Poulain, James P. Alles, Peter J. Deluca, Alfred Cruz, Jason Hand, Lam Hoang, Daniel Hu, Benoît Le Pennec, Ashley Lenz, Julio Leon, Robert St. Pierre, Allen Tam, Doug Walker, Chung Sup Yoon, Yong Zhong|
|Writers||:||Ron Clements, John Musker, Nicole Mitchell, E.D. Baker, Ron Clements, John Musker, Greg Erb, Jason Oremland, Rob Edwards, Don Hall, Bill Schwab, Tom Ellery, Eric Goldberg, Kevin Gollaher, Rick Maki|
|Casts||:||Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David, Michael-Leon Wooley, Jennifer Cody, Jim Cummings, Peter Bartlett, Jenifer Lewis, Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, John Goodman, Elizabeth Dampier, Breanna Brooks, Ritchie Montgomery, Don Hall, Paul Briggs, Jerry Kernion, Corey Burton, Michael Colyar, Emeril Lagasse, Kevin Michael Richardson, Randy Newman, Terence Blanchard, Danielle Moné Truitt|
|Plot Keywords||:||based on novel, voodoo, kiss, princess, animation, cajun, firefly, based on fairy tale, duringcreditsstinger, big dreams, frog prince, charlatan|
The Princess and the Frog Reviews
- And with the brilliant light of Cajun Fireflies, there is a ray of hope in the world ...by 12 December 2009on
172 out of 213 people found the following review useful:
As a young female twenty-something, my 90's childhood was shaped by the Golden Age of Disney. Every year, there would be a new masterpiece for my mom to take me to; Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin ... And when Disney failed so terribly in the early millennium and closed down shop, my heart was broken. There was a part of our culture and my life that my little girl I someday hope to have was never going to be able to experience, and I was never going to get back.
So as soon as I heard that Disney was coming out with their triumphant return to 2-D, I felt like the world was FINALLY getting its act together.
While CGI has produced some good hits, it isn't the same as 2-D. There was no one who could do cartoons like Disney, and I think they began to realize that.
I can honestly say that this movie is brilliant. I saw it last night, and it's still haunting me twenty-four hours later like I'd just walked out of the theater. If this movie had been A.) racist or B.) a let down, I would have been very angry and wouldn't take the time to write out this review. But my God, it was right up there alongside "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King." Tiana, the long-awaited princess of the film, is a (gasp) real person! Her whole life does not revolve around getting married to the prince, nor does it involve some odd and harried "I'm totally a hardkore awesome person" plot. She has her faults. She's brash, a workaholic, and kind of a judgmental jerk. However, she is also headstrong, loving, and ridiculously intuitive. This is the sort of woman we need in a Disney cartoon for our kids to look up to, especially when the best role model they've had in the past few years is Bella Swann.
The prince, Naveen, is also an actual human being. He's cocky, spoiled, and hilarious. However, as the movie goes on, it is made quite clear (in a song by Randy Newman) that Naveen isn't happy at all. His and Tiana's relationship is based on self-discovery and mutual respect, rather than some of the other Disney movies where it is completely based on the need for a romantic plot. I see Belle and the Beast and Shang and Mulan (pre Mulan II, we can pretend that sequel doesn't exist), rather than Cinderella and Prince Charming. It seems like "Enchanted" really did bring a lot of new ideas to the Disney creed, and it completely shows in the way they tackle their archetypes in this refreshing rendition.
I was skeptical when I heard Randy Newman had composed the music. And yes, folks, it is in fact musical style. The characters sing, not Randy. And while you can still tell it's Randy, it's also Disney. The jazzy complexity of the songs drive the story forward and just wrap you up into the buzzing momentum of the film. I will definitely grab this soundtrack and play it religiously on my ipod, I promise you that.
As for the racism: It's Disney and regardless of what Disney does, someone is going to find something to point out as racist. However, let me just say that this movie is completely respectful and absolutely nothing in it is racist, to the point where it is obvious that Disney is trying their hardest NOT to be racist and cuts corners on the storytelling and historical racism that WOULD have been in New Orleans in 1920 (and to an extent, yes, still is). And as for turning Tiana into a frog ... she's a human for a good half the movie before she even thinks about kissing Naveen. She's a black princess, she's not a frog princess.
I also saw a comment about how someone didn't like it because of the non-Christian message thanks to the use of voodoo? They were so busy looking at the BAD GUY use voodoo that they didn't realize that Terrence Howard's character was pretty much a walking sermon! "You can wish on a star, but that can only take you halfway?" Where does this sound familiar? "Never lose sight of what's most important ... love." My God, the complete non-Christian message is abhorrent! The star is used as an allegory for God, and they wish on it with their hands folded ... practically one could say praying? And let's not even go into the full moral of the story: "You know what you want, but dig a little deeper and find what you need." How about that whole thanking God for unanswered prayers sort of ideal? These are good and wholesome lessons that are going to really strengthen the next generation of both boys and girls, and I'm happy that it's going to be an influence on the younger generation.
And the writing is amazing. As someone who writes for a living, I was completely floored at the structure of this film. You cover so much ground in 90 minutes, and you are never bored nor know what's going to happen next! Disney knows what they're doing (finally) on this film. It's amazingly put together, and all the trademarks you expect to see (animal sidekicks, creepy awesome villain, amazing soundtrack, knockout visuals, strong heroine) are there in full. Go see this movie, and remember how it was to be a kid again. This is an experience you absolutely need to have.
"Princess and the Frog" is here to stay.
- Ladies and Gentlemen, the Disney Renaissance has returned.by 11 December 2009on
156 out of 200 people found the following review useful:
Michael Eisner will forever be known as the man that attempted to totally kill Disney animation. After the disastrous efforts of Home on the Range, what was once a staple of the Walt Disney Company was becoming a thing of the past. Traditional animation was dead in Disney, and this was definitely one of the major contributors towards the shift in upper-upper management and his departure. Now with Pixar and John Lasseter on board, Disney pulls absolutely no punches in their return to tradition. There's a new princess, she happens to be black, and they happen to twist a classic story so much that you have literally no clue in which direction the writers were going. The major question is: can Disney revive its Renaissance quality that it experienced in the 90s? Can they ever duplicate such magic again? The answer is a resounding yes.
Princess and the Frog is the best traditionally animated flick (from ANY company) since The Emperor's New Groove. Princess Tiana is the most sophisticated and most mature Disney princess since Belle. The villain here is the best since Hades from Hercules. Prince Naveen is the best prince since Prince Eric (and even then, Naveen is one of the better princes out there). The music here is actually some of the best music from any Disney movie past and present. The animation here is the best since The Lion King. Basically, to sum things up, Princess and the Frog is an excellent effort from Disney and a superb return to Renaissance quality that the company sorely missed and needed.
The movie focuses on a hard-working waitress (Anika Nosi Rose) that is saving money to open up her own restaurant, which was a dream her father had always been chasing. Her father also taught her that it's not enough to just wish for something, you have to also work to accomplish what you want in life. Tiana lives her life on this lesson, much to the disdain of others. After a few twists and turns (I don't want to spoil the plot too much), she becomes a frog thanks to Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos), whom is a prince that is very different from the norm in terms of personality and even royalty status. Along the way they will meet a wide assortment of characters, ranging from a charismatic magician (Keith David, in an amazing role), a friendly firefly (Jim Cummings), a music-loving alligator (Michael-Leon Wooley), and many others. The movie clocks in at less than 100 minutes, but moves at such a fast pace, you'll get a lot more material than your average hour-and-a-half movie.
Let's just put this out there: Disney treated Tiana and her surroundings perfectly and without overdoing any boundaries whatsoever. New Orleans has an incredibly energetic look, and just enhances the themes and plot of the movie. Accompanying the Louisiana flavor is the incredible score of Randy Newman, which uses a wide variety of sounds and genres from the Deep South (and also is mixed in with a little Newman touch).
Can we praise the animation one more time? Sure, why not. The movie looks absolutely beautiful, and doesn't rely on just a simple palette of colors. Thanks to technology and an obvious overload of effort, this is one of the most (if not the most) colorful and vibrant-looking Disney animated movies of all-time. Some of the added computer effects only enhance the sophistication of the animation (I rhymed). One final note, the visual humor in Princess and the Frog is very fast-paced, to the style of the severely underrated Emperor's New Groove. You need a watchful eye on certain scenes to catch all the jokes.
If there was anyone that was going to save Disney's traditional animation, it would be Ron Clements and John Musker. These two were the most responsible for the Disney Renaissance, directing Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Hercules. They once again provide a beautiful story, and direct the movie with plenty of flair and energy. The musical sequences fit the pacing of the flick, and while there wasn't an outstanding track like "Be Our Guest," "Friend Like Me," or "Under the Sea," the repertoire of musical numbers overall was quite impressive. A key part to a great animated movie is having a villain just as complex and/or engaging as the heroes; and the "Shadow Man" not only has the best musical number, but also has the most flair of any of the supporting characters. Now we can forgive them for directing Treasure Planet.
The biggest reason for the successful quality in Princess and the Frog comes from the Pixar touch. Pixar obviously lent a hand here, as this movie contains some of the most sentimental and touching animated footage since the epic heartbreak moment in Lion King when Simba sees Mufasa motionless. While the movie never nails the emotional torture that Up succeeded (then again few films ever will), Princess and the Frog will make you cry just as easily as it can make you laugh. Don't let that bring you down though, because this movie carries an upbeat tempo throughout the entire run.
Bottom Line: If you enjoyed the Disney Renaissance (From Little Mermaid to Tarzan, before the downfall spiral started), then it is up to you to watch this movie. This movie has all the energy, quality, sentimentality, and superb animation of the 90s Disney flicks, and is inches away from Pixar status. Pixar has saved Disney altogether, and Princess and the Frog is hopefully going to save Disney traditional animation, granted it gets the praise and success it truly deserves. Unlike what we have been seeing in the past, Disney did not half-arse this time. Blending the old-school qualities with a new-school outlook on where the status of animation and storytelling is headed, Princess and the Frog is a fun, entertaining, and fulfilling ride from start to finish.
- A Disney comeback for sure!!by 12 December 2009on
136 out of 167 people found the following review useful:
Wow. That's one word to sum up everything about this movie: Wow.
Since Emperor's New Groove, Disney slowly went downhill until it was nothing but low-quality crappy sequels and badly made CGI movies, not to mention nothing but teenybopper shows on the Disney Channel. As for Toon Disney, I think the people working there confused themselves with Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon; something that is not their style.
However, Michael Eisner got fired and Robert Iger took his place as CEO of the Disney company, promising to get Disney back to the way it was supposed to be. Since then, I noticed improvements with movies like Enchanted and Bolt, but not to the point where everything was good again all of a sudden. I guess Eisner had some projects already set in motion that couldn't be stopped. But that was all right, because movies were the most important, and they would eventually get everything right.
With The Princess in the Frog, what a movie to start another era out of the second Dark Age! This movie has EVERYTHING: great story, superb animation, great humor, excellent acting and singing, thought-provoking lessons to learn throughout the movie, the list goes on and on. I think it truly deserves its place as a true Disney classic. To top it all off, the newest Disney Princess, Tiana, has spunk, intelligence, and determinations. She is a great example for kids to look up to. She just needs to learn to relax once in a while, which Naveen teaches her. In return she teaches him that life isn't all parties and women.
Movies like this make me realize that I can't wait for Disney to come out with greater stuff in the future, like Rapunzel in 2010. I am really curious for the stuff they will do in the future. They have already done so much, but there's so much out there that they haven't done yet. It's also interesting to see them write original movies like they did with Lady and the Tramp, Enchanted, and Bolt. I totally recommend it for anyone.
- Fan-frigging-tasticby 12 December 2009on
93 out of 120 people found the following review useful:
Just astounding. The story was genuinely touching, the intense scenes jumped out at you, the humor was funny, the acting was excellent, and the music was the best soundtrack of any Disney movie since The Little Mermaid (A standing ovation for Randy Newman). There is also something about the 2D animation - it just has more personality and emotion than CGI. I just saw it tonight, and I am honestly floored.
Disney, for the last few years, has suffered from a lack of creativity. The movies have all been interchangeable with the same plot recycled. This one is different, new and really just the best animated picture I've seen in a long, long time. The applause in the theatre was very much earned.
- 2D Animation is Back! Blue Skies and Sunshine Guaranteed!by 8 December 2009on
74 out of 96 people found the following review useful:
The Princess and the Frog is one of the most highly anticipated films of the year. It marks Walt Disney Animation Studio's return to 2D animation, to recapture the era of amazing movies like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast timeless tales that have reached audiences across the world. However, unlike these previous movies, The Princess and the Frog does something new. It's an updated take on the classic fairy tale, set in Jazzy New Orleans filled with witch doctors, Maldonian princes, southern lovesick daughters, Jazz playing alligators and even Cajun fireflies! In the midst of all this jazz is Disney's first black princess, Tiana, and her story.
Tiana is a young girl who wants to follow her father's dream and open up her very own restaurant. She works hard, never taking a chance on Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet - she is a realist Disney 'princess' - and that makes her stand apart from the rest. And speaking of breaking from tradition, Prince Naveen is another fresh take on the classic Disney prince. He gets a fair amount of screen time and shows us that princes are more than just stuffy suits. The pair has great chemistry as frogs and their intertwining journey is full of laughs and heart tingling moments sprinkled with some good old Disney magic. Disney Animation Studios has pulled it off again; they have conjured up something fresh and new and have made it entertaining. Perhaps we can expect greater things for the future because this is a pretty good start.
One of the strongest aspects of this musical is, of course, the music! Randy Newman has provided an array of songs, from bouncy piano songs to gospel to Broadway. There is no one single style of music and Newman serves up a diverse platter accompanied by stunning animation. There are several songs in the movie, perhaps more than needed, but all catchy while bringing a yet another flavor to New Orleans. The downside to these songs is that they are many, short and have the task of pushing story. Their presence feels like designated intervals, sometimes jarring up moments which could have been executed wonderfully without any song.
Pacing and story are the main challenges The Princess and the Frog faces. Too much happens and it happens too fast. There is an engaging plot, obstacles are overcome through action and songs also push the story forward. This leaves us very little time for dwelling in scene. I personally think this is why the movie doesn't feel quite up to par with The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty or The Lion King there are very few moments which rely on deeper truths or engage with characters' inner struggles and relationships. I wish the directors would have slowed down and let us have a bit more interaction rather than relying on action and songs to advance plot. Also, some crucial events relied on coincidence when they could've been worked into the plot more skillfully. Despite these minor drawbacks, the Princess and the Frog still delivers an entertaining story.
Personally, I think the darker a Disney film is, the more interesting it will be. It lends a sense of reality and tells me that despite its catchy songs and humor, the movie takes itself seriously. Princess and the Frog definitely takes itself seriously. One of the main reasons I wanted to see this film was because of Dr. Facilier. He makes the film tastefully dark and shows us that even a Disney story can chill audiences. The voodoo world is intoxicating, full of intrigue and Facilier's theme song tells us he is a villain with style rivaling the likes of Jafar or Scar. However, unlike the previous villains, Facillier doesn't constantly trump the heroes after his first appearance. Villains kind of get a backseat in the movie - some people might not like this so beware!
Despite its darker side, the movie is surprisingly funny and downright hilarious. Like the old classics, the movie is timeless in a way. It doesn't reference any modern pop culture. There are lots of things that made audiences laugh, some more than others. There is no one type of humor strung throughout the whole film. Without giving anything away, I would also like to say the humor gets pretty risqué at times but it's welcoming because it tells us Disney is not excluding anyone from the audience.
There are some very spectacular moments of animation in this film. The characters are drawn in the 90's classic Disney style and don't have extremely stylized or exaggerated features that we've seen in later works like Emperor's New groove or Home on the Range. This blast from the past is a breath of fresh air. 2D animation is here to stay.
- Disney's Triumphant Return to 2-Dby 26 November 2009on
72 out of 93 people found the following review useful:
I was privileged to attend a showing of The Princess and the Frog last night as part of a special engagement at New York City's Zeigfeld theater. This movie exceeded all expectations. It is visually stunning, musically a work of genius, thematically sophisticated, and story-wise told in a refreshingly different way (some actions are pre-motivation) which makes the ride an unpredictable one.
Visually, Disney has gone above and beyond. They have invoked the steamy feeling of the city of New Orleans in shades of gold and lavender, and in the swamp scenes, some of the backgrounds are so expertly rendered it's like you're looking at a photograph. But what stood out the most with this artwork was the colors. They are a study in thematic contrast. In the scenes with the villain, the bright colors of Mardi Gras are used to reveal a darker, sinister side. The effect is wonderfully jarring and creates an appropriate emotional response: rather than hating the villain, we're led to mistrust him. He's pretty on the outside, but there's something awful lurking underneath. It's like that sixth sense you get sometimes with certain people in your life. In Mama Odie's scene, the color scheme is subtle and muteduntil she reveals her inner goodness, and the scene explodes with color; another comment on how purity can hide in the most surprising places.
To say that once again Randy Newman has done an expert job with the music would be an understatement. He had a lot to work with herethe musical tapestry of New Orleans is a mix of Dixieland, Zydeco, and Spiritual. He could have easily chosen one of those styles and stuck with itinstead, he blends all three, and the effect is seamless. The musical numbers tend to stay in one vein or the other depending on the character which also works to help tell the story -- but the underlying score, while you'll instantly recognize Newman's hallmark sound, is a genius integration. To top it off, because this film takes place in the golden age of jazz, he has deftly inserted musical references to Gershwin. Amazing. With so much to work with, it could have easily been a confusing or even chaotic train-wreck. Not in his hands.
Thematically, this film has taken some of Disney's classic themes and examined them more deeply: they are two-sided and complex. The choices these characters make are never easy--more so than in other films--and that updates these themes so that modern audiences can more readily identify. Similarly, Disney's newest princess, Tiana, is the strongest, most interesting princess to date. She is intelligent, complex and oozes passion, something that, in my opinion, has only been approached (and I do insist, "approached") in Belle and Ariel. Tiana is a princess for today's woman. Little girls of the world have quite an exciting and refreshing new role model.
Disney's writers have chosen to tell this story in a different way, as well. It's not your typical spell-it-all-out up-front story, and some story elements are never even vocalized, they're visual, and back story and motivation are sometimes revealed after the relevant action rather than before. It was really refreshing to see Disney choose a slightly different constructionit leads to keeping the tale unpredictable and much more engaging. But I'm a writer, so I know it's hard to do this well. For the most part, Disney succeeds. However, there is a bit of a downside to this. Constructing a story in this manner can lead to a lot of subtlety in the way the story is told, and because of this, some of the characters' motives are not always clear right away. This seems to happen the most with Dr. Facilier, the villain. When he's on the screen, it's really important to concentrate or you might miss some key story elements.
All in all, don't miss The Princess and the Frog. It's the best 97 minutes I've spent in a theater in a long, long time.
- Reiterates that Walt Disney Animation is back and here to stayby 11 December 2009on
83 out of 116 people found the following review useful:
With such disappointments as Home on the Range and Chicken Little, Walt Disney Animation Studios on the whole has had a pretty rough decade. Last November, however, the Mouse House released Chris Williams and Byron Howards' Bolt, which is not only generally accepted as a return to form for the studio, but over the course of this past year, has usurped Pulp Fiction as my personal favorite movie of all time. With that said, I went into The Princess and the Frog with relatively high expectations; having walked out of the theatre just a couple of hours ago, I have to say that John Musker and Ron Clements' latest - while not overthrowing it - certainly continues the magic of the studio's previous film.
Visually, The Princess and the Frog is absolutely mesmerizing. Seriously, 2D animation has never looked better than it does in this film. As executive producer/Pixar founder John Lasseter said, it's very much like stepping into a pair of old, comfortable shoes. Familiar, yet seemingly brand new. The energetic look of New Orleans is perfectly captured on screen, enhancing the story all the more.
Speaking of which, the story of this film is just like the animation in that, while being traditional Disney fare, it's executed in such a way that it feels completely different from anything you've ever experienced. As many times as this movie will make you laugh, it'll make you cry, which for me has always been the sign of a classic Disney Animation film. The movie also succeeds in making you feel invested in each and every one of these characters, major and minor ones alike, which is definitely one of the most difficult tasks that any film could hope to achieve.
Unlike most Disney princesses, Tiana is strong, independent, and isn't looking for her Prince Charming. In fact, it's these differentiating traits of hers that make Tiana my favorite Disney princess to date. It also helps that Anika Noni Rose delivers a stunning performance as her voice, making Tiana all the more captivating every moment that she's on screen. Bruno Campos also does a terrific job as Naveen, whose character is also a departure from the traditional Disney prince. He's a fellow who, while being stuck-up and lazy, somehow manages to come across as extremely likable. Both of these characters make for what is easily the most convincing Disney couple to date.
The real stand-out performance, however, is that of Keith David as Dr. Facilier. Since his performance as the Arbiter from the Halo video game series, I've been a huge fan of this guy's work, and couldn't have been more excited when I heard that he'd be doing the voice of the villain in this movie. With his low, creepy voice, David captures the essence of this character perfectly, and by the end, you're genuinely scared of this guy. Because of this, Facilier is definitely one of if not my absolute favorite Disney villain, challenged only by Gaston and Frollo. With his performance as the Cat from Coraline, and now Facilier, Keith David continues to prove that he is the man.
As with every other aspect of the film, the musical numbers in The Princess and the Frog are extremely memorable, most notably Dr. Facilier's "Friends On the Other Side", a deliciously creepy piece that ranks right up there with "Hellfire" from Hunchback of Notre Dame as one of the best Disney villain songs. You'll definitely find yourself humming several of these tunes on your way back home from the theatre.
The Princess and the Frog is an excellent return to 2D animation. The animation is more beautiful than ever, the characters are some of the most memorable ones I've ever seen on film, and the musical numbers are infectiously catchy. The Princess and the Frog clearly reiterates the statement already made by last year's aforementioned Bolt: Walt Disney Animation is back and here to stay.
- By Jove...it's actually GOOD!by 3 January 2010on
60 out of 76 people found the following review useful:
I've said my share of disparaging words against the Walt Disney Company, and let's face it; they've put out more than their share of garbage over the years. It seems as if Pixar has been pulling their dead weight for the past decade as they've put out offensively bad DTV releases and pumping their money and resources into their sub par T.V. station and musical acts (though I will say that Lilo and Stitch, as well as The Emperor's New Groove, which I consider to be one of Disney's funniest releases). Yes, it seemed that all hope was lost for the Mouse and that anything original and thought provoking associated with the Disney name would have that cute little bouncing lamp right along side.
Imagine my surprise when I saw The Princess and the Frog yesterday. Surprise nothing! I nearly went into a shock induced coma. This was a brilliant film, something truly worthy of Uncle Walt's iconic signature. This film had all the makings of a Disney classic: great story, great characters, great music, and of course, great art.
One thing I always give the Walt Disney Co. credit for is their masterful art work in their features, even the less than stellar ones. This has, especially, been the case the past 20-25 years. Some of the same artists that worked on the more recent classics like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast worked on Princess and the Frog. I was told after the film that the same man that drew Belle (Randy Cartwright) drew for Tiana, and you can tell. The art in general in this movie is extremely impressive. Not only are all the characters well drawn, but the backgrounds are breath taking, very reminiscent of Hunchback of Notre Dame. They seem to take you into a painting of the location without losing it's touch with reality. Also, the use of different art styles stood out, especially the "Almost There" number, which was drawn mostly in the Art Deco style.
Randy Newman's score left the biggest impression on my after the film was over, though. I think this is the first time a Disney feature used, primarily, North American music styles like jazz, ragtime, southern gospel, and even zydeco. Of course, like any great Disney feature; Princess and the Frog had it's signature musical number: the previously named "Almost There". With a great tune, appropriate lyrics, and of course, the voice of Anika Noni Rose; I'm sure (and I hope) this will become another Disney standard. Unlike some Disney films, there wasn't that dreadful "Oh dear merciful God, when is this going to end" number. Every song was thought out, appropriate for it's setting, and just...good. Kudos to Randy Newman, who will hopefully get an Oscar nomination (at least) for this film.
Then, of course, there's the high water mark for not only Disney movies, but for movies in general, especially animation films: characters and story. Movies can have an amazing score and even good animation, but if the story flops and if the characters are insufferable, then it's going nowhere. This movie, thankfully, had neither problem. There was no character that you wish would just go get himself or herself bent. Everyone served his or her purpose in the movie.
Like many of the newer Disney movies, The Princess and the Frog had a, well...Princess character that was blue collar and hard working.Tiana is young woman from the slums of New Orleans, whose sole purpose in life is to open up a successful restaurant serving authentic Louisiana cuisine. Of course, the man puts her down and she finds herself sunk. I will say that I'm VERY proud of Disney for not shoving the race issue down our throats and, at the same time, for not avoiding it all together. This was seen in the scene where the land lords of the building she's looking to purchase.
At the same time, a lazy hedonistic prince comes to New Orleans looking for a (Rich) bride since his monetary supply has been cut off by his parents. He sets his sights on a bona fide southern belle named Charlotte, Tiana's foil and best friend. The Prince and his reluctant English servant (what prince would be complete without one) get sidetracked by a voodoo man/street performer named Dr. Facilier aka "The Shadow Man", a slick deceitful crook with his own silhouette as a side kick (and yes, they are able to make it work). Dr. Facilier says both Prince Naveeh and Lawerence will get what they both desire most (money and a life without servitude, respectively). Louis is turned into the Prince (or at least, given his body) while Naveeh turns into...a smiley frog; which as we learn throughout the film is mucus.
Naveeh meets Tiana after she changes clothes (and after her dreams of owning her own restaurant). Tiana, who is less than fond of frog, tries to kill our hero; but later finds out that this is a frog with a difference...he can talk. After Naveeh sees a copy of a print version of, appropriately enough, the Princess and the Frog, he asks Tiana (Who is wearing a tiara at the time) to kiss him, believing that she is, indeed, royalty herself; though he later finds out that she is a waitress. He promises that after she kisses him, something she is far from enthusiastic about, he will make her dream of owning her own restaurant a reality. Well, she does kiss him, but there's a bit of a SNAFU: she turns into a frog herself. The two of them must find a way to become human again. Along the way, they meet a cavalcade of characters including a trumpet playing alligator (and yes, they are able to make it work somehow) and a Cajun firefly named Ray.
The Princess and the Frog, a movie (I hope) that is destined for greatness.
- One of Disney's Best Films in a Long Timeby 12 December 2009on
69 out of 94 people found the following review useful:
Disney was at its best in the 90s. They came out with such great movies as Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. And then, they made bad movies like Home on the Range. Disney can make good movies, and they usually do. The Princess and the Frog is one of Disney's best movies. It has a great twist on a classic story, characters that made me care, and music that had me tapping my foot and wishing I was in New Orleans. The animation is so beautiful that I literally almost cried at the beginning of the film. Dr. Faciler is probably one of Disney's best villains. Keith David's voice is so creepy and fits perfect into the character. His song "Friends on the Other Side" is great and shows just how scary he can be. In most Disney movies, there are usually two or three songs that really stick with you. Every song in this movie was great. I still find myself humming "Down in New Orleans" everywhere I go. The bottom line is that Princess and the Frog is one of Disney's best and one of the best films of the year. The only question I can't answer is if it is better than Up. But if I have to answer, I'd say it's equal to it.
- The Magic is back!by 11 December 2009on
70 out of 100 people found the following review useful:
I felt like a little kid again seeing The Princess and the Frog; apparently so did most of the theater, as the crowd seemed to be generally from 8-30 years old. From the second I walked in, I realized this was a movie that was going to span groups(and it did, in the end). The other adults in line with me split almost evenly with tickets for this versus Invictus.
The animation is gorgeous, the characters are absolutely unique and took me by surprise, and even the parts in trailers that I thought were going to be awful turned out to be brilliant when put into the context of the rest of the film. I haven't enjoyed Disney this much since Mulan(and vaguely, Brother Bear). The music also seems to permeate the movie; many people that review and find something wrong, find so much song and dance to be odd- but what they don't realize is that the movie itself was always intending to play off of the Jazz era it is set in. If you love music, however, you'll love this even more. The music is what gives all the more charm to it, and it pays off.
The only reason that I am giving this a nine of ten is because I try to never give movies a ten unless it literally changed my life somehow. This came close, though- I was having so many flashbacks to my childhood during the Disney Renaissance. It was nostalgic for me, above all, and classic Disney animation that I will probably end up spending more money on when such moments roll around. I am most certainly going to find the soundtrack, because the music just made it so alive.
Don't be misled by the word cartoon- this is a movie for everyone.
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