The Princess and the Frog
Let me begin by saying I am definitely not the demographic Disney had in mind when they were creating THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, so I will do my best to be objective. The couple of kids whom I know saw it, loved it, so maybe that’s a good enough review for some of you, but kids also love playing in a cardboard box.
Disney went back to its classic 2D animation for THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG. I guess it’s not a bad idea to do a little throwback but with Pixar around, I can’t help but think, “Why bother?” We have progressed so far, why take the step backwards? I love the old classic Disney movies and they were spectacular for their time but this just seems like a regurgitation of their popular films. They wish upon a star like PINNOCHIO. They sing and dance down the bayou with river animals a lot like THE LITTLE MERMAID. And the twist here is that she becomes the frog, a little like SHREK (non Disney).
Tatiana is a young girl in New Orleans who has a dream she shared with her late father of running her own restaurant. She happens upon a frog that says he will help her if she will kiss him so he can become a Prince. However, after the kiss, Tatiana finds herself in the same green, mucus-covered position as the Prince. The two meet up with a boisterous trumpet playing gator and a toothless Cajun lightning bug that help them survive the bayou and to find a way to break the spell and make their dreams come true.
The New Orleans setting is a great location for a Disney adventure! The whole feel and animation of the film was a new jazzy style. I was also impressed by the good and bad witch doctors. Disney did not shy away and kept the villains dark and scary. Playing with voodoo with evil demon shadows is a dangerous zone to play and I’m sure will frighten many children. But I think it’s important children deal with that, we have too many pansy kids these days.
Randy Newman composed the music with a couple of good songs in, “Friends On The Other Side” and “Almost There” and my guess is the latter will be nominated for an Oscar. They were good. I was jamming to them, but I don’t think they are as memorable as songs from THE LITTLE MERMAID, ALADIN, LION KING or BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. This is a decent Disney movie but a classic it is not. I could give it a higher grade but I believe that devalues all the excellent work Disney has done in the past. However, I will admit, in typical Disney fashion, I did laugh out loud a couple of times and even teared up a bit. Darn you Disney and your emotional pull.