Movie Review: Princess & The Frog

Movie Review: Princess & The Frog

The Princess & The Frog

framebyframe_princess_and_the_frog

Rated G
Running Time:1 Hour 35 minutes

Walt Disney Animation Studios rolls out its second animated movie for the 2009 Christmas season. This time around it’s the musical The Princess and the Frog, an animated comedy set in the city of New Orleans. From the creators of The Little Mermaid and Aladdin comes a modern day twist on the classic tale. In this re-imagining of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, a beautiful girl named Tiana kisses a frog prince who wants to be human again. However, the fateful kiss leads them both on an adventure through the mystical bayous of Louisiana.

It’s also worth noting that The Princess and the Frog marks the return to hand-drawn animation from the revered team of John Musker and Ron Clements. The music for the flick was written by Oscar-winning composer Randy Newman.

A New Twist To An Old Tale

The Princess and the Frog is a new twist to an old tale. Not only is Disney revamping the old fairy tale, but they’re also breaking ground as this musical features Disney’s first African-American princess with Anika Noni Rose providing her voice talent for the role of the princess. The writing and adaptation of the old Princess and the Frog story into the new story is quite clever. We discover two little girls and a prince who grew up hearing the story, suddenly living the story in New Orleans. This is more than just a re-telling or a remake. This is truly an old story with a new twist. For that, we applaud Disney in their efforts to capture a new generation with an old story.

It’s also refreshing to see Disney heading back to what we might call old-style animation with The Princess and the Frog.

In a sea of computer generated 3D stop animation jumping off the screen at you, Disney steps back to something that not only works well on the big screen, but will work well on the TV screen too. Of course you have to know that’s part of the marketing scheme. Not only is Disney looking to make money on this movie on the big screen, but they’re also counting on DVD sales too. While some might wonder if the old style animation will keep the attention of kids today, the genius of Disney’s production team revolves around the music in the movie too. It’s foot-tapping, energized dancing and great singing music. If anything, the musical aspect of The Princess and the Frog leaping off the screen is more spectacular than the frogs do at times!

The Princess and the Frog provides a wonderful
sound and sight ride!

Why The Fascination With The Dark Side?

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When it comes to story line, we have to once again say we’re disappointed with, but not surprised by, Disney’s fascination with the dark side. The Princess and the Frog had wonderful potential to be a fun family-friendly movie. With this flick, Disney had an opportunity to prove they really wanted to venture back into the family-friendly arena. But, for some reason they always seem fascinated with pushing the dark side to the forefront of their so-called family-friendly movies.

For this we say – ‘Shame on Disney’!

Put quite simply, Disney misses the mark when they say this is a family-friendly movie with a G rating. Of course since the setting is New Orleans, we knew Voodoo would play a part in the story line. But, Disney simply goes too far when highlighting the dark side. What’s interesting is that the Mama Odie character, whom one would think would be a far more scary character, comes off as a fun loving Mama with all the answers to the frog problem. But, for a G rated movie, Disney simply goes overboard which makes us put a cautionary family-friendly tag on The Princess and the Frog.

In what could have been a fun cartoon full of family entertainment, some scenes are simply too scary for the young crowd Disney is looking to capture with this movie.

Aside from the dark side issues with The Princess and the Frog, the animation and the music is wonderful. While this is not as strong as say a Little Mermaid, it certainly has the potential of becoming another Disney Classic. But, our warning remains – Parents beware, just because it’s Disney and just because it carries a G rating, does not mean this is a family-friendly flick. If anything, while there are some great lessons to be learned from the movie, The Princess and the Frog also has the potential of giving kids nightmares too.

Cautiously enjoy the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.