A Princess, A Frog And Lots Of Voodoo
I was initially quite excited when I saw my first previews for "The Princess and the Frog". Disney was going to release a two-dimensional animated movie with a prince, a princess, and a lot of songs, one assumed. It was implied in the previews that this movie would be along the lines of the old Disney classics that people my age grew up watching, as opposed the newer Disney animation, like "A Bug’s Life" and "Finding Nemo".
Was this movie at all what it advertised? Absolutely not. Was this movie still very good? Yes.
The first thing we learn in this movie is that our princess... Isn’t a princess. This movie takes place in New Orleans and not so very long ago. There is no royalty in America, boys and girls. Hence, no princess. However, we do get a visiting prince from a country I’ve never heard of.
Our princess is actually the daughter of a seamstress and a man who longs to open his own restaurant. The movie opens to our princess being read a story with her friend, a rich, spoiled daughter of a rich man. The story, of course, is "The Frog Prince". Years elapse and our ‘princess’, Tiana, adopts her father’s dream and works two jobs to save as much as she can for a down payment on a building to open a resturant called Tiana’s Place.
The prince, Neveen, is visiting and, as we learn very quickly, extremely broke, spoiled, and in love with New Orleans jazz music. He is charmed by a witch doctor, referred to as a “shadow man” in the movie. The shadow man turns the prince’s butler into the prince and the prince into a frog.
This is when the real fun begins. Disaster ensue and Neveen ends up mistaking Tiana for a princess, promising her money he doesn’t have, and the kiss turns them both into frogs. They end up in a Louisiana bayou where they befriend a jazz-loving alligator named Lewis and a Creole firefly that everyone calls Ray. Lewis and Ray decide to help Tiana and Neveen find a voodoo queen that can hopefully make them human again.
This movie is not a typical Disney princess movie. This movie is not what you expect from the previews. The voodoo magic is, in my opinion, entirely too dark for a G rating. PG would have been much more acceptable in my opinion. In this movie, hard work pays off more than wish on a star. The girl who has everything is not an unkind person who only thinks of herself, although she is a spoiled girl.
The movie features cameos from Disney movies as parade floats and animals from previous Disney movies popping up randomly in a bayou. There is a love story between a firefly and a star, a man willing to sacrifice himself for love, a woman who becomes confused about her dreams, and the message that hard work and following your heart are both the way to go.
Automatic Disney classic? Not in my eyes. A movie worth seeing? Absolutely.