The Princess and the Frog: Movie Review

19 01 2010

We finally got around to seeing the Princess and the Frog yesterday. (Yes, sweet husband endured seeing a children’s movie about a princess. He’s wonderful.)

I must say, while I knew I’d enjoy it, I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be as great as it was. Silly me, of course Disney would do nothing less than the best!

Image from Jim Hill Media

First of all, the style! Every scene was just dripping with color. It was modern, without being too far away from what has always done well in classic animation. And, it was just beautiful. The costumes, the background scenes, the fireflies. And of course, the music! I’m dying for the soundtrack… it mixes jazz, zydeco, gospel. It was fantastic.

The message of the movie was great too. I must admit, I loved the movies of my childhood where they claimed that wishing upon a star was enough, or believing in fairy tales would make all your dreams come true. But let’s face it, kids are different these days. Wiser, maybe. And that’s, sadly, unrealistic.

But then again, I’ve seen way too many movies lately that dash those childhood hopes to pieces and just focus on the reality of it all. Which, let’s face it too, that’s just depressing. So The Princess and the Frog met an almost perfect balance. She wished upon that classic star, but her daddy always told her it was about hard work too (another good message – in the rural Southland, a strong father presence was stressed).

I also liked that the bad guy was a clear cut bad guy. In my humble opinion, there’s far too much interest these days in the dark side. I know many of y’all love some vampires or wizards, and while there’s certainly just a fantasy side of that that’s harmless, there is actually some real evil in the world that comes from all this interest in the dead. So the “Shadow Man,” a practicer in voodoo, was clearly defined as an evil man. Husband pointed out that there was a “good” voodoo lady, but when we got to thinking about it, she didn’t perform any spells. She taught them a lesson that what we think we want sometimes, is often not what we really need. A great example they gave was that Tiana’s father never got his long dreamed about resturant, but in the end, he had his family, and love was all that truly fulfilled him.

And finally, off my soapboxes here… and just on to how great the South was!

New Orleans has been long thought of as a seedy place, and then further hurt by the devastating hurricane Katrina, but goodness… what a rich history of food and music that city has. There were hilarious Cajun characters (ok, ok… not all portrayed in a flattering light, but if we can’t laugh at ourselves, well, they’ll do it anyway, so might as well enjoy).

My absolute favorite part was the rich-girl Charlotte, daughter of a wealthy tycoon. She was hilarious. That voice, those clothes she was always thinking about… one of the best secondary characters in the film.

And Tiana. A great princess that any little girl could aspire to be. She just wants to own herself a resturant. She makes up good gumbo and benets. Mmm… I was starving by the time the movie was over.

So, if you got busy during the holidays and didn’t take the little ones to see this, it’s well worth the price of admission. I strongly recommend this throwback to animated films. And, I mean, it features our beloved South! What more could we want in a movie!

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