Saturday, December 5, 2009

Disney's Newest Princess, Comes With Song, Dance And A Frog.

Animation has come along way in the course of the last several years, we have gotten stop motion animation that looks so good it is almost not animation anymore. Over the years Walt Disney Studios have given us many animated cartoons that we have come to treasure, Snow White is one of my all time favorites, the little known Fox and the Hound is still my favorite. Now comes "The Princess And The Frog" the classic telling of what true love can accomplish. Disney gives this story a little shake and stirs in a helping of evil and we get what is essentially a great cartoon.

This story centers on a young woman named Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) who is working two jobs to fulfill her fathers dream of owning a restaurant. Working as a waitress she runs into a long time friend Charlotte (Jennifer Cody) and her father, 'Big Daddy' La Bouff (John Goodman) who has just been named King of the Mardi Gras (hint hint). Charlotte has found out that Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos) is visiting New Orleans and wants Tiana to cater dinner for him. Thinking this would help her reach her goal that much quicker she agrees.

Prince Naveen is transformed into a frog by a conniving voodoo magician, Dr. Facilier (Keith David) and sees Tiana in a beautiful gown, asks her to help him become a Prince again by kissing him. At first Tiana is frightened but reluctantly kisses the frog. Here Disney turns from the classic Frog Prince story to tell their own. When Tiana kisses the frog she herself is transformed into a toad. Hearing of an old blind lady, Mama Odie (Jenifer Lewis) who lives in a boat in a tree, the pair set off to find her. Mama Odie has magical powers and they think she will help them.

The story builds on friendship and trust, the pair meet a trumpet playing alligator, Louis (Michael-Leon Wooley) who helps them on their journey, they are also aided by a Cajun firefly, Ray (Jim Cummings) offers to help the pair as well. The four set out to find Mama Odie and when they get there, they find her to be less of a help then they anticipated, or so they thought. The friendship amongst the four is what saves the day, each one is able to do just a little more than the other, but combined they save the day. Prince Naveen must be kissed by a Princess in order to turn back into a human, and thinking that Charlotte's daddy was named King that she is the perfect one to kiss him.

The story takes on a little bit of sadness throughout the story, it is set in the golden age of Jazz and Tiana's father goes off to war, he doesn't come back. Tiana holds onto his dream because of her love for him. She is able to pull it off and in the end everyone gets what is coming to them. Classic Disney fair. This is a very well crafted cartoon, one the whole family will enjoy it has comedy, song and dance. I know, I know what Disney cartoon doesn't? The Princess and the Frog will take it's place with the other classic Disney cartoons. Disney also deserves some credit for making their first African American Princess. Tiana should be welcomed by every little girl and yes every little boy in America.

I give The Princess And The Frog a 3 and on my avoidance scale a 0. it is such a pleasure to see that Disney has gone back to their original animation format. The hand drawn animation is still amongst the best of it's kind. CGI and Stop Motion are both great but nothing beats the talent and desire it takes to craft a story by hand. Animation fans stand up and cheer for Tiana and run out and see this fantastic motion picture.

The Princess And The Frog is rated G
Running time is 1 hr. 35 mins.

1 comment:

reggie said...

wow! you have provided an enlightening review about the movie. It sees like a really rocking one. I m also finding any good animated movie like it for my niece. I will surely spare some time to watch The Princess and The Frog movie with my niece.