Monday, March 14, 2011

The Princess and the Frog

When The Princess and the Frog came out in 2009, word was that it was going to be very reminiscent of the Disney renaissance period - all of those good movies like Aladdin, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid.  Considering that (aside from Pixar) the Disney movies that had come out were along the lines of Brother Bear, Home on the Range, and Bolt, I was dying for a good Disney movie.  Going back to Disney's roots in fairy tales was a brilliant idea.

I absolutely fell in love with this movie.  It only came out in late 2009/early 2010, and I've probably watched it five or six times already.  To start with, this movie has an awesome princess who can almost rival Belle.  She's smart, hardworking, dedicated, and won't let anyone stand in her way.  Disney's come a long way since the portrayal of princesses in Snow White or Cinderella.  Tiana doesn't start out as a princess; in fact, she's almost the opposite.  I love the fact that she's a strong character while still being likable.

It also hits all of the right emotions.  There's happiness, comedy, and sadness.  There are lots of really great, funny lines in this movie, and hilarious characters, like Raymond and Louis.  We watched it with Jason's brothers and I was a little worried that they would think it was stupid, but they were laughing a lot, so I think that's a good sign.  Ray's song to Evangeline is both touching and sad at the same time.  And the ending really holds a tragedy in it - I cry every time we watch it.  However, there's still a happy ending.  To me, that's the perfect movie: there's some sad things that happen which make it realistic, but ultimately it ends happily.

The story itself is fun, and I never felt like the pace was lagging or I was checking my watch.  They go through a series of adventures, and Tiana and Prince Naveen start out disliking each other because they are so different.  But it's fun to watch the romance grow between them as they both start to realize the other one actually is caring and a good person.  It was definitely not love at first sight for these two!

The Music
I loved the music from this movie, so much so that I bought the soundtrack (the only other Disney movie I have the entire soundtrack to is The Lion King).  Since the story takes place in New Orleans, it features a lot of jazz music, which I love.  I really don't think there's a bad song in the bunch.  My favorites would be "Almost There," Tiana's big solo song, and "Dig A Little Deeper," the song that Mama Odie sings.  However, "Evangeline" is also beautiful in its own way.  The only thing noticeably missing is a duet between the two lovers.  Even a light-hearted, fun one would have been appropriate, but they don't really sing together.  The closest thing to a love song from the movie is "Evangeline."

The Villain
Dr. Facilier, more commonly known as "the Shadow Man," is a pretty evil villain.  He's a bit reminiscent of Jafar - out for power, and with the ability to control evil magic.  However, the Shadow Man is super creepy because he's actually in cahoots with the devil - his "friends from the other side."

The WDW Connection
Unfortunately, as of right now there aren't really any attractions, shows, or restaurants themed around The Princess and the Frog.  When the movie first came out they did a bit more, such as adding in a show and re-theming the Liberty Belle riverboat, but that's all gone now.  I would love to see more from this movie in the future.  I believe you can still meet Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen around the parks.

Becky's rating:  10 out of 10
Jason's rating:  9.5 out of 10

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