“The Princess and the Frog” A Magical Disney Kiss

Genres: Kids/Family, Musical/Performing Arts, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy and Animation
Running Time: 1 hr. 35 min.
Release Date: November 25th, 2009 (limited); December 11 (wide)
MPAA Rating: G
Distributors: Walt Disney Studios Distribution

Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker
JJ Rating: A+

Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) has a father, James (Terrence Howard), that instills in her the hope and want to create a restaurant that’ll be great for the city of New Orleans. She gets older and she’s working two jobs tirelessly. Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos) arrives into town and gets himself into trouble with a ‘charismatic’ Shadow Man (Keith David) and is transformed into a frog. He finds Tiana dressed as Princess and sweetly asks her to kiss him so he could be human. She reluctantly does so and now there’s two frogs. Two frogs desperately wanting to be human again, but they first have to have a little personal journey of self discovery before that is to happen. The Princess and the Frog.

After seeing The Princess and the Frog the second time there were several little girls in the lobby dressed up as princesses getting their photos taken with the cardboard cutout. It was nice to see so much excitement for a Disney film. I did take a photo and did not stare for very long. No need for me to get into trouble for being a male and finding it nice that little girls are enjoying a release of a magical movie (made for them especially).

I bought the soundtrack before I saw the film and I listened to it. I liked the soundtrack and there was a funny song sang by Ray (Jimmy Cummings) who is the lightning bug. I enjoyed the soundtrack and it made me look forward to the film more. I had already seen the first five minutes online and I enjoyed that. It was full of energy that just excites the very soul for the film.

The Princess and the Frog (I would have loved if it had kept its original title which was The Frog Princess because that is far more truer to what was going on) was everything I had hoped it to be. I was entertained from the start with the star in the sky to the very end with the same star in the sky. It was very good. I t was good enough that I saw it twice. I saw Fantastic Mr. Fox and I could not sit through that again, though I did enjoy it. My Golden Globe pick for Best Animated Film would have to go to The Princess and the Frog or UP!.

The characters were all engrossing. They had magnetic pull of my attention. I loved them all and did not want to say good-bye to anyone. The Princess and the Frog had great wit between Tiana and Naveen. They both bantered back and forth with great fervor. There was great black and white chemistry between the two. It is something that is really missing from film between love interest. That attraction via words and looks without having to be incredibly whorish.

The Princess and the Frog is a great film for kids because they will laugh at all the funny parts that are not sexual innuendos and actually learn something from the film instead of biting sarcasm and damaging cynicism. This is why Disney was always the best. This was why everyone tried so hard to conquer the animated realm and never got close, because Disney knows children and wants to inspire. They don’t just want them to laugh and be entertained, they want them to grow.

It is sad that only in recent years they have decided to honor animated films now when they should have been honoring the likes of the Lion King and Beauty & the Beast. Now that Disney has brought back 2-D animation with hand drawn flare with an astute script, I think that the other studios should be scared. Disney clutches the hearts of those that use to be and those that are still young.

I think in The Princess and the Frog is the first time (I have discussed this with my Disney loving friend) that something has happened in a Disney animated film. What is it? I cannot state, but I think that once you see the film you’ll realize what I think as a first time occurrence.

Oh and as you watch the film there are several throw backs to Disney’s animated past. I saw a few past princess references as well as the floats during Marti Gras had a Disney animated Golden years touch. Not only that, there was a clever, if I am not mistaken, reference to The Sword and the Stone with Louis and his moss like hair. Then there is the end shot with a reference (maybe just to me) to a direction that have you traveling on till morning.

Maybe I just wanted it to be good so I ignored all the flaws. Or maybe it was great and I ignored the flaws because the charm, wit and sweetness of it all totally was what I wanted for the longest time from any animated film. I love Pixar and I love their films and they have their own charm, but nothing seems to match what Disney can do with a pencil. The Princess and the Frog kisses the Disney we have treasured in all of us and wakes it up and lets it flourish in our hearts and yearn, so rightly, for more magic like that. And as the prolog stated, “There is magic in the air tonight and anything can happen.” Thank you Disney that is what I call true hope and change and of course only the movies can bring that about.

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