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A Beautiful and Magical Film
22 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
It was so pleasant to watch a well animated feature. I enjoy the Disney 3D presentations, like Up, and other computer animated movies like Toy Story, but for years, I have missed old fashioned animation. This was a beautiful and magical film. The faces of the characters were rich and expressive, the characterization was well thought out, and the scenery was lush and precise for both the location and time period.

The character of Tiana could have been a flat "Cinderella" type character who works all day hoping for a man to save her. Instead, she is a wonderfully modern princess—a passionate, intelligent, creative woman who is concerned with fulfilling her dreams through work and learns that having a career doesn't mean she has to miss out on having love and a family. Charlotte could have become a flat "Ugly Stepsister" type who vies for Naveen's affections and cares more about money than people. Instead, while she is ditzy and cares about finding true love, Charlotte also cares about friendship, and offers to help Naveen and Tiana when the time comes. Naveen could have been an empty "Prince Charming" who the viewer never really gets to see, let alone know. Instead, we watch his slow transformation from a narcissistic playboy to a caring self-sacrificing man.

I have been to New Orleans 3 times, and loved the music and scenery the film provided. Viewers see the rich Creoles, those who live at the heart of the city, the more indigent African American and Caucasian families living outside of the city, and the Cajun culture of the bayou. Each scene was painstakingly created, and the effort shows. The film could not have been set anywhere else. The setting is integral to the film.

As an adult, I loved this movie. The only thing that parents might object to their children seeing are the scenes involving voodoo. For a young child, the Shadow Man could be quite scary, particularly a scene in a grave yard where he tries to capture the Frog Prince. People with strong religious views might also be offended by the scenes with Mama Odie. However, I would urge modern viewers to think of these scenes in terms of the fairytale construct—they are meant to be seen in terms like the Evil Queen of Snow White, who also used magic, or like Ursula of the Little Mermaid, who was also trying to take someone's soul. Similarly, this film doesn't present the Shadow Man and Mama Odie in terms of religion, but in terms of magic. They could very easily have been an Evil Stepfather and a Fairy Godmother.

Overall, I thought that The Princess and the Frog was a fantastic film. The songs were jazzy and had shades of Gershwin, the scenery was beautiful and varied, the characters were well thought out, and the plot had enough twists and turns to keep me interested. I haven't enjoyed an animated film so much since Beauty and the Beast came out in 1991.
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A Lesser Effort
18 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Synopsis: Kermit, Pepe, Miss. Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzy, and the rest of the Muppet crew go to the post office to deliver letters to Santa. While there, some mishaps occur and Gonzo forgets to deliver 3 letters. The gang has to find a way to get the letters to Santa and help him fulfill the Christmas wishes. The film has appearances from Jane Krakowski, Uma Thurman, Whoopi Goldberg, Jesse Martin, and Nathan Lane.

Review: I am a big fan of the Muppets, but this film was more boring than magical. The sad thing is that the concept has potential: letters to Santa are accidentally left out of the mail and the Muppet gang has to first deliver them to Santa and then help Santa fulfill the wishes.

The problem is this: the film wastes time in the letter delivery process. At the 30 minute mark of the 44 minute feature, Kermit, Gonzo, Fozzy, and Pepe are just arriving at the North Pole. The film spends less than a minute there-- with a beautiful exterior that goes to waste. We meet 1 elf, and never venture inside. Then, it's back to delivering the letters again, and the viewers finally see Santa 10 minutes before the film ends-- rushing the meat of the story: giving Santa the letters and making wishes come true.

If the writers had been more intelligent, they would have spent only 10 minutes on delivery and the journey to the North Pole. The other 34 minutes then could have been spent in hijinks at Santa's Workshop (instead of the Post Office) and going from house to house making 3 or 4 special children's wishes come true.

You might be better off re-watching The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Family Christmas, or even It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas (which parodies It's a Wonderful Life). All 3 are gems.
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Square One Television (1987–1992)
12 January 2004
I remember watching this show and its spin off Mathnet. The Mathnet segment was my favorite. I waited through the other parodies just to watch that sketch. I also remember the magician who had the audience pick any number, then through a series of calculations would show that everyone would have the same answer. I hate doing math, but I did those "tricks" every time to see if he was right. My parents are teachers and loved watching the show along with me. It was a great show for parents and kids because if the kids didn't get the parodies, they got the math knowledge and parents watched just for the laughs. they should bring the show back.
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So Funny
4 October 2003
I remember seeing this in fourth grade. Every 4th and 5th grade girl in our school had to watch the movie and then got instructions on how to use various products, and what to do if we started menstruating. The only thing I really remember about the movie was how impressed I was with all the girls in it because they were in the movie Annie. The board says it is animated, but I believe after the animation, the girls themselves discuss menstruation. I also remember it as being embarrassing and hilarious at the same time. I skipped the movie the next year to watch sports bloopers with the guys.
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A comment on the comments
19 July 2002
This movie is a fantastic film based on a very realistic book.

I just want to comment on some of the other messages on this board to say that this movie DOES NOT REPRESENT the Nixon era and the Vietnam war. The book was written in 1962 which was when Kennedy was President. The movie was made in 1975, only due to problems with copyright approval.

The film is a fascinating character study and a definite MUST see. Louise Fletcher and Jack Nicholson deliver Oscar winning performances. And the movie also won best picture. Fletcher's Nurse Rachet is one of the most hated villains in movie history. In fact, her Academy Award winning speech began with the words, "Thank you for hating me So much." And as the director Milos Foreman once said, "Jack Nicholson was sent from heaven. He doesn't just play R.P. MacMurphy. He Is R.P. MacMurphy." The DVD version is fantastic and has great info on the cast and movie development.
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23 December 2001
This is far and away the worst movie I have ever seen. The plot makes no sense. The characters are stupid. It includes characters made out of garbage-- piles of garbage that talk. Worst of all is the gross and disgusting piles of bodies and bloody gore that set off several scenes. With a great cast, you would think that this movie would be better. Unfortunately, even the cast doesn't make up for the storyline.
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