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And with the brilliant light of Cajun Fireflies, there is a ray of hope in the world ...
Nikole12 December 2009
As a young female twenty-something, my 90's childhood was shaped by the Golden Age of Disney. Every year, there would be a new masterpiece for my mom to take me to; Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin ... And when Disney failed so terribly in the early millennium and closed down shop, my heart was broken. There was a part of our culture and my life that my little girl I someday hope to have was never going to be able to experience, and I was never going to get back.

So as soon as I heard that Disney was coming out with their triumphant return to 2-D, I felt like the world was FINALLY getting its act together.

While CGI has produced some good hits, it isn't the same as 2-D. There was no one who could do cartoons like Disney, and I think they began to realize that.

I can honestly say that this movie is brilliant. I saw it last night, and it's still haunting me twenty-four hours later like I'd just walked out of the theater. If this movie had been A.) racist or B.) a let down, I would have been very angry and wouldn't take the time to write out this review. But my God, it was right up there alongside "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King." Tiana, the long-awaited princess of the film, is a (gasp) real person! Her whole life does not revolve around getting married to the prince, nor does it involve some odd and harried "I'm totally a hardkore awesome person" plot. She has her faults. She's brash, a workaholic, and kind of a judgmental jerk. However, she is also headstrong, loving, and ridiculously intuitive. This is the sort of woman we need in a Disney cartoon for our kids to look up to, especially when the best role model they've had in the past few years is Bella Swann.

The prince, Naveen, is also an actual human being. He's cocky, spoiled, and hilarious. However, as the movie goes on, it is made quite clear (in a song by Randy Newman) that Naveen isn't happy at all. His and Tiana's relationship is based on self-discovery and mutual respect, rather than some of the other Disney movies where it is completely based on the need for a romantic plot. I see Belle and the Beast and Shang and Mulan (pre Mulan II, we can pretend that sequel doesn't exist), rather than Cinderella and Prince Charming. It seems like "Enchanted" really did bring a lot of new ideas to the Disney creed, and it completely shows in the way they tackle their archetypes in this refreshing rendition.

I was skeptical when I heard Randy Newman had composed the music. And yes, folks, it is in fact musical style. The characters sing, not Randy. And while you can still tell it's Randy, it's also Disney. The jazzy complexity of the songs drive the story forward and just wrap you up into the buzzing momentum of the film. I will definitely grab this soundtrack and play it religiously on my ipod, I promise you that.

As for the racism: It's Disney and regardless of what Disney does, someone is going to find something to point out as racist. However, let me just say that this movie is completely respectful and absolutely nothing in it is racist, to the point where it is obvious that Disney is trying their hardest NOT to be racist and cuts corners on the storytelling and historical racism that WOULD have been in New Orleans in 1920 (and to an extent, yes, still is). And as for turning Tiana into a frog ... she's a human for a good half the movie before she even thinks about kissing Naveen. She's a black princess, she's not a frog princess.

I also saw a comment about how someone didn't like it because of the non-Christian message thanks to the use of voodoo? They were so busy looking at the BAD GUY use voodoo that they didn't realize that Terrence Howard's character was pretty much a walking sermon! "You can wish on a star, but that can only take you halfway?" Where does this sound familiar? "Never lose sight of what's most important ... love." My God, the complete non-Christian message is abhorrent! The star is used as an allegory for God, and they wish on it with their hands folded ... practically one could say praying? And let's not even go into the full moral of the story: "You know what you want, but dig a little deeper and find what you need." How about that whole thanking God for unanswered prayers sort of ideal? These are good and wholesome lessons that are going to really strengthen the next generation of both boys and girls, and I'm happy that it's going to be an influence on the younger generation.

And the writing is amazing. As someone who writes for a living, I was completely floored at the structure of this film. You cover so much ground in 90 minutes, and you are never bored nor know what's going to happen next! Disney knows what they're doing (finally) on this film. It's amazingly put together, and all the trademarks you expect to see (animal sidekicks, creepy awesome villain, amazing soundtrack, knockout visuals, strong heroine) are there in full. Go see this movie, and remember how it was to be a kid again. This is an experience you absolutely need to have.

"Princess and the Frog" is here to stay.
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A Disney comeback for sure!!
StrongRex12 December 2009
Wow. That's one word to sum up everything about this movie: Wow.

Since Emperor's New Groove, Disney slowly went downhill until it was nothing but low-quality crappy sequels and badly made CGI movies, not to mention nothing but teenybopper shows on the Disney Channel. As for Toon Disney, I think the people working there confused themselves with Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon; something that is not their style.

However, Michael Eisner got fired and Robert Iger took his place as CEO of the Disney company, promising to get Disney back to the way it was supposed to be. Since then, I noticed improvements with movies like Enchanted and Bolt, but not to the point where everything was good again all of a sudden. I guess Eisner had some projects already set in motion that couldn't be stopped. But that was all right, because movies were the most important, and they would eventually get everything right.

With The Princess in the Frog, what a movie to start another era out of the second Dark Age! This movie has EVERYTHING: great story, superb animation, great humor, excellent acting and singing, thought-provoking lessons to learn throughout the movie, the list goes on and on. I think it truly deserves its place as a true Disney classic. To top it all off, the newest Disney Princess, Tiana, has spunk, intelligence, and determinations. She is a great example for kids to look up to. She just needs to learn to relax once in a while, which Naveen teaches her. In return she teaches him that life isn't all parties and women.

Movies like this make me realize that I can't wait for Disney to come out with greater stuff in the future, like Rapunzel in 2010. I am really curious for the stuff they will do in the future. They have already done so much, but there's so much out there that they haven't done yet. It's also interesting to see them write original movies like they did with Lady and the Tramp, Enchanted, and Bolt. I totally recommend it for anyone.
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Ladies and Gentlemen, the Disney Renaissance has returned.
diac22811 December 2009
Michael Eisner will forever be known as the man that attempted to totally kill Disney animation. After the disastrous efforts of Home on the Range, what was once a staple of the Walt Disney Company was becoming a thing of the past. Traditional animation was dead in Disney, and this was definitely one of the major contributors towards the shift in upper-upper management and his departure. Now with Pixar and John Lasseter on board, Disney pulls absolutely no punches in their return to tradition. There's a new princess, she happens to be black, and they happen to twist a classic story so much that you have literally no clue in which direction the writers were going. The major question is: can Disney revive its Renaissance quality that it experienced in the 90s? Can they ever duplicate such magic again? The answer is a resounding yes.

Princess and the Frog is the best traditionally animated flick (from ANY company) since The Emperor's New Groove. Princess Tiana is the most sophisticated and most mature Disney princess since Belle. The villain here is the best since Hades from Hercules. Prince Naveen is the best prince since Prince Eric (and even then, Naveen is one of the better princes out there). The music here is actually some of the best music from any Disney movie past and present. The animation here is the best since The Lion King. Basically, to sum things up, Princess and the Frog is an excellent effort from Disney and a superb return to Renaissance quality that the company sorely missed and needed.

The movie focuses on a hard-working waitress (Anika Nosi Rose) that is saving money to open up her own restaurant, which was a dream her father had always been chasing. Her father also taught her that it's not enough to just wish for something, you have to also work to accomplish what you want in life. Tiana lives her life on this lesson, much to the disdain of others. After a few twists and turns (I don't want to spoil the plot too much), she becomes a frog thanks to Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos), whom is a prince that is very different from the norm in terms of personality and even royalty status. Along the way they will meet a wide assortment of characters, ranging from a charismatic magician (Keith David, in an amazing role), a friendly firefly (Jim Cummings), a music-loving alligator (Michael-Leon Wooley), and many others. The movie clocks in at less than 100 minutes, but moves at such a fast pace, you'll get a lot more material than your average hour-and-a-half movie.

Let's just put this out there: Disney treated Tiana and her surroundings perfectly and without overdoing any boundaries whatsoever. New Orleans has an incredibly energetic look, and just enhances the themes and plot of the movie. Accompanying the Louisiana flavor is the incredible score of Randy Newman, which uses a wide variety of sounds and genres from the Deep South (and also is mixed in with a little Newman touch).

Can we praise the animation one more time? Sure, why not. The movie looks absolutely beautiful, and doesn't rely on just a simple palette of colors. Thanks to technology and an obvious overload of effort, this is one of the most (if not the most) colorful and vibrant-looking Disney animated movies of all-time. Some of the added computer effects only enhance the sophistication of the animation (I rhymed). One final note, the visual humor in Princess and the Frog is very fast-paced, to the style of the severely underrated Emperor's New Groove. You need a watchful eye on certain scenes to catch all the jokes.

If there was anyone that was going to save Disney's traditional animation, it would be Ron Clements and John Musker. These two were the most responsible for the Disney Renaissance, directing Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Hercules. They once again provide a beautiful story, and direct the movie with plenty of flair and energy. The musical sequences fit the pacing of the flick, and while there wasn't an outstanding track like "Be Our Guest," "Friend Like Me," or "Under the Sea," the repertoire of musical numbers overall was quite impressive. A key part to a great animated movie is having a villain just as complex and/or engaging as the heroes; and the "Shadow Man" not only has the best musical number, but also has the most flair of any of the supporting characters. Now we can forgive them for directing Treasure Planet.

The biggest reason for the successful quality in Princess and the Frog comes from the Pixar touch. Pixar obviously lent a hand here, as this movie contains some of the most sentimental and touching animated footage since the epic heartbreak moment in Lion King when Simba sees Mufasa motionless. While the movie never nails the emotional torture that Up succeeded (then again…few films ever will), Princess and the Frog will make you cry just as easily as it can make you laugh. Don't let that bring you down though, because this movie carries an upbeat tempo throughout the entire run.

Bottom Line: If you enjoyed the Disney Renaissance (From Little Mermaid to Tarzan, before the downfall spiral started), then it is up to you to watch this movie. This movie has all the energy, quality, sentimentality, and superb animation of the 90s Disney flicks, and is inches away from Pixar status. Pixar has saved Disney altogether, and Princess and the Frog is hopefully going to save Disney traditional animation, granted it gets the praise and success it truly deserves. Unlike what we have been seeing in the past, Disney did not half-arse this time. Blending the old-school qualities with a new-school outlook on where the status of animation and storytelling is headed, Princess and the Frog is a fun, entertaining, and fulfilling ride from start to finish.
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LigiaMontoya12 December 2009
Just astounding. The story was genuinely touching, the intense scenes jumped out at you, the humor was funny, the acting was excellent, and the music was the best soundtrack of any Disney movie since The Little Mermaid (A standing ovation for Randy Newman). There is also something about the 2D animation - it just has more personality and emotion than CGI. I just saw it tonight, and I am honestly floored.

Disney, for the last few years, has suffered from a lack of creativity. The movies have all been interchangeable with the same plot recycled. This one is different, new and really just the best animated picture I've seen in a long, long time. The applause in the theatre was very much earned.
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By's actually GOOD!
newkidontheblock3 January 2010
I've said my share of disparaging words against the Walt Disney Company, and let's face it; they've put out more than their share of garbage over the years. It seems as if Pixar has been pulling their dead weight for the past decade as they've put out offensively bad DTV releases and pumping their money and resources into their sub par T.V. station and musical acts (though I will say that Lilo and Stitch, as well as The Emperor's New Groove, which I consider to be one of Disney's funniest releases). Yes, it seemed that all hope was lost for the Mouse and that anything original and thought provoking associated with the Disney name would have that cute little bouncing lamp right along side.

Imagine my surprise when I saw The Princess and the Frog yesterday. Surprise nothing! I nearly went into a shock induced coma. This was a brilliant film, something truly worthy of Uncle Walt's iconic signature. This film had all the makings of a Disney classic: great story, great characters, great music, and of course, great art.

One thing I always give the Walt Disney Co. credit for is their masterful art work in their features, even the less than stellar ones. This has, especially, been the case the past 20-25 years. Some of the same artists that worked on the more recent classics like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast worked on Princess and the Frog. I was told after the film that the same man that drew Belle (Randy Cartwright) drew for Tiana, and you can tell. The art in general in this movie is extremely impressive. Not only are all the characters well drawn, but the backgrounds are breath taking, very reminiscent of Hunchback of Notre Dame. They seem to take you into a painting of the location without losing it's touch with reality. Also, the use of different art styles stood out, especially the "Almost There" number, which was drawn mostly in the Art Deco style.

Randy Newman's score left the biggest impression on my after the film was over, though. I think this is the first time a Disney feature used, primarily, North American music styles like jazz, ragtime, southern gospel, and even zydeco. Of course, like any great Disney feature; Princess and the Frog had it's signature musical number: the previously named "Almost There". With a great tune, appropriate lyrics, and of course, the voice of Anika Noni Rose; I'm sure (and I hope) this will become another Disney standard. Unlike some Disney films, there wasn't that dreadful "Oh dear merciful God, when is this going to end" number. Every song was thought out, appropriate for it's setting, and just...good. Kudos to Randy Newman, who will hopefully get an Oscar nomination (at least) for this film.

Then, of course, there's the high water mark for not only Disney movies, but for movies in general, especially animation films: characters and story. Movies can have an amazing score and even good animation, but if the story flops and if the characters are insufferable, then it's going nowhere. This movie, thankfully, had neither problem. There was no character that you wish would just go get himself or herself bent. Everyone served his or her purpose in the movie.

Like many of the newer Disney movies, The Princess and the Frog had a, well...Princess character that was blue collar and hard working.Tiana is young woman from the slums of New Orleans, whose sole purpose in life is to open up a successful restaurant serving authentic Louisiana cuisine. Of course, the man puts her down and she finds herself sunk. I will say that I'm VERY proud of Disney for not shoving the race issue down our throats and, at the same time, for not avoiding it all together. This was seen in the scene where the land lords of the building she's looking to purchase.

At the same time, a lazy hedonistic prince comes to New Orleans looking for a (Rich) bride since his monetary supply has been cut off by his parents. He sets his sights on a bona fide southern belle named Charlotte, Tiana's foil and best friend. The Prince and his reluctant English servant (what prince would be complete without one) get sidetracked by a voodoo man/street performer named Dr. Facilier aka "The Shadow Man", a slick deceitful crook with his own silhouette as a side kick (and yes, they are able to make it work). Dr. Facilier says both Prince Naveeh and Lawerence will get what they both desire most (money and a life without servitude, respectively). Louis is turned into the Prince (or at least, given his body) while Naveeh turns into...a smiley frog; which as we learn throughout the film is mucus.

Naveeh meets Tiana after she changes clothes (and after her dreams of owning her own restaurant). Tiana, who is less than fond of frog, tries to kill our hero; but later finds out that this is a frog with a difference...he can talk. After Naveeh sees a copy of a print version of, appropriately enough, the Princess and the Frog, he asks Tiana (Who is wearing a tiara at the time) to kiss him, believing that she is, indeed, royalty herself; though he later finds out that she is a waitress. He promises that after she kisses him, something she is far from enthusiastic about, he will make her dream of owning her own restaurant a reality. Well, she does kiss him, but there's a bit of a SNAFU: she turns into a frog herself. The two of them must find a way to become human again. Along the way, they meet a cavalcade of characters including a trumpet playing alligator (and yes, they are able to make it work somehow) and a Cajun firefly named Ray.

The Princess and the Frog, a movie (I hope) that is destined for greatness.
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Disney's Triumphant Return to 2-D
Kristi Petersen26 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I was privileged to attend a showing of The Princess and the Frog last night as part of a special engagement at New York City's Zeigfeld theater. This movie exceeded all expectations. It is visually stunning, musically a work of genius, thematically sophisticated, and story-wise told in a refreshingly different way (some actions are pre-motivation) which makes the ride an unpredictable one.

Visually, Disney has gone above and beyond. They have invoked the steamy feeling of the city of New Orleans in shades of gold and lavender, and in the swamp scenes, some of the backgrounds are so expertly rendered it's like you're looking at a photograph. But what stood out the most with this artwork was the colors. They are a study in thematic contrast. In the scenes with the villain, the bright colors of Mardi Gras are used to reveal a darker, sinister side. The effect is wonderfully jarring and creates an appropriate emotional response: rather than hating the villain, we're led to mistrust him. He's pretty on the outside, but there's something awful lurking underneath. It's like that sixth sense you get sometimes with certain people in your life. In Mama Odie's scene, the color scheme is subtle and muted—until she reveals her inner goodness, and the scene explodes with color; another comment on how purity can hide in the most surprising places.

To say that once again Randy Newman has done an expert job with the music would be an understatement. He had a lot to work with here—the musical tapestry of New Orleans is a mix of Dixieland, Zydeco, and Spiritual. He could have easily chosen one of those styles and stuck with it—instead, he blends all three, and the effect is seamless. The musical numbers tend to stay in one vein or the other depending on the character – which also works to help tell the story -- but the underlying score, while you'll instantly recognize Newman's hallmark sound, is a genius integration. To top it off, because this film takes place in the golden age of jazz, he has deftly inserted musical references to Gershwin. Amazing. With so much to work with, it could have easily been a confusing or even chaotic train-wreck. Not in his hands.

Thematically, this film has taken some of Disney's classic themes and examined them more deeply: they are two-sided and complex. The choices these characters make are never easy--more so than in other films--and that updates these themes so that modern audiences can more readily identify. Similarly, Disney's newest princess, Tiana, is the strongest, most interesting princess to date. She is intelligent, complex – and oozes passion, something that, in my opinion, has only been approached (and I do insist, "approached") in Belle and Ariel. Tiana is a princess for today's woman. Little girls of the world have quite an exciting and refreshing new role model.

Disney's writers have chosen to tell this story in a different way, as well. It's not your typical spell-it-all-out up-front story, and some story elements are never even vocalized, they're visual, and back story and motivation are sometimes revealed after the relevant action rather than before. It was really refreshing to see Disney choose a slightly different construction—it leads to keeping the tale unpredictable and much more engaging. But I'm a writer, so I know it's hard to do this well. For the most part, Disney succeeds. However, there is a bit of a downside to this. Constructing a story in this manner can lead to a lot of subtlety in the way the story is told, and because of this, some of the characters' motives are not always clear right away. This seems to happen the most with Dr. Facilier, the villain. When he's on the screen, it's really important to concentrate or you might miss some key story elements.

All in all, don't miss The Princess and the Frog. It's the best 97 minutes I've spent in a theater in a long, long time.
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2D Animation is Back! Blue Skies and Sunshine Guaranteed!
PirateWolfy8 December 2009
The Princess and the Frog is one of the most highly anticipated films of the year. It marks Walt Disney Animation Studio's return to 2D animation, to recapture the era of amazing movies like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast – timeless tales that have reached audiences across the world. However, unlike these previous movies, The Princess and the Frog does something new. It's an updated take on the classic fairy tale, set in Jazzy New Orleans filled with witch doctors, Maldonian princes, southern lovesick daughters, Jazz playing alligators and even Cajun fireflies! In the midst of all this jazz is Disney's first black princess, Tiana, and her story.

Tiana is a young girl who wants to follow her father's dream and open up her very own restaurant. She works hard, never taking a chance on Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet - she is a realist Disney 'princess' - and that makes her stand apart from the rest. And speaking of breaking from tradition, Prince Naveen is another fresh take on the classic Disney prince. He gets a fair amount of screen time and shows us that princes are more than just stuffy suits. The pair has great chemistry as frogs and their intertwining journey is full of laughs and heart tingling moments sprinkled with some good old Disney magic. Disney Animation Studios has pulled it off again; they have conjured up something fresh and new and have made it entertaining. Perhaps we can expect greater things for the future because this is a pretty good start.

One of the strongest aspects of this musical is, of course, the music! Randy Newman has provided an array of songs, from bouncy piano songs to gospel to Broadway. There is no one single style of music and Newman serves up a diverse platter accompanied by stunning animation. There are several songs in the movie, perhaps more than needed, but all catchy while bringing a yet another flavor to New Orleans. The downside to these songs is that they are many, short and have the task of pushing story. Their presence feels like designated intervals, sometimes jarring up moments which could have been executed wonderfully without any song.

Pacing and story are the main challenges The Princess and the Frog faces. Too much happens and it happens too fast. There is an engaging plot, obstacles are overcome through action and songs also push the story forward. This leaves us very little time for dwelling in scene. I personally think this is why the movie doesn't feel quite up to par with The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty or The Lion King – there are very few moments which rely on deeper truths or engage with characters' inner struggles and relationships. I wish the directors would have slowed down and let us have a bit more interaction rather than relying on action and songs to advance plot. Also, some crucial events relied on coincidence when they could've been worked into the plot more skillfully. Despite these minor drawbacks, the Princess and the Frog still delivers an entertaining story.

Personally, I think the darker a Disney film is, the more interesting it will be. It lends a sense of reality and tells me that despite its catchy songs and humor, the movie takes itself seriously. Princess and the Frog definitely takes itself seriously. One of the main reasons I wanted to see this film was because of Dr. Facilier. He makes the film tastefully dark and shows us that even a Disney story can chill audiences. The voodoo world is intoxicating, full of intrigue and Facilier's theme song tells us he is a villain with style rivaling the likes of Jafar or Scar. However, unlike the previous villains, Facillier doesn't constantly trump the heroes after his first appearance. Villains kind of get a backseat in the movie - some people might not like this so beware!

Despite its darker side, the movie is surprisingly funny and downright hilarious. Like the old classics, the movie is timeless in a way. It doesn't reference any modern pop culture. There are lots of things that made audiences laugh, some more than others. There is no one type of humor strung throughout the whole film. Without giving anything away, I would also like to say the humor gets pretty risqué at times but it's welcoming because it tells us Disney is not excluding anyone from the audience.

There are some very spectacular moments of animation in this film. The characters are drawn in the 90's classic Disney style and don't have extremely stylized or exaggerated features that we've seen in later works like Emperor's New groove or Home on the Range. This blast from the past is a breath of fresh air. 2D animation is here to stay.
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One of Disney's Best Films in a Long Time
Disney was at its best in the 90s. They came out with such great movies as Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. And then, they made bad movies like Home on the Range. Disney can make good movies, and they usually do. The Princess and the Frog is one of Disney's best movies. It has a great twist on a classic story, characters that made me care, and music that had me tapping my foot and wishing I was in New Orleans. The animation is so beautiful that I literally almost cried at the beginning of the film. Dr. Faciler is probably one of Disney's best villains. Keith David's voice is so creepy and fits perfect into the character. His song "Friends on the Other Side" is great and shows just how scary he can be. In most Disney movies, there are usually two or three songs that really stick with you. Every song in this movie was great. I still find myself humming "Down in New Orleans" everywhere I go. The bottom line is that Princess and the Frog is one of Disney's best and one of the best films of the year. The only question I can't answer is if it is better than Up. But if I have to answer, I'd say it's equal to it.
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Reiterates that Walt Disney Animation is back and here to stay
Rare Addict11 December 2009
With such disappointments as Home on the Range and Chicken Little, Walt Disney Animation Studios – on the whole – has had a pretty rough decade. Last November, however, the Mouse House released Chris Williams and Byron Howards' Bolt, which is not only generally accepted as a return to form for the studio, but over the course of this past year, has usurped Pulp Fiction as my personal favorite movie of all time. With that said, I went into The Princess and the Frog with relatively high expectations; having walked out of the theatre just a couple of hours ago, I have to say that John Musker and Ron Clements' latest - while not overthrowing it - certainly continues the magic of the studio's previous film.

Visually, The Princess and the Frog is absolutely mesmerizing. Seriously, 2D animation has never looked better than it does in this film. As executive producer/Pixar founder John Lasseter said, it's very much like stepping into a pair of old, comfortable shoes. Familiar, yet seemingly brand new. The energetic look of New Orleans is perfectly captured on screen, enhancing the story all the more.

Speaking of which, the story of this film is just like the animation in that, while being traditional Disney fare, it's executed in such a way that it feels completely different from anything you've ever experienced. As many times as this movie will make you laugh, it'll make you cry, which – for me – has always been the sign of a classic Disney Animation film. The movie also succeeds in making you feel invested in each and every one of these characters, major and minor ones alike, which is definitely one of the most difficult tasks that any film could hope to achieve.

Unlike most Disney princesses, Tiana is strong, independent, and isn't looking for her Prince Charming. In fact, it's these differentiating traits of hers that make Tiana my favorite Disney princess to date. It also helps that Anika Noni Rose delivers a stunning performance as her voice, making Tiana all the more captivating every moment that she's on screen. Bruno Campos also does a terrific job as Naveen, whose character is also a departure from the traditional Disney prince. He's a fellow who, while being stuck-up and lazy, somehow manages to come across as extremely likable. Both of these characters make for what is easily the most convincing Disney couple to date.

The real stand-out performance, however, is that of Keith David as Dr. Facilier. Since his performance as the Arbiter from the Halo video game series, I've been a huge fan of this guy's work, and couldn't have been more excited when I heard that he'd be doing the voice of the villain in this movie. With his low, creepy voice, David captures the essence of this character perfectly, and by the end, you're genuinely scared of this guy. Because of this, Facilier is definitely one of – if not my absolute favorite – Disney villain, challenged only by Gaston and Frollo. With his performance as the Cat from Coraline, and now Facilier, Keith David continues to prove that he is the man.

As with every other aspect of the film, the musical numbers in The Princess and the Frog are extremely memorable, most notably Dr. Facilier's "Friends On the Other Side", a deliciously creepy piece that ranks right up there with "Hellfire" from Hunchback of Notre Dame as one of the best Disney villain songs. You'll definitely find yourself humming several of these tunes on your way back home from the theatre.

The Princess and the Frog is an excellent return to 2D animation. The animation is more beautiful than ever, the characters are some of the most memorable ones I've ever seen on film, and the musical numbers are infectiously catchy. The Princess and the Frog clearly reiterates the statement already made by last year's aforementioned Bolt: Walt Disney Animation is back and here to stay.
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The Magic is back!
wises311 December 2009
I felt like a little kid again seeing The Princess and the Frog; apparently so did most of the theater, as the crowd seemed to be generally from 8-30 years old. From the second I walked in, I realized this was a movie that was going to span groups(and it did, in the end). The other adults in line with me split almost evenly with tickets for this versus Invictus.

The animation is gorgeous, the characters are absolutely unique and took me by surprise, and even the parts in trailers that I thought were going to be awful turned out to be brilliant when put into the context of the rest of the film. I haven't enjoyed Disney this much since Mulan(and vaguely, Brother Bear). The music also seems to permeate the movie; many people that review and find something wrong, find so much song and dance to be odd- but what they don't realize is that the movie itself was always intending to play off of the Jazz era it is set in. If you love music, however, you'll love this even more. The music is what gives all the more charm to it, and it pays off.

The only reason that I am giving this a nine of ten is because I try to never give movies a ten unless it literally changed my life somehow. This came close, though- I was having so many flashbacks to my childhood during the Disney Renaissance. It was nostalgic for me, above all, and classic Disney animation that I will probably end up spending more money on when such moments roll around. I am most certainly going to find the soundtrack, because the music just made it so alive.

Don't be misled by the word cartoon- this is a movie for everyone.
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nice - charming
Armand29 April 2013
it is an interesting exercise to remake the old flavor of Disney movies. and the result is really good.ordinary ingredients and portrait of a place. a special princess and new direction of story. music like in good musicals. and nothing else. magic, love, nice characters and a lot of references. and the South spirit in a manner who seduce at all. it is a pleasure to see it. for memories, for charming pieces, for few amazing scenes and, sure, for the fairy story. maybe it is not the best but it is so nice than nothing can be a great error. like a party, it has its mark. its air. and, sure, its circle of sin virtues. only a sweet adventure out of reality but with same nostalgic feeling.
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Disney is back, but this is not a return to Disney's good old days
Atreyu_II21 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
'The Princess and the Frog' has had much publicity for being Disney's return to its traditional methods of animation. Because of this simple reason, I bet many folks expected great things from this, mostly fans of old Disney. Well, for fans of Disney films from recent years, this might please them. On the other hand, for traditional Disney supporters, very likely this might be not quite what they expect.

As for me, this movie generated mixed feelings. It wasn't on my plans to watch this in the theaters. However, I had this unexpected invitation to go to see it, so I did.

The artwork is partially comparable to the old classics. At least the sceneries and backgrounds are terrific, although very realistic but at they least they don't suffer from the ugliness of CGI stuff. There are also some very good special effects that create a magical feeling. However, most of the characters (particularly the human characters) are typically CGI and with all of the bad things that has. Plus, many of them are annoying as hell - mostly the Shadow Man and that 197 year-old witch. The only character I liked was Louis the crocodile. He was cool and fun.

It's easy to see that this movie isn't completely original. It has a large amount of inspiration in animated films like 'Anastasia' and 'The Swan Princess'. Look at its settings, backgrounds and story and tell me it doesn't resemble these films? Plus, don't some of the human characters resemble 'Anastasia'? Or the frogs and crocodiles that look exactly the same as Jean Bob (the frog) and the crocodiles of 'The Swan Princess'?

Oh, and just between us, I thought the frogs would remain frogs forever, since midnight had come and the spell was not broken.

This movie has many faults, but one of the worst to "digest" is the fact that it is extremely loud and almost painfully noisy. I mean, one thing is some noise during the film. But a 97 min long movie, which about 99% of that time is loud and noisy is too much, so much that I almost couldn't handle it.
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Disney returns to its roots, with a vengeance
DonFishies13 December 2009
When Toy Story was first unleashed on the scene back in 1995 to resounding success, it was the beginning of the end for traditionally hand drawn animated films. They were a dying breed, and as Pixar picked up steam (and inspired countless rivals), Disney began focusing more on the wave of the future and not of the past. But nostalgia is a funny thing, and can help lead to some of the best ideas. And that is where The Princess and the Frog fits in.

Instead of using the now traditional method of computer animation, The Princess and the Frog is like a trip right back into the early 1990s. Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) is a hardworking woman living in Jazz-era New Orleans with dreams of owning her own restaurant. She is an inspiring individual, but she lacks the wealth needed to buy and restore any buildings. But a chance encounter with a frog, who claims he is actually visiting Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos), leads to a kiss that makes Tiana a whole lot more amphibian.

Although it pales in comparison to the simply magnificent Up, The Princess and the Frog is like a dream come true for anyone who has ever enjoyed Disney films. All the adventure, music and wonder that made classics out of Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and The Lion King is back and in full form. The trailers predicted the return of a Disney dynasty long thought extinct, and thankfully they were right on the money.

While I had some hesitation towards how gimmicky it sounded for the film to finally make a princess out of an African-American, it actually works in the film's favour. Right from the start, we know we have seen predictable animated and live action films that play out exactly the same as this film does. But throwing in this new invention of a different breed of spunky and independent princess, one so closely timed to the election of President Obama, makes the film more original than any of its contemporaries. While Tiana's attitude is a little bothersome at first, it blossoms into something beautifully inspiring for young girls primarily, but for just about anyone who has ever had a dream before. She is every bit as developed as Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, Belle or any of the other countless "princesses" Disney has thrown into the mix since 1937.

But while there is a lot of predictability in the script, (even with the clever additions of the likes of a trumpet-playing crocodile aptly named Louis (Michael-Leon Wooley) and a backwoods-speaking firefly named Ray (Jim Cummings)), the film's success rests solely on the visuals on display. Right from the start, we are thrust into this classical looking New Orleans, where even the darkest depths of the bayou seem all the more brightly lit when drawn by Disney animators. There is just such reverence and bravura shown throughout the film that one wonders why hand drawn animation was ditched in the first place. This film only proves how vibrant and imaginative the format can be, and how much easier it lends itself to varying styles. The "Almost There" musical sequence near the beginning of the film is done in a style totally unlike anything else in the film, and is so incredibly well done that you may not even notice. But something like this could never be manipulated or maintained anywhere near as wonderfully in a fully computer generated movie. This speaks volumes for how affective this film is, and that is only in one sequence.

The voice cast is not filled to the brim with well known stars, but each actor voices their part with so much enthusiasm that you may think they all are. Rose, known likely best for her role in the amazingly well choreographed but fatally flawed Dreamgirls, is a clear standout as Tiana. She breathes life into this amazingly well rounded individual unlike anything I ever imagined. She made the audience smile, laugh and weep with her all at once, and never broke a beat when she did it. Much the same goes for Campos, who gives a fun and energetic voice to the off-the-wall prince. Wooley and Cummings are simply excellent in their roles, instantly bringing back memories of treasured Disney characters. Small roles by John Goodman, Terrence Howard and even Oprah Winfrey are all well done.

But this wondrous return to hand drawn animation is not without its problems. The film spends a bit too much time in the middle focusing on Tiana and Naveen, and almost throws away any potential built up for the evil voodoo witch doctor, Dr. Facilier (Keith David). He is a commonly used archetype, but David is just so brilliantly sinister in the role that he practically begs to be shown more than he actually is. His development is stilted, and what easily could have amounted for more pathos and motivation is simply squandered away for more of a love story. It is understandable why it is done, but it is nonetheless disappointing and acts as a bit of a black hole in the story.

Another issue of course, is the underlying stereotypical content in the film. It is not horrendously racist and offensive like I originally assumed, but the conventions are still at play here, and are not entirely glossed over in all instances. Mama Odie (Jenifer Lewis) comes off as being played a bit too close to racist conventions, as do many jive-talking individuals who give the twins in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen a run for their money.

But in the end, The Princess and the Frog is a triumph of animation and imagination. It is an enjoyable ride from start to finish, and just may be the start of something beautiful for Disney. Let's just hope that they see the potential in it too.

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The Princess and the Clichés.
Python Hyena5 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The Princess and the Frog (2009): Dir: Ron Clements, John Musker / Voices: Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David, Michael-Leon Wooley, Jim Cummings: A disappointing magical tale about the layers of beauty. A Prince is transformed into a frog by a voodoo magician and when waitress Tiana kisses him, she too becomes a frog. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker who both collaborated on various animated projects including their biggest masterpiece, The Little Mermaid as well as Aladdin and Hercules. They are backed with colorful animation but terrible musical numbers. Anika Noni Rose voices the loyal Tiana who wishes to open her own restaurant. Even as a frog she demonstrates boldness in the face of adversary. Bruno Campos voices the Prince who is inexperienced in nearly everything. We realize that these two are meant to be but the humour counters predictable elements. Keith David has the misfortune of voicing the pathetically cardboard voodoo villain. Michael-Leon Wooley voices a jazz playing alligator. Why he can play music is not explained but his craving is for music, not people. Jim Cummings voices a firefly that fails to light up the screenplay beyond its formula delivery. Although it comes off occasionally corny it does twist the frog princess cliché in a different direction. It just loses the magic that other films had sustained. Score: 5 / 10
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contemporary black Disney princess
SnoopyStyle1 March 2015
In a New Orleans mansion, the housekeeper reads 'The Frog Prince' to her daughter Tiana and rich little Charlotte La Bouff. Tiana would never kiss a frog. As a young woman, she works hard to save money to start her own dream restaurant as envisioned by her late father. Carefree Prince Naveen of Maldonia arrives in New Orleans and hyper Charlotte is so excited. He's looking to marry rich as he has been cut off. Voodoo witch doctor Facilier transforms Naveen into a frog and his valet Lawrence into Naveen. At the party, frog Naveen offers Tiana money to kiss him and she needs the money to open her restaurant. However the kiss transforms her into a frog instead. Frogs Naveen and Tiana escape into the bayou and befriends Louis the alligator and Ray the Cajun firefly. Good voodoo priestess Mama Odie tells them that Naveen must kiss a princess and they go to get a kiss from Charlotte, the princess of the Mardi Gras Parade.

This is a more contemporary telling of a Disney princess story. The princess also happens to be the first black princess. I think the minority princess is a great idea but the contemporary aspect injects a lot of money talk. It strips the magic out of it for me. She kissed him for the money. I don't find that at all appealing. Also the need for a princess kiss makes this a class problem. It's a different side of the money question. Now it's Tiana's lower class that is the cause of her problem. It's all very irksome. The music is fine but nothing is catchy. I just wish the theme be more about love and less about money.
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Not riveting enough
jc-osms23 April 2012
As has been stated elsewhere, here we have an almost traditional Disney animated feature with Pixar nowhere to be found. The question is has Pixar changed the game in this field and is there still room for old 2-D traditional-style animation. Well of course there is but the other thing that Pixar has done is raise the bar where writing is concerned, which is where I think this film falls down.

The story here boldly updates the old "The Frog Princess" story and for it seems largely musical purposes transplants the story to 1920's New Orleans, giving Randy Newman in the composer's chair free rein to pen a good selection of Southern music styles, which in fact makes the soundtrack one of the best things going here, I was less convinced by the rest of the movie.

I found the portrayal of the black people (Tania and her family in the movie's prologue) to be a little patronising in the first place and the introduction of the disinherited, idle but of course handsome prince too contrived. Throw in the less than villainous Voodoo Man and his less than threatening shadow creatures, a weakish sub-plot where the prince's adviser impersonates him to win the hand of a rich jazz-age flapper and assorted cuter than cute crocodiles and fireflies so that it seemed this particular gumbo had too many ingredients and just didn't come together.

There were some nice touches in the narrative, like the firefly's ultimately requited love for a star and the couple's return to human form only after the prince makes Tania literally a frog princess by marrying her, but for me there weren't enough jokes, excitement or even drama to really sustain my interest.

I suppose in the final analysis this particular feature just kind of passed me bayou (sorry!).
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nickdelopes11 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
As a native of Louisiana, this film struck a chord that might not happen to natives of other states. The film was gorgeously rendered, and it captured the flair that makes our state so special. Ther were even jokes that only a Louisianian would honestly get. Disney returns with visual flair, quick and witty jokes, and a story. Oh my god, an actual story with meaning. This is not a film that relies on pop culture gags and scatological jokes that so many other animated films seem to rely on. The 2-d animation adds warmth, and it gives you the sense that this was the loving work of a company who takes pride in their work.

The voicing was wonderful. I love Aniki, and she gave the character enough sass and smarts to give depth. Dr. Faciliar and his voodoo spirits are creepy enough to freak parents. Full of acid colors that conjure up ghostly imagery. Prince Naveen was full of charm and charisma, and Ray was perfect Cajun. The alligator and Mama Odie had that perfect Louisiana touch. But the best voice work was by Jennifer Cody for Charlotte LaBeouf. Her voicing was perfect and the animation fitted like a glove. Her scratchy voice and accent had depth to it as well. Some might not be able to understand it, but it was beautiful.

The visuals were startling, full of color and magic. New Orleans done in rosy hues, the bayou in dampened blues. Contrasts and complements working in harmony. Art Deco flair purveys, bringing the period to life, and there is a sweetness to the visuals that does not have that toxic aftertaste. The music was excellent work, full of jazz and blues and well-crafted lyrics. Randy Newman can take everything Disney throws at him, and make it his own. No song seems out of place or anachronistic, just helps to heighten the joy of animation. It's all done with the Broadway-style numbers and light-heartedness that only Disney can pull off.

The story has its own strength. Despite the inevitably soppy happy ending, there is maturity and a good message. It teaches us the value of hard work and the importance of differentiating between what you want and need. The screenplay was quick and witty and original. Animated films seem to be making a comeback in depth (Up, Coraline, and this one). Though some find it inferior to the ones made at the beginning of 1990s, it still stands alone as a major comeback and a new classic for the company we have all grown up with.

Overall, a beautiful film, and I highly recommend it.
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All politics aside...
ericjcant-115 March 2016
Visually this movie looks beautiful, but unfortunately it was a little boring, which is kind of odd for a Disney film. I can look past almost every other hangup I might have with a movie if I am genuinely entertained, but not boredom. Not to say that the entire movie was boring, but enough that I did notice it, and when you get to point in a movie where you don't really care what is going on, well... that pretty much ends it. After seeing it I knew I had no desire to ever see it again even though some aspects were quite good. I know that most Disney movies have their predictable elements, but this movie seemed so by- the-numbers that it never surprised me and never moved outside the box.
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Instant Favorite
rock tr10 January 2013
This is the Disney studio's return to 2D animation after a number of CG films that failed to deliver ("Chicken Little", "Meet the Robinsons" and the underrated "Bolt").

"Frog" is the company's best film since "Tarzan" in 1999. It's certainly more accomplished than any of the other classics released that decade. There were some decent stuff but none of them had that famous Disney quality to them. They were either too fluffy ("The Emperor's New Groove", "Lilo & Stitch"), too messy ("Atlantis", "Treasure Planet") or just plain bland ("Brother Bear", "Home On The Range").

With "Frog", however, Disney is back on track. The film has some of the best artwork I've ever seen in 2D animation. The bayou and New Orleans are very well realized and the magic and spirit (no pun intended) of the city are wonderfully captured (notice the iron balconies). I feel like visiting there now after I've seen this movie. The music is top notch, even if it takes a little time to get used to.

It's better than some of the 90's Disney hits ("Hercules" comes to mind) and although Disney was hoping for a better performance at the box office, I hope there's still a chance we'll be seeing 2D stuff from the studio.
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If you're reading this, Disney, more 2D animated films please.
Chris Mizerak5 June 2013
It's been awhile since Disney has made either a 2D animated feature or a retelling of a classic fairy tale. So naturally because I'm a big Disney fan, I was looking forward to seeing the 2009 Disney animated feature "The Princess and the Frog" for many reasons. Among the reasons were that I preferred 2D animation over 3D animation, it's the first Disney animated feature with an African-American princess, and it was directed by the same talented directors of "The Little Mermaid" and "Aladdin", John Musker and Ron Clements. And right off the bat, I must say that this film did not disappoint. This is the kind of film I wanted to see from Disney for a long time, and I finally got it.

"The Princess and the Frog" tells the story of Tiana, a young waitress in New Orleans who dreams of running her own restaurant and is working day and night to fulfill this lifelong goal. Tiana's childhood friend Charlotte and her father are excited to welcome Prince Naveen of Maldonia by making him the guest of honor at the Mardi Gras masquerade ball. Prince Naveen has been cut off from his family's fortune unless he learns the value of hard work and does less partying. On the way to the ball, he and his assistant Lawrence meet Dr. Facilier, a voodoo witch doctor who at first convinces them that he can make their lives better. Unfortunately, he only makes Lawrence's life better.

Facilier turns Naveen into a frog and Lawrence is given a voodoo charm which transforms him into Naveen when he puts it on. With this series of events, Facilier is intending the disguised Lawrence to marry Charlotte in order to take over New Orleans. When Naveen, as a frog, meets Tiana and thinks that she is a princess because of her costume, he asks her to kiss him to break the spell. Although Tiana doesn't like frogs, she agrees to help against her will in exchange for his help with money needed to fund her own restaurant. But the kiss backfires as Tiana herself is transformed into a frog and they both are sent to the bayou. In the bayou, they meet an alligator who wants to be a trumpet player and a firefly that is in love with a star in the sky. These two help out Naveen and Tiana by leading them to someone who can undo this curse.

As you can probably tell by the lengthy plot description that I just gave, there's a lot that takes place in this plot. Considering that this is a kid's flick, maybe there's a little too much going on. I'm not sure if some younger viewers will be ready for a film with a plot this busy. To be fair though, the stories and characters are interesting and clever enough for adults along with kids that it makes up for it. The songs by Randy Newman are a mixed bag. While some songs like "Almost There" and "Friends on the Other Side" are really good, other songs like "Gonna Take You There" and "Ma Belle Evangeline" either don't sound that great or are instantly forgettable.

The animation in "The Princess and the Frog" is the kind of 2D animation that I wanted to see from Disney for a couple of years now, and it did not disappoint visually. It has a style identical to the unbelievable animation seen in "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King", but it also has its own innovative animation techniques. As I stated before, I liked the characters in this film. The real standouts for me were the villain Dr. Facilier, Charlotte, Prince Naveen, Tiana, and the alligator. They all have a certain charm to them, and I was able to identify with whatever they were passionate about. Like Prince Naveen, I'm used to living the good life and like Tiana, I do enjoy cooking.

It was a great pleasure to finally see "The Princess and the Frog" at last and I really hope that the Disney Studios continues to make more 2D animated films in the future. On top of the fact that I've practically grew up on 2D animation, I feel like this style of animated film is more emotionally involving for me than 90% of the 3D animated films out today. I am looking forward to the next time a 2D animated film like this is made from Disney since I know that this is a step in the right direction for them.
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A worthwhile and stunning modern classic from Disney
Stompgal_8712 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I have wanted to see this film ever since it came out and one of my former classmates from university recommended this as well.

Prior to seeing this film, I saw a few clips of it on YouTube (in the Nostalgia Chick's Top 10 Disney Deaths and in a young boy's countdown of the 10 saddest Disney moments). It was definitely worth watching because it had a diverse range of lead characters and side characters, the usual Disney fairytale formula with a modern twist and catchy jazzy, soulful and swing-inspired songs, especially 'Down in New Orleans,' 'Almost There', 'When We're Human', 'Ma Belle Evangeline' and 'Dig a Little Deeper.' 'Friends on the Other Side' was worth a listen as well as the end-credits song by Ne-Yo. The songs genuinely made the film's pace swift. The animation is fluid and detailed and there is an interesting variety of backgrounds. Although the animation style changed during 'Almost There,' it had a warm colour scheme nonetheless. Princess Tiana went down in history as the first ever black Disney Princess and she is a charming protagonist who was cute as a child and aspiring as an adult. Charlotte (AKA Lottie) is an excitable supporting character whether a child or an adult while Louis (who I once mistook for the crocodile in 'Peter Pan' when my classmate drew a picture of him) and Ray are comedic additions to the cast of characters. Dr Facilier was a dark villain who was as original as his death, although I thought his death could have been shown before Ray's (Facilier stepped on Ray to begin with) since it would have made more sense. This film also has product placement (Tabasco sauce), which is very rare in Disney animation (with the exception of 'Toy Story' where toy manufacturers are mentioned). One of the most beautiful scenes was the one with Prince Naveen and Tiana (as frogs) dancing whilst being surrounded by floating water lilies - very pretty. I initially thought this film was Disney's take on 'The Frog Prince,' but it is in fact based on a story called 'The Frog Princess,' although I was happy to see 'The Frog Prince' featured at the beginning when Tiana's mother read it to the very young Tiana and Charlotte. There was also some humorous dialogue involved, especially the hop-related puns.

Overall, this is a stunning entry in the Disney Classics canon that bridged the gap between 'Bolt' and 'Tangled,' which are also very good in spite of their CGI animation making them easy to mistake for Pixar films, and this was the best 2D animated Disney film from the 2000s since 'Lilo and Stitch.' 9/10.
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Disney's return
polyvinylchloride20 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
After so many years Disney finally got it right again. "The Princess and the Frog" is right up there with the likes of "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King". It may start a little slowly but turns great once Tiana and Naveen get to the swamp. Both are very well-developed characters with Tiana being a great role model. Judging by the trailers I thought Ray the firefly would annoy me but he's actually the most likable character in the movie. The story contains lots of comedy and a heart-warming message. Dr. Facilier is an awesome villain and I wonder if Disney is going to give him further appearances. The songs are catchy and fun with amazing visuals. The traditional animation is basically eye candy. I hope Disney doesn't leave this path.
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Not true classic-Disney, but certainly the best thing since!
littlehobbit1311 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
9/10 - Go see it! It needs saying that I went into this movie with hesitant expectations. It's been a long time since the classic-Disney era, and they aren't doing so hot these days. I'm happy to say, I was beyond pleasantly surprised.

The story is as follows: Tiana has always dreamed of opening her own restaurant. She works two jobs, has no social life, and saves every penny she can. Just when it seems her dreams are about to come true, there's a bump in the road. When the froggy prince Naveen barters help getting to that dream in exchange for a kiss, she takes it. However, not being the princess Naveen assumed she was, he stays a frog and she turns into one. The two travel through the New Orleans bayou to find the voodoo woman who can change them back, and (obviously) have a life changing journey doing it.

Tiana is a good female lead. She's certainly not your classic Disney princess, but she is, at heart, a Disney princess. She'll be a good role model for girls (and boys alike I suppose) on the value of working hard to get what you want. She's countered by her best friend (and New Orleans princess) Charlotte, who has gotten everything she's ever wanted and whose goal is to marry a prince. HOWEVER, despite her "spoiled rich girl" background, Charlotte is a fantastic character. She never acts spoiled, and is truly a best friend to Tiana despite the seemingly obvious differences between them. And without spoiling it, her actions in the end of the movie were surprisingly good. (You'll know it when you see it.) I liked that she wasn't painted as the typical, at least partially self-centered out-for-herself best friend. What I also liked was her ...split personality? Talking sweet one minute and shouting in true tomboy fashion the next. This girl rocks.

But let's move onto the prince. Naveen. Oh, Naveen. I'm not sure ANYONE would fall for his froggy "sweet talk"...but it was still hilarious to watch. Here we've got your typical, spoiled, rich kid. Life of luxury, girls, money, etc...until his parents cut him off. Now he's got to marry a rich girl if he wants his old life back. He really doesn't understand Tiana at first, and how she's had to work all her life, but his character development is smooth. And hey, it's Disney, so it's not a spoiler if I tell you he did good in the end, right? But how does he get turned into a frog, you ask? Dr. Facilier, the Shadow Man. There was no one more perfect to be his voice than Keith David. It was AMAZING. Facilier was just the right of amount of pure evil and terror to rival the great Disney villains, even ones as great and evil as Maleficent herself. Disney pulled no punches on creating such a true villain, who does everything from conjuring dark spirits to plotting murders.

The one thing about the movie that didn't sit perfectly with me was the music. It was nice to see the return of the people behind some of the best animated movies ever, but it was sad that one of the greatest Disney composers of all time was unable to join them. Instead, we're treated to the musical stylings of Randy Newman. The blunt answer: the music was definitely satisfactory, and more than one song (though sadly not all) had that true Disney energy, but none of the songs will immortalize themselves the way Friend Like Me or Beauty and the Beast or Kiss the Girl did. I can't see teenagers today singing these songs years from now when they've grown up and reminisce. It felt like they shoved one or two many songs into the movie as well. Like they were trying to make up for lost ground in the movies not sporting sing-along-songs. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that sometimes it just felt like they were showing off, like "Look, we brought back the musicals!" I would appreciate it if Newman, assuming he plans to continue his work with Disney, would leave out his signature musical style and compose for the feel of the movie instead.

On the flip side though, the animation was SPECTACULAR. If I've missed one thing since the days of classic-Disney it was that smooth, natural feel that only comes from the hand-drawn touch. I don't care what the song in the movie says, it does matter what you look like, at least for movies. I especially liked Tiana's dream sequence, where they switched the animation to match the style of her dream-picture. Nice touch. And needless to say, but I will anyways, the voice work was beyond reproach. The voices fit, and the actors bring character presence to the movie.

And on a side note: the homages back to old Disney were well done, everything from the Magic Carpet cameo to the Sleeping Beauty dancing and more.

Disney, you had to backtrack a little to do it, but you may have found your way again! Thank you, and keep up the good work!

So do yourselves a favor and go see it at least once! ...Unless you beg for more. ;)
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Entertaining--but so much talent wasted on a flimsy storyline...
Neil Doyle17 December 2009
I think Disney is back in good form with THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, but what it seems to lack is a a more frightening villain and a better quality of songs. The songs are catchy enough but quite forgettable without a single standout to match the musical numbers in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST or THE LITTLE MERMAID.

The backgrounds are superior with a good suggestion of New Orleans and the bayou. The fireflies are effectively used and all of the background art is exceptionally well done. But what the story lacks are characters to really care about and a stronger overall story.

Disney fans should enjoy it and I'm sure most of us prefer the hand-drawn aspect of Disney's best films rather than all this computer technology animation so lacking in visual values and imagination.

As usual, the voice work is excellent and there are some gags that really make you appreciate the humor injected into many scenes. Still, the lingering feeling is that a better script would have made the brilliant art work more worthwhile.
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A triumphant return to the good old traditional animation
I became much anticipated when Disney was going to return to the traditional animation form when they released this in theaters back at 2009. I saw it twice in theaters with my family and my brother by ourselves and we loved it as hard-core Disney fans of my favorites (The Lion King, Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, Tarzan, etc). So, are there any flaws in this movie? Well, let's just say that there is one because the end of the movie does get a bit rushed, but it doesn't matter.

Everything else is brilliant. The story has the same "wishing on the star" concept, but it's entirely different and it does have some funny and heart-rendering moments (the part where Ray dies was so sad). I will admit I did get kind of scared in the "Friends on the Other Side" sequence. In fact, the songs from Randy Newman is pretty darn good. Maybe not as memorable as Beauty and the Beast and the others, but it does have some nice lyrics.

The characters are great. Tiana is beautiful and a great addition to the other Disney Princesses (Belle, Ariel, Rapunzel, Aurora, Jasmine, Cinderella, Mulan, and Snow White), Prince Naveen is enjoyable with his charismatic appearance, Charlotte La Bouff is so funny and steals almost every scene she's in, and the comic-relief characters Louis, the trumpet playing alligator and Ray, a Cajun firefly help lighten the drama and suspense the movie has (even it's dark moments can easily frighten all of the younger kids). The best character, however, would have to go to Dr. Facilier who is by far my favorite Disney villain. His charismatic and menacing appearance really wowed me at the moment I met him in the beginning of the film thanks to Keith David's excellent vocal performance.

The voice acting for the other characters is great with Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Michael Leon Woody, John Goodman, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Cody, and Jim Cummings voicing the likable characters out of sheer excellence. The script isn't the best, but it's not that bad. The best part, however, would have to go to the animation. The look of New Orleans, the Mardi Gras Parade, and the swamp are great; even the character animation is well drawn.

Overall, The Princess and the Frog is a classic return to the traditional animation and it's recommended to those who haven't seen it yet. It is that good!
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