The Princess and the Frog Review (10/10)

13 Dec

Guess what I went to see? The Princess and the Frog. If you haven’t seen this movie, it is a MUST see. Not only was this the first Disney Princess in a long time, it was the first Disnay 2-D movie in a long time, with musical numbers, and it was the first "black" princess ever! So there’s a lot to celebrate. But those factors shouldn’t create my bias for this movie. I’m going to fairly review this…okay? Story, characters, music, art/scenery, comparisons to Disney classics.

The Story will be my first point of discussion. I am not going to go into details about the story, as that would spoil the whole story. But I will say that the story was well put together. Keep in mind, this is a princess story, and so it has to be romantic. And this was the most interesting romantic story EVA! The romance was my kind of romance (Twilight should take some tips…) In fact, this romance was the best Disney Princess romance to me! But no story is complete without the antagonist and the problem at hand. This is not a basic story of the Frog Prince. It is changed. The story is about Tiana wanting to start her own restaurant, and Prince Naveen wanting to be free. He meets a voodoo man, the Shadow Man, who turns Naveen into a frog. He gets Tiana to kiss him, but…it turned out to be different from what he expected.
Great story, BTW. And also…a bit of Disney humor, if you know what I mean. There were also slight plot twists…

Characters were excellent. I really loved the romance first off. I am picky about romance. But this was fabulous. I fell in love with Tiana and Naveen’s relationship, mostly because of the character development. Tiana is a person who isn’t interested in fairy tales or princes. She believes achieving goals in life is half wishes and mostly hard work, and uses her ambitious nature to work towards opening her own restaurant. And Naveen is quite the opposite: he hates to work hard, and just wants to live life free, on the edge, dancing his life away, and with all the women he pleases. So the combination of those two characters mixed well. Also, the villain was truly evil. He ranks up there with Scar…that’s all I’m going to say. He doesn’t have a long history with any of the characters, which makes him most unique among Disney villains. He has his own problem which makes problems for the main characters. He also actually succeeds in his villainy in some way, which is most similar to that of Scar from Lion King. All of the characters were well developed and interesting in some way. They had their own quirks, just like all Disney characters.
Music was interesting. They chose a Afro-Jazz style of the 20s and 30s, and the sassy southern touch of New Orleans. Randy Newman was the musical composer, from the creators of all the Pixar movies. Hearing that, I was a little afraid at first. But there turned out to be some classical hits. One of my personal favorite "I got Friends on the Other Side (Are you Ready?)" sang by the villain. And my other favorite turned out to be "Dig a Little Deeper" by Mama Odie, the voodoo woman. The music was charming, in some ways magical, interesting, and fit well with the movie. There were some catchy numbers, so…The music was from the creators of Toy Story and Finding Nemo, so think of the song "You got a Friend in Me" or "Sail Away" and you’ve got the gist of it. Very jazzy.

Art and Scenery was excellent. It was inspired from the majesty of New Orleans, from the wrought-iron balconies, and the swirling mansions, music in the street, and the interesting African style. It brought out most of the elements of New Orleans that make it the popular town we know today. She is our second American princess, and our first southern one at that. Beautiful scenery. Ball gowns were obviously beautiful, the girls in the audience loved them. The animation was not to be close to the classics of the 80s and 90s, as some people thought it should be. But when they said "Disney classics," the animators meant the style of the 50s animation (Lady and the Tramp, Aristocrats, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians)which gave it an Afro-culture feeling, and gave it a much darker shade than most movies.

This movie, all-in-all, matches up to it’s predecessors. It can rank among the best Disney movies, especially as far as princesses are concerned. It is a mix of a modern touch with The Beauty and the Beast type of romance, the princess character ranking among Jasmine and Belle in intelligence, and the The Prince is far more unique. The villain ranking with Scar.
It was from the creators of Aladdin, Hercules, Treasure Planet, and The Little Mermaid. The same elements from those movies are present:
1) The use of "selling one’s soul" by binding contract for self-achievement, or selfish gain. Usually, the one giving the offer is a person who dabbles in spiritism or spirit or demon worship of some sort or better defined as the occult. A bit of a magician, witch, or voodoo man. This person is also usually the villain.
2) Strong-minded women, who step out of their natural "feminine" roles and are able to handle themselves.
3)Witty humor…often through side-kick idiots…
4)The extreme use of the scenery. Interesting scenes in strange exotic places.
5)Magic, of course.
6)Loser men who discover themselves and come out on top (they usually become heroes or Princes).
7) Disappointment and barriers or obstacles in the relationship between the lovers (hero and heroine) first hand. Someone lies and is found out and so all the love seemed in vain, or someone is tricked in some way by someone into believing the person they love doesn’t love them in return, etc. The man and woman have a hard time trying to please each other and have a hard time explaining their feelings too. They are usually opposite from each other, from different lifestyles, or different worlds and so have to come to understand one another.
8) The use of interesting ways to travel, like carpet, trolley, alligator, swimming, and floating ship….
So those are just some of the elements present in this movie that were present in it’s predecessors.

Hey this reminds me, I gotta finish Kingdom Hearts!
Overall this gets a 10/10 from me.

Ne-yo sang for it! yay! He is also Asian and sang with Utada, so it’s a bit on topic. He’s part Chinese.

It was excellent! This is a REAL movie for kids, instead of all that 3-D, crude humor crap they keep putting out! Disney has returned. Being in the movies, I felt the magic that I used to feel back in the 90s when I was a kid and used to watch Disney movies at the theaters. I saw wishes and dreams come alive on screen, and I saw magic appear before my eyes. It was just magical, the magic of Disney. And now several years later, I’m seeing the magic return. And I’m glad other little kids got the chance to see it too.

~Over and Out~

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