The Princess and the Frog

Directed by Ron Clements
John Musker
Produced by Peter Del Vecho
John Lasseter
(Executive producer)
Written by Ron Clements
John Musker
Rob Edwards
(Screenplay)
Ron Clements
John Musker
Greg Erb
Jason Oremland
Don Hall
(Story)
Starring Anika Noni Rose
Bruno Campos
Keith David
Michael-Leon Wooley
Jim Cummings
Jenifer Lewis
John Goodman
Oprah Winfrey
Jennifer Cody
Peter Bartlett
Terrence Howard
Music by Randy Newman
Editing by Jeff Draheim
Studio Walt Disney Animation Studios
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s) November 25, 2009 (2009-11-25)
(Los Angeles premiere)
December 11, 2009 (2009-12-11)
Running time 97 minutes
Country United States

Much has been made of The Princess And The Frog for a variety of reasons. Firstly, Tiana is the first AfricanAmerican to become one of Disney’s famed princesses, which really just means that  now a black face has been added to Disney merchandising.

Secondly, The Princess And The Frog marks a return to Disney doing things the old-fashioned way. Disney decided to once again try to return to hand drawn 2D animation after their recent dismal failures with CGI.

Finally and most importantly, The Princess And The Frog sees Disney once again become ambitious with their movies. No longer are they going to rely on celebrity voices or imitating Pixar and Dreamworks. Instead they have gone back to doing things the traditional Disney way, with a great storyline and music. It may be familiar and old-fashioned, not as hip or trendy as Dreamworks, but it works well and sees Disney return to form impressively. Then again Dreamworks’ films tend to age very quickly as the references contained within them go out of date, however I feel that The Princess And The Frog is a little more timeless.

I was quite impressed with some of the animation, especially in one scene early on where Tiana is dreaming of opening her own restaurant. This scene had a 1920s, art deco feel to it, thanks to some striking backgrounds and character designs, but it also featured some really great animation work that I found to be very impressive.

The music too is very good. The score features lots of Randy Newman penned jazz songs that complements the film’s setting of New Orleans. These are not pop songs by some lame band, ala the Shrek movies, but songs that are reminiscent of the best music from Disney’s second heyday of  the late 1980s and 90s.

All in all I thought that The Princess And The Frog was a great movie and one that is almost as great as past Disney hits like The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast and Aladdin. Hopefully Disney will now leave the CGI stuff to Pixar and continue to make these wonderful hand-drawn movies in their traditional style, as this is the stuff that Disney does best.

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3 responses to “The Princess and the Frog

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