‘Princess and the Frog’ delivers the classic Disney magic
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 00:01
Everyone remembers the classic Disney princess movies that won your heart. Cinderella showed you to keep dreaming no matter what and that friends are always there to help you; Ariel dared you to follow your heart and do what you had to do; Belle taught you that appearances don’t matter and what counts is in your heart; and Pocahontas taught you that if you walk in someone else’s footsteps, you’ll learn things you never knew about them. Now here comes Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose), a sweet, down-to-earth waitress saving every penny to open up her dream restaurant, a dream she has had since she was a little girl sitting on her daddy’s lap.
Set in New Orleans at the beginning of the 20th century during the weekend of the Mardi Gras, “The Princess and the Frog” revolves around poor African-American Tiana, who is hired by her best friend since childhood, Charlotte (voiced by Jennifer Cody) to cater her big Mardi Gras party for the dashing Prince Naveen of Madonia (voiced by Bruno Campos).
Then comes the traditional plot: Naveen messes with the Shadow Man, Dr. Facilier, an expert in black voodoo magic, who turns the lively, happy-go-lucky prince into a frog. Naveen meets Tiana on the balcony of Charlotte’s window as she is wishing on a star. The now not-so-dashing prince convinces her that a kiss will, as in every fairy tell, break the spell and he will pay her a reward with the money she needs to buy her dream restaurant. Now here’s the non-traditional plot: instead of the kiss turning Naveen back into a prince like the storybook says, it turns Tiana into a frog.
Determined to set things right so that Naveen can be a lazy prince again and Tiana can get her restaurant, the duo set out to find a voodoo priestess who can reverse the spell and make everything…right.
The animations are spectacular, filled with Mardi Gras splashes of color, exciting adventure, thumping jazz music and spooky, dark-themed voodoo thrill rides. The character design, detailed artwork, singing, dancing, wonderfully animated color and spectacular throwback makes this movie the one to see and makes you wonder…Why did Disney ever stop making these? The movie more than lives up to the high standards of what it really means to be a Disney movie and creates the illusion that New Orleans has one foot in realism and the other in fantasy.
The movie just goes to show that when you wish upon a star you may not always get what you want; but, if you really work hard, you might find what you need instead.