Princesses, Frogs, and New Orleans = Happy

John Lasseter is probably the best thing to happen to Disney since Walt Disney.  Not only does he have a command of CGI art with Pixar, he respects the beauty of the original 2D art.  We get the original formula and in my opinion, The Princess and the Frog was a huge success!

A lot of people are trying to make this movie about “the first black princess” and other PC garbage.  Being one raised on principles of judge the character, not the color, and believing the messages of Sesame Street and other kid programs that “peoples is peoples” I went into this movie looking for a good and honest story and I found one.

So, let’s get to the review.

CHARACTERS

Tiana is among my top favorite Disney heroines.  It’s probably a tie between her and Mulan.  What can I say, I like the power woman characters, and Tiana speaks to me on multiple levels, especially considering she touts the principles of hard work and effort in an increasingly entitlement society.  She’s cute, witty, hard-working and just all around awesome.

I like that Prince Naveen is basically the opposite of Tiana in character traits.  I also like that he’s non-traditional, that he’s not initially there to save a damsel in distress.  We know he’s a good guy, he just needs someone like Tiana to set the example for him to shed his less desirable traits. 😉

The villain, Dr. Facilier, I thought was the weakest in the mix, but he’s acceptable.  I don’t know what I’d offer to help make him more interesting.  He just left a lot of holes in his own plot is all I’m saying, but since he’s not the major focus of the film, I was willing to give it a pass.

There were numerous lovable characters including Ray, Louis, Mama Odie and Charlotte.  I loved them all!

ANIMATION

It’s what I’ve been waiting for.  A return to tradition, and what a fantastic place to bring to life.  I’ve been to New Orleans, and I loved seeing familiar sights and hearing about the different foods I’ve tried.  If you’ve been to New Orleans, then you owe yourself this movie at least to take a trip down memory lane.

The credits also have that Pixar stylistic touch, for those art fanatics out there.  Thank you John.

MUSIC

I’ve been a soundtrack fanatic.  But the last several years, I haven’t found as much that’s spoken to me.  (What’s the last great soundtrack John Williams did?  The last one I picked up from him was HP3).  I didn’t come out thinking that’s the best soundtrack ever.  But after a few days, I found the songs stuck in my head and had to grab them.  I still love it.  And I got it via MP3 download on Amazon.com for $7.99.  It might still be available for that.

I’m a fan of the Randy Newman style, even though I worry about him getting a little tired for sound, since he did like 90% of the Pixar stuff.  I know some people were against him because he was white, but that’s what we call racism, so stop.  His style fits this piece, deal with it.

OVERALL

They didn’t paint this to be in a futuristic lollipops and candy world.  They still addressed some prejudices we unfortunately see, whether Tiana dealing with the realtors, or views of Cajuns.  I liked that they showed it isn’t necessarily voodoo that’s evil, but the person using it (Dr. Facilier vs. Mama Odie).

Parents, what better film could you ask for than one that says you can’t just wish for something, you’ve got to work hard to make it happen.  That you’ve got to really examine what you need vs. what you want to be happy (Dig a Lil Deeper) and don’t trade what you want now for what you want most.

Loved it!  Go see it!

Rating: A+

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