April 18th, 2011

Rogue and Gambit from "The End"

Movie review: The Princess and the Frog

No spoilers.

*

I saw this one in theaters two years ago and judged it so-so. Watching it again, I don't know why. It's great.

Tiana (Anika Noni Rose), a poor waitress in 1920's New Orleans, dreams of opening her own restaurant. Her father (Terrence Howard) shared that dream, but never realized it before his death; Tiana works every minute to save up. Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos) is a fun-loving, carefree dude whose family, sick of seeing him make nothing of his life, cut him off. Charlotte (Jennifer Cody), a rich daddy's girl, dreams of marrying a prince. Great: Charlotte will marry Naveen and achieve her dream, Naveen will be rolling in riches again, and with their patronage Tiana can open her restaurant.

Then the Shadow Man (the incomparable Keith David) steps in, wanting Charlotte's money for himself. Before a single night is through, Tiana and Naveen will meet jazz-loving crocodiles and romantic fireflies (Michael Leon-Wooley and Jim Cummings respectively), explore the deep bayou, and hopefully find voodoo priestess Mama Odie (Jenifer Lewis) in time to save themselves and Charlotte--and before they fall in love, which could ruin their futures.

The Princess and the Frog is a Disney Princess movie. It is romance, happy endings, beautiful visuals, silly humor with talking animals, and family values. But it had great unique bits: the 1920s came alive through both visuals and music. Also: yay on hiring good voices instead of famous people, because the acting was perfect. Double yay on a prince who isn't perfect. Naveen was the first Disney Prince who didn't bore me. We've come a long way from flat princesses who rely on their looks to marry boring princes, and thank God for that!

*

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