Disney Classic number 49 and one of the newer Disney Princesses. Introducing Tiana (Anika Noni Rose), a young woman of high hopes and dreams, she works as hard as she possibly can (working two jobs) to reach her goal of opening her own restaurant. However, not born a Princess (in fear that I’ve ruined too much already), she meets a Prince, Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos). But it’s not love at first sight (I’m sorry the plot is predictable anyway – it is a Disney film), rather in spite of each other when scenes dramatically change as Tiana is turned into a frog instead of turning the frog Prince human again…
Set in New Orleans, ‘The Princess and The Frog’ begins when Tiana is young, showing the importance of her dream. Tiana is absorbed by achieving this dream as the film progresses to her older age, while Tiana lives perhaps missing out on the main aspects of life. Something she needs to ‘Dig A Little Deeper’ for – the words of my favourite song in this film. Talking about the music, the songs are so enjoyable, bit of jazz music to cheer up the audience to get them dancing along, well at least loving the film. It helps that all the singers are brilliantly voiced. The performances of these songs are something that should be appreciated as well. They are so cleverly done that is different to many other Disney Classic films. There seems to be more of a focus into the songs of this film that it creates a performance in itself, they are bright and colourful, also some throw in a bit of comedy as well, especially ‘Dig A Little Deeper’ and ‘Gonna Take You There’.
So on the journey to turn back to human, Tiana and Naveen came across an alligator, Louis (Michael Leon-Wooley), whose passion is to play the trumpet, and firefly, Ray (Jim Cummings), who only wishes to be with his one and only true love Evangeline. I have to admit, these two characters are crucial into the enjoyment and appreciation of ‘The Princess and The Frog’; yes their names aren’t in the title, but they are characters that the audience will love, to get them laughing or just to enjoy the film that much more. There are also some other characters to be appreciated, such as Mama Odie (Jenifer Lewis), one of my favourite characters as she is comical and bizarre, her life being looked after by a snake. Now, the villain. There has to be one, we all know there has to be an obvious villain in a Disney film. But I think this villain is one of the scariest in relation to other Disney films. He is the Voodoo Shadow Man, also known as Dr Facilier (Keith David). Facilier is in touch with the other side and his help is from shadows, something quite dark and could be considered quite scary for younger ages. Now it’s done well to not frighten children obviously, but it is darker than some other villains in my opinion.
I would recommend watching this Disney Classic, it is definitely not a let down from others, even if maybe less appreciated. Obviously it is primarily for children so you are told of the plans of the Shadow Man and there is use of pathetic fallacy, but like any other Disney film, this doesn’t make a difference to the quality of the movie. The animation is amazing and should be appreciated. Additionally, I just love the opposite characters of Tiana and Naveen; that Tiana has always worked hard for what she has got, however losing out on the more fun parts in life, whereas Naveen just wants to experience freedom, a lover of jazz music, yet hasn’t done much for himself during his life. This creates a depth between the characters in which is not seen much in older Disney Princesses and Princes, especially ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Snow White’; trust me I’m still a fan of those, but ‘The Princess and The Frog’ delves more into the relationship between them both and the negatives of his life as a Prince. So I would of course recommend this Disney Princess, for she is not one to be disregarded.