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The Princess and the Frog (wide release) talkback

After several weeks in special limited engagements, Disney’s The Princess and the Frog opens today all across the United States, Canada and many other parts of the world. Congratulations to all who worked so hard on this magnificent production.

We’d like to know what the rest of our readers think. Only those who have actually seen the film will be permitted to comment below.

  • It’s an amazing picture.Congrats to the entire crew.You all poured your hearts into it and you can see it on the screen. Also Frank playing the piano was a nice little button at the end.

  • I am highly impressed by the on-screen death. Not only was that new waters for Disney, it was very impacting.
    Other then that I am ridiculously pleased and satisfied. It was really effortlessly funny as well. I could go on and write all my thoughts, but I’d rather let this stunning film do all the talking its self.

  • Jared Pettitt

    I just have to say, I’m so happy that the villain didn’t have a moron sidekick. I was really not looking forward to having to watch that character, but then he didn’t exist! It was really great, the art was just beautiful, and my girlfriend and I were both surprised at how well written the character of the Mardi Gras Princess was. The romance felt a bit tacked on, but it’s a Disney movie, so, you know. I really hope this movie does well, this could really be the beginning of some great new things at Walt Disney Animation. Loved it!

  • Once again Disney brought the magic. Outstanding animation and great story, I can’t wait to see it again.

  • carlos

    2D is back.

  • I laughed at a few things here and there, and really enjoyed the Art Deco style scene, the design was fun, and wish there was more of that and the look of the end title sequence.

    Why don’t they try to make 2D films with more varying styles for a whole feature instead of just the end credits or a dream sequence?

    Also, I didn’t see the Villains motive, and a lot of the songs felt like “Hey, it’s time for the next song!”

    The story was all over the place sometimes. But not too bad overall. I just wish I didn’t see as much of them as frogs. I wasn’t very happy with the frog designs, especially Tiana’s.

    The first stuff with them in the bayou as frogs was fun, but some of the more human actions as frogs felt weird.

  • There’s so much exuberance and life in the animation, you just know that every one of the artists on this film was putting their all into it. I have enormous problems with the convoluted story, but I can’t be anything but happy for those who made it. Now let’s hope theatergoers feel as lively about it.

  • It’s a very beautiful story, and a beautifully animated movie. Watch the trailer on . Also available in HD.

  • Bill Turner

    I enjoyed the appearance of Frank Thomas as well. Also Ron and John on the parade float. Any other “guest stars” I missed?

  • dan

    It was beautiful and the songs were fun but man I got lost in the story (in a bad way) and came out confused. I had no idea what the villain was trying to do or why or what he COULD do – powerwise. Then he had to answer to those other creatures from the other side for some reason and it all turned into a big jumbled mess at the end.

    I LOVE 2D, I hope this makes a TON of money and gets Disney and other studios back into hand drawn animation. The movie was okay, but there was some REALLY clunky storytelling that disappointed me. I expect more form Disney. All those guys are crazy talented and I don’t understand how some of those story problems didn’t get ironed out before making it onto the screen.

    But go see it!

  • Ed

    So when Timon said those were fireflies in that big bluish black thing he knew what he was talking about. :)

  • Technically I was there at the Studios to see it, but I was so disgusted by the comments on the LA/NY post that I couldn’t stand to participate. Those guys wanted the glorious return to 3D, and they got it, but somehow that wasn’t good enough, and they start nitpicking about problems that don’t exist.
    Rant aside, I thought the film was absolutely wonderful and awesome. The way they twist the fairy-tale plot into something new but still familiar was great. I thought there was probably one song too many, but I couldn’t tell you which one they could have cut.
    And man, guys, have you CRIED for the DEATH of the COMIC RELIEF before?? Why didn’t I think of that??

  • Ron

    Bravo Disney animation! Welcome back! You were sorely missed. Technically, this film really showcases what’s great about 2D hand drawn animation that CG still can’t do, does it all while serving the story, and without showing off. On the story side, the film combines elements of “Pinnochio”, “Cinderella”, “Jungle Book” and even “the Muppet Movie” in to a big Gumbo that has a whole new flavor. It puts a new twist on an old fairytale, but not in the cynical way studios have been doing it for the last decade. This film has lots of heart, soul and a great over-arching message. Not to mention it’s just lots of fun. If this film isn’t an enormous hit that restores classical 2D animation to it’s rightful place, I’ll be very surprised.

  • Bill

    Liked it a whole bunch, especially the New Orleans setting and most of the songs, but didn’t completely believe Tiana and Naveen together.

  • Steven

    I agree that Tiana’s design was a bit off. Her mouth looked funny, and her face was flattened out.

    Otherwise, this movie was visually spectacular. The voodoo magic scenes were very creative and sparkling with little details that make me want to watch the movie again very soon. Also, the bayou really came alive. I love the way the water had a life of its own and the transitions from above water to underwater were fluid and added a whole new dimension to many of the swamp scenes.

    The story was decent, but like others have said I didn’t buy the romance. It felt very rushed. And the Shadow Man’s motivations confused me as well, even if his scenes were some of the most entertaining and visually impressive.

    I thought the relationships between Tiana, her mother, and her childhood friend were the best part of the movie. They were believable and heartwarming. Tiana’s friend was hilarious but her self-awareness made her likeable and relatable.

    Lastly, Randy Newman just doesn’t do it for me. The songs all blurred together, and the soundtrack was extremely forgettable. The visuals to go along with the music were wonderful, but I would be hard pressed to hum any of the melodies to the songs.

  • All of my original concerns for this film were for nothing. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited for a Disney film, and they truly pulled off a brilliant performance!

    Tiana was a fully-rounded character with a mind of her own. Her friend Charlotte was a spoiled ball-of-fire, but was backed up with plenty of appeal. And Louis was a fun character who had the smoothest movements out of them all. This blog mentioned earlier that Eric Goldberg was injecting some Chuck Jones into the equation, along with a few misc characters, but I sensed a bit of Ward Kimball in the gator too. All of these qualities came with a story that added an all new dynamic to Disney storytelling.

    This is the movie people should see during the holidays. Instead of trying to be something that it isn’t, Disney finally came out with something where they were being themselves…in the best possible way.

  • Fred Heilbrun

    It’s about time Disney gave us what made them Disney….. a fantastic hand-drawn film. This is the new Disney classic.

  • El

    I think the one or two major problems with the film are pretty obvious – Dr. Facilier’s motives weren’t particularly clear, nor was the nature of his ‘debt’. I felt like having an additional verse or two of ‘Friends on the Other Side’ that described about his plans before he ever encounters Naveen would have gone a long way.

    Secondly, the romance does feel a little rushed, which is odd, considering that most Disney romances have, if anything, less interaction between the leads. Perhaps the problem here was in trying to walk a narrow line between showing the romance develop without a ‘falling in love montage’, while still trying to make it happen quickly.

    In spite of these weak points though, the movie as a whole is sweet, funny and absolutely beautiful. ‘Almost There’ is completely wonderful, the characters work nicely, and it’s just fun to watch. It’s not the best film Disney’s ever made, but it’s solid and it proves what most of us wanted it to prove – that traditional animation belongs back in theaters.

  • Ted

    “I enjoyed the appearance of Frank Thomas as well. Also Ron and John on the parade float. Any other “guest stars” I missed?”

    Let’s see…

    Ron & John:
    Seen on the Mardi Gras parade float, briefly caricatured when the cake splatter creates a mustache and beard on the Fenner Bros. during the masquerade ball, and also caricatured in the voodoo masks in several shots (notably when the masks surround Naveen as the snakes tie him to the chair).

    Frans Vischer: seen tossing beads off the parade float next to Ron & John (who he animated)

    Animators & artists Eric Daniels, Lorelay Bove, Joe Pitt, and Todd Jacobsen can be glimpsed sitting at a table during the wide shot of Tiana’s restaurant in the “Almost There” sequence.

    Walt Disney (animated by Andreas Wessel-Therhorn) can be seen clapping on a upper right balcony during the outdoor wedding procession shot, during the Mardi Gras shot with the flame jugglers, and most clearly in Tiana’s restaurant when Tiana hugs Charlotte during the “Down in New Orleans” reprise.

    I’m sure there are plenty of others, but these are the ones that come to mind…

  • Ted

    Also, the guy scooping the horse manure up when Lawrence tells Naveen to “get a job!” is a caricature of none other than Eric Goldberg!

  • And Eric Goldberg shoveling the horse poop.

  • Aw crud- I typed “glorious return to 3D”. Blargh.

  • KcD

    Amazing animation, especially on Louis and Dr. Facilier! And we had fun pointing out all the cameos and homages to other Disney movies (King Triton Mardi Gras float, anyone??).

    Wonderful film!

  • Disney is finally Disney again.

    Damn! It took long enough.

  • Tedzey71

    I enjoyed every minute of this film! Disney cartoons fail to disapoint, however this one was truly a work of art! If this is the new disney lead by John Lasseter that I would follow to the end of this planet! The story itself was a great creole combination of european fairytales and african folklore. The characters were well animated, the music was superb; all together kept me in my seat from the steamboat willie logo to the Mary Blaire inflenced end-credits!

  • Scope

    I read these comments before I went to see the movie, and now that I am back, I have to say, I don’t feel the criticisms at all.

    I knew exactly what Dr. Facilier’s motives were (money…split even 60/40, of course) and I knew what his debt was about (he earned it every time he asked the dark forces for a favor or for power, like the talisman or finding the lost Naveen). I just wished he had more screen time and a cooler Final Scene.

    I felt Tiana and Naveen’s chemistry was great. I love how they helped each other learn about themselves. Its like how it would have happened if the Beast also had to teach Belle a lesson about herself, and not just have it be a one-way lesson.

    Definitely a Disney classic to put next to The Little Mermaid and Aladdin.

  • Enzong

    I saw the film at the Studio lot in Burbank, and was absolutely thrilled! It’s beautifully animated, with vibrant color design and dynamic movement. The characters–especially Louis–are delightful to watch. It’s obvious that a lot of thought and effort went into the quality of animation on this one! Bravo!

  • I personally think the best word to describe this movie is… enchanting. It’s not the best of the Disney films, but it was definitely on par. It was so adorable and funny and awesome to watch. Almost every single character had depth and personality to them, though I felt that our villain(s) had only a little more motivation than “the script says that I’m evil and this is what evil people do”. Still, the villain, Dr. Facilier, was so awesome and charming that I really wanted him to have a little more film time. Keith David really did play the heck out of that role. But then, he always does.

    I was really happy with all of the characters, actually. I loved Tiana’s best friend, Charlotte, and I was pleasantly surprised that I liked the firefly, Ray, so much. I expected that he would be my least favorite, as I’ve started getting annoyed with the requisite talking animals tossed into every animated film because THAT’S WHAT ANIMATED FILMS MUST ALWAYS HAVE. But even he was charming. It took a while for me to warm up to Prince Naveen, but as he started to fall for Tiana, he lost a lot of the faux arrogance that was hindering his character.

    I think Tiana was wonderfully done. She really makes an awesome addition to the Disney princesses, and her history and passions I feel are incredibly relatable. She’s so dedicated and strong and capable, and very much the type of person you want to be best friends with. She knows what she wants and she’s achieved so much already through her own hard efforts, and not with the aid of magic, that she really is a role model. Even as a frog, she manages to be a very fascinating character, and you can understand how a man, physically a frog, but in all other respects a human male, can fall for her a good while *after* she becomes a frog as well. He’s certainly not attracted to the mucus.

    1920’s New Orleans was a fantastic setting for the film, and fantastically created. The music was truly exemplary, and I’m really glad that Disney didn’t back down when bigoted people started complaining about their choice of composers. Anika Noni Rose really showed her Broadway expertise and shined with every song she was in. The music and backgrounds were so enveloping, drawn in lush, rich colors.

    There were a couple of plotholes that really didn’t detract from anything, but all in all, I thought the movie was a lot of fun and really charming. It was so wonderful to see that beautiful animation and think, “Yes! This is 2D done the way it’s supposed to be.” and to really be engrossed in the story and the music and the characters and the interconnectivity of it all. It’s awesome when you watch it for it’s entertainment value, but it’s beautiful when you watch it for its character and depth.

  • Saw it today. Just to put it simple, It’s all the things I miss from animation now-a-days.

    Bruce Smith and Eric Goldberg’s animations and / or the “Almost There” sequence are worth the price of admission alone.

  • This film is awesome and will do great! it makes you laugh and cry.

  • Not quite sure what I think of it overall.

    On the animation, yeah! fun stuff. Sure holds its own against any 3D animation out there.

    But the story, I’m confused. Yeah, at the end it was clear, more or less, that our villain was going to take over the city after killing the Rich Father and controlling his estate through the Stooge he got to marry the Princess. But it was awhile getting there and, you know, there was just too much stuff.

    I agree with Robert Iza about the songs, some sorta’ just thrown in there because it’s time. And I agree with him about the design of Tiana-the-frog; it’s weak.

    I really did like some of those production numbers, though — I’m a sucker for those things. And I appreciated the allusions to Fantasia, the twirling flowers on the water, the cathedral forest. And, yeah, the water, the water. Can’t beat the Disney effects animation for nothing!

  • Danny R. Santos

    Outstanding!! Kudos to Ron Clements and John Musker, love the animation of Louis by Eric Goldberg.

  • I loved it! I just wish it had more scenes with Mama Odie. She wasn’t in there enough in my opinion. Great flick, good luck Disney!

  • Seni

    Just came back! That was GREAT!!! Loved Louis, loved Ray :'(, loved Mama Odie, loved Juju, and I LOOOOOOOOOOVED Dr. Facilier!!!!

  • Chuck Hensey

    My 6 and 1/2 year old twins loved it. My son laughed the entire way through and the shadows scared his sister quite a bit. Both of them would love to see it again.

    My wife and I also enjoyed it. True, the songs weren’t the greatest, but I think they will get better after another viewing. I seem to remember being less than amazed with some of the other recent soundtracks, only to have them grow on me.

    Both of us have lived in New Orleans and really felt that the music and the movie captured the city extraordinarily well. The animators went to incredible lengths to nail the feel of the city and the differences between the white and black (or creole) communities. There were quite a few subtle things with the way the characters interacted which were very New Orleanian and fun to see. Ray and Louis were fun and no where near as annoying as I feared they might be.

    Finally, I loved the villain. Neither of us understood what was so hard about his motivation… he made some deals with the devil and needed the souls of the city to repay them. Granted, he didn’t give a giant monologue or solo about it, but his point of view was clear.

    I hope this does well on so many levels. I know we will be back again to see it.

  • Animation was beautiful. But Randy Newman doing the music was a total failure. Really kept me at a distance from the film. It’s like it didn’t fully commit to being a full blown musical or more like Tarzan that had songs but no characters actually singing.

    Pixar’s Up was more entertaining and enthralling.

  • There wasn’t a single character I disliked in this movie. I expected to hate Charlotte and she ended up being one of the most hysterical parts of the movie. Great overall theme, great writing; there were a couple things I’d do differently, but for what it was worth, it was very well done. Had just enough of a more “modern” touch, which I appreciated.

  • Trevor

    I don’t care if I sound like a dork, but after leaving the theater I felt like everything was right in the world again.

  • Jared Pettitt

    I really think that all of my problems with the movie could have been solved if Tiana had just met the Prince briefly before the whole frog debacle, given them some interesting interactions, without her knowing she was a prince, or something like that. It would’ve set up more of a foundation for their romance that kind of just appeared.

  • Jared Pettitt

    Also I was kind of bummed that my favorite song in the movie (Gonna Take You There) was over so quickly. That’s the only one I remembered after the movie finished, though I love a few other songs in there.

  • LOVED IT .

    (I don’t get why people are down on Randy Newman’s songs. Ok, I’ll say this: yes, ok, he’s not Howard Ashman , but I thought the music for Frog was fine. )

    Congrats to all involved. I think you hit a home run !

  • Ange

    My only regret is that the audio in the theater sucked so I could not understand the lyrics to most of the songs…..
    I don’t know who animated Naveen but I give them huge props – I had read a few times on line that people thought the designs for the frogs were boring, but whoever animated these little boring creatures gave them so much LIFE that I was in LOVE with them.

    This goes for Ray too. I was a little frightened about him being annoying, but he ended up being the sweetest little firefly.

    How about that goofy scene with the hunters? I was dieing the whole time I watched that part! TOO FUNNY!

    …okay, okay, I’m gonna stop gushing now.

  • That was easily the most fun I’ve had at the movie theater in quite a while. Really enjoyable and well-written film, and I appreciate that it gets all the Disney standard themes out without holding so steadfast to the 1990s Disney story-telling template.

    The animation – especially of Charlotte, Louis, and Facilier – was absolutely spectacular, and vibrant in a way that Disney animation hasn’t been in a long while (at least since “The Lion King”). It was like watching talent that had been bottled up for five years suddenly explode in full force onto the screen.

    The songs are the only things I found to be only good rather than great – I think I was expecting bigger Broadway-style arrangements, but the songs are a lot more low-key and truer to their era.

    Everyone in the group I went to thoroughly loved the film as well. We noticed that most of the humor and gags in the film are Warner Bros. cartoony humor rather than Disney humor (which is not a bad thing at all).

  • I agree with El. I was really hoping to see more development with Dr. Facilier. Couldn’t they at least give him a back story like, I don’t know have him be a loyal servant of the LeBouff family who works double as a street magician. I know, it’s cliche but at least it’s plausible! That and he wasn’t as controlling as any of the other Disney Villains in the past. When you look at Jafar or Scar, you see power and jealousy. Struggling with the fact that what they want has been given to someone else. Facilier did not have any of this! All we know is that he made a deal with the devil in the past and can perform the dark spells. If that’s the case, he would be running New Orleans on his own at this point.
    But perhaps, I’m putting too much into a movie where alligators can play the trumpet and fireflies talk.

    Opening title sequence was pretty much a blur. We see that Tiana’s father had left to join the army, but we don’t see a scene of him saying his “final goodbye” or at least a scene of Tiana’s mother receiving news about her husband’s death.

    But those are just two main flaws. Everything else was pretty good. Beautiful backgrounds, excellent character designs, decent music (yeah, the music was decent), other than that I’ve got nothi…OH wait, I almost forgot! Where was Tiana’s mom during the time she was a frog? Was she even worried about her during that time? Another thing is that the movie didn’t have a very climatic battle between Naveen and Facilier. Instead, we only had a final confrontation between him and Tiana. At least in Aladdin, He actually fought Jafar before he turned into a genie.

    Overall, The Princess and the Frog is a good little trip to “Nostalgia Alley” for people my age and it’s a good treat for the kids this holiday season. But I now see that people despise it for what it is, a rushed delivery. While the overall visuals are stunning and probably the best I’ve seen in a Disney movie, the story goes by at a pace so fast that you could have sworn that the person in charge of the projection booth was Speedy Gonzales. Chalk it up there in between Hercules and Mulan.

  • Justin

    I don’t see how Facilier’s motives were unclear. It was a plot to gain control of the fortune and assets, and therefore the power, of the wealthiest man in New Orleans.

    And the movie is amazing. The only bad thing is that we have to two years for the next 2d film.

  • Princess and the Frog was pretty and had good qualities, but fell flat.

    Generally everything felt hurried in a bad way. The pace should have been slowed down a bit to allow the audience to ease into the characters more. My main issue with pacing was how characters rushed into songs. I need a bit more lead in to let the song seem a natural part of the events. Also to to get in to the characters mood. Don’t jerk me around in a slow movie! Same goes for moments which should have been very magical. Just felt too rushed into.

    If you are going to touch on racial relations don’t pussy foot around it. Make it a legitimate part of the film or don’t. I did like the scene when Tiana was trying to buy her restaurant and the dudes dropped the “your background” line. That was the only time it felt like it belonged. I became more interested in the movie at that point than at any other. It created an honest feeling that most of the film lacked.

    The songs were just okay, I may have liked them more if I hadn’t been jerked into them. None I liked enough to buy the soundtrack for. The end credit song is really bad though, doesn’t match at all.

    On the good side, I loved the characters. Not necessarily the strongest designs, but it all comes together well with the voices and setting. I liked the villain, the shadow creatures and the pet snake quite a bit.

    Animation is great! Backgrounds are beautiful! The general story is strong.

    I’m happy I saw it. Looking forward to the next movie.

  • Feh.

    I…. liked it.

    Wait… I liked it?! Yeah! I actually liked it!

    I always seem to be negative, in a bad mood, never impressed by anything, and jaded by everything I see.

    And guess what? This movie… dare I say it… enchanted me. Man, I havn’t felt this happy in a while. I know it’ll only be temporary, but a smile came to my face.

    Bravo, Princess and the Frog. Bravo. You got through to a bitter, annoyed, curmudgeon and made him feel like a kid, again.

  • Greg Colton

    I pretty much agree w/ Katy’s review. I liked a lot about it, but didn’t love it.

    Something about the intros of the characters, their interactions, the overall pace and flow of the movie….was just ‘off’ to me. Once the frogs are off to the swamp, it had a Shrek-like bicker-quest vibe, and I started to get bored. I can’t hum any of the songs right now…they didn’t stick. It lacked that memorable magic that makes me love certain Disney movies. I can watch Mermaid, Beast, Aladdin, Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan over and over…something about each of those movies implanted something in me that makes me crave seeing them again. I didn’t feel that way about this movie.

    On the bright side, much of the character animation was an absolute standout and just a joy to watch. Every frame of Louis the gator was just so much fun, and Charlotte was unexpected…everything about her was fantastic…her design, her voice, her fast excitable movement….what could have been a really annoying character came off as charming and funny. Dr. Facilier and his shadows were very cool too…I just wish he had a bigger presence in the story.

    I’m a 2D guy all the way, and soooo wanted this to be my favorite animated movie of the year….but I gotta stick w/ Cloudy w/ a Chance of Meatballs!!!

  • Rooniman

    I thought the overall film was fantastic. The characters were nicely fleshed out, the animation was superb, the great art work, and the colors we’re lushious.

    However there were 4 problems that bothered me, and they are:

    1:Dr. Faceilier (I think thats how it’s spelled) wasn’t every fleshed out enough and his motives were kind of unclear.

    2:Frog Tiana’s deisgn. Her human form is great, her frog form is…. not so great. The first time I saw her as a frog I was like, “whaa….?”
    Her design just felt weird and awkward.

    3:I didn’t feel any love connection between Naveen and Tiana. The romance felt rush and cold as ice.

    4:The story. It runs smoothly at first, but when Naveen enters Dr. Faceilier’s, thats we’re things start to get tangled up. Of course it becomes clear at the end, but maybe a backstory on Faceilier and other things would be at order.

    and lastly 5:The songs. While nice, some just seem to in the movie for no reason, and a few of them are pretty boring. “Dig Deep,” makes me grind my teeth.

    But in conclusion, the movie was enjoyable. I wouldn’t mind seeing it again. And I expect more 2D films to come along if this does well.

  • Rio

    I haven’t read any of the above comments before writing my own. For me, the movie was very charming and had heart. The story was very strong and the characters were great. I felt like the movie was paced well and progressed nicely. This is a very solid show for Disney and should help them begin to right the ship.

    This has been a very great year for feature animation in general.

  • Deb

    I actually wrote my review on the previous article but I thought I should say what I thought here since it looks like the discussion has moved here instead. :)

    I had the privilege of watching it 3 days ago (it released a day early over here) and I have to say, I was very, VERY excited and happy to finally see everything put together into a full-length movie. The animation was spectacular, the music was wonderful and the development was just lovely.

    My favourite parts were when the musical sequence ‘Down in New Orleans’ at the beginning, ‘Dig a Little Deeper’ and the ending. I thought those were simply magical. I thought Disney injected generous amounts of humour in the movie but they didn’t overdo it much.The visual layouts were gorgeous and pretty well researched.

    What I really loved about the Princess and the Frog was that they allowed the main characters Tiana and Naveen to sort of show us what they’re like and their development. Naveen was obviously selfish and spoilt at the beginning but at the end he grew to be by far the most in-depth prince ever. Tiana could’ve lessened the ‘Work Hard’ preach a little but I think any one would be doing that if they were living under her circumstances.

    What disappointed me about the movie however was Dr. Facilier and Lawrence’s downfall. I thought it would’ve been done better if it came down to a dramatic ‘fight’ scene or confrontation. I thought it was a little rushed but that’s just my preference on how the movie could’ve been but it’s not a big flaw.

    Before I watched movie, I wasn’t particularly fond of Charlotte but just watching her develop in the movie made me love her very much. Yes, she’s spoilt and rich and all that but she’s got a good heart. I remember reading someone saying that it’s far too unnatural to be wanting to marry a prince and then just let Tiana have Naveen like that without putting up a fight, but here’s what I thought when I saw that scene, I think it was more of the fact that she’s a hopeless romantic, she wanted to marry a prince but she wasn’t in love with Naveen so when she sees how Tiana’s actually in love with him, she was willing to give that up because she sees Tiana as her best friend and wants her to be happy.

    I have to admit I actually teared up throughout the movie, not because it was the kind of movie that can kick The Lion King out of its throne but it was like coming home. 2D’s back at last.

    I LOVED IT! <3

  • purin

    Interesting how people who saw the preview didn’t like it, but the people who went to the general release did. I’m wondering if part of the reason some people didn’t like it or feel ambivalent about it is because it’s actually moving away from formula and expectations in some ways:
    I liked the movie, but I kind of feel like the makers forgot that people watching it aren’t as in the know about the characters as the people making it.

    The only thing that really confused me about Dr. Facilier is how financially owning New Orleans gives one access to sooooooouls and how and why his talisman works the way it does. Other than that, it made sense. His life just didn’t revolve around one idea up until now, the way it might for other villains.
    Dr. Facilier does seem more like a guy with a life of his own before he decided to up the ante on his schemes at an attempt for money, and that we’re just peeking in on his life, which is more realistic. I don’t know if Charlotte is officially described as Tiana’s “best friend,” but I think some people assume that because she gets the most screen time. It’s really more of a “peek into an aspect of their lives” than a tale of the two of them, the way other films might establish them. She clearly isn’t her “best friend,” when you think about it.

    Their situation seems a little unlikely to me, but not impossible. I’m not black, but my mother worked freelance as an accountant and I, like Tiana, wound up going to rich clients’ houses as a young child, and got pretty familiar with them, their pets, kids (who were rarely my age, so I can’t say much on Tiana and Charlotte in that sense), etc. There is a surprising closeness that occurs in this situation and you wind up giving gifts, doing favors, keeping up with people and their lives, but, in the end, there’s the client/customer line and I think, if you reflect on Charlotte and Tiana, it’s still there. Charlotte stops by, says hi, gives updates, but is still Tiana’s customer. She doesn’t think to help her financially or invite her to her ball, but she does hire her. She is, however, close enough to lend her a dress and respect her love life, but not close enough to invite her to the ball or notice that she’s really sad all of a sudden. It’s clear Tiana has other, probably much closer, friends, but they don’t really factor in this story, so we don’t really see them.

    So, is it better to offer a more realistic window into people’s lives like this, that needs to be reflected on? I’m not sure. I’m still thinking about it.

    Also, Charlotte could have so easily been just another Sharpay or Bimbette in yet another Brunette vs. Blonde narrative, but she just stopped short of being a typical bad/mean/easy girl. I think that’s another development in female characters. She’s goofy and real jab at princess-types, but she’s not a bad person and we don’t root for her comeuppance. Maybe eventually female main characters won’t have to be so serious.

    Also, love is expressed in this movie by wanting to be involved in the other’s life, instead of just wanting to have and hold, which is pretty mature. I just wish the movie didn’t so obviously state its moral at times, because that actually made it more confusing. Without those obvious statements, I would have gleaned “Work hard, but don’t forget to stop and smell the roses, and you’re not poor or a failure when there are people you love and love you back.” Stating it obviously muddled it up a little it by being too specific. I guess with the obvious statements, it’s more like, at best, “You don’t need a man to succeed in life, but you need love to enrich it,” and at worst, “Working hard is admirable, but in the end you still need a man.”

    Note that Naveen doesn’t seem to be the thing that gets Tiana ahead in life, but a helping hand and emotional support. We don’t know if and at what point Naveen’s family stopped cutting him off, too.

    So, I’m definitely seeing a new development in the structure of animated films, even ones trying to be like classics. Our expectations of characters and their development are very different now, and they’re still changing.

  • Rio

    I’ve read several say the songs aren’t memorable. That’s not my experience. I loved the toe-tapping New Orleans inspired music. I saw the movie yesterday and several of the songs just keep coming back to me.

    Don’t get me wrong, the songs aren’t as great as the songs from the early ’90s, but so what.

    Features have swung so far away from the musical, that Disney actually took a big risk producing a feature with music. Bravo in my opinion. And a great reboot of the classic feature.

  • Danny R. Santos

    Matt Hems…. I totaly disagree with you. Music didn’t bother me at all, movie was great, my only concern was that the princess and the prince where frogs about 80 percent of the movie. I liked the rumor that was out there where every time they kissed one turned into a human and the other turned into a frog, now that would have been great. Other than that…..”I loved the movie.”

  • james madison

    The Princess and the Frog was a very good film.

  • creepy

    What a beautiful return to 2D and hoping the new decade will usher in the art form in many more ways.

  • Felt like Disney to me! Loved the songs and especially the villain. I don’t know why everyone says they’re confused about his motives. Seemed clear enough to me what he wanted.

  • brubis

    I saw it last night and found it charming with, for the most part, well-developed, appealing characters. However, the overall story does not invite a lot of empathy for the relationship between Tiana and Naveen.

    I would have to say that the most appealing character in terms of animation is Louis and the most appealing character in terms of emotion is Ray. This was a HUGE shock to me! Based on the trailers, I assumed Ray would be the standard throwaway comic character who ends up being more grating than appealing (Mushu, anyone?). Instead, he is a well-fleshed-out character who actually serves a purpose in the story. For me, Ray’s death scene was incredibly compelling and I am so grateful that Disney didn’t take its cue from Bluth and cop out in the end (“Poor Petrie, poor, poor, Petrie . . . Petrie!”)

    The “Almost There” sequence is beautifully realized. I can’t wait to see the movie again if only for that section! Across the board, the animation performances are stellar and everything with Charlotte is enormously entertaining!

    Overall, I really, REALLY enjoyed this movie! To me, it feels like Disney’s come full circle to about the era of “The Great Mouse Detective.” If they just dig a little deeper, they’ll be a little closer to making a film on par with “The Little Mermaid” or “Beauty and the Beast!”

  • I liked it a lot, didn’t love it, but overall it was really well done.

    I was a bit disappointed by the design and animation of background characters (like the snake who’s with the Voodoo lady), I was missing an overall level of quality. Jungle Book for instance feels much more polished. And just for once I’d like to see both parents alive. Why is Disney sticking to the one-parent-dead formula?

    The villain on the other hand was fantastic (animation, design, voice, acting, etc.). Sounds macabre but it was great to have a death scene (which still had a happy ending, it wasn’t just dark and sad). I was waiting for the Kung Fu Panda moment where Shifu came back to life, but thankfully he didn’t.

    The three stooges in the swamp were AWESOME. The two-finger guy, the voices, the gags, I just loved that part.

    All in all, very cool, can’t wait for the Blu-ray and the next feature!

  • Ethan

    I am feeling sorry that I didn’t enjoy it as much as most seem to have. I thought it was good and bad at the same time.

    I couldn’t stop thinking that, once again, they encourage the public to perceive animation as a genre. I know this is not directly related to the quality of the film, but I couldn’t get that out of my head. The nostalgia factor simply backfired for me.

    I’ll go see it again next week, with a clearer mind. :-)

    Congratulations to everyone who worked on it, the animation was extremely great. I am glad that the best animators in the world could continue to do what they love, and could work on the first 2D animated film in years with a budget over 100M$. I’m sure it will make a lot of money in the US.

  • @Purin: “I think, if you reflect on Charlotte and Tiana, it’s still there. Charlotte stops by, says hi, gives updates, but is still Tiana’s customer. She doesn’t think to help her financially or invite her to her ball, but she does hire her.”

    I think you make a interesting argument, but I thought it was clearly shown, at least in this respect, that given her personality, Tiana wouldn’t have accepted any financial help were it (most likely) offered. She would accept a job because anything she received she *earned*. She wanted to achieve her dreams on her own, and I think Charlotte and her dad would’ve respected and admired that.

  • Brian

    I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the film. The animation was beautiful, the music was great, and I especially loved the characters. I felt the villian, beyond a really nice style and design, was one dimensional as many disney villians unfortunately tend to be. I thought his interactions with his shadow to be genius however.

    The character were developed in a way that seemed to break out of disney cliches, i was pleasantly surprised with this. However, the film should’ve ended with Tiana and Naveen remaining as frogs. It damages the message of the film and characters arc by having them turn back human and get the restaraunt. It would’ve been nice to see them remain happy as frogs with the love they have for each other and possibly open up a restaraunt in the swamp that the swamp creatures could go to.

    Charlotte was also an amazing character, she stole the screen every time. She was animated beautifully.

    Overall this was an excellent disney film and I think a movement in the right direction, I hope they push further away from disney cliches however.

  • purin

    But Charlotte could have given her a loan that Tiana would have worked to pay off, and that is something that probably would happen in a customer/client situation.

  • Dave O.

    On the whole, not bad but a far cry from their best, most original work. I did enjoy some of the twists such as the obnoxious debutante and the Jazz-age New Orleans setting (though that could have been explored more). Many of the detailed background paintings were beautiful. However, the film had some serious problems though that should have been solved early-on.

    Tiana is a tad one-dimensional because of the story conceit that she cannot break her promise to her Dad and she has to be a workaholic. It would have been nice to see her loosen up just a little before her transformation (and that song done in the Flash animation style didn’t cut it). Tiana as a frog was downright boring and her frog design only reinforced that.

    The first act was rushed (get ’em into frog mode… stat!) As a result, the pacing was off for the rest of the film.

    The songs are dismissible and didn’t serve the story at all. Two (or were there three?) ‘showstoppers’ in the movie is one (or two) too many. The songs that weren’t meant to being down the house were forgettable filler.

    The villain’s motives were clear enough, but he just wasn’t developed enough as a character even though he had the best character design. A simple line like “…when I lived in the palace…” goes a long way.

    Over-reliant on the “wishing star” as a plot device. Hmmm… let’s make sure the audience knows this is REALLY IMPORTANT by hitting them over the head with it. Repeatedly.

    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there was ittle to no subtlety in the animation such as visual cues or quirky, lasting mannerisms. Those kinds of touches are hallmark to Disney animation and were absent from this film as far as I could tell. ‘The Rescuers’ had more personality and heart with its animation and it was made probably with a tenth of this budget. These characters felt generic and soulless. Is hard to tell exactly what combination in any one scene of self-conscious dialogue or frantic pacing or un-inventive staging that makes that possible. I would say that I was disappointed, but its about what I had expected.

    It is so very nice to see 2D Disney animation again on the big screen, but I’m afraid that the creative environment that allowed for the lasting, memorable animated classics of the past is gone for good. A Disney animated film has to do too many things now for its parent company’s many interests. The result, like I said is soulless.

  • Ty

    I really enjoyed this film. I actually felt like this was better than a few of the early 90s Disney Animated films. *runs before the pitchforks come out*

    My biggest problem was the music, all I could think was “Goodness I dislike Randy Newman” His melodies all sound the same to me. Although “Almost there”, “Friends on the other side” and “Dig a little deeper” were toe-tappingly good for me.

    The different animation style in the “Almost There” sequence was a fun little surprise too. Overall I enjoyed this film. And all the kids that were in the theatre loved it as well, they even clapped in applause when it was over.

  • Greg Ehrbar

    With apologies to Mark Twain, rumors of 2D animation’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

  • I truly enjoyed the film and it was great to see a true hand drawn Disney Feature on the big screen again.

    The only thing I didn’t like is something that isn’t specific to this film but was brought back to the forefront of my mind while watching 2D again and that is the style of the ink and paint. I really haven’t been pleased with the look of a traditional film in that regard since someone thought it would be cool to try for the blurred soft shadows and dimensional shading of the characters.

    I long for an Art Director with the power and will to take a feature back to the Xerox machine and flat inks of Dalmatians, that sort of one half tick past a pencil test on the production dial. I’ve never seen a final colored scene that engaged me as much as a pencil test but the style of those productions were the closest to what I would want personally.

    The backgrounds were beautiful, the animation wonderful, and I did enjoy the inspired by black light colors of the Shadow Man’s magic show but I couldn’t help but worry if the powdered sugar on the beignets might be radioactive.

    Its a small and nit picky gripe to be sure but it is something that will always separate the old from the new for me and in a way that favors the old.

  • Dave O.

    @Jason Campbell,

    I thought the same thing when I saw the radioactive powdered sugar! I almost thought it was a mistake! I also cringed with certain water and lighting effects in the bayou.

    Why do rim lights on a 2D character have to look like a Photoshop filter? Why does water have to look so thick and computer rendered?

    A good art director could pull it back make it all a bit more seamless.

  • Sara

    Loved That Movie!!!!
    Even Though I Was Sad When Ray Died At The End After Dr. Facilier Crushed Him,It Still Had A Happy Ending After All.

  • squirrel

    Let’s see if I can get my thoughts together here…

    It was great. Period. It achieved Disney’s goal of proving that their years of bad management and poor box office results did not affect them 100%- they can indeed make a classic film just like they used to. I am so warmed by how the directors made it seem like it was produced 15 years ago, and were able to get everyone they wanted from way back in the 90’s animation boom. Dr. Facilier was my favorite character, and surprisingly, Ray, who went from an annoying sidekick to the most awesome character! I loved the homages to past Disney films (the wishing star serving a plot point and Ray deconstructing it was genius, Lawrence reminded me of the butler from The Aristocrats, etc…). The animation was, of course, wonderful, and Eric Goldberg in particular did much more than I expected. Animated Louis, supervised the extras, supervised Tiana’s dream sequence, AND designed characters?!).

    There were only a few bad things about it. There really wasn’t a reason for why the main characters had to be black, other than it taking place in a city where African-Americans are very dominant in the culture. Naveen as a character was lacking. It would’ve been better if he were from some African country instead of a fictitious one. They tried to make a charmer as appealing as possible but never quite got there. The only reason he was able to solve his money problems was because of learning his lesson from Tiana. Overall, the songs were all catchy and fun, but only one or two felt a bit forced.

  • uncle wayne

    I have (finally finally) seen it. LOVED it!! Being FROM New Orelans made it, of course, alllll the MORE lovable. To the nth degree. I cannot find ONE character I didn’t like. (The dog being named “Stella” …..strictly for that 1 split-second gag….was a RIOT!)

    Dilemma!: where to find a (light-up) Ray plush!?

  • Anie

    I saw it yesterday and I’m proud to say that I was dazzled the entire time. Ever since they announced their return to 2D by doing the Princess and the Frog, I’ve been anxiously waiting and waiting for December 11th to come (and dear God, it wouldn’t come fast enough). And now, I’m as content as a cat under the sun.


    The animation and setting was visual eye-candy for me. I’m a sucker for small town atmosphere (as shown in the beautiful town of New Orleans), elegant houses (Charlotte’s castle/mansion, anyone?), nature as portrayed in the bayou and vibrant colors that were nicely used for Dr. Facilier’s magic.

    There was no character that I didn’t like. Tiana, like most Disney princess, is believable, but she also has that “modern” touch that makes her different from the previous princesses. She’s very strong-willed, she knows what she wants (and for once, it’s not a beau) and she has flaws. I really liked that about her because she’s so easy to relate to, and that’s always a huge plus for me.

    Naveen… man, I want a Naveen in my life…. <3 Not only is he HOT, but he’s actually not perfect, which goes against the usual “prince charming” persona we usually expect in fairy tales. I love how he smashes down those stereo-types and literally rebels against them by being the complete opposite: spoiled, irresponsible, and happy-go-lucky. Tiana: “I could use a little help!” Naveen: “Oh… I will play a little louder.” :)

    Louis was delicious. Trumpeting skills were off the chart and he’s like a big fat cuddly lion you can’t help but hug. Loved him! His intro had me sold: Louis: “Oh, Louis’d give anything to be up there jammin’ with the big boys!” Naveen: “Why don’t you?” Louis: “Oh I tried once! …. It didn’t end well.” I especially loved this: “You SURE this is the right blind voodoo lady who lives in a boat in a tree in the bayou?”. Hehehe.

    Ray is a sweetheart. You gotta love Ray. Nobody hates Ray. He practically almost stole the show everytime he’s on screen. His love for Evangeline is so touching, and when he teared up after Tiana told him she was nothing but a star, but telling his loved one not to take it too hard… man, I was ready to squeal. And his death really hit me, and I seriously cried when he closed his eyes for the last time. I was almost certain Mama Odie would somehow miraculously bring him back to life in the typical Disney style, but no. Dead is dead. And it’s actually better this way, because it has more of an impact on people. I was near ready to burst into tears again when I saw him shining right next to Evangeline where he belonged. :)

    Dr. Facilier was made of awesome. He was smooth, cunning, sly and sneaky. And dang, he looked fine! Haha. To me, his motives were pretty clear in the end. He wants to be powerful. He wants to be rich. He makes a deal with his “friends” to use their voodoo magic, and needs to pay back his debt through the payment of souls (could be his, could be anyone’s, they don’t care). Big Daddy’s his ticket and Lawrence is the bait. Like Naveen said, he’s “very charismatic”. I just wish he had more screentime, but that goes to show you how awesome he was.

    Charlotte is reason enough to see this movie. Her bubbly, sparkly, lively personality, coated with spoils and fantasies just makes her shine. No need to say that the fact that she’s not bratty like most stereotypical spoiled rich girls is just amazing. I LOVE it when they go against stereotypes. And her friendship with Tiana really shines through. I’ve read some comments saying that she didn’t help Tiana financially, therefore she’s probably just an acquaintance/friend type, but I don’t see that at all. Tiana’s the type of girl who prefers to earn her own money instead of asking. In fact, the one time she accepts money from Charlotte is when she asks her to cook for her masquerade ball. And as for Charlotte not noticing her sadness at losing her restaurant, does that make her any less of a friend? She helped her when she was down and dirty, and she even willingly wanted to kiss Naveen, losing her chance at achieving her dream of marrying a prince because her best friend had finally found true love. If that doesn’t spell out friend, then I don’t know what does.

    So many more characters to talk about, but let’s move along.

    I definitely think that Naveen and Tiana are the couple that embody “true love” in all its glory. It’s not love at first sight, it’s a love that grows and blooms through getting to know a person, “warts and all” and to learn from them and to love them for their flaws and beauties. We see such a relationship in Beauty and the Beast with Belle and the Beast, but this is the first time I see two people help EACH OTHER. Naveen learns to mince, and to work for what he wants, while Tiana learns to dance, and that you gotta take a break every once in a while and appreciate the good things in life. I think their love is definitely believable. Sure it was rushed, but try to fit a reasonable love story (complete from meetings to happy endings) in a 1 hour and a half movie (a reasonable length considering kids are also watching). Let me know if you get a different result. Besides, everytime Naveen whipped up one of his “hopelessly in love” expressions everytime he looked at Tiana, I near choked from trying not to SQUEE with utter happiness! He’s adorable!

    And, finally, the music was top-notch! I have “Almost There” stuck in my head right now and the only thing keeping me from singing it aloud right now is the fact that I’d wake my family. I simply LOVE jazz! Love it! Louis’ trumpet-playing rocked my socks off, the beginning score, “Down in New Orleans” is laid-back, friendly, and makes you wanna talk to a random stranger and befriend them. :) Not only that, but Mama Odie’s “Dig a Little Deeper” had me dancing on my seat. I have a HUGE soft spot for gospel music and songs. Always loved them, and that song is probably top on my list (if it weren’t for the fact that ALL the songs are just too good to choose from). “Friends on the Other Side”, is dark in an uplifting way if that makes sense. It’s mysterious, suave and smooth. My only regret is that “Gonna Take You Down” was too short. :( It was so nice! “Ma Belle Evangeline” and “When We’re Human” were equally enjoyable! This is one soundtrack I’m definitely looking forward to buying! :D

    All in all (yes you can breathe, now), this movie was worth the money, and more. A lot of things caught me by surprise, plot-wise, and I was thrilled by that. The characters were lovely, the music was mesmorizing, and the animation was breathtaking. Princess and the Frog definitely deserves its spot on the Disney classics shelf.

    This is one movie I’d actually depserately want to see again on the big screen, only because the DVD release can’t come soon enough. It was a joy to watch and it’ll be a joy to watch again. And I’m glad a lot of people feel the same.


  • Chelsea

    2D seemed to have gone underground for a while there but its so nice to see it back again! Congrats to everyone who worked on this film. Truly amazing!

    Jason Campbell- I believe the next 2d film they are doing is Winnie the pooh and according to Eric Goldberg it will have that Xerox look.

  • BT

    I’m glad everybody seems to like it. I wanted to love it but just couldn’t get into the characters or story much. Some of the animation is beautiful and I liked (and was kind of shocked by) what happened to the comic relief sidekick. I wish that had happened early on in The Lion King. But I really didn’t find Prince Naveen to be a very endearing character, and although Tiana was a little more likable she could’ve used some more quirks or flaws, she’s a little bland. They were very careful to make her a positive image but less careful about making her a compelling character.

    I think my biggest problem though is that I just didn’t like the look of the frogs and was creeped out by them walking upright. If that didn’t bother me I guess I would’ve had a much better time with it.

    Anyway, the kids all clapped at the end. It’s nice to see Disney animation on the big screen again and I look forward to more.

  • I thought it was good. It was better than I expected. The cheesy posters always put me off, but I really enjoyed a lot of this film.

    I thought the best characters were the villain, Charlotte, and the firefly. They had the most personality. The animation on the villain and the croc was amazing. I loved that they killed off a character, so “unformulaic”. I really enjoyed the music, but they have to find a better way to start singing songs. Why does it seem a little forced in this film but not in the Jungle Book?

    The shadow demon things were super scary, and I really enjoyed the way they did those. I loved the setting. New Orleans, Bayou, etc. Loved it.

    I don’t agree with the (current) 83% on RT though. I’d give it 75%. I really liked it, and even though I’m nuts for 2D, I liked a couple other animated films this year more. It’s definitely good enough to prove 2D isn’t dead. Congratulations to everyone that worked on it. You should all be proud.

  • andrew osmond

    Just come from a preview screening… Just a question of detail. Where is it indicated that Tiana’s father is joining the army? (presumably explaining his off-screen death), as mentioned in other posts? Whether it was a visual or dialogue cue, I managed to miss it. Thanks in advance.

  • Anthony C.

    Seen it Friday-and just as I predicted-indeed I was the only 20 year old-surrounded by the parents whom brought their little girls out.

    AND LOVED IT! Even though I’ve anticipated classical animation’s return for a long time, and perked up when news of this movie first broke. This was a big decision for me at first-because even as a kid I never leaned towards the Disney features. I haven’t seen one in recent years since Aladdin-and my fave, The Lion King, hadn’t been seen in over a decade. But I got the money I needed for the bus ride and ticket and said, “Here we go!” My biggest thing was supporting the people who worked on it-whom as of right now currently have the career I’m dreaming of (and work hard at it every day-knowing the 711 drawings or so that go into one sneak are worth it in the end..”I’m Almost There..” ;-)and I know all the work that goes into hand-drawn animation that the 3d-CGI couldn’t even hold a keyframe to…Eric Goldberg gets some massive praise from me. I stayed and watched the credits with a keen eye on as many names as I could.

    Wow all this and I haven’t mentioned the movie yet! I thought it was an incredible masterpiece in the way I KNEW still could be done, but was being held behind closed doors all these years. All twelve principles were in full swing here, and beautifully used. The characters and their motion were full of life, and everything did a good job of sticking to the Disney style, but putting a new spin on it at the same time.

    Some of my favorite sequences (spoilers for whom who haven’t seen it?), I apologize in advance for not knowing all the names yet:
    *The animation of the blonde. Magnificent action on her, especially the scramble when the frog jumps down her dress. They did a great job on making her animation loose and lively-some nice fast action that was still smooth and clearly readable-not choppy at all. A favorite character in this.
    *I’ve Got Friends on the Other Side-Need I say more? I think this was everyone’s favorite part going by other comments I’ve seen. A movie is as cool as it’s villain, and this guy shot right up to the top in my faves list of Disney villains. The way his shadow(s) would interact with the people, the clear readability on the shadows themselves, “the cards, the cards!” The whole thing was awesome and I LOVED the color theory on the transformation climax of the song-the way the mask goes green-DAMN! I haven’t seen a good animated picture in such a long time, I can’t help but gush here.
    *In similar vein-the change to the cutout style on Tiana’s big musical number (I’m Almost There) was extremely well done. The clean design of something like a Flash or UPA-but none of that limited motion-must’ve been a tough one to pull off.

    I had high hopes-and was a bit nervous before it began, but they were of course met and surpassed. There’s only one negative I can think of, and that’s my initial thoughts towards the firefly character, and the typical “dumb rednecks” in his location. Even though (again…spoilers from those who haven’t seen it)…his death saddened me deeply and he quickly won me over as a hero, I could barely understand what he was saying…but he grew on me.

    The redneck sequence just felt like nothing new in an otherwise originial movie. It was the archetypal, “dumb ‘ol country boys gone a huntin'”-they even threw in the Chuck Jones inspired dumb, big one-while a charming nod to LT, was still y’know…the same. Would’ve liked it changed up in some way, make one female or something, anything…

    But that was a short sequence and they never heard from again-funny stuff from the frogs nonetheless.

    Safe to say I loved this movie, and hope it has a profound effect on the “regular” crowd to prove what I’ve been saying all these years:2-d Animation Still Lives. I await the next time they work a traditionally animated feature.

  • Amazing movie! :)
    I must say I didn’t read ALL comments before posting mine, but I just want to express my happiness after watching this fantastic movie.

    As noted by another reader, among other brilliant things I liked the bold move to bring to screen the death of a sidekick character. That was something unusual.

    The only thing I didn’t like was listening to the songs dubbed in Portuguese, as there are only dubbed copies in the theaters here where I live. But I’ll wait for the DVD for the original version.

    Brilliant animation. 2D is definitely back. :)

  • Greg Chenoweth

    This is a fantastic film. The colors were great and the story was excellent. I liked the fact that they took a traditional fairy tale story and set it in the present age. My whole family enjoyed it. I am so glad that somebody at Disney stopped listening to Michael Eisner and realized how traditional 2D animation can be done right for the 21st century, even though their was plenty of computer animation in the film. During the end of the Eisner reign, the medium was dumbed down with releases like “Return to Never Land” and “Home on the Range.” “The Princess and the Frog” plays well to both adults and children and realizes that all of us have a brain while we watch a very good animated feature.

  • Nonimus

    Much congratulations to everyone who worked on the movie. Knowing how much (heart and years) goes into making these things, it’s hard to be critical. It was great to see hand-drawn feature animation again. Mine eyes hath seen the light of a new day!

    Still… it was no Pinocchio. If you know what I mean. But I liked it. The entirety of my feelings about the movie, its historical context and realization, can be summarized/unpacked from this one clip:

  • James E. Parten

    “The Princess and the Frog” is Disney striving to do what Disney has always done best.

    And it is successful!

    A winning formula for Disney has always been to take a fairy tale, give it a tweak here and a twiddle there, devise an engaging cast of supporting characters, add songs, decorate liberally with spectacular eye-candy, and deliver it to an eagerly waiting world. “The Princess and The Frog” does admirably well by this formula, and provides good entertainment in the process.

    As with Disney fairy tales, you know that in the end, goodness and virtue will be rewarded, and evil will receive ultimate punishment. We are not disappointed here.

    And, as usual, getting there is much of the fun.

    The animation is as good 2-D animation as has been seen in quite a while. The characters are sufficiently fleshed out for the purpose at hand. Voice work is exemplary, with standouts being Louis (reminding one of a cross between Phil Harris and Dom DeLuise), and Madame Odie (reminding one of the best of Carol Channing). The songs (by veteran Randy Newman) work well within the context of the story, and are fleshed out with some spectacle. Expect Newman to at least get a nomination for Best Song–although it’s a question as to which song will get the nod. There is broad humor for everyone, and good in-jokes for those who have the brains and wit to catch them. The death scene is handled well, without undue mawkishness. There are a number of twists and swerves in the story, so as to keep the interest from flagging.

    I did find the ending mildly jarring, and quite modernistic. Old-fashioned race-baiters will not like it. After all, a white (if swarthy) European prince would not have selected an Afro-American bride, even in New Orleans of the 1920’s. (Louisiana law would probably have forbidden it!) New Orleans was fairly liberal for a Southern city of that time, but not THAT liberal!

  • Brad

    We just saw it and both my wife and I thought it was the finest, best-looking Disney cartoon in ages. We liked the music–the Zydeco tune for the fireflies was unexpected but bouncy and engaging. We liked the character designs and the wonderful, gorgeous backgrounds. And I really didn’t hae any trouble with Dr. Facilier’s motivation: He’s a powerful Voodoo magician, but he’s living on nickels and dimes and resents the rich fat-cats who run New Orleans.

    So when he sees his chance, his scheme is this:

    1. Get rid of the real Naveen and replace him with a stooge who can be easily controlled.

    2. Trick the stooge to marry Charlotte for her money…which Facilier will split with him.

    3. Use a Voodoo doll to off Charlotte’s father; then using his stooge as a puppet, become a dominant force in the Big Easy.

    And when the talisman goes missing, Facilier bargains with the dark forces to find and retrieve it–incurring a serious debt for their efforts. He promises them that under his reign, folks who come to New Orleans seeking fun will be corrupted, led to the Dark Side, and their souls surrendered to the forces he serves.

    And (spoiler ahead! spoiler ahead!) my wife said…..

    “Only people with real talent could make me cry over the death of a bug.”

  • Did anyone else notice Carpet from Aladdin in one of the establishing shots of New Orleans in the beginning? A woman was shaking him from a balcony. I was amazed I caught it!

    Oh and by the way, very enjoyable movie. Dr. Facilier was my favorite; he just had SUCH a cool design and moved spectacularly. And Charlotte was great too. She has so many great emotions and exaggerated movements but still didn’t feel super-cartoony like Louis.

    Thanks, Disney!

  • PJ

    Yeah, I don’t get what was so unclear about Dr Facilier’s motives and his debt. They came out and explained all of it clearly, they just revealed it a little at a time as the movie went on–which is kind of story-telling 101. Would it really have been better if he’d just danced into the film and immediately outlines his motives and intentions? Even if he did it in song, it would’ve made him a much flatter, less interesting villain. It’s always better to show something then it is to just come out and say it.

    Anyway, this movie was fantastic. It was flowing and joyous and beautiful. I loved the music, it was perfect New Orleans (even if it isn’t “stick-in-your-head-forever” like Hakuna Matata or Under the Sea). The death was completely unexpected and kind of ballsy and very touching, and they handled it perfectly–it was upsetting when it happened so that you hated the villain, then they turned around and made it into something unbelievably sweet so that you felt better about it once the movie was over.

    I had a smile on my face through almost the entire thing, and tears in my eyes at the end. Everyone involved with this movie should be proud, and it made a fantastic holiday treat.

  • Scarabim

    “Expect Newman to at least get a nomination for Best Song–although it’s a question as to which song will get the nod.”

    Yeah, because they all sound the same.

    I thought the movie was okay. Tiana the girl was the best part, when when she turned green…meh. All in all, this film was minor Disney at best.

  • Deb

    @andrew osmond: I think it was more of a visual cue when she just got back from work and she was looking at his photo. He was wearing something quite similar to a military uniform. :)

  • I thought the movie was good, but not great. Charlotte was my favorite part to watch….she had so much expression and character that she kind of outshined most everyone else. I think the songs weren’t very core to the film, and the villain could have been pushed a little further. Overall the design was incredibly well done, but for some reason the child Tiana’s design just felt off somehow.

  • Mike Caracappa

    You know…if people want to feel nostalgic for a Disney film, they can always pop in there favorite classic and watch it knowing it was made with some integrity behind the original creation. It’s better than sitting through a convoluted story strictly designed to cash in on all those feelings.

  • Scarabim

    I hear that, Mike. Tonight I watched my DVD of Snow White again. Ahhh, bliss. Yes, Snow looks a bit awkward – it’s a little obvious that the animators of the day were still struggling with drawing and animating the human figure – but she’s still wonderful in her scenes, and…I don’t know…somehow I prefer her innocent sweetness to some of the modern-day sassiness of the “new” Disney princesses. Snow may be retro, but she’s real. And the Dwarfs…what a magnificent work of art they are. So warm, so genuine, so rich with personality, such a grand gang of convivial companions…they easily beat a jazz-loving Baloo clone of an alligator or a star-crossed Cajun firefly any day. I applaud Disney’s return to 2D, but maybe it needs to go back a little further, to the days when telling a good story didn’t mean settling on a familiar formula. Walt was always trying to push the envelope a little farther, and not repeat himself. In light of that, maybe his famous comment “You can’t top pigs with pigs” should be amended in regards to PatF to “you can’t top princesses with princesses”.

  • You know, I finally see why people are more happy with the wide release than they were for the premier. We didn’t have to pay $50 to watch it. They might as well wear a t-shirt saying “We went to the Princess and the Frog premier and all we got were these f**king beads and a lithograph!”

  • Ama

    I’m so incredibly happy to see the amount of positivity here! I saw the movie during an exclusive release and then again on opening day. I feared the film would fall flat and was searching things to nitpick on, but I actually thought it was good. The second time around I was actually able to relax and enjoyed it immensely! I’m extremely relieved at how good this film turned out to be. Hopefully things will only head up from here. :)

  • OtherDan

    Enjoyed it! My wife rates it at the top of her Disney favorites…I thought it moved fast in the first act-which will give me an excuse to see it again and take it all in. For me it was kind of a hodgepodge in various senses, but in a good way. They combined character styles and animation sensibilities that lent to the individual characters and worked on the whole. I liked the overall theme and various character arcs throughout. I don’t think you need to clearly define the motives of such a villain. He’s clearly up to no good from the beginning with his black magic. And as the film carries on you learn a little more about his limitations and objectives. What more do you need to know about a bad guy? The shadowy spirits were cool! The look and sounds of the film were great! There were many surprises when I looked at the credits. Even in the direction, it seemed like Ron and John were stretching their talents with fresh conceptions and angles. Looked to me that the animators had a lot of fun with Charlotte, and the “frog catching trio”. Those characters and: “Dr. Facilier”, The “Prince-as frog”, Charlotte, “the firefly”, and the Croc stood out to me performance-wise. “Tiana” was also well done and appealing. I wouldn’t have known that Andreas Deja did “Mama Odie”. Which is really a tribute to his versatility. The animation was terrific, though her design took me straight to “Emperor’s New Groove-land”. Just as the character “Lawrence” reminded me of “Smee”…Too many things to comment on, but I’m always focused on the characters and the nuances surrounding them. And, this film had many things for me to feast on. So, I’m looking forward to my next viewing. Lastly, the end credits were shocking because of how small the crew actually was. Bitter/sweet to see familiar names, because I wish I worked on it too. But, congrats to the lucky “few” who did such a great job!

  • OtherDan

    -One thing I have to add, is that it’s annoying to read people embracing “Disney’s return to a formula” when there was a pendulum swing in sentiment to get away from “the singing fairy tales” in the past. Audiences/critics should avoid this whole partisan chatter trying to identify formulas one way or another-it doesn’t help the cause of “just make good movies”.

  • Deb

    Watched it again today with some friends who haven’t watched it. Fell in love all over again. Guess I’m a dork like that. Haha.

    Oh, by the way, has anyone noticed that during the Mardi Gras parade, we actually have a cameo of King Triton on one of the floats? It’s really cool.

    @Mike: I agree with that but I guess it’s been a long time since Disney came up with a 2D fairytale so maybe the nostalgia’s coming in a different way. Like if we watch something from the past, we’d probably think ‘Man, if only Disney were still making stuff like these’. I guess that’s the case with P&F, for me. :)

  • PJ

    I realize this may be subjective, but honestly to me the story didn’t seem convoluted in order to “cash in,” as Mike put it. For instance, I could see how Louis could have been created because they wanted to pay homage to jazz music, and Ray created out of the idea of a firefly falling in love with (and eventually joining) a star, instead of simply being concocted out of the idea that the main characters just need some goofy, cute sidekicks to appeal to the kiddies and fit in to a formula.

    To me the elements in this story seemed very organic and natural, like they came out of the story itself instead of being forced into the story in order to ensure maximum marketing potential.

    I also don’t have a problem with them adding another princess to the roster or telling a fairy tale….I mean, this is just another story that they haven’t told before, so it doesn’t somehow negate or cheapen the movie in my opinion. If they’d set out to make something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT that DISNEY HAS NEVER DONE BEFORE with COMPLETELY UNIQUE CHARACTER TYPES, then I’d feel like they failed. But I think they were just trying to get back to doing what Disney animation once did fantastically, and I think in that endeavor they succeeded.

    Plus, for me it was enough of a twist on the prince-and-princess-archetype that they were flat out broke, even after they became royalty, and opened up a New Orleans restaurant with change saved in coffee tins.

    The whole movie felt like that to me–familiar stuff abound, sure, but with enough twists and spins to feel full of life and refreshed. And hell, refreshing.

  • I liked “The Princess and the Frog” enough to see it twice this weekend. So nice to see hand-drawn animation of this caliber up on the big screen again.


    *Ok, I will say this , having seen the movie twice now: one “Disney Tradition” (of the 90’s) that I’d like to see them jettison forever is the mind-numbingly bad end-credits song performed by some pop music singer. (“True to Your Heart” at the end of “Mulan”, etc.) I’ve never liked that stuff and it is grating because the style of the music is so different from what we’ve had for the last 90 minutes from Mr. Randy Newman. I would much rather have heard the voice of the wonderful Anika Noni Rose singing over the end credits.

  • Rika

    I have to say I’m pretty conflicted on my opinion of this movie. It felt like it really didn’t start getting good (overall) until Tiana meets Naveen as a frog.

    I don’t know…the meat of the movie was so good, but the beginning and end just seemed…lazy. In fact, the animation in the beginning is notably not up to usual Disney standards. It was almost like they’d thrown it together at the last minute.

    One thing I found dissapointing was Tiana’s initial characterization. We didn’t get a great intro song to understand who she was and what she wanted–yes, we get it, the restaurant will be awesome–but that doesn’t tell anything about who she really is. Also? She was kind of an unlikable stick in the mud for half of the movie. She had a good change at the end, but it’d be nice to be able to like the character right off the bat like with all the other Disney lead characters. Even a grump can be fun – see Uncle Scrooge, The Grinch, etc.

    I did love the designs and animation for the frogs and other animals, though. And that journey was incredibly entertaining. I loved Jim Cummings as Ray, and I admit the story with Evangeline was too sweet–loved the song too.

    And Mama Odie (completely with pet snake) was FANTASTIC. Personally, I think she, Naveen, Ray, and the Shadowman lead the movie (And fantastic job by Keith David as always).

    I’m excited that 2d is back….sure, I was hoping for a Little Mermaid comeback, but I wasn’t really expecting it, so overall I didn’t leave feeling dissapointed.

    I’m REALLY looking forward to Snow Queen, though. I worry that so much pressure (from the NAACP in particular) surrounded The Princess and the Frog that it choked out a lot of the potential–including the lavish 20’s style costumes they had originally designed for Maddy and Harry (IE: Tiana and Naveen).

    So…without such controversy, I’m hoping the Snow Queen will be able to freely flourish to the full Disney awesome most of us grew up on.

  • MattSullivan

    Pretty good. Too many songs. ( I honestly do not get the appeal of musicals ) Villain’s motivation was baffling. Otherwise, pretty good return to 2D. Coulda been way worse.

  • Steve Gattuso

    “Almost There” has become an earworm for me. And a t-shirt with “That’s not slime, that’s mucus.” would be a hipster’s ironic dream.

  • Christian

    Is everyone saying they liked it because they want their jobs back? I thought it was terrible. Why did a Disney animated feature look like Warner Brothers film?

  • Jason R.

    For me, the best moments were:

    1. Spot-on animated recreation of the interior of St. Louis Cathedral.

    2. Bayou shack (with rocking chair) from the Disneyland version of Pirates of the Caribbean used as one of the “set pieces” in the closing credits.

    3. Firehouse Five Plus Two tribute (Firefly Five Plus Lou).

    My one criticism is the scene where the frogs are being lifted by the balloons, the dog (Stella–gotta love that) calls her name, and Tiana says something along the lines of, “You can talk?” I really expected a scene right after where Stella tries to bark to Charlotte or Big Daddy to tell them of Tiana’s plight, but instead it turned into a throwaway scene that establishes that Tiana can understand animals while in frog form–which would have been established once they met Louis, anyway.

    Having said that, it was an OK little picture. But I’ve never worked in animation or film of any kind, and I’m not a paid critic, so what do I know?

  • Donald Benson

    I enjoyed it a great deal. It was definitely classic, but in the same way the final Sean Connery James Bonds were classic: They did a brilliant job of delivering exactly what you came for, with some impressive new locations and a few surprises thrown in.

    I always understood what the Shadow Man was doing, and he was great fun to watch. But when his plan suddenly included killing Big Daddy and taking over the city — well, recall the later Bonds where every blessed villain was set on World Domination. It’s as if Gaston abruptly revealed a scheme to overthrow the King of France.

    Now that they’ve proved they’re operating at full strength, I’m hoping they find a way to really surprise us.

    Is it possible to sustain a feature in that art deco look, or in any really aggressive style (such as the Gershwin sequence in Fantasia 2000 — also by Goldberg)? I find myself recalling films that would drop in some adventurous visuals, usually for musical numbers (Yellow Submarine, Shinbone Alley, Gay Purr-ee, and even some pieces of Hercules), then revert back to a more conservative style for the actual storytelling. Maybe they’re afraid stylized characters won’t be able to “act” as persuasively.

    Aside from the hacked-up Cobbler and the the Thief, the more in-your-face approach to design has been pretty much surrendered to commercials and television animation — often in some imitation of Cartoon Modern, although a series called “The Xs” seemed to take its cue directly from The Incredibles end credits.

  • le

    The pacing overall was too fast!
    I didn´t like the motivations of the main characters and villain, and the couple didn´t have any chemistry at all.
    I really wanted to like though.

  • Mike Caracappa

    I saw the film 2 weeks ago, but I was given a spare ticket, so I didn’t have to pay the $50 to get in. My opinion isn’t based on how much money I had to spend to watch the film.

    When I sat through the film, I treated it as if I was going to any other movie. My emotional connection to Disney, the fact that it was hand-drawn, or the thought that it was made for kids was left at the door so I could watch the film and judge it seriously. Putting all that aside allowed me to trust my deeper feelings. If you watch a film that way, you can tell whether or not it’s going to connect with you emotionally. It’s like knowing there’s rushing water under the surface of the story. You can’t see it but your deeper feelings tell you it’s there, under the soil, supporting the life of the film. This has nothing to do with the logic of the story, or formulas, or what kind of medium the movie was made in. If that emotional undercurrent isn’t there, then the film is a lost cause.

    The animation and design was all top notch and everyone in those areas did a great job. Regarding the characters, there are certain aspects we can all agree on: Almost everyone here loved Charlotte, but you could also tell that she was one character the creators were in love with, and as a result we all felt for her. She was the only one I felt had her own free will (not in relation to her being spoiled). All the characters had the potential of being interesting, but I never felt that emotional connection with them like I did with Charlotte. The rest of the cast seemed to exist for the sole purpose of teaching Tiana a lesson. It seemed like they were almost sitting around, waiting for her to show up, and then slamming this message in her face. Tiana is force fed this didactic “being human” message throughout the film, and her adventure feels more like a religious experience than a quest for identity. No one wants to listen to somebody holding up a sign telling them what their problem is. It would be like somebody listening to every evangelical holding up a religious sign on a street corner. We get enough that at home. It’s called advertising.

    The songs may reveal a little bit about the characters, but they certainly aren’t driving the story forward. Do we have to sit through a four minute song about Tiana dreaming about owning a restaurant? There’s probably a simpler, less expensive way of showing that, and it could have just as much of an impact on the audience. “Going down the Bayou” felt more like “We’re off to see the Wizard”, and with the sidekick songs I felt we were back to the evangelicals holding up signs for Tiana.

    Where is the real focus of the movie? Is it the message of the film? Is it Tiana falling in love? Is it Tiana’s relationship with her family? Emotionally, what’s the main driving purpose of her journey? A lot of stuff happens to her, and yet none of it reveals anything deeper within her or the rest of the cast. How does Ray’s death significantly impact the characters? It’s not like Bambi’s mom died, or Mufasa’s death, where it actually changed the main characters life. It’s not like the life of everyone at Ray’s funeral is going to be altered because he’s dead. If you took him out of the story, the movie would still work. If you got rid of all those sidekick characters and just had it about Tiana and Naveen’s adventure in the bayou, the movie would still work fine. In fact, it might actually be a better film because more focus would be put on their relationship.

    But as it stands, the movie doesn’t know what it is or what it wants to be, except one thing: a film designed to leech on everyone’s love for Disney. It’s one big magic trick. It’s been obvious the moment the first trailer showed up, because the movie is trying to scream to everyone how different it is, from having a black princess to killing a sidekick for no reason. And setting it in New Orleans just makes me think they were looking for an easy tie in to the Disney parks. When John Lasseter has to send his animators to Disneyland for research, that about says it all.

    If this film is successful, they’re just going to keep doing the same thing for the next film. They’re going to keep making films that will scream to the audience how different it is on the surface. But if you look closer, you can see it’s no different from anything we’ve already seen before. The audience isn’t going to know any better, because they’re being sidetracked by their invested, emotional response for Disney. They won’t notice that “The Princess and the Frog” is emotionally dry as a bone. They’ll only know what they would already expect out of a Disney film. For a company that has so much influence, there a complete lack of responsibility for storytelling here, and it’s shameful. A new foundation is being poured and we’re going to continue receiving films like this one that no real focus or heart, except to take advantage of its audience.

  • Dr. Facilier was my favorite character in the movie. True, his motives were not fully developed, but Keith David did an excellent job voicing him and his song “Friends on the Other Side” was so much fun. His character’s design was great also; I loved his belly top!

  • I watched this film at the London Children’s Film Festival, in a packed auditorium full of kids parents and the odd animator like myself scattered here and there. If I were to report fromt he kids responses, then the film was a success. It re-introduced the concept of traditional animation to many young eyes who didn’t even know what it was (I heard a mum explain the use of pencils)…on the big screen at least.

    For me its a little different, having certain expectations that I desperately wanted proved wrong. The film started and I was instantly blown away by the artistry, the backgrounds were beautiful, and the animation was stunning. I was drawn in to the rich New Orleans setting and the build of the family and principle characters. The film continued in this way breaking new ground while having that Disney feel. It was great to see the use of depth of field in the art direction. The big clincher for me was the first song…I’m not a big song man, Phil Collins saw to that, but the way they changed art style completely to something reflecting the period, gave it whole new lease and made me enjoy my first Disney musical interlude for the first time in many years.

    Ok, you could probably see this coming, but yeah, then something changed for me and I felt the film slipping back into older habits. The art direction seemed to lose a little of its initial flair, and as the number of songs and their frequency accelerated the innovation slowed and our oppertunities to just hear the main characters speak to each other diminished. You seemed to lose touch with the characters, just as you were getting to know, and really like them.

    This is becoming an essay, for that I’m sorry. So in short, for me, they nearly made it with so many moments of brilliance, Dr Facilier just being one of many, I just wish it could have sustained.

  • Mike Johnson

    Just returned from seeing it…

    On a purely visual level, it was stunning. The look of the city was captured perfectly, and the look contributed greatly to the feel of the city for me. The level of detail was just right, and the bayou was just as perfectly realized. The colors…my God the colors! The color palette is just phenomenal! Overall one of the most visually striking films Disney has ever made, IMHO.

    The story was fine. I am aware that there are certain details that could have been explained a little better, and certain things that (for me at least) could have used an explanation period, but these did not distract at all from my overall experience of the movie.

    As for the characters, I simply loved them all. Not one seemed to be out of place, and the voice work was great as well.

    The music was fine too. I know many folks are kind of tired of Randy Newman’s songs, and though I don’t think any of the songs in this film will go on to become Disney classics, they fit perfectly well within the framework of the film itself, and I must say I enjoyed them thoroughly.

    This indeed bodes well for the future of hand-drawn animation, and I’m thrilled that the results satisfy so thoroughly.

    Fantastic job, and my personal thanks as a fan of animation to everyone involved.

    I will be seeing this one again!

  • Justin

    For everyone who questions the villains motives, are any of the Disney villains’ motives any more clear? It seems the same as every other Disney villain. Ursula wants to have leverage over King Triton. Scar is jealous and wants to be King. Jafar wants to be Sultan. Why exactly did Maleficent curse Aurora? Because she wasn’t invited to the party? Snow White’s Queen was jealous of Snow White’s beauty so had to kill her? Why is it so hard to understand that Facilier wants Lawrence to marry Charlotte so that he gets lots of money?

  • gumbo

    I wish Disney would stop ruining classic fairytales. Do not touch Snow Queen damn it!

  • I really wanted to like it. And was happy that I actually DID! Great job all around.

  • Lots of things I could comment on but right now I want to say that me and the “Christian” that already left a comment in this thread are two different Christians.

  • Joe

    I am very happy that there is a major release of traditional 2D animation in the States, but oh do I long for the day when the story, and more particularly the “Disney formula” grows up.

    Just imagine using all that money and polish to make a GOOD movie!

  • Rose

    I agree with Joe. Start producing more interesting and mature works for once, Disney! Stop remaking every fairytale until they run out!

  • Acetate

    Late to the party here. Just saw it today and loved it. So much fun. Good characters, songs, animation. Kudos Disney !

  • Tom

    Unfortunately, that pressure to SIT ON THAT SHELF WITH BEAUTY AND THE BEAST does weigh down the film slightly. It’s like they all got together and made an enormous list of MUSTS:
    – have princess.
    – have first black princess. Do not invoke wrath of interest groups.*
    – have villain just as good as Ursula, Scar, Cruella, etc.
    – have scene equal to “A Whole New World.”
    – have scene equal to “Kiss the Girl.”
    – have song equal to “When You Wish Upon a Star.”
    – have music that will sell as pop songs and work for fireworks shows.
    – involve no less than 1000 hidden references.

    …And on, and on and on. Such pressure! With so many boxes to check, the film barely got a minute to just be good. “Less than the sum of its parts” would be a good way to describe it.

    BUT, it’s still a great movie! The animation is superb and skillful, so good that it will instantly remind the world that hand-drawn animation is still something worth doing. (Thank God, no, thank Eric Goldberg!) The voice work is sublime. (Lottie!) The characters are for the most part well-rounded, and interesting. And above all, in the end, you’re enjoying yourself in a way you haven’t since Tarzan!

    The problem is just that when you try to be equal to your predecessors, try so very very hard to, you don’t push the envelope, and you tend to get something slightly artificial. In ten years, we will still think of Beauty and the Beast as that Disney film that shook us to the core, that film that showed us something more sublime than we’d ever seen in our lives. And Disney will still be trying to match that film and not Princess and the Frog.

    (I was just watching The Great Mouse Detective again. I’d forgotten how good it is, and after Princess and the Frog, it’s a reminder of a time when movies were born out of ideas rather than ambitions. The Great Mouse Detective certainly didn’t have a list to check off — it proudly lacks a shiny panoramic opening scene, it lacks in-the-know bits, it even lacks a romantic subplot. The only way in which it hearkens back to the classics is that it tries to be excellent on all fronts, and succeeds.)

    But in these dark ages of hand-drawn animation, who’s complaining? This is more than we could have hoped for. But now that the scary part’s over, let’s hope that its success persuades Disney to keep the creative juices flowing.

    So, conclusion: Is it a worthy effort? Certainly! But I hope it’s the beginning of another renaissance and not the pinnacle of it.

    NOTE: The jury’s still out on Randy Newman. His music is appropriate for the film (it’s very N’awlins), but you get a sense that everyone at Disney was hoping for Menken-type material. Alan Menken’s music makes you want to jump on a garbage pail, close your eyes and swing your arms, because damn it, you want to be part of that world/have adventure in the great wide somewhere/go the distance/go out there! Randy Newman’s music makes you want to bob your head a little. So you get these huge scenes full of dancing flamingos, but set to lounge music. Hmmm.

    *This was handled with taste and rose above all that controversy, it must be said. The film was not about anyone’s color, thankfully it was too busy having a plot.

  • gialatzi

    very BAD animation

    very BLAND character designs

    very ARTLESS backgrounds and color decisions

    average music

    unintresting characters

    and boring story!

    The only good thing about this picture was some good scenes in “Tianas dream sequence” and in “friends on the other side”
    and some of the voodoo designs.

    100 milions at the box office is a huge success.