The princess and the frog film review
The Princess and the Frog is the first Disney movie to star an African American female who marries a prince and thus becomes a princess.
The film tells the story of Tiana, a young girl whose mother is a master seamstress. Tiana accompanies her mother when she works in various jobs sewing dresses. Her best customer has a daughter around Tiana's age and the young girls become friends. Tiana's mother, Eudora sometimes reads fairytales to them and they both get their early impressions about what love is and begin to dream. Tiana's friend is a little more idealistic and willing to dream. She says that she would be willing to kiss a frog in order to turn him into a prince. Tiana thinks that is disgusting and would not hear of it. Tiana is more preoccupied with dreams of owning a fabulous restaurant, named Tiana's place. It is a dream that she and her father share.
The film is set in New Orleans, Louisiana. Tiana and Eudora take the train from Eudora's workplace where all the mansions are and they travel across town to their own home which is much more modest. Tiana helps her father with cooking a gumbo dinner and they invite the neighbors to join them for a meal. Everyone gathers around the front porch and enjoys food and conversation in a very open environment. Tiana's father speaks of the lesson about food bringing folks together.
Fast forward to Tiana being an adult. Her father has passed away. He worked hard all of his life with 2, sometimes 3 jobs. She is very close to her mother who still wants to see her realize her dream of owning the restaurant. Tiana has been working as a waitress and saving up for a long time. Her friends think she works too hard and her boss taunts her, thinking that she will work for him forever and never save up enough to get the restaurant.
That same night, Tiana's childhood friend comes by and places a big food order because she will be entertaining a prince, Naveen at her father's mansion.
Tiana is now temporarily confident that she will have enough savings to put the down payment on her restaurant. She does so but quickly finds out the she has been outbid.
Tiana then becomes saddened and wonders what the possibilities will be. She feels silly as she begins to wish on a star like she did as a child.
Behold, a talking frog appears and insists that he is a prince. He says that if Tiana kisses him, he will change back into the human he is supposed to be. After a few moments of being disgusted and freaking out because a frog is talking to her, Tiana complies and kisses the frog. Instead of the frog turning into a prince, Tiana turns into a frog!
The film continues with the two frogs setting on a big adventure to attempt to become human again. Along the way, they find that they are now able to talk to other animal species. They solicit the help of an alligator who wishes he was human so that he could perform, playing jazz "with the greats". They also meet and get the help of a firefly named Ray. Ray gets his whole family on board to light the way for Tiana and Naveen's journey as frogs in the swamp.
They have learned about Mama Odie, who might be able to help them change back into humans and they are on their way to seeing her.
This film is filled with a lot of entertaining song and dance but there are also depictions of voodoo, some of which could be quite scary for young children. There are many images of dark shadows and skeletons. Aside from that, the film is quite cute. I think it would be best for children 6 years old and older.
There is some good emphasis on family values and remembering what is important in life. Tiana's mom offers her a lot of advice and before passing away, her father did as well.
The dvd rental includes a music video by singer Neyo who contributes to the theme music of the film.
Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker
Starring Anika Noni Rose (voice of Tiana) and others
I rate it 3.5/5 stars