Princess and the Frog: Disney’s Slept on Film

This is an older Disney film – which, whoa, I can’t believe 2009 was 13 years ago! It feels like Princess and the Frog came out a year or so ago, not 13 years past. It’s bizarre that not many talks about it even though it’s a Disney film. When it originally came out, it was a big deal that the newest princess would be Black which was thrilling for many people – my family included. Beyond that, however, there were a lot of unique factors to the movie, like the music, plot, and animation. I think many of these were slept on and need to be revisited.
Let’s start with the songs; almost everyone was a BOP, and you cannot convince me otherwise. I still randomly sing “Almost There” even when I haven’t seen the movie in quite some time. They’re catchy, entertaining, and fit their scenes well. Funny enough, I wouldn’t say I like musicals that much, but I find that for all the songs in the movie, none of them felt shoehorned in – it all felt natural. It can’t get much better than that.
The plot of this movie alone is relatively refreshing – like most of the more modern princesses. But just like the earlier princess movies, the romantic aspect is the main driving point but not the whole point. Looking past that, though, there is an adventure, magic (of course); for the most part, it’s dark voodoo; It’s fun, it’s fresh, and it keeps you on your toes. Tiana, one of our main characters, inadvertently turns herself into a frog kissing Prince Naveen in frog form. The duo then searches for Mama Odie, the Voodoo Queen of the bayou, to turn them human. We get to see multiple locations throughout the film that enhance the story on their journey. The bayou, in a way, helps propel the plot forward since each site helps tell more of the story, which keeps it so enticing.
Going back to the voodoo in the movie, that alone was new – I didn’t expect Disney to do that as I know many people find the thought disturbing or uncomfortable. It was fantastic to see how Disney handled it, especially for a younger audience. The visuals accompanying the scenes were phenomenal and resonated even after they were no longer on screen. I still think of Facilier with a skeletal face fading to Black, and I get chills. In a word, tasty.
Moving onto the animation, it also helped enhance the film and story. I don’t think the story would be nearly as enjoyable if the film were not visually appealing. The colors were vibrant without being vomit-inducing. They enhanced the plot when needed, either by being dim at the correct times or flashy when showing visions, magic, and the hearts’ desires. I can never look away when we see Tiana’s golden restaurant, how her animated image gives us a clear view of her character. She has an idea, and she is going to follow it through. It helps get even the skeptics and doubters on her side, making for a more appealing story overall. The animation, coupled with the way Tiana talks about her restaurant, brings you in even more.
Honestly, if you haven’t seen this film, watch it. If you have seen this film, still watch it. It needs more love.


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