The Princess and the Frog
The Princess and the Frog is a 2009 American animated musical film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 49th Disney animated feature film, the film is loosely based on the novel The Frog Princess by E. D. Baker, which is in turn based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale The Frog Prince.
Tiana dreams of one day opening the finest restaurant in New Orleans. Her dream takes a slight detour when she meets Prince Naveen, who has been turned into an amphibian by evil Dr. Facilier. Mistaking her for a princess and hoping to break the spell, Naveen plants a kiss on poor Tiana, thereby turning her into a frog as well. The pair hop along on an adventure through the bayous to seek the help of a powerful voodoo priestess in order to reverse the curse.
Why It Rocks
- It's marked as Disney's welcoming return to traditional animation, as it was the studio's first traditionally animated film since Home on the Range.
- Tiana's known for being Disney first black Disney princess ever.
- The traditional animation is very beautiful and well improved.
- Catchy and unforgettable songs like, Almost There, Friends on the Other Side, When We're Human and Dig a Little Deeper.
- Likable and entertaining characters Tiana, Naveen, Mama Odie and the comic reliefs, Louis and Ray. Also Dr. Facilier is an awesome villain.
- Ray's death is a very emotional scene, and Dr. Facilier's death was very chilling.
- Most of the jokes are funny.
- It's pretty much formulaic and cliched being no different from other Disney films based on a fairy tale. That said, the story is set in modern New Orleans instead of the renaissance era, but it still doesn't change the cliches.
- The story does get complicated at times.
- Some of the jokes are weak at best as most of the humor consists of butt jokes.
- Some racist and politically incorrect references and jokes from time to time.
- It can get dark at times.
- The story for The Princess and the Frog began development by merging two separate projects that were being developed at Disney and Pixar at the time, both based around the fairy tale of “The Frog Prince.”
- The film marked a return to hand-drawn movie. Disney had originally announced that 2004’s Home on the Range would be their final traditionally animated film – but that decision was reversed when new leadership was brought in to run Disney Animation Studios. Many of the animators were brought back to help on the film.
- Anika Noni Rose – the voice of Tiana – requested that the New Orleans-based heroine be left-handed, just like her.
- Directors Ron Clements and John Musker also directed Aladdin and The Little Mermaid for Disney, and both movies are referenced in this film. The magic carpet, genie’s lamp and King Triton all make brief appearances in the movie. Also, Clements and Musker have cameos in the film as animated versions of themselves dressed as fish, throwing beads in the Mardi Gras parade.
- The character of Tiana was inspired in part by famed restaurateur Leah Chase, who directors Ron Clements and John Musker met on a research trip to New Orleans. Chase was known as the Queen of Creole Cuisine and co-owned the historic New Orleans restaurant Dooky Chase.
- In addition to appearing as the mysterious and magical Mama Odie in The Princess and the Frog, Jennifer Lewis also provided the voice of Professor Granville in Big Hero 6: The Series and the voice of Flo in Disney/Pixar’s Cars.
- Originally, the trumpet-playing alligator, Louis, was written as a human with a passion for music, who had gone to Dr. Facilier to gain the ability to play the trumpet – but when Dr. Facilier granted his wish, he also turned Louis into a gator. The story idea was dropped when the filmmakers decided the subplot would be too complicated.
- The film received three Academy Award nominations – one for Best Animated Feature and two for Best Original Song for “Almost There” and “Down in New Orleans” – both written by Randy Newman.
- Bruce W. Smith, the creator of The Proud Family, worked on this film as mentioned in the Trivia in the Best TV Shows wiki.