The Princess and The Frog (2009) Movie Review
This is not the Disney adaptation of the Frog Prince, but some elements of that classic children's book are here.
From the title itself, you immediately know that this is once again one of the canonical Disney Princess movies. The ninth princess and probably the jazziest one to date.
Set during the era called the Roaring Twenties in New Orleans, Tiana dreams of opening her restaurant. However, she works two waitress jobs to save money to fulfill her dream. She struggles with her day-to-day life to reach the goal that she promised to her father. She is accompanied by her overly-energetic and wealthy best friend, Charlotte.
An arrogant prince Naveen arrived in New Orleans after being cut off financially by his family. He becomes desperate and wants to marry Tiana's best friend. When Charlotte's father hosts a masquerade ball, Naveen and his valet, Lawrence, visit Dr. Faciller, who tricked them after showing his magic tricks. He transforms the prince into a frog and Lawrence into the prince. His mission is for the fake prince to marry Charlotte so he can kill her father and steal their fortune.
Tiana meets Prince Naveen, as a frog, at the ball. Fascinated by the stories that he will return to his human appearance after a kiss, he persuades Tiana to kiss him. However, this results in her being transformed into a frog. Shocked, Tiana and Prince Naveen seek a voodoo specialist to undo the spell. Along the way, they make some very eccentric acquaintances like Louis, an alligator who plays jazz, and Ray, a firefly. The time is ticking as the two try to break the spell before they become frogs permanently.
Ron Musker and Ron Clements, the same directors for Aladdin and Little Mermaid, directed this film. Anika Noni Rose and Bruno Campos starred in this film as Tiana and Prince Naveen, respectively. John Goodman, the voice of Sulley from Monsters Inc., also plays a minor role as Charlotte's father.
Among the Disney Princess movies, this might be the most upbeat and wildly entertaining, especially with all that wild jazz music soundtrack. The groovy and ethnic beats give life to this film.
I honestly like the wild set of characters. They are enjoyable and fulfill their roles accordingly. Louis is my favorite. Who would have thought of an alligator playing jazz music and dreaming of being a musician? It's pretty fascinating. I don't like Prince Naveen as a Disney prince per se, but his personality and development fit the storyline. Tiana might not be at the top of my list, but I like how she is portrayed as an ordinary person and becomes a full-fledged princess.
I would say the way the plot is structured it's in the middle. It's easy to understand, but you will not be blown away. The comedic parts supplemented that and made this movie enjoyable. Everything about this film is groove. The story is balanced by the lessons that Tiana and Prince Naveen learn throughout their journey. I think if you are a kid, you quickly appreciate these kinds of things.
Of all the Disney Princesses, Tiana might sit nicely in the middle. Since she belongs to the new generation of princesses like Merida or Moana, her character improvement doesn't directly involve falling in love quickly with the prince.
Overall, this movie is pretty easy to watch and appreciate. Some moments didn't click, but the good outweighed the bad, so I guess it's okay. I like the film as it is.
If you are looking for a princess with a rags-to-riches story, look no further than The Princess and The Frog.
I will give this film a groovy 3.5 out of 5 stars.