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Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Princess and the Frog

This was the best movie of 2009. Here's why.

I was looking forward to Disney's return to hand-drawn animation badly. It's sad that that medium is hardly used, save for cartoons. But if you watch the movie, you'll be lost in the rich backdrops. The backrounds are simply stunning. Whether you're in the bayou at night, or the river at sunset, or New Orleans in mid-day, the animation is absolutely riviting. The places come alive.

Tiana is not a princess who believes in truelove. In fact, she's not even looking for love at all. She is a hard worker, who works to have her dreams come true. This is one of the most important themes of the movie. No longer are we just sitting around and hoping for dreams to come true. We must work hard, and that hard work will pay off.

Tiana wants to open up a restaurant to honor her father, who passed away sometime between the flashback opening scene and the rest of the movie. She works hard to get the money. Then she meets the Prince Naveen who was turned into a frog by the evil shadowman, Dr. Facilier, and kisses him to turn him back. It backfires. She turns into a frog, and then races with Naveen to turn back into human form and also open up the restaurant.

Dr. Facilier has become one of my favorite vilians. He is positively evil, and his work with dark magic and vodoo provides a neat supernatural aspect to the film. He is an absoloutely dilicious villan.

Finally, we have the whole race thing. Prior to it's release, there was some criticism for it's deal on race. But, if you watch the movie, race has nothing to do with it. What's nice is that they don't overstate "Tiana is black". There are refrences to her race, like being denied a loan for her restaurant do to her not having enough money and her "backround", as well as living in a round-down community away from white society. But this was not a major aspect of the movie. Very minute, acutally.

I really enjoyed Princess and the Frog. I hope to see it make some more money, and I hope that Disney will continue to churn out more hand-drawn animated movies. Even if you have seen it already, go see it again. It's even better and more touching the second time around!

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