The Princess and the Frog

the-princess-and-the-frog-56bac03cdb24bThe Princess and the Frog, by Walt Disney Studios, released on December 11, 2009. The film emphasizes the importance of hard work and self-dedication. Tiana, voiced by Anika Noni Rose, is an African-American girl growing up in New Orleans. Her father tells her from a young age that she must dream big and work hard to get to those dreams. Throughout the movie, Tiana aspires to open a restaurant; in honor of her father’s passing, named Tiana’s Place. Tiana is often juxtaposed with the the rich sugar baron’s daughter, Charlotte. Charlotte is White, rich and privileged and they become best friends despite their differences in class. On the night of the Mardi Gras parade, Tiana ends up wearing one of Charlotte’s dresses and crown for the parade. Later, the audience finds Tiana looking like a princess wishing on a star for her to get the restaurant of her dreams. Suddenly, a frog appears and Tiana begins to talk to the frog. Just when she is about to turn her head, the frog responds and Tiana freaks out. After Tiana calms down, the frog tells her that he is Prince Naveen of Maldonia. In hopes to help Naveen, Tiana kisses him to try and turn him back into a human. Turns out, the person who kisses Naveen has to be a princess, to which Tiana is not, despite her dress and crown. When Tiana kisses Naveen, she shrinks down and becomes a frog herself. As the story progresses the audience sees the two go on a fun adventure down the bayou in search for a cure to this curse. Tiana and Prince Naveen face musical witches, alligators who can sing and play the trumpet and the Shadow man. Prince Naveen and Tiana soon fall in love and kiss, which turns them back into their human forms. The two marry and they live happily ever after and Tiana ends up getting the restaurant of her dreams.

The Princess and the Frog is a fairytale that teaches children that hard work is needed when one wants to achieve a dream. This is the first Disney princess film to incorporate an African American as their main character. The movie became a milestone in Disney, because they were finally branching out to focus on marginalized cultures rather than just White cultures. The film takes on the imagery of New Orleans and adds some of the jazz style into the movie score. The music and imagery make the film enjoyable and fun to watch. The movie’s antagonist, the Shadow Man, can be related to the voodoo aspect of the West African culture. The Disney film does a very good job of staying true to the reality of New Orleans, from the accents to the gumbo. However, there are stereotypes present in the film and some of the casting could have been more authentic to the characters. I would give The Princess and the Frog a solid 8.5/10. The opening scenes entice the audience to keep watching, while the storyline/characters keep them entertained. However, the plot can get very predictable and falls short in the sense of climax, but for a children’s film it has just enough drama and triumph. The reinvention of this childhood story is exciting and offers a new perspective on unconventional love. The film is a great reminder that love is not just about appearances, but it is what is on the inside that counts. The film comes as a redemption for Disney after they released The Song of the South in 1946. The film is very problematic and stereotypical. Disney has come a long way since the film and I think The Princess and the Frog truly highlights that. All in all, this film’s imbedded lesson can reach far and wide. However, sometimes I wish Tiana could have bought the restaurant on her own and not with the help of Prince Naveen, but that is just me being picky. Cheers to inclusivity Disney!

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Release Date: December 11, 2009

Starring: Anika Noni Rose, Bruno  Campos, Keith David, Oprah Winfrey, Jenifer Lewis

Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker

Distributor: Disney

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Audience: All ages.

Rating: G

Runtime: 97 min.

Facebook: @ThePrincessandtheFrog

IMDB: @ThePrincessandtheFrog

WikiLink: @ThePrincessandtheFrog

153e3a9d-a90e-480d-94fb-9275c1028d8e.jpgAutumn Skye Destarac-Saldana | Writing Contributor
B.A. | Communications | Cal State Univ – San Marcos
Autumn is a fun loving girl who is currently working on a Communications BA and Women Studies minor at CSU – San Marcos. She loves singing, traveling and watching movies. She loves all things Disney and Marvel. She aspires to be an advocate for undocumented immigrants and hopes to create a more positive narrative for the Latinx community in her years to come. Autumn loves writing and hopes to share her thoughts with the world someday. Instagram @OhDearAutumnView My Articles 

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