Release Date (UK) – 5 February 2010
Certificate (UK) – U
Country – USA
Director – Ron Clements & John Musker
Runtime – 97 mins
Disney have decided to return to their roots with this hand drawn 2D animation and traditional fairytale plot, presumably to try and target critics of 3D and its extra costs at the cinema. Set in New Orleans, the film follows the tale of Tiana, a hardworking waitress who is saving up to buy her own restaurant to fulfil her childhood dream. Meanwhile Prince Naveen arrives in town to try and woo rich daddy’s girl, and Tiana’s friend, Charlotte after being cut off by his family. As Naveen is caught up in a web of voodoo and magic by local scoundrel Dr. Facilier he is turned into a frog, and so too is Tiana when she tries to rescue him with a kiss. Tiana and Naveen then travel through the Bayou jungle to try and find the mysterious Mama Odie to undo the black magic and return to their human states, meeting various animal characters like the trumpet playing alligator Louis along the way.
This is a retelling of every Disney story ever seen and there are no surprises or new angles as The Princess and the Frog feels like a cross between The Jungle Book and Cinderella. There’s the usual songs, this time set to the jazz music New Orleans is famous for but there just not very memorable or catchy and the underlying messages of them are slightly confusing, as is the slightly wavy plot leaving a feeling overall that this was a bit of a rush job from Disney. The most interesting thing about the film is the fact that whilst Disney have chosen to feature a black female princess lead they obviously were slightly scared about doing so, so have disappointingly decided to turn her into a green frog for the majority of the film. Whilst this film is perfectly enjoyable its nothing special and not one to treasure along with the Disney classics really. Although the film is rated U the scenes with Dr. Facilier and the shadow people chasing Prince Naveen may be slightly scary for some young children.