Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Princess and the Frog - Movie Review

Unless otherwise noted, my reviews will contain NO SPOILERS

This was an excellent film! I truly hope this - like "The Little Mermaid" of 1989 - will be the start of a long string of wonderful animated musicals from the family movie king.

I unfortunately missed the first few minutes of the film due to a momentary loss of my normally keen sense of direction, and came in during what I think is the first song: "I'm Almost There". I was instantly hooked! In the number, Tiana describes her dream - owning a successful restaurant on the banks of the Mississippi* River in New Orleans. The art in this song is sumptuous, keeping in mind my completely biased POV as a total Costume History nerd, really showing off Art Deco with a colorful NoLA twist. Though there are a few rushed spots in the storyline, character development and enjoyment of the film do not suffer.

I honestly wasn't expecting much from a Randy Newman score, but I was pleasantly surprised! Unlike a compilation of his assorted works in other movies, the songs didn't all sound the same, except for the Cajun through-line. The songs helped build the characters' different personalities, which I always love!

As to historical accuracy**, this movie does a very good job at staying true to the times. The costume design in this film is excellent. Interesting side note: this may be the only animated Disney wedding sequence to date featuring paparazzi! (If that was a spoiler than you've never seen a Disney movie)

Here are some important warnings for sensitive viewers. This film contains various snakes and reptiles, which may frighten some audience members. Insects are also included, but didn't bother me. Young children may be frightened by certain segments in the film - if they couldn't sit through the "Snow White" tree sequence or the headless horseman's part in "Ichabod Crane" you may need to cover their eyes or wait for the DVD. These were the only things I noticed, but if you have specific questions, feel free to comment with them!

Go see this movie!
Nostalgically Yours

*The reason I will always know how to spell Mississippi? A little orphan named Annie :D "M-I-doubleS-I-doubleS-I-doubleP-I"

**I will always talk about this when discussing a period film.

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