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The Princess and the Frog

Released

Latest Home Video

Mar 16, 2010

MPAA Rating:

G


Run Time:

97

Director

Ron Clements

John Musker

Cast

Anika Noni Rose

Keith David

Oprah Winfrey

Studio

2009 Walt Disney Pictures

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: The Princess and the Frog.

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Reviewed by

Overall B-
ViolenceC+
SexB+
LanguageA-
Drugs/AlcoholB-
Run Time97

Making the Grades

There’s been a lot written about the fact that Disney’s new princess Tiana (voice by Anika Noni Rose) is the studio’s first African-American animated heroine. Unfortunately it all seems a little excessive considering that Tiana spends most of the movie in the form of a frog wandering through the Louisiana bayou.

Her transformation from New Orleans’ waitress to amphibian takes place when she is entreated for a kiss by a talking frog claiming to be the handsome Prince Naveen (voice by Bruno Campos). It seems the royal offspring has had an ill-fated run-in with Dr. Facilier (voice by Keith David), a charlatan and shyster who practices black magic and voodoo on the seedier side of the city. Only a smooch will restore the prince to his human form.

But after Tiara puckers up and gives the slimy jumper a peck, it is she who undergoes an alteration. Suddenly the aspiring restaurateur with a talent for making gumbo finds herself croaking instead of cooking. Determined to undo the curse, she and the web-footed Prince make their way through the bayou in hopes of getting help from the ancient Mama Odie (voice by Jenifer Lewis) who practices her own form of the black art.

Accompanying them on the journey is Ray the Firefly (voice by Jim Cummings) and the jazz loving alligator Louis (voice by Michael-Leon Wooley). While the small company fights off frog-eating hillbillies and other hungry predators, Dr. Facilier is back in the French Quarter using his magic to marry off the Prince’s advisor (voice by Peter Bartlett) to the wealthy daughter (voice by Jennifer Cody) of ‘Big Daddy’ La Bouff (voice by John Goodman).

Along with the studio’s return to traditional animation, the script also brings back the inclusion of large-scale musical numbers. One song scene involving the evil Dr. Facilier resembles a hallucinogenic dream sequence with dark shadows, wild colors and a scary musical score. The characters in the story are also repeatedly exposed to moments of peril and ghoulish spirits—portrayals that are clearly too intense for young viewers.

In her human form, Tiana lives with loving parents (voices by Oprah Winfrey and Terrence Howard) who try and teach their daughter about the important things in life. But like many children, Tiana has to come to an appreciation of those on her own. After decades of endorsing the idea of "wishing on a star", this Disney adaptation couples that with the need for hard work to achieve one’s goals—a healthy combination for success.

While this film includes some fun jazz music and a strong message about the ethics of work, the story is often lost in the vacillation between dark scenes of voodoo and a goofy ‘gator who wants to play his trumpet at the city’s Mardi Gras celebration. Although it is admirable to increase the diversity among the Disney’s princesses, Tiana, in her human form, doesn’t get enough screen time to amount to much of a role model for young girls.

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Review

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Princess and the Frog.

What talent does Tiana have? What things does she do to develop her skills? Try your own hand at making gumbo and other New Orleans’ cuisine.

How do Tiana’s parents help her pursue her dream? Why is it important to balance different aspects of life?

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
G
AB G
MB G
ON G
QC G
NB
NS
NL
PE
G

Canadian Home Video Rating: G

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of The Princess and the Frog...

Release Date: 16 March 2010
The Princess and the Frog releases to DVD with the following extras:
- Deleted Scenes
- The Princess Portraits Game
- Audio Commentary By Filmmakers
- Music Video By Ne-Y
The Princess and the Frog releases to Blu-ray also offers:
- The Disney Legacy
- The Making Of A Princess
- Conjuring The Villain
- The Return To Hand-Drawn Animation
- The Disney Legacy
- Disney’s Newest Princess
- Bringing Life To Animation
The Princess and the Frog releases in a Combo Edition that includes:
- All of the above bonus materials
- The movie in Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital Copy.

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MikeB says: Dec. 27, 2009

Disney has lost my trust with this movie. My girls are 6 and 3 1/2 and while I am glad Disney incorporated an African American princess, the movie as a whole has not for kids. My wife and I spent a fair amount of the movie covering our kids eyes or holding them because they were terrified of the evil spirits hunting the two frogs. This movie had no business being rated G. Both of my girls had a hard time sleeping. The voo doo aspects of this movie destroyed it for me, the evil character held a voo doo doll up with a pin ready to kill one of the main characters. Voo doo dolls came to life as the shadow character is taken away. Really, is that something we want our small kids watching and learning about voo doo!?!?!? This was grossly inappropriate for a 3 year old!!!! It is unfortunate that while we finally have an African American princess, who is an incredible roll model/person, the movie was horribly inappropriate for small children. Disney, you lost me here. I never thought I would have to screen Disney movies to ensure my girls won’t have nightmares, ridiculous. I can’t recommend this movie to anyone with children, unless that is you would like them to learn about voo doo, see evil spirits hunt down the main characters, see voo doo dolls come to life as the antagonist is taken to the underworld? Bottom line, not for kids.

Melissa O says: Jan. 04, 2010

I think parents read sites like this to get more than one opinion on a film and whether it?s appropriate for their children.  It?s true, I think The Princess and the Frog is not for 3 year olds.  Little Einstein videos and Sesame Street are more appropriate for that age group.  It?s unfortunate that other comments were lost regarding this movie, because my family and I (respectfully though seriously), disagree with Mike B?s review.  This is not the movie that should cause someone to lose trust—It sounds like the commenter was angry with his own lack of research.  The voodoo character is clearly advertised in all of the movie?s previews and commercials.  If there?s any question about the voodoo aspect,  it should be used as an opportunity to discuss different types of ?magic? as represented in movies. The voodoo aspect was nothing more than the flip-side equivalent of Aladdin?s genie magic. I think if a parent wishes their children to not watch anything containing imaginary powers, they can access many different sites that would have warned against this movie. 

WE LOVED THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG. We have a tender-hearted, five year old girl who we prefer not to see violence, death, or inappropriate material.  We left this movie singing the songs, repeating some of the VERY FUNNY one liners, and all around enjoyed the upbeat spirit that the movie conveyed.  Granted, there were some spooky spots—but my husband and I agree that they were BRIEF enough to not be threatening to a child?s psyche.  (Additionally, other reviews have made mention of the father dying in this movie—there is no imagery of him passing away.  As a child, the female lead had very loving family scenes, then the movie fast forwards to her as an adult wanting to make her papa proud.)  Bottom line, an incredibly artistic film that embraces the New Orleans feel-good spirit and shows evidence why Louisiana was ranked the happiest state in the U.S..

Lovemytwinboys says: Mar. 26, 2010

I just rented this movie and should have screened it before I let my children see this.  I love Disney, but this is not a movie I would recommend to anyone.  I agree that it is refreshing that Disney has finally offered an African American role model; however, this is not the movie for that.  I disagree with Melissa O, the voo doo and spooky spots were not brief.  We had to fast-forward many LONG spots that were inappropriate for any child (regardless of age).  With all the violence, voo doo and evil spirits - this never should have been G.  There is a lot of drinking, evil spirits, and other things that children never should see. Not to mention that a main character was murdered.

Granted, the underline theme of the story about hard work and loving your family is great but is so lost in the other garbage of the movie that it isn’t worth seeing. 

My husband and I are very displeased that Disney marketed this film to children with a G rating.  I will not longer allow my children to watch any new Disney movie without us screening it.  BTW, I am not the only one who feels this way. I have spoken to friends and family and they are also upset by this movie.  I just wished I talked to them before I allowed my children to watch this- I just didn’t think I had to do that with a Disney movie.  Do not waste your time or your children’s innocents on this.

jhartmus says: Apr. 11, 2011

Spooky sections of the movie with shadows chasing after characters were not brief to the 5yo who was scared by them.  Although I thought that the movie delved much more deeply into voodoo than was really necessary for the plot, I believe that parents of children 6 and under may just need to screen the movie to determine if their child will be frightened by it all.  The 5yo did not enjoy watching it on the big screen, but she was fine with it at home on video. 

We used this movie as a conversation starter with both our 5yo and 7yo regarding “selling ones soul to the devil” and how every day all of us are presented with options to follow Satan or to choose God.  In general, they both thought it was just silly that someone would think that a voodoo doll would even work smile

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