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L. CHALFANT Says, in 2-4-2010 at 23:52:21 from     

The Princess And The Frog. Hmm. Song Of The South was much better, but regrettably today’s generation can’t see it.
Rating: 1 / 5

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Caleb Bunch Says, in 2-5-2010 at 00:45:29 from     

Possibly the worst Disney animated film of all time. The animation is great. The hand-drawn frames and vibrant colors are wonderful, but what was Disney thinking with this awful story? Look at the height that they have fallen from. We are not supposed to be comparing the storyline with a Saturday morning cartoon. This is supposed to be a real movie. Look at the old Disney films: Lion King, Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Jungle Book, Robin Hood. What made them great? The story, plain and simple. I hope Disney loses millions on this film so they will learn to stop writing such awful material. Also…This movie is set in America. We have a democracy here not a monarchy. There are no princesses here. Also…this story is supposed to be set in New Orleans. This movie is out of place and completely out of line for Disney. Disney…come back.
Rating: 1 / 5

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Laughing Dragon Says, in 2-5-2010 at 02:57:51 from     

This laudable attempt by Disney to return to the days of 2-D animated glory sadly falls short. Instead of surrounding its newest character – the first black Disney “princess” (which is rather deceptive, since Tiana is not a princess at all) with fresh new ideas, characters and music, Disney chose to use the hoary old schticks and gimmicks it’s used in the past. The “I want” song – check. Prince – check. Talking animals – check. Funny sidekicks – check. Musical numbers – check. A dash of tragedy to give the the script some heft – check. Charismatic villain – check. Yep, all the stock Disney characters and plot points are abundant in this film, but the result is less than satisfying. Tiana herself is a charmer – when she’s human – but once she becomes kin to Kermit, she becomes bland and humorless, perhaps to avoid upstaging her equally bland and unlikable Frog Prince Naveen. Granted, he’s self-centered enough to generate more personality than many Disney animated leading men, but when it comes to warmth and appeal, he’s no Aladdin. Even worse, the sidekick and ancillary characters are hardly memorable: a Baloo-wannabe oafish alligator, a spoiled Southern belle, a feckless firefly and an old hag who likes to kiss her pet snake on the mouth. Ecchhh. The music is subpar, with only one song that stands out: “Almost There”, a decent addition to the Disney catalogue of “I Want” songs, but which pales in comparison to similar songs from Disney’s past anthems of ambition, such as “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” (The Lion King) or even “Someday My Prince Will Come” (Snow White). All in all, “Princess and the Frog” (worst Disney movie title ever) is not a bad film, but it’s far from being a Disney classic. I’d rank it in the same class as “The Lion King 1 1/2″ or “Cinderella 2″, both of which were decent efforts, but not worthy of inclusion to the roster of Disney-dusted classics such as “Pinocchio”. 2 stars.
Rating: 2 / 5

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Axton Blessendon, Jr. Says, in 2-5-2010 at 05:27:33 from     

“The Princess and the Frog”

(Walt Disney, 2009)

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We went to go see this as a family — Mom, Dad and Disney-addicted little girl — and we all thought it was pretty good. The messages of hard work and honesty (and a de-emphasis on magical thinking) were all welcome. The music was good: ragtime and trad jazz are a breath of fresh air after the cascade of bad pop-soul that have dominated the kiddie movies of the last few decades, and the gal who plays Princess Tiana is a very good singer, Broadway trained and not another dreadful Whitney/Celine/Beyonce soul melissima showboater leaping from note to note without bringing meaning to the words… Thank goodness! This was actually good music! Yay.

I do have to say, though, that if Disney was going to make such a big deal about Tiana being their first African-American princess, it might have been nice if they’d given her more than ten minutes on-screen time as an African-American woman, rather than as a green-skinned frog. The big twist of the story — having the frog-kiss turn the heroine into an amphibian — is clever and funny, but still, having her dark-skinned face disappear from the screen so quickly and so thoroughly was a little weird, especially with all the stereotyped voodoo stuff on top of that. Couldn’t they have had their first black princess turn up in, say, Atlanta, or New York? Or Kenya? Without the bone-shaking hoodoo? Disney is to be applauded for breaking their own racial barrier, but it still seems a little uneven, in relation to the well-marketed white faces in all the other movies.

Regardless, this was a good movie, another mildly scary but overall un-gun filled animated alternative for parents with little kids to latch on to while they still can. And the music was fun, too. I wouldn’t mind a sequel, with more of the human Tiana in it. (Axton)
Rating: 4 / 5

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C. CRADDOCK Says, in 2-5-2010 at 08:25:16 from     

Take the classic fairy tale of the princess who has to kiss a frog to turn him back into a prince, set it in New Orleans, throw in a few practical lessons, like, it’s not enough to wish on a star, hard work is also involved, set it to a great score by Randy Newman, with Cajun, Gospel, Dixieland Jazz, and for a little spice, a dash of voodoo; and voila! Gumbo is served.

This return to the classic animation style and musical not seen in these parts since Beauty and the Beast is fun for the whole family. The grown ups might even secretly enjoy it more than the kids. In fact, the young kids in the audience where we saw it were a little frightened by the voodoo, and then grew a little restless as the romance between Tiana and Prince Naveen reached its dénouement. But what do they know?

It’s great to see the Disney style animation, with the hand drawn characters over the hand painted backgrounds. One scene was even done in Art Deco style. The Art Work was complimented by Randy Newman’s songs and score, covering a lush and fertile musical terrain–New Orleans, the birthplace of Jazz, and also Cajun music from the Bayou.

Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos) of Maldonia sounded strangely familiar, so I googled him and found that he had played Diego Vasquez on Christina Applegate’s sit com, “Jesse.” Both characters had the same cadence and accent. I never knew Diego was from Maldonia. Anika Noni Rose, who played Tiana, was in Dreamgirls and From Justin to Kelly, which both had an American Idol Connection. Michael-Leon Wooley, who was also in Dreamgirls, voiced Louis, the trumpet playing gator; but what I wanted to know was, who played Louis’ trumpet? Answer: Terence Blanchard. Jim Cummings, who played Cajun Firefly Ray, has done the voices for Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger, too. Oprah Winfrey, chef Emeril Lagasse, Terrence Howard, John Goodman, composer Randy Newman, and Keith David also lent their voices to the project.

Bottom line is The Princess and the Frog is a welcome return to the classic Disney animated musical style that will be enjoyable for the whole family.

Pinocchio (Disney Gold Classic Collection)

Lady and the Tramp (50th Anniversary Edition)

Other Roles from Castmembers of The Princess and the Frog

August Rush (2007) Terrence Howard was Richard Jeffries

Dreamgirls (Widescreen Edition) (2006) Anika Noni Rose was Lorrell Robinson and Michael-Leon Wooley was Tiny Joe Dixon

The OH in Ohio (2006) Keith David was Coach Popovitch

Crash (Widescreen Edition) (2004) Terrance Howard was Cameron Thayer and Keith David was Lt. Dixon

From Justin to Kelly (2003) Anika Noni Rose was Kaya

Coyote Ugly (2000) John Goodman was Bill

“Jesse” (42 episodes, 1998-2000) Bruno Campos was Diego Vasquez

The Big Lebowski (1998) John Goodman was Walter Sobchak

The Tiger Woods Story (1998) (TV) Keith David was Earl Woods

Bird (1988) Keith David was Buster Franklin

Princess Tiana: I mean I didn’t even know frogs had lips. How ’bout a nice firm handshake.
Rating: 5 / 5

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