Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Princess and the Frog (2010)

I wanted to love this movie. Just the fact that Disney made a hand-drawn animated film again, one that didn't have celebrity voices (well, a few) and one that didn't have contemporary references, and hip jokes for parents. Not to mention that it was a distinctly African American film, set in New Orleans with jazz and Cajun music.

Too bad that the movie was not very good. The biggest problem was that the whole middle section, when the heroes of the film are frogs, was poorly paced and uninteresting. The character design was weak. I didn't like either the trumpet-playing crocodile or the Cajun firefly, both of whom were supposed to lend humor and emotion to the story. The romance didn't work out, since the characters were mainly frogs, and not very expressive or dynamic. The best character was the villain, the shadow man, a voodoo practitioner with a shadow that lives its own life. Unfortunately I never truly understood his motivations.

Another problem: the music. I'm just not a fan of Randy Newman. He worked okay for the Toy Story films, where his music was more in the background. But for a movie like this, the music really needs to drive the film, and it didn't. The catchiest song in the film was probably the Ne-Yo song that played over the end credits.


  1. such a shame... between this and the financial threat to ghibli (, it seems a valuable art form is wilting.