Down in New Orleans during the fabulous Jazz Age, young Princess Tiana searches for true love and comes face-to-face with snooty debutante Charlotte, ancient voodoo priestess Mama Odie and the evil Dr. Facilier. But with the help of her mother, a crooning alligator and other friends, Tiana's fairy-tale dreams may come true after all .
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At The Movies
The Princess and the Frog (G) * * * * *
Director: John Musker and Ron Clements
Stars: Voices of Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos
Audience Suitability: G
Rating: * * * * *
Release Date: Dec. 11, 2009
Running Time: 97 Minutes
By ROBERT WALDMAN
Laughs come at you fast and furious in The Princess and the Frog. Put out by Walt Disney Pictures this 97 minute movie continues the track record of the studio that pioneered animated films. Unlike the more sophisticated Pixar treatments and even the Shrek juggernaut The Princess and the Frog relies on the tried and true fairy tale formula only punches it up with new twists and turns sure to appeal to old audiences and new converts.
Back for a reunion are the dynamic writers/directors of Alladin, John Musker and Ron Clements who helm a team of what must have been thousands of dedicated craftsmen and technicians. Apart from all the pretty colours and jokes it’s the story that will either make or break a movie and in animated form those stakes are raised even higher.
Classic Rags to Riches tale Resurfaces in New Orleans
Set in the fanciful locale of New Orleans our story begins with two childhood girlfriends, one born rich into society while the other Tiana comes from a working class background. Voiced by Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls) her innocent soft spoken sounds will embrace you and have you under her charm right from the start. Unlike her wealthy white friend Tiana has an Afro-American heritage and scenes of her growing up in the slums are nicely introduced. Both girls share dreams with Tiana mostly interested in opening a restaurant. Boys come up at times and the ability at a later age to wed a prince clearly sends both women over the top. Man of the hour Prince Navin is deliciously given words with lots of soul by Bruno Campos who will make playboys everywhere proud of his tongue extending techniques. Chicanery, however, develops on the scene when a voodoo expert has other plans and this prince to be turns into a frog and his only hope to escape is a kiss. What doesn’t follow according to the playbook comes about when Tiana kisses a talking frog and she herself reverts to an animal form.
A Bayou Wonderland comes to life when Two Frogs learn all about Love
Mad at being transformed into a frog Tiana pines away. That French prince, however, tries to make her stay more comfortable. Scores of animals come into this pair’s lives along with hidden dangers as the duo try to find the key to become human again. Bad elements hound their journey every step of the way.
Great fun will be had by one and all in this delightful fairy tale. Classy songs from Randy Newman set just the right mood as you feel for the plight of this poor girl and can’t resist the subtle charms of that dethroned prince. Great artwork brightens up the bayou as we get introduced to scores of unusual offbeat characters that add further to the plight of two star-crossed lovers.
Romance, danger and faith all come into play in The Princess and The Frog, a delightful film for children and adults alike that will make you believe in fantasy once again.
Read more reviews by Robert at www.moviereviewssite.com