The Princess And The Frog

So this past weekend we, as many parents did, took our daughters to go see Disney’s “The Princess And The Frog”. Without exaggeration, this has become my number 1 favorite children’s movie. Yes I am aware of all of the “controversy” that surrounded this movie.

First off, it featured a Black, Female Leading character (she’s not really a Princess, but go see the movie, and that will be covered), who wasn’t the typical Damsel in Distress. Funny, people had their underpants in a wad over how Disney would handle its first African-American Princess, yet no one has seen the subtle slide Disney has done over the illustrious years. Ever notice all of their minority female leads have NEVER needed to be saved, and actually did the saving for their male counterparts?? Don’t believe me: Esmeralda from Hunchback, Pocahontas, Mulan, Lilo AND her big sister, and here we are with Tiana. It is usually the Caucasian Princesses that need a man to be complete. Interesting…

But having 2 daughters, I was so happy to see a strong female lead in this movie. Where love isn’t the focus, or even the goal, like in real life, it happens. It doesn’t slow us down from everyday life, from our hopes and dreams. Plus it was the first Disney Princess movie I can remember where the Princess had a good relationship with BOTH parents, and we see Tiana’s strong convictions came from this inspirational bond with her Mom and Dad.

Without ruining the ride of the movie, let me explain it like this. In a theater full of kids, once the music started for this movie, every child, and adult as well was quiet with wide eyed anticipation. And let me tell you, once it started, I didn’t hear a child yell out until the credits. And the only reason I heard those cries is because it was wrapped with applause. Yes, kids applauded this movie and I saw the same look in parents’ eyes. A true good movie you know will be watched over and over in their house.

Why do I praise this movie so much? Several reasons…

As a parent, this movie featured no real violence (everything is sort of implied, except for a RIDICULOUSILY funny scene involving some frog hunters) to have to explain (i.e. “Mommy, why is the Prince stabbing Maleficent”, or “Daddy, why is the sad old man beating up the construction worker”—that is from “Up”, etc); it featured no awkward adult moments you don’t want to have to explain to a young child. Instead, it not only offered a lesson for life, but even modernized Disney’s founding lesson for kids. It teaches that wishes only take you half the way, hard work is what will make your heart’s desire come true. The other lesson that it teaches, ever so subtly, is what the Stones told us decades ago, “You can’t always get what you want, you get what you need”. These are the building blocks behind this instant classic.

There is no racism in this movie, if anything it is the first Disney movie I can think of (other than “Toy Story”, but that was because they were all different toys) where everyone is of different origins, backgrounds, or nationalities, and like real life today, it just goes. No one is pointing out they are of a different skin color in this movie, and let’s be honest, when we parents go to work everyday, isn’t that how it is??

As a big kid myself, I loved the music, the colors used, the different cultures you can only find in New Orleans being introduced. As an adult who lost my Dad on my 22nd birthday, it gave a little extra hug to me as well.

Without giving away anything (which I think I have been good at), I will say if Ray and Evangeline don't touch your heart, you need to have your pulse checked (who is voiced by multi award winning songwriter/performer Randy Newman…yes, “Toy Story” soundtrack, and 80’s hit “I Love LA”, and “Short People” Randy Newman).

As an Adult, this movie even teaches the most cynical, about what real love is. What it is to have a vision and stick to it, no matter how much hard work it is. And like the aforementioned comment I made, sometimes what we want and wish for, isn’t what we need or should be asking for.

I was half way through this movie when I knew we will own it on Blu-Ray combo DVD when it comes out. We have the soundtrack as well.

If you are able to, stay and listen to the song playing through the closing credits, “Never Knew I Needed”. Sung by Ne-Yo, written by the aforementioned Randy Newman. Listen to the words and resist the urge to immediately hug your spouse…I dare ya.

-Until The Wheels Fall Off
-Corey

Comments

  1. great review of the movie...now I really want to go see it!

    ReplyDelete

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