I decided to make a surprise trip over to D23, Disney’s new Expo which looks like a mini Comic-Con but with a quarter of the people, booths, clips, and filmmakers. Although it’s nice not to be sweating in line for Hall H, it’s a bit weird having to wait half an hour for them to start a clip because they need the room to fill. The calm is a bit disconcerting.
This morning Bob Iger took the stage to introduce us to the first 30 minutes of The Princess and the Frog, (only 87% finished and with a temp score) and a song medley by the star of the film Anika Noni Rose, who does the voice for Princess Tiana (despite the fact that she had bronchitis and couldn’t speak).
But now to the film!
Overall, it was sweet and fun but a very standard Disney animation. The film may feature the first African American Disney princess, but aside from that, everything else is purely out of the mold.
***WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW***
The Set Up:
They begin with Princess Tiana and Charlotte LaBouff being read the story The Frog Princess by Tiana’s mother, Charlotte’s seamstress. During the reading, Charlotte torments her cat while announcing that she would “kiss a hundred frogs to find her prince,”but Tiana states that there’s absolutely no way she’s ever kissing a frog. We then follow Tiana and her mother away from the mansions of New Orleans to the depressing slums in the city.
Charlotte is the apple of her father’s eye and is spoiled beyond belief. Tiana cooks for her neighbors, and dreams that one day her and her father will eventually run a restaurant together. Both girls seem to be on their way to getting what they want.
We jump about 20 years into the future, where Tiana is working two jobs to try and make her father’s dream come true, even though he has mysteriously passed away (guessing that will come into play later). At the same time, Charlotte is about to throw a ball in hopes of catching the eye of the mysterious Prince Naveen who shows up with a rat like guy (who looks exactly like Timothy Spall as Beadle in Sweeney Todd). It’s unknown to Charlotte, but we have discovered after a brief meeting with Dr. Facilier in an alley (who does a song and dance number which is incredibly similar to Oogey Boogey’s song in The Nightmare Before Christmas), that the Prince has been cut off by his family and is looking for a rich young woman to marry and carry him along.
Charlotte dances with her Prince, while Tiana is upstairs wondering why her life is so horrible. As we’ve seen in various clips, a frog shows up and in a moment of weakness she kisses him and POOF she’s turned into a frog too.
- Not sure where the accents are from. Some seem spot on, while others sound unfinished.
- I think this will be your standard Disney film. Nothing more, nothing less. They’re not pushing any boundaries with this.
- Tiana’s parents both have the EXACT same eyes and lips. It looks like someone copy and pasted them from one to the other.
- Dr. Facilier, the witch doctor has a song that is a complete rip off of Oogey Boogey from Nightmare Before Christmas. From the neon lights to the Cab Calloway impression, its been done.
The Princess and The Frog is scheduled to his theaters this holiday season on December 11, 2009.
Do you think The Princess and the Frog will live up to the hype?