The Princess and the Frog

Disney’s latest princess movie, The Princess and the Frog, is a wonderful return to the world of 2D animation. If you’ve got a little girl in your family, you should definitely take her to see it. But even if you don’t, I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to see a fun movie with gorgeous set pieces.

The movie also marks Disney’s first Black princess, a subject that is not without its controversy. But it’s a good kind of controversy that gets people talking. It’s also possible that the movie has more significance to Black women over 35, like my wife, than to their relatives of younger generations. When my wife was growing up, there were no movies that starred little girls that looked like her. And if there were Black girls or women in movies, they were always background characters, if that. So it’s very encouraging to her to see a movie where the Black girl is the star and the hero.

It’s also very encouraging that although this is a Disney princess movie, it’s not the story of a girl who just pines after the wealthy handsome prince. It’s a story about a girl who grew up poor, and had a dream of owning her own restaurant and pursues it through hard work and determination throughout the whole movie. There’s even a bit of subversive commentary in there when she says that you can’t just “wish upon a star” and expect your dreams to come true.

There’s also a very enjoyable secondary character, a slightly spoiled daughter (who really does act like a princess) of a wealthy landowner who grows up knowing Tiana, the main character. I think the movie did an incredible job of creating a believable and genuine relationship between those two characters while acknowledging their very different backgrounds. She’s also incredibly funny.

The movie is filled with so many memorable characters: Mama Odie, the witch who reminds you of the grandmother who wouldn’t hesitate to spank some sense into you; the alligator with a secret passion; the firefly who falls in love so earnestly that your heart breaks; Prince Naveen, a spoiled young man who you just want to slap silly, but can’t stay mad at because he’s just so charming; and Tiana’s dad whose warmth guides her through her whole life. They are a delight from start to finish.

So go see The Princess and the Frog!

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