Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
|Featuring:||voices of Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), Bruno Campos (Prince Naveen), Keith David (Dr. Facilier), Michael-Leon Wooley (Louis), Jennifer Cody (Charlotte), Jim Cummings (Ray), Peter Bartlett (Lawrence), Jenifer Lewis (Mama Odie), Oprah Winfrey (Eudora), Terrence Howard (James), John Goodman ('Big Daddy' La Bouff), Elizabeth M. Dampier (Young Tiana), See all »|
|Director:||Ron Clements, John Musker|
|Producer:||Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures, Peter Del Vecho, Paul D. Lanum, John Lasseter, Craig Sost|
|Distributor:||Walt Disney Pictures|
I was very excited to see “The Princess and the Frog.” It was a marvelous idea for Disney to go back to their 2-D roots, a foundation which had already created so many classics. There was, also, much hype in Tiana being the first African-American lead. While the animation, songs, and characters are great, the content in Disney’s latest film is surprisingly dark.
The story takes place in 1920s Louisiana. Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) is the daughter of a seamstress and a hard-working father who dreams of opening his own restaurant called Tiana’s Place. When her father dies, Tiana continues to work hard, saving up all her money to fulfill her father’s unaccomplished dream.
Completely opposite to Tiana is Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos). While the young lady is a dedicated worker, Prince Naveen is a flirtatious, immature prince whose own parents have cut him off from the family fortune. On the verge of having no money, Prince Naveen sees his quickest way to continue his lavish lifestyle is to marry a rich heiress named Charlotte. However, on his way to meet the lady, he’s intercepted by Dr. Facilier (Keith David) who offers him a tarot-card reading.
Unbeknownst to the prince, Dr. Facilier is actually an evil voodoo magician known as Shadow Man. After collecting the prince’s blood, he turns Naveen into a frog. At a masquerade ball, Prince Naveen mistakenly believes Tiana to be a princess and believes her royal kiss could make him human again. After offering her money in exchange for one kiss, Tiana thinks of her restaurant and agrees to kiss the conceited frog. To both of their surprise, Tiana also turns into a frog. The two hear of another voodoo magician, deep in the bayou, who might have the power to break the curse. Racing against time, the two opposite frogs embark on the treacherous journey, make new friends, and begin to discover what’s truly missing from their lives.
“The Princess and the Frog” is classic from start to the finish with lavish colors, excellent cinematography, and direction. Tiana is a strong, independent character who works hard to fulfill her dreams. Throughout the movie, she is tempted, but she always stands up for what’s right and is not afraid to speak her mind. While Prince Naveen loves money and the ladies, he finds out that this isn’t what makes a good life. Parents are refreshingly shown to be loving and supportive; friendship is also a strong theme with the different friends repeatedly putting their lives on the line for one another. Their actions were a perfect example of John 15:13.
There’s some good, clean humor in the film. It does not rely on inappropriate innuendos or potty humor that has saturated most children’s movies as of late. While there is indeed humor, the majority of the movie is not a “feel good” movie. The dark themes of voodoo and different occult practices dominates most of the movies and even overshadows the budding romance between Tiana and Prince Naveen.
Magic is expected in almost any fairy tale movie. However, the magic in “The Princess and the Frog” is rather dark and demonic. As a reviewer, I felt troubled that this movie was given a G rating. Within the story, there’s a lengthy tarot-card reading, Dr. Facilier stating he has “friends on the other side,” and evil spirits who hunt Prince Naveen down and drag him away. Mama Odie, another voodoo magician, is shown positively. There’s also a voodoo doll made for one of the characters, His heart is almost stabbed for his intended murder.
Throughout the movie, different characters are shown to be praying to the North Star, begging it to fulfill their dreams and wishes. After a character dies, it is implied that it reincarnated to a star which now brightly shines beside the North Star.
I do not personally recommend “The Princess and the Frog.” Practicing any sort of occultic magic is directly against God and is labeled as an abomination throughout Scripture. This movie displays that voodoo magicians hold all the power of both good and evil. A PG rating would have been more appropriate; I strongly advise that younger, undiscerning children not be allowed to see it. For older children, however, “The Princess and the Frog” might serve as an platform for parents to discuss with their children the real existence of occult practices and how to identify them.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.