Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Morning Report 4: The Princess and the Frog

"The Froggie Pruto!"

Background: The Princess and the Frog (2009)

Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker
Produced by: Peter Del Vecho
Written by: Ron Clements, John Musker, Rob Edwards
Music by: Ron Clements, John Musker, Greg Erb, Jason Oremland, Don Hall
Starring: Anika Noni Rose, Oprah Winfrey, John Goodman, Bruno Campos, Keith David, Michael-Leon Wooley, Jennifer Cody, Jim Cummings, Peter Bartlett, Jenifer Lewis, Terrence Howard

Swoonworthiness: Prince Naveen - 5.5

Prince Naveen is not one of our favorite princes. He actually seems more appealing as a frog, which we think says a lot.  His voice and personality just don't fit our idea of a swoonworthy Disney Prince.  We want a man who's going to fight for us and take care of us!  Not some gold-digging, spoiled slacker.  Really?  You can't even chop mushrooms?  We're so not interested.  Regardless, we have to admit that as a frog he's pretty hilarious.  Some of his one liners made us laugh, but once you transfer his self-centered personality from a frog to a real person he loses all of his appeal.  

Boxed Lunch: Tiana - 7

We think Tiana is pretty but in a more plain sense (come on, she spends half the movie as a frog).  She isn't a boxed lunch in the way Jasmine or Ariel would be, but she isn't cutesy either like Wendy or Alice.  She's definitely pretty but as a hard working southern girl, not a born royal who's super spoiled like SOME princesses we know (we're looking at you Jasmine).  We like her best in her yellow waitress uniform - just keep her away from that fugly green dress, ew.  

Bitch Factor: Tiana - 0

We wracked our brains trying to remember any part of the movie where Tiana is a bitch, and we couldn't come up with anything. For as much crap as this girl has gone through in her life, you'd think she'd just snap and be freaking out all over the place but she handles the drama really well. We know that Prince Naveen would have driven us insane and we for sure would've thrown him to the gators a LONG time ago. So, props to you Tiana! 

Kickass Factor: Tiana - 8.5

Tiana is definitely one of the more hard working Disney princesses which alone bumps up her kickass points.  But it mostly all boils down to how boss she is when she gets turned into a frog.  Suddenly she's a slimy amphibian trekking her way through a bayou infested with two fingered frog hunters and trumpet playing alligators and she never once loses her cool.  She even makes GUMBO one night for dinner. We're telling you right now - that would not be The Disney Bitches.  We'd have been crying and having meltdowns and panic attacks and just generally freaking out.  Throughout the whole movie she takes everything in stride and eats bugs, fights hunters, bravely goes to see a witch doctor, and stands up to Dr. Facilier in a creepy ass graveyard.  Then she resolves to be a frog for the rest of her life.  WOW.  You go, girl.  

True Loves First Kiss: Naveen and Tiana - 2.5

Tiana and Naveen's first REAL kiss (you know, not as frogs) is at the end during their swampnasty wedding. We found it pretty unappealing. Probably because Naveen is annoying as it is, and she's in her matronly green dress. But mostly because it lacks any romance or sensuality. And who wants to see a kiss without any of that? Needs more tongue! 

Villains: Dr. Facilier - 8.5

Dr. Facilier is seriously cracked in the head. He's SCARY with all his voodoo and "other side" stuff.  Black magic is NOT okay.  And the fact that he seems to do these things for no real reason is pretty messed up too. We think he's animated really well with the scary purple eyes and his long limbs (and nasty pot-belly). He looks menacing but in a more subdued way.  At first you think he's just some bum living in the Bayou, but no, he's actually a total freak who's summoning dark spirits from the underworld.  Stay away from us!  

Animal Friends: 7.5

Ray the firefly is a big favorite of ours. He's sweet and romantic, and ultimately dies for Tiana and Naveen even though he's only just met them. Louis the alligator is also really funny, we like his reluctant attitude and the fact that he's a big baby under his intimidating appearance. We wouldn't have gone through those scary ass woods to Mama Odie's either! 

Awful Appendages: 9

The hunters toenails. Grimy swamp feet. Hillbilly fingers. It's bad.  REAL bad.   

Story: 5.5

The Princess and the Frog is a fairy tale we've all heard of at some point growing up but isn't a conventional classic. We thought about it and while we enjoyed the story, it really is kind of random. There's no real reason why Dr. Facilier is the way he is and there's not enough back story to support the characters motives (except maybe Tiana's). It's just sort of *Boom* you're a frog; now YOU'RE a frog, fix it and get married.  

Songs/Music: 7.5

We really like the music in the movie a lot. It has an upbeat, jazzy style that obviously fits well with the New Orleans theme. We don't know the songs as well as other movies but they definitely have potential to become songs that play on repeat in your head. The music was done by John Musker and Ron Clements, who also did The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Hercules.

Animation/Cinematography: 8.5

This movie was Disney's first foray back into hand drawn animation for a long time, and we were glad to see it's come back!  We're partial to the hand drawn movies since that was our Disney hey day, and we really fell in love with the scenery in this movie.  The colors in the movie are vibrant and really fitting for the New Orleans setting. We wish more Disney movies would still be hand drawn! 

Casting/Voice Acting: 8.5

The voice cast for this movie was really well chosen. Anika Noni Rose for Tiana was a great choice, and we REALLY love John Goodman as Charlotte's dad. He's perfect! Keith David added the right amount of creepiness to Dr. Facilier and Oprah has a good "motherly" voice for Eudora. Also big points to Jennifer Cody for voicing Charlotte with all of her exuberance and spoiled antics.  We think she's pretty funny!

Notable Scenes: 3.5

There aren't many notable scenes. Probably the main one is when Frog Naveen and Tiana kiss which turns her into a frog (YUCK). 

Are You Afraid of the Dark: 8

Nothing scares the shit out of us like black magic and spirits. This movie is FULL of that! Dr. Facilier's scenes are definitely up there in the scary factor compared to other movies. In particular when he sings his "Friends on the Other Side" song with all the ghostly shadows and whatnot, and definitely the graveyard scene at the end of the movie when he meets his end. If we learned anything from this movie it's not to eff with voodoo, it'll come back and bite you in the ass!

Quotable Quotes: 2

Most of the quotes we found funny in the movie were from Frog Naveen when he makes snarky comments; but there wasn't much that we found memorable or kept quoting. Probably because the movie is newer to us than others but whatever the reason, it didn't warrant anything higher than a 2.


Like we've said, this movie is not a movie that we grew up with. It's a bit more middle of the road for us because while we love the animation and voice cast, the story just doesn't stick with us the way some others do and ultimately Prince Naveen isn't someone we'd want to spend the rest of our lives with.  But we definitely appreciate the throwback to hand drawn animation and that boosts the score for us because it reminds us of the Disney films that we really love. 

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