Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Princess and the Frog

I took Z to see a matinee of Disney's first hand-drawn animated feature in a bajillion years and cried through the whole damn movie. Yes, I was PMSing. But my tears weren't entirely fueled by hormones.

I cried for patriotism. I've never seen a fundamentally American fairy tale before. The Princess and the Frog manages to capture the food, music, religion and culture of New Orleans without veering too far into caricature.
I cried for civil rights. I'm not the mother of a Black girl, but if I was I'd be so glad there was finally a Disney Princess who looked like my child. It may sound trivial, but this shit matters.
I cried for women's lib. Tiana comes from humble beginnings and marries a prince, but she achieves her dream of owning her own restaurant through combination of luck, moxie and a whole lot of double shifts.
I cried for values. The triumph of good over evil is no stranger to Disney movies, but The Princess and the Frog emphasized so many of the values I hold dear: family bonds, empathy, thrift, hard work, acceptance of people's differences, friendship and the power of music to bring people together.
Finally, I cried for artistry. In a world filled with horrifying bad animation, The Princess and the Frog is beautifully drawn and features a fantastic soundtrack. Keep your eyes peeled for the art-deco style fantasy and spooky, hyper-hypnotic voodoo sequences.

Z's take: It was better than Cinderella. But not better than The Little Mermaid.