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Movie Curiosities

The online diary of an aspiring movie nerd

The Princess and the Frog

ByCuriosity Inc.

Dec 20, 2009

Much to my surprise, this movie is actually quite good. It’s very well-paced, the voice acting is phenomenal and the animation was superb. What’s more, the movie has a unique blend of fantasy and southern charm that Disneyland’s New Orleans Square should have been made for. There are a few nits to pick, however.

To start with, the movie can be very blunt and preachy, but I’ll let that slide because… well, this is Disney. Besides, the message of the movie was to find moderation between work, fun and wishing, and I appreciate that. Still, the moral is emphasized to such a degree that the character development seems very rote. It’s still passable, however, and some cliched Turning Points are actually done in rather inventive ways (the threatening-to-amusing Frog Catchers’ scene, for example).

The songs were used in all the right places, but Randy Newman is clearly no Alan Menken. They were acceptably good, however, even though I found Mama Odie’s song to be near-incoherent.

Then there’s the death of a major character. Of course, I’ve got no problem with killing characters off and this one’s death was especially poignant. All the same, I absolutely hate drawn-out death speeches, especially when the character in question should have kicked it long beforehand. Additionally, the characters mourn for this death for way too long and it comes off as a major downer when the mood should be lightening for the denouement.

Still, I consider Tiana to be a worthy addition to the Disney Princess lineup. Hell, her independent streak and hard work ethic actually put her a few notches above most of the established members, in my opinion. And the bad guy? KICK. ASS. He’s got Keith David’s smooth voice, some amazing shadow henchmen and a great level of intelligence. Even his comeuppance at the end was amazing to watch.

If you can find a few hours between Avatar screenings, I really do recommend giving this film a look. It may not quite be a new Golden Age for Disney animation, but it’s the closest they’ve come in years.

Oh, and one more thing: You know that cliche where a spell has to be cast/broken by midnight? Here, there’s actually a logical reason for that. It’s amazing how refreshing that was.

By Curiosity Inc.

I hold a B.S. in Bioinformatics, the only one from Pacific University's Class of '09. I was the stage-hand-in-chief of my high school drama department and I'm a bass drummer for the Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers. I dabble in video games and I'm still pretty good at DDR. My primary hobby is going online for upcoming movie news. I am a movie buff, a movie nerd, whatever you want to call it. Comic books are another hobby, but I'm not talking about Superman or Spider-Man or those books that number in the triple-digits. I'm talking about Watchmen, Preacher, Sandman, etc. Self-contained, dramatic, intellectual stories that couldn't be accomplished in any other medium. I'm a proud son of Oregon, born and raised here. I've been just about everywhere in North and Central America and I love it right here.

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