The Princess and the Frog was the last animated theatrical release of 2009 for Disney and another one on the long list of movies I had not seen before. But, that’s what this project is for. The story is based on the fairy tale ‘Frog Prince’ by the Brothers Grimm.
A song of stars and magic sets us off as the film closes in on a fancy house with room decorated in all the pinks, making it look like a princess threw up in there. A woman of colour is telling a story to two girls, one of colour and one white girl dressed in all the pink, I’m sure it’s her room.
The girl of colour, Tiana, makes a face when her mother tells the part in the Frog Prince where the princess has to kiss the frog, saying she would never kiss a frog. I may or may not have said a very similar thing not too long ago at work because what would I need a prince for?! Anyway, the pink girl is totally into the idea of a prince and all that, sigh.
Tiana and her mother leave the house, get on a tram and drive from the fancy parts of New Orleans to their home where it’s less fancy. It took me until they got on the train to realise that Tiana was only at the fancy house because her mother worked there.
Anyway, at home, Tiana makes gumbo under the eyes of her daddy who is a very optimistic and pleasant man. He wants to open a restaurant one day which will be a smashing hit.
At night, Tiana prays to the stars and her prayers are answered when a frog appears on her windowsill which has her freaking out, running from her room.
Cut to a significant time later, when an older Tiana enters her room again, disposing of her tips which she is saving for her restaurant. We get the drift that her father passed away and she is tired because she is working multiple jobs to gather the money for her restaurant.
As she leaves for another job, we get a New Orleans montage with music and actually, this is the time that I realise we’re in New Orleans. A Prince, names Naveen, arrives in the port and it’s BIG NEWS!
At work, Tiana gets asked by her friends if she wants to join them for an evening out and about but of course she declines as she has no time and no money to spare. They will their eyes because OBVIOUSLY Tiana has no time for them.
Then her childhood friend, formerly dressed in pink and her daddy arrive at the diner to inform Tiana that Prince Naveen has arrived and will be staying with them. The friends name is Charlotte, and she is ECSTATIC about this because she so desperately wants to be a princess.
While all of this was happening, a voodoo guy was listening though I am not completely sure yet, what that is all about. Oh, also, Charlotte’s father is King of the Mardi Gras parade.
Tiana is in front of an old bakery which she will buy with her money. She must be pretty close to the asking price. Her mother arrives, giving her her father’s gumbo pot and they enter the run down building. Tina sees it for what it will be while her mother sees it for what it is. Of course we get another song. This is a pretty musical movie but I like it and fits in very well with it being New Orleans as it is a very musical city.
Tiana puts her career first and doesn’t think about marriage and children much to her mother’s dismay. Some things never change.
Cut to Prince Naveen who is pretending to be a street musician and also broke as we learn. Well that sucks for Charlotte. The voodoo guy is back and invites Naveen and his valet to his house which will not end well, I’m sure. While part of me believes that voodoo isn’t real, the other part is very afraid that it might be.
Naveen’s parents cut him off. Voodoo guy is making everything weird, takes Naveen blood and we cut to the masquerade ball, Charlotte’s father is having right now.
Tiana is there as well and she learns that she won’t get the old bakery after all. That sucks! Up in Charlotte’s room, Tiana changes into a blue sparkly dress which makes her look like a true princess, she even wears a tiara.
Just like when she was a child, Tiana goes outside to wish upon the starts that she might get her baker after all. Again, a frog appears by her side and she talks to it. And then the frog answers. Dun dun dunnnn.
It turns out the frog is Prince Naveen and the prince that is at the party is an imposter! The nerve!! Anyway, Frog!Naveen suggests Tiana kiss him so he can transform back. She is not into the idea at all but gives in. She kisses him and turns into a frog herself. WTF?!
We learn that Naveen’s valet is the imposter with the help of Voodoo guy. I am not completely on board with his reasoning but okay. Whatever. This is a kids movie after all.
Somehow the frogs end up in the bayou and this is where the movie loses me a little bit. I may have not been paying the most attention here. Anyway, our frog pair meets a bunch of alligators and they explain their situation to them. They also meet a firefly (I think that’s what it’s supposed to be) who reminds me of Voodoo guy but okay. We also get another song. This movie is full of them but they are nice so I don’t mind.
Back in the city, Voodoo guy explains to the spirits why they need him. He has plans of taking over the city or something. I didn’t really care about this part of the story. I’m mostly here for the romance.
In the bayou, there are people who hunt frogs but our forms freak their captors our by talking to them and are free once again.
Because you can’t live on love alone (and also Frog!Tiana still has no clue she loves Naveen) they are cooking and Naveen reveals that he is broke and has no skills whatsoever. Awww, I like it when characters get real. Also, it bothers me a bit that our Disney main character of colour spends a big part of the movie as a frog. #justsaying
Then, after yet another song, the spirits tale Naveen but the others get him back somehow. Anyway, they visit a voodoo mama. But Tiana is still all into her career and the message voodoo mama wants to give her doesn’t go through.
Anyway, the only have until midnight because Naveen has to be kissed by a Princess and that’s how long Charlotte will be considered a princess courtesy of her daddy being Mardi Gras king or something like that.
Naveen tries to propose to Tiana in the meantime but Tiana is still not thinking about marriage and so Naveen gives up.
Frog/Naveen is back in the hands of Voodoo guy and locked in a box so he can’t disturb Imposter!Naveen marrying Charlotte. But, Frog!Naveen gets unlocked anyway through the help of the firefly.
Tina ends up with the necklace that holds Naveen’s blood and thus he transformation power for the valet. That’s also the point where the spirits decide they want to cash in on what Voodoo guy promised them. Oh-ohh.
Charlotte sees her new husband for who he really is, whoops!
Also, Naveen negotiates money for Tiana’s restaurant but Tiana appears and saves Naveen from marrying Charlotte. She at least wants to kiss him so he turns back to his human self but the clock strikes midnight and she is no longer a princess.
The firefly get killed which is sad and we see his funeral. Afterwards, Naveen and Tiana celebrate their wedding, still as frogs, but that makes her a princess and when they kiss they both transform back. Isn’t is magical?!
Also, Tiana gets her restaurant and even Naveen’s parents seem pleased and this ending makes me so happy!
Okay, so I did not much care for a lot of the middle of the movie but I’m also not a kid and I can totally see the appeal. All in all, this was a fabulous movie because it featured a princess of colour and she also didn’t have to give up her dream of being a productive member of society. Instead, everything turned our her way so that’s awesome. I loved the music and the fact that this was not animated, it was drawn and reminded me of the good old movies from my childhood like Aladdin.