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Review: The Princess and the Frog

Disney becomes slightly enlightened?
By SHAULA CLARK  |  December 9, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars


Fans of traditional animation will be relieved to learn that 2004's Home on the Range was not the final nail in Disney's 2-D toon coffin. In this visually sumptuous New Orleans–based take on the Frog Prince tale, Tiana (Dreamgirls' Anika Noni Rose), a waitress hell-bent on opening her own restaurant, and loafing playboy Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos) flit through murky bayous, voodoo parlors, and Bourbon Street as they seek to break the juju hex that's turned the pair of them into talking amphibians.

The soundtrack doesn't offer the sheer earworm power of previous Disney hits, but the musical numbers do bump along engagingly from jazz to gospel to zydeco (special props to the nightmarish occult freakout "Friends on the Other Side"). Compared with, say, The Little Mermaid, this film boasts a fairly positive message — squint and you'll find something about balancing your career and your social life. Still, it's a pity that saintly Tiana, the first black princess to enter the Disney pantheon, gets so little opportunity to flaunt her spark.

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