Jacob Martin (formally known as The Movie King)’s review published on Letterboxd:
Film #1 of my Hanging Out With Disney project
(From The Princess and the Frog soundtrack; www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH_qiVjg-aQ)
The Princess and the Frog was made at a time in Disney's history when 2D animation was still declared dead and the productions that Disney had made since were all garbage, especially Hannah Montana and almost everything that's aired on Disney Channel since, Chicken Little, and Bolt. With that said, The Princess and the Frog was also the first Disney Animation production where John Lassiter was fully involved with making, and because of that, despite its underwhelming box-office numbers, was favored well with critics and audiences and was the kickoff of what I consider Disney's Third Golden Age, which has continued strongly with Tangled, Winnie the Pooh, Wreck-it Ralph, and last year's smash Frozen. The Princess and the Frog, despite it's great buzz, is actually a little bit underrated. It's a great way to revive the great magic of the Disney studio and it's another clever mix of storytelling.
Loosely based on the frog price fairy tale, the film revolves around Tiana, an ambitious, hard-working waitress who wishes to fulfill her father's dreams by running her own restaurant in 1920's New Orleans. However, she might be dreaming a little too hard, as all she does is work, work, work and misses out on having fun in life. Things change when she meets Prince Naveen, a traveling prince who was cursed by a voodoo man and turned into a frog. Convinced Tiana's a princess (as she's dressed as a princess at a costume ball), Naveen kisses her... only for Tiana to turn herself into a frog in the process. The two frogs team up with a trumpet-playing alligator and a Cajun lightning bug to reverse the spell before the voodoo man catches up with them.
After a string of either underwhelming or horrendous films in Disney's library (Home on the Range, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, and Bolt), it's amazing that Disney was able to concoct another comeback. And I think that has to rely on our strong female protagonist. Not only is Tiana Disney's first black heroine (which is great), I loved that she wishes to fulfill hard work to fulfill her dreams. Even when she's a frog, she's still dedicated in the dreams she wants to accomplish. Also the 2D animation is spellbinding (which mainly benefits from its New Orleans setting), the other characters are great, the humor's well-done, and Randy Newman's songs are Disney's most catchiest since The Jungle Book (especially "Almost There", "Dig a Little Deeper", and "Down in New Orleans"). Looking at the films in Disney's current hot streak, The Princess and the Frog would be #2 on the list, one step ahead of Tangled and one step behind Frozen.
"Don't make me light my butt!"