The Princess And The Frog (U)



Romance (2009)
97mins US

Starring: John Goodman, Anika Noni Rose, Jim Cummings, Keith David, Oprah Winfrey, Bruno Campos, Terrence Howard
Director: Ron Clements, John Musker
Writer(s): Ron Clements, John Musker, Jason Oremland, Rob Edwards, Greg Erb
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Tiana dreams of the day she might opens her own restaurant and serve up gumbo in New Orleans like her father. The dreams are put on hold when Tiana is approached by a talking frog, who claims to be Prince Naveen of Malvonia. He asks for one kiss to break the spell and she obliges, only to be transformed into a frog herself. Trapped in their amphibious state and pursued by voodoo man Dr Facilier, Tiana and Naveen seek witch doctor Mama Odie.

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LondonNet Film Review
The Princess And The Frog

In an extraordinary career, producer Walt Disney redefined the boundaries of hand-drawn animation, initially on television and later, and more prominently, on the big screen...

The Princess and The Frog. ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved. In 1928, he released Steamboat Willie, the first cartoon with synchronised sound, and in 1937, the world whistled along to Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, the first feature-length animated film in history. Disney collected an astonishing 26 Oscars for his pioneering efforts and today, his legacy lives on in the studio which bears his name. Since his death in 1966, Disney's animation division has continued to redefine the art of animation, reaching a peak in 1992 when Beauty And The Beast became the first animated feature to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Now, in 2010, the studio casts its first ever African-American princess in this enchanting reworking of the Grimm brothers' fairytale, set in New Orleans around the time of the First World War.

Restaurant owner James (voiced by Terrence Howard) cooks the best gumbo in the city, while his seamstress wife Eudora (Oprah Winfrey) tends to their daughter Tiana (Anika Noni Rose). When the old man goes off to war and never returns, Tiana is forced to make her own way in the world, dreaming of the day she might open her own restaurant and serve up her father's signature dish. Those dreams are put on hold when Tiana is approached by a smooth-talking frog, who claims to be Prince Naveen of Malvonia (Bruno Campos). He asks for one kiss to break the spell that has been placed on him and she obliges, only to be transformed into a frog herself. Trapped in their amphibious state and pursued by scheming voodoo man Dr Facilier (Keith David), Tiana and Naveen must track down queen of the bayou, Mama Odie (Jenifer Lewis), aided by a music-loving alligator (Michael-Leon Wooley) and a crazy firefly (Jim Cummings).

The Princess and The Frog. ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Princess And The Frog is classic Disney fare, pitting two mismatched souls on a great adventure that ultimately brings them together. Rose and Campos relish their characters constant bickering, while David hams it up a treat as the witch doctor who unleashes dark spirits to do his bidding. Directors Ron Clements and John Musker, who previously made The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, effortlessly meld romance, comedy and rousing musical numbers with old-fashioned family values that have become a staple of the Disney brand. Most importantly, this colourful tale of female empowerment buoys the soul as it introduces a menagerie of cute and cuddly critters, who - like the plucky heroine - prove that anything is possible. The soundtrack composed by Randy Newman swings effortlessly from Tiana's heartfelt ballad "Almost There", sung as she imagines owning her restaurant, to Mama Odie's barnstorming "Dig A Little Deeper" complete with a gospel choir, and everything in between. Walt Disney would be very proud.

- Sam Cannon


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From Friday 15th December
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