The Princess and the Frog, Oh, My!

The Princess and the Frog 01The posting of this first still from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog (due out in 2009) on ComingSoon.net has created a mild buzz on the net, with fawning headlines such as “Can Disney recapture the magic of its classic musicals?” (Hexus.Lifestyle). The fact that it is a musical and marks the company’s return to 2D cel animation is probably overrated. I do look forward to seeing it, but mostly because it’s being directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, whose last effort for Disney, Treasure Planet, was seriously underrated.

However, I think for now, Katey Rich’s smartass comments at CinemaBlend.com is probably a more sensible tone to take. Thus, she begins by informing us that,

Believe it or not, it’s been over 10 years since there was a Disney movie about a princess. Anyone with a young daughter is probably familiar with the “Princess Collection” line of merchandise, but the most modern princess in there, Mulan, came to us all the way back in 1998.

…. Don’t even pretend to be surprised that [the African-American heroine] Princess Tiana looks virtually just like every other Disney princess—ridiculously tiny waist, opulent dress, enormous eyes. I could get all gender and race theory on you—I went to a liberal arts college!—but really, I’m just excited to be seeing another Disney movie about girls. It’s been since Lilo & Stitch, way back in 2002, that there was an animated Disney movie about a girl, and we all know that movie was really about the Elvis-loving alien anyway.

Author: Harvey Deneroff

Harvey Deneroff is a Los Angeles-based independent animation and film scholar specializing in labor history. He formerly taught at the Savannah College of Art and Design and was editor of Animation Magazine, Animation World Magazine, and Graiffit (published by ASIFA-Hollywood). He is the founder and past president of the Society for Animation Studies.