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Legacy Review

The Princess and the Frog

Gobsmackingly gorgeous from start to finish, even more than I remembered. The setting and characters are all charming, and I love the celebration of working class values. (Tiana’s parents are the best in all of Disney animation, in my opinion.) The characters are almost all well-designed, but especially the lanky villain, his shadows, and all the murky-but-also-neon voo-doo stuff… it’s eye-popping.

I also find that the movie keeps me at a little bit of a distance, at least compared to e.g. Tangled, which I also watched this weekend. I think it might just be too busy — scenes whizz by, and every musical number tries to be a show-stopper (except the tender “Ma Belle Evangeline,” maybe my favorite song here). All that much-ness comes at the expense of some needed character development, especially for Naveen, who I found still pretty unsympathetic by the end of the movie. (Why would Tiana go for him? Frog propinquity?)

I think the movie suffers from having Tiana be a frog for 2/3rds of the story. I missed the lovely, vibrant animation of human Tiana where her frog form feels more generic and difficult to connect to. On the other hand, I decided this viewing that Amphibian Naveen is more interesting than his blandly handsome human form.

But the film is still warm and charming and lovely, and when it’s this goddamned beautiful it’s hard to be too bothered with the rest. Bring back hand-drawn Disney animation!

Is It Good?

Very Good (6/8)

Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.


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