As much as the computer animated wonders, that are the likes of Pixar, are still riding high both commercially and critically, it’s very welcoming news to see Disney are still doing classic fairy tales in a close approximation of their classic Disney animated style. Yes, of course, there are CG enhancements – much like we got back in the Beauty and The Beast and Aladdin days – but The Princess and The Frog manages to slip into the collection with grace and ease.
Moving the fairytale action to the southern states of the States we find our maiden in waiting, Tiana, as a young and independent woman set on achieving the ambitions her late father had in mind by opening up her own grand restaurant.
With money her main issue, and having to pamper up the likes of her spoiled friends and aristocratic locals – into the mix comes Prince Naveen. A fairly dashing, if egocentric, foreigner with designs set on a bright future indeed (usually littered with money).
One rather drastic encounter with the local witch doctor leaves him leaping about in his frogelly form – only to turn up at Tiana’s balcony. Freaked out by this talking reptile, she is eventually lured into the prospect of ending his curse with a simple lock of the lips when she too finds instead that it has turned her into an amphibian croaker.
From here on in comes much comedy, songs and romance in the way that we are accustomed to in classic Disney tales. But what’s better is that it never gets tired. Despite many of these types of plots being similar (string headed independent female lead, boisterous, egocentric, cool male leads), Disney manage to give it all a fresh air through their playful comedy – but most importantly giving the film a place in time in its setting – as well as a distinctive musical tone.
So anyone wondering that the future is killing us with CGI rats cooking in kitchens need look no further as Disney are back again with this gem to brighten your day.
The Blu-Ray doesn’t come too loaded with extra material but on Disney releases a lot of what is there is aimed at the kids anyway. Animation fans can check out the commentary. The only curious addition is the DVD copy that comes attached. I’ve never understood the need to have a DVD copy in with the Blu-Ray. Surely anyone with a Blu-Ray player is going to stick with that version? Digital copies are handy for the walk about service – but the additional DVD seems like a waste. But if it’s a free addition then why complain!