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Review: Disney's "The Princess and the Frog" (DVD)

Because we did not have the opportunity to watch Disney's The Princess and the Frog on the big screen, we were very much anticipating the March 16th release of the Blu-ray, DVD, and movie download. My 3yr old daughter received a Princess Tiana blanket and pillow for Christmas and she was thrilled to finally see who this princess really was.

Not only is this film a new twist on a classic fairy tale, it is a fine example of what these talented artists can do with hand-drawn animation. Set in New Orleans, this movie tells the story about how the daughter of a seamstress grows up to become a princess and all the events in between, which included a lot of frog-kissing and great jazz music.

Tiana often accompanied her mother to work as a young girl, where she would have the chance to play with one of her mother's best customers, a little girl named Charlotte, who was the daughter of a wealthy man. Despite their differences in social class, the two girls were friends. In fact, it was in Charlotte's bedroom that Tiana listened to her mother read the book "The Princess and the Frog".

Tiana's mother was not the only person who influenced her greatly. Her father worked very long hours to save money to achieve his dream of opening his own restaurant . . . a dream that Tiana inherited when she grew up.

As a result, Tiana worked multiple jobs and did so happily. She gladly turned down social invitations to take another shift if it meant bringing her one step closer to her (and her father's) dream.

At age 19, Tiana's only focus was to open her own restaurant. She was determined even though she faced many obstacles, such as racism and sexism. Another bump in the road was Tiana's inadvertently turning herself into a frog. And so the adventure began.

This adventure allows us to meet several interesting characters, including an eccentric 200yr old blind fairy godmother, a jazz-loving trumpet-playing alligator, and a little firefly with a big heart. The one thing I was surprised about regarding The Princess and the Frog is that the villains seem to be less memorable compared to the Disney movie villains of the past, with the exception of the moment when the evil Doctor Facilier heartlessly squashed Ray the firefly.

My two favorite things about this movie aside from the animation are the various styles of jazz music and Tiana's ultimate realization. She realized that her father was not unhappy because he never achieved his dream of opening a restaurant. She came to learn that he had everything he needed because he had the love of his family and the restaurant of one's dreams would mean nothing without a loved one to share it with.

This movie entertained each member of my family on a different level. Our 3yr old twins were just mesmerized by the animation and the music. Their 6yr old brother laughed out loud several times at the physical comedy. My husband and I, who knew the original story, enjoyed all of the above along with the portrayal of the Louisiana culture and history. The Princess Portraits bonus game was also quite fun. I was surprised that my 6yr old son knew so many of the Disney Princesses' names and our 3yr old twins were able to guess correctly, which pleased them very much.

You can find Disney's The Princess and the Frog on blu-ray and DVD at the Disney Store and most places where Disney movies are sold.

Thank you to Click-Communications for providing us with a sample blu-ray/DVD combo free of charge to base this review upon.