Film Review: Princess and the Frog

20 Feb 2010

Most of my feelings about Princess and the Frog were those of relief that at last Disney had returned to what Disney do best (hand drawn animation telling heart-warming stories, preferably with the occasional song thrown in for good measure) and hope that it did well enough at the box office for them to make more.

I hadn’t actually got around to forming any hopes or expectation about the film itself, so was little more than a blank slate, waiting to be enchanted.

I thought the film was very good. The story was fun, the music memorable. The characters were believable and empathetic (I was a blubbering wreck at the end, but a quick look around the cinema made me realise that I was the only person emotionally devastated by the death of a firefly). Spoiler alert by the way. Sorry about that.

I thought the villainous Dr Facilier was particularly good – his movement perfectly captured his personality. Lead Animator Bruce Smith and his team did a great job on creating a character with distinctive movement and a tortured soul that stole every scene he was in.

If I had a gripe (and I do) it would be the over reliance on the supporting characters to the detriment of the development of the main ones. This is something that Pixar do so well – they trust their main characters to carry the story and provoke the necessary laughter and emotion, so they don’t feel Disney’s need to fill the screen with trumpet playing crocodiles or unusually breasted blind women with a penchant for snakes.

Not in the top 20 or so Disney films, but a great starting point on the road to recovery!

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