The Princess and the Frog

  • Review Date: November 22, 2009
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 97 minutes

Common Sense Media says

First African-American Disney princess is a good role model.
  • Review Date: November 22, 2009
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 97 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value
Not applicable
Positive messages

The movie has a heartfelt message about love being the most important thing of all, trumping both financial and professional success. And Tiana is one of the only Disney princesses who doesn't have to be rescued by a man. The movie's secondary voodoo theme, while tongue-in-cheek, plays to assumptions of what New Orleans is like.

Positive role models

Much has been made of heroine Tiana, who’s blazing a new trail by being the first African-American Disney princess. She’s a strong role model for girls -- hardworking, loyal, and resourceful -- albeit a relatably imperfect one. She sacrifices some aspects of her personal life in favor of work. Her princely counterpart starts off on shakier ground, seeking to capitalize on his good looks. But in the end he changes into someone more soulful. On the downside, many of the supporting characters aren't very well developed, and some make derisive comments that could be interpreted as being racially motivated (i.e. suggesting that someone of Tiana's background couldn't understand business).

Violence & scariness

A scary villain (who commands very creepy shadow minions and casts voodoo spells involving the "other side") and some cartoonish battling: For example, a man clubs another with a piece of wood, and inept hunters brandish guns and clubs at each other. One throws knives at Frog Tiana. Also, the villain hurts a major character badly. The injury leads to death, which is gracefully handled -- though still pretty intense for a kid-targeted movie.

Sexy stuff

Characters kiss when they live happily ever after. The plot turns on a princess kissing a frog. Naveen is quite the ladies' man, but it's mostly shown through very mild flirting.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Tiana is a Disney Princess, whose brand reaches far and wide. Expect to see Princess branding on consumer merchandise, food products, etc. as well as in books, websites, and other media.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some adult characters hold and/or sip from wine glasses and champagne flutes at restaurants and parties.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Princess and the Frog is Disney's first movie to feature an African-American heroine, Tiana. The New Orleans-set story is a spin on the classic fairy tale about the princess who finds true love when she kisses an enchanted amphibian, but there's more to this tale than just romance: Tiana is a resourceful, hardworking heroine who's a strong role model and is one of the first Disney heroines who doesn't have to be rescued by a man. While some have been concerned that the movie might reinforce stereotypes -- and it's true that many of the supporting characters feel shallow (and the movie's voodoo subplot is far from subtle) -- overall the film does a good job of adding diversity to Disney’s hit parade. But while the movie is kid-friendly on the whole, the villain and his shadowy spirit henchmen can be quite scary, and one important character does die, which makes it a little too intense for the youngest viewers.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose) grew up loving fairy tales but not believing that good things happen when you wish upon a star. Hard work, her father told her, was the way to go. For years, she’s dreamed of making her doting dad’s dreams come true: to own their own New Orleans restaurant and cook good food for everyone. But when greedy real estate agents threaten to nix a deal for the space she’s been saving up for, Tiana has to come up with a plan. Meanwhile, Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos), the penniless crown prince of Maldonia, has descended upon the Louisiana bayous in search of a monied debutante to marry -- but a run-in with voodoo master Dr. Facilier (Keith David) turns him into a frog. As in the fairy tale, only a kiss from a princess will set him free. But transformations don’t come easily. Perhaps having a firefly (Jim Cummings) and an alligator (Michael-Leon Wooley) on your side helps.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG has an old-fashioned look, in a good way. Gone are overblown CG effects; what’s left is good, old-fashioned hand-drawn animation and storytelling that thrums to the beat of a big, old-fashioned heart. What’s not traditional is the heroine, Tiana, who -- very refreshingly -- fends for herself and doesn’t need to be rescued as much as learn. Plus, a Disney staple -- the love song -- takes a surprising turn here, telling the story of one couple while illustrating the sweetness of another.

Yet, entertaining as it is, The Princess and the Frog lacks verve. Some songs -- “Evangeline,” for instance, as well as the jazz interludes --- are memorable, but many others don’t make an impression. And while the film doesn’t completely shy away from referencing the chasm between rich and poor -- the streetcar goes from the mansion section to a neighborhood lined with neat but tiny houses -- it treads very lightly. Those concerned about stereotypes might find a bit of justification in the voodoo storyline, which doesn't veer far from preconceived notions -- couldn’t New Orleans have been portrayed without a tooth-necklace-clad letch? Villains can be much more interesting than this.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether there are any stereotypes in the movie. Which characters or storylines might be seen as stereotypical? Why?

  • What do you think of Tiana as a heroine? How does she stack up against other Disney princesses? Does she send girls any new/different messages than previous Disney heroines?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 11, 2009
DVD release date:March 16, 2010
Cast:Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David
Directors:John Musker, Ron Clements
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Great girl role models, Music and sing-along
Run time:97 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of The Princess and the Frog was written by

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  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 2, 6, 7, and 14 year old Written bySavedMomof4Girls December 29, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

NOT FOR CHILDREN UNDER 12!

I was VERY disappointed! I would have NEVER brought my children! Black magic, shadowy ghosts, the villain squashing one of the bug characters with his boot killing him, caring a vile of blood around his neck.....This is a dark, inappropriate movie for children.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byt7as0e3bf December 18, 2009
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Don't like magic? Don't watch ANY Disney films.

For those who complained about the voodoo or "witchcraft", haven't you ever seen a Disney movie? There is always a sorcerer, witch or someone who does magic....it's funny that it is offensive to you now.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old January 1, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

caution for 8 and younger

i personally think that this movie doesn't hardly have any quality. any three year old could pick this movie out at a library and her mom would easily check it out. later, she would be terrified by the voodoo man. they also could be very sad by the character that is important and dies. when watching this movie, a 5 year girl behind me in the audience was crying very hard!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great role models

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