The Princess and the Frog

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
The Princess and the Frog Movie Poster Image
First African-American Disney princess is a good role model.
  • G
  • 2009
  • 97 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 151 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 110 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value
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 & Representations

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
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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byt7as0e3bf December 18, 2009

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... Continue reading
Parent of a 2, 6, 7, and 14 year old Written bySavedMomof4Girls December 29, 2009

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 kill... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old January 1, 2010

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 chec... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byLoverNumber101 November 4, 2011

Get It!!!

This is by far the best Disney Princess Movie ever. Why? 1- Tiana is a hardworking girl who doesn’t need a man to take care of her. She stands up for herself a... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, 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?

This Disney film 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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether there are any stereotypes in The Princess and the Frog. 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? 

  • How do the characters in The Princess and the Frog demonstrate integrity and perseverance? What about gratitude and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

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