The Princess and the Frog

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

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 159 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 124 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10 and 12-year-old Written byAnna J. December 14, 2017

An Amazing Movie for the Whole Family to Watch

While I myself am not a fan of Disney movies, I must say, me and my two daughters absolutely loved "The Princess and the Frog". I went into the theate... Continue reading
Parent of a 6-year-old Written bynylamowery March 30, 2010

Questionable diversity

For being the first Black Disney Princess - - she spends 80% of the movie as a frog.
Teen, 14 years old Written bySlytherin Queen October 6, 2018

Good role models, but too scary for little kids

Tiana is definitely one of my favorite Disney princesses, but the good role models and amazing songs were shadowed by the scariness and darkness of this movie.... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bytra127200 May 22, 2018

What the Heck

I think it's funny that when you don't like something and you explain it to someone you exaggerate!!!
Princess and the frog does'n contain any s... 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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