A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.