A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this isn't your average Disney fairy tale soundtrack, and that's a good thing. Ths music, produced by Randy Newman, is fresh and jazzed-up New Orleans style. There's a song about tarot cards, voodoo, and "friends from the other side" that might be confusing to little ones, but overall the music is fun and colorful, and a great ode to bayou country and a new spunky princess that's joining the ranks of Ariel, Belle, and Cinderella.
What's the story?
Move over Cinderella, swim away Ariel -- there's a new princess coming to town, well, to the Big Easy. Princess Tiana is the heroine of Disney's latest installment to the princess franchise, The Princess and the Frog. It's a modern-day twist on the classic fairy tale about a hard-working princess and an unlucky frog. Produced by the incomparable Randy Newman (Toy Story) and set in the colorful city of New Orleans, the music is jazzy and fun with performances by Anika Nona Rose (Dreamgirls), Ne-Yo, Keith David, and Jenifer Lewis.
Is it any good?
Tiana is not your ordinary Disney princess -- she doesn't need a man to save her -- and THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG SOUNDTRACK isn't the usual Disney-fied fairy tale music. The songs are a lesson in New Orleans jazz, magical and playful, spicy and fun, with lots of horns, piano, and attitude. "Down in New Orleans" boasts, "if you wanna do some livin' before you die, do it in New Orleans." "Friends on the Other Side" takes listeners through the squares and bayous of the city, bringing to life the mystery of voodoo and magic. Anika Nona Rose (Princess Tiana) is sensational in "Almost There," and "Dig a Little Deeper" lets Jenifer Lewis (Mama Odie) belt out the heart and soul of what this movie is about. Although there may not be a stand-out single to match the ranks of past Disney anthems, (Ne-Yo's "Never Knew I Needed" is sweet, but clashes with the rest of the songs), the music from The Princess and the Frog holds up to the colorful world of the Big Easy, and might even have you singin' "Laissez les bons temps roulez!" all the way down Bourbon Street.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Princess Tiana. She's a new kind of princess, with a strong will and hard-working attitude. Do you think she is a good role model for little girls? Why? Do you think other Disney characters/princesses are good role models?
Princess Tiana and Mama Odie are both strong female characters in this movie. Do you think Disney and other kids' entertainment production companies portray enough female characters in a strong, positive light? Especially in G-rated films? Give some examples of positive female characters in TV, literature, and film, and the characteristics that make them good role models.
Most female animated characters, especially heroines, are thin and beautiful. Although there's an ethnic variety of Disney princesses, none of them look like average women. Do you think this is a good image for young girls? How can parents combat the false images of beauty that kids see everywhere and teach them about real beauty and loving themselves?
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