Tuesday, 9 February 2010

The Princess and the Frog (2010)

Having an eight-year old daughter means seeing a lot of films a Manly Man of Mature Manly Years such as I might not, ordinarily, elect to see. Many of these are awful, of course. But though I puckered a disdainful moue with which to kiss this latest Disney product, I must report that. actually, I quite enjoyed it. I wouldn't say that my kiss turned it into Prince Wall-E, or Prince Toy-Story-II exactly; but it may have pouf'd and emerged from the cloud of magic smoke as Prince Aladdin-via-Jungle-Book. Which isn't bad. More, indeed: the first half in particular is visually very inventive and often funny (the second half is rather less assured in its pacing and plotting); the race stuff, which I was prepared, as I stepped into the cinema, to find clumsily or borderline-offensively handled, was done fairly well I'd say: neither glossed over nor dwelt handwringingly upon. The light brown Prince, Prince Naveen of Nonspecifica, is given a voice somewhere between Pepé le Pew and Sacha Baron-Cohen's Lemur King from the Madagascar films, which is distracting. But in general this is Really Not Bad.


GeoX said...

Good lord--I wish I had not been made aware of that insane Village Voice review.

The movie kind of made me giddy, and in a good way. After stumbling around aimlessly for the better part of a decade, abandoning traditional animation and concentrating instead on hideous 3-D monstrosities (Pixar movies excepted, of course, but those aren't really the same thing), it is OH SO EDIFYING to me to see Disney remembering what made them successful in the first place and proving it with such élan. The movie is not without its faults: the section on the bayou goes on entirely too long (and the evil hillbillies are entirely superfluous), and the music is mildly disappointing ("Friends on the Other Side" just about BEGS you to compare it to "Poor Unfortunate Souls" from The Little Mermaid, but, sadly, it doesn't even come close--Dr. Facilier IS a pretty fantastic villain, though). On the other hand, the fact that it features, by a rather wide margin, the most feminist heroine ever to grace a Disney movie (okay, a LITTLE damning-with-faint-praisy, but STILL), as well as a prince with an actual personality...that is definitely to be celebrated.

Anyway, even with its faults, if Disney can turn out something this good every few years, I will have NO COMPLAINTS.

Adam Roberts said...

The film was bound to attract that sort of review (I mean: the Village Voice one). It's the kind of review that could have been written before it was even released.