Movie Review: The Princess and the Frog (2009)

Synopsis: An aspiring young chef in jazz era New Orleans dreams of fulfilling her deceased father's dream of owning a restaurant despite having an economic disadvantage. Her efforts are put on hold when a visiting prince is turned into a frog and her attempts to break the spell with a kiss result in her being changed into a frog as well.

Who's in it? The animated movie uses voices from Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David, Jennifer Cody and John Goodman.

Review: My youngest daughter insisted on having some family movie time on Sunday so, after searching several options on Netflix, I wound up settling on this Disney film, mostly because it was a movie she hadn't seen yet.

I remember watching this movie not long after it first came out and not enjoying it all that much. However, for my daughter's sake, I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and watch it a second time. Unfortunately, as it turns out, I still found I didn't enjoy this film.

I think my biggest problem with this film is, while it tries to present itself as unique, the only real difference between this movie and other Disney Princess films is the color of the protagonist's skin. The majority of everything else about this film just seemed to be "borrowed" from previous movies. This included some of the characters and even some of the songs, which my daughter even commented sounded strangely familiar.

Another thing I found I didn't like about this film was the bad guy, Dr. Facilier (David), mostly because I felt as though there was a very interesting backstory about that character that was not being told. In fact, I probably would have enjoyed the movie more had I known more about the villain's past.

Also not helping this film were the various plot holes that were so large, you could drive truck through them. For example, Tiana (Rose) was friends with the two richest people in town. Couldn't she have just gotten a loan from them rather than work so hard to get her restaurant, especially since they loved her cooking? Plus, if Tiana's failed kiss is the reason why she became a frog too, then why didn't the same thing happen to her friend, Charlotte (Cody) later in the movie? And, yes, I know this movie is meant for kids. But, my own kids asked the exact same questions unprompted, making that argument invalid.

Final Opinion: I'm sure there are people out there who like this film. Unfortunately, I'm just not one of them and am considering myself lucky my kids also didn't enjoy the movie because I don't have to worry about them watching it on a loop.

My Grade: D


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