The Princess and the Frog (2009)

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Take a break from the tradition fairytale, and come to the 1920s Big Easy, where the gumbo is hot, and the jazz is even hotter than a bottle of Tabasco sauce. The Princess and The Frog takes us from the antebellum mansions of New Orleans to the bayou which is home to trumpet-playing gators and a huge family of Cajun fireflies, but first we need to find out why Tiana, our heroine, is such a workaholic, and how she got caught up in a nasty bit of voodoo magic cast by the no-good Dr. Facilier, when that spell was only meant for Prince Naveen.

Tiana’s best friend, Charlotte LaBouff, has been doted on by her rich father, “Big Daddy” LaBouff, and even as she’s coming of age, she still dreams of marrying a prince, and who would just happen to show up for Mardi Gras this year, but the arrogant and charming, Prince Naveen. What the Princess of the Mardi Gras does not know, is that the Prince has been cut off from his royal family for his philandering ways, and has come to New Orleans to find a rich bride so he can keep living in a rich lifestyle that he is used to. His servant has also had enough of the prince’s arrogance, and no so loyal any longer. Dr. Facilier witnesses this interaction between servant and noble, and sees this as a way to get to “Big Daddy” LaBouff’s fortune. What the voodoo man does not know is that Tiana has been hired Charlotte to whip up some beignets for her party, and to work there for some extra cash. Tiana has big dreams of running a premiere restaurant featuring her creole cuisine, and Charlotte’s gig will get her to her goal, that is, until a smooth-talking frog asks her for a kiss. Tiana remembers the story from the fairy tale books, but it was not merely a witch that cast a spell on this frog. Dr. Facilier has a reputation for some nasty spells, and now Tiana is a frog, too. Naveen and Tiana have to race into the bayou, as frogs, and avoid poachers and other frog predators to find the most powerful voodoo witch of them all, Mama Odie, a little old lady that lives in a boat in a tree with all kinds of bayou creatures as her friends. Mama Odie has the cure that can change them back, but they must do so before Dr. Facilier’s spell has come to fruition, and makes Naveen and Tiana frogs permanently.

This is one of the best traditional animated movies of the decade, and should not be missed by anyone. From the great setting, to the music that will stick in your head for days, to the retelling of a classic story from a brand new perspective, The Princess and the Frog has it all!

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