The Voice

Princess and the Frog Hops Into Theaters

Photo from creativecommons.org

Photo from creativecommons.org

Meghan Merwin, Staff Reporter

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A handsome prince, endless riches, and a huge castle. What more could a young girl hope for? In the past, many Disney princesses have given the impression that the answer is nothing. But with their first animated heroine since Mulan, The Princess and the Frog defies many Disney stereotypes and gives young girls a proper role model.

Set in New Orleans before World War I, the movie’s heroine is a young woman named Tiana. Hard-working and kind to all, Tiana, voiced by actress Anika Noni Rose. has grown up with the ambition of opening her own restaurant. With the memory of her father to guide her, Tiana works hard all day to save up for a building in which to set up shop. Meanwhile, the spoiled Prince Naveen of Maldonia, cleverly voiced by Bruno Campos, comes to New Orleans in search of a rich bride to support his expensive tastes. During his visit, Prince Naveen runs into the sorcerer Dr. Facilier, voiced by Keith David, who turns him into a frog and puts royal assistant Lawrence in his place.

In an attempt to return to his human state, Prince Naveen convinces Tiana, who is dressed up as a princess for a party, to kiss him. She is turned into a frog herself, and the two new acquaintances are forced to head into the bayou for shelter. There they come across the usual challenges of Disney heroes, but they also meet some new friends. The trumpet-playing alligator Louis, voiced by Michael-Leon Wooley and Ray, a firefly who is in love with a star, voiced in a unique Cajun accent by Jim Cummings make spectacular additions to the cast. The four then set off in search of Mama Odie, priestess of the bayou, hilariously voiced by Jenifer Lewis.

The Princess and the Frog takes its audience on a magical journey. With vibrant color and music that would make even the stiffest want to dance, it doesn’t matter that you’re watching an animated movie. You’ll get pulled into the entrancing story no matter what. The cast of characters is diverse and entertaining, further enhancing the flick. Despite his selfish tendencies, Prince Naveen provides comic relief throughout the movie. Louis and Ray are the type of friends anyone would want, and Mama Odie gives the rest sound advice that eventually leads Tiana and Naveen back to humanity.

Unlike some Disney princesses who sit around waiting for someone to give them what they want, Tiana goes after what she wants. Through all her hard work she manages to keep a smile on her face and a song in her heart. It is women like this that young girls should look up to. She teaches us to be strong and to work for what we believe in, which is truly the best lesson any little girl could learn.

Another important lesson this movie teaches us is that money is not what is most important in life. In the end, Prince Naveen forsakes his dreams of marrying a rich girl because of his love for Tiana. The happy couple then works hard and eventually opens a great restaurant. If we could all follow this example, we could all lead happier lives. And if Disney comes out with more films like this, girls everywhere can grow to their full potential.

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