Meet Tiana, Disney’s New Princess
But in this tale the princess is not waiting for the prince to come and save her. Tiana has her own dreams and is willing to work hard to achieve them for herself. Tiana’s works two jobs as a waitress in order to make enough money to open her own restaurant. Broadway star Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls) is the voice of Tiana, Disney’s first African-American princess.
The Handsome Prince Naveen
The fun-loving and carefree Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos) is tricked into being turned into a frog by the Shadow Man, Dr. Facilier. Naveen hopes he will be human again after kissing a princess. Instead, when Tiana kisses him, she is turned into a frog.
They head down river together with the help of a trumpet-playing alligator named Louis and a Cajun firefly with dental problems named Ray to find Mama Odie, ‘the old blind lady who lives in a boat in a tree’ to break the spell. Of course, along the way they fall in love. But in the movies as in life its the journey that make it interesting.
A New Kind of Disney Princess
With wonderful original music by Randy Newman and featuring the voices of Terrence Howard, Oprah Winfrey and John Goodman, The Princess & The Frog is also Disney’s first hand drawn animated movie to come along in many years. The Princess and the Frog soundtrack is full of Dixieland Jazz and Zydeco music that really makes you feel like you are in New Orleans.
I was really anxious to see this movie. A lot had been made of the fact that Tiana was Disney’s “first African-American Princess”. But when you look at it, most of the princesses in Disney movies are from European fairy tales. Besides, we don’t have royalty in American. And I doubt that any of the little girls watching this movie will notice or care.
Little Girls (and Big Girls) Love Princesses
I went on Sunday afternoon and was surprised to see a group of about 30 little girls in the three rows behind me. Oh my… a Princess and the Frog birthday party! Their parents were passing out super-sized, Slushees, M & M cookies, candy and popcorn. It was a full-on sugarfest!
The trailers had not even started when the seat kicking started. I could tell this was only going to get worse. There they were, 3o potential princesses, filled to the brim with sugar and the anticipation of a beautiful new princess, a handsome prince and a happily ever after. Their little legs were just twitching with excitement. So I moved up a few rows.
From there I had a good vantage point to observe how these young ladies enjoyed the movie. They were ages 6-12 and not that it matters, but they were white. It didn’t seem to matter to them that Tiana was a different color. She was pretty, she sang and wore pretty dresses. When she turned into a frog, she had big frog eyes and long eyelashes.
To them a princess is a princess.