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The Princess and the Frog: not your average princess

March 1, 2010
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Like many people of my generation my earliest movie memories include masterpieces like Bambi, Lady and the Tramp, The Jungle Book and The Aristocats. Already classics at the time – all these movies were released well before I was born – my own kids still love them today.

So we were thrilled to go see The Princess and the Frog, the latest, long awaited 2-d animated movie from the Disney Stall, released in Dutch theaters last month. We were not disappointed. The hand drawn animation is just phenomenal. Everything from the main characters – including the voodoo magician -, to the Art Deco setting of 1920’s New Orleans to the eeriness of the Bayou scenes. Randy Newman’s music is excellent, full of jazz and blues and suits the story very well. ‘Almost there’ and ‘Down in New Orleans’ are even nominated for an Oscar in the ‘Original Song’ category.

Last but certainly not least, the story is a relief for moms who worry about the princess as a stereotype role model for their daughters. Because Tiana, the movie’s heroine, turned frog, turned princess, is an independent woman with ambition. Born poor she works two jobs to one day achieve her dream of opening her own restaurant. In the end she succeeds of course. A great example – realistic or not – of the ‘American Dream’ or positive ambition that I sometimes think the Dutch could learn a thing or two about. Letting our children watch movies like this, who are artistically satisfying and have a positive message just may be a step in the right direction.

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