Me: I went to Disney's The Princess and the Frog with only moderate expectations. After seeing The Chipmunks Squeakquel, I knew that the movie could only be better than that was. However, Disney who once made really good movies for kids that were also entertaining for adults (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast), has really been on a glut of actually producing something entertaining in recent years. Little Mermaid was great, and not just because it made me think dirty thoughts about a half-fish. Beauty and the Beast was really a great movie, but they kind of peaked there. And, yes, I do know that the forgettable Rescuers Down Under was in between those two movies. Anyhow, after Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin came out and it was okay. It was followed by the Lion King, which many will say is a masterpiece. However, many people also have terrible taste. I'll admit to it being somewhat entertaining, but I will argue down its merits as an actual movie to anyone.
After that, we got Pocahontas which really just distorted history so much and turned the 13 year old real life Pocahontas into a sex symbol. The Hunchback of Notre Dame was even worse with its revision of Victor Hugo's book. Besides the talking gargoyles, it had a happy ending! Anyhow, from there we got Hercules which was fun, but crap and that led into Mulan, which was actually a good movie. There was some completely unnecessary cross-dressing at the end of the movie, but it was still fun and actually kind of poignant. Tarzan stunk, but the Emperor's New Groove was actually very funny. It made no fucking sense, but it was funny.
Atlantis was abysmal, but Lilo and Stitch was surprising really good and touching. I didn't even bother seeing Treasure Planet or Brother Bear. Chicken Little was Disney's failed attempt to show that they didn't need Pixar to make a good computer animated movie (spoiler alert: They do). Meet the Robinsons was just a jumbled mess, but Bolt was surprisingly good.
So anyhow, Disney movies are hit or drek. I wasn't sure where this one would fit in. It was a beautiful movie. It was nice to see them going back to classic animation as opposed to computer assisted scenes. The illustration of the character was just beautiful. The story itself is kind of a twist of the simplistic frog and the princess story, but at least they didn't expand on that story like the Leather Goddesses of Phobos did.
Ultimately, the movie was pretty, but shallow. There was a lot that they could have gone into to make it interesting, but just left it superficial. One thing that I noticed was that they did not change the style of animating alligators since the original Rescuers movie. Still, I was very glad to see Disney go back to hand animation after Eisner's terrible decision to abandon it. The music was alright, and took on a jazz style, but there was nothing stand out or really catchy. All-in-all, it was mediocre, but if you are a fan of animation, then at least they gave you something very pretty to look at.
Molly: (I will be transcribing as much as I can from what she says. Her review will be given in Q&A form, primarily due to her age. And this is a real transcript of our conversation. She's sitting next to me at my pooter right now. I'll format it afterward.)
Chuckie: What did you think of the Princess and the Frog?
Molly: They kissed.
Chuckie: But what did you think of it?
Molly: Beautiful. Trying to get my attention as I type her response. I said "beautiful", Daddy!
Chuckie: I heard you, sweetie. I'm typing it now. What was the movie about?
Molly: Um, see my hat, Daddy? We're talking about my hat right now, Daddy.
Chuckie: Okay, Molly. I like your Dora hat. But let's talk about the movie, okay?
Molly: Okay, Daddy.
Chuckie: So what was the movie about?
Molly: It was so funny. Turned a Prince and a Princess into a frog.
Chuckie: What was your favorite part?
Molly: Um, they turned into a frog and kissed.
Chuckie: Who did you like in the movie?
Molly: The Princess.
Chuckie: Was it a good movie?
Chuckie: How would you rate the movie?
Molly: Ummmmmmmmm... Her "um" drags on for at least ten seconds. Beautiful.
Chuckie: How many stars would you give it?
Chuckie: Out of how many?
Molly: Um, fifty-one a hundred. Quickly adding on as I am typing her answer. And Daddy, want to know how many moons?
Chuckie: Sure, Molly.
Molly: Two moons, Daddy.
Chuckie: Out of how many?
Molly: Um, fifty-one a hundred eighty-nine.
Chuckie: Uh, is that good?
Molly: Yeah, Daddy. In a proud cheery voice. Because it got five suns too. Yay! Happily holding up five fingers in my face.
Chuckie: Do you think people should go and see this movie?
Molly: Yep. Everyone, Daddy.
Chuckie: Who do you think would like the movie, Pixie?
Molly: Coming back over to me a couple minutes later as I am formatting this. Daddy, I want to tell you one more thing about the movie. I love it, Daddy.
So there you go. I thought that the movie was mediocre, but pretty and a nice change to see hand-drawn animation once again on the big screen. The movie is watchable, but forgettable and fits more along the valleys of the Disney animation peaks and valleys, but not terribly low. Molly, on the other hand, loved it even if she seemed squirmy and often disinterested in the theatre.
I give it two and a half out of five stars.
Molly only rated it one out of a possible fifty-one a hundred stars and only two out of a possible fifty-one a hundred eighty-nine moons, but did give a very enthusiastic five suns, so I suppose that works out to be a good recommendation.
But if there is one thing that we both agree on with this movie is that Craig should see it.