I’ve long contended that the future of traditional 2-D animation rides on the success of Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. If the movie does well Disney will keep making those types of movies every two-years or so and surely other animation companies would follow suit, no? If the movie doesn’t do well financially or critically, it reasons that the company could ditch their efforts to revive the medium.
That’s a lot of pressure to put on one movie, but from the early reviews, it sounds like Disney may have created another winner (still going to see John Hillcoat’s The Road, however, this weekend).
“Fairy-tale princesses, especially those in the Disney pantheon, have always been a product of their times. Generations ago, it was enough for them to be hardworking and docile, to accept suffering with grace and fall into deep sleeps when the plot required it. It was revolutionary when “Beauty and the Beast’s” Belle came along in 1991, with her love of books and her disdain for the handsomest guy in town. Tiana takes the princess role a step further — she’s not just Disney’s first African-American to wear the crown, she’s the first one with a regular job. (Unless you count Mulan’s gig as a warrior.) She also, like Ratatouille’s Remy, makes the case for great food as a social leveler and the cornerstone of a good life. Tiana knows that food “brings people together” with more reliable results than even voodoo,” writes Mary Elizabeth Williams for Slate.
She goes to say that the movie is quite captivating, deftly deals with racial-subtexts and is marvelous to behold. In other words, it sounds like a classic Disney movie — something the company hasn’t made since, arguably, Mulan. Honestly, I’m asking. When was the end of their run of classic hits in the 90s?