During the Jazz Age, a young New Orleans waitress Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) finds herself caught up in a battle between a voodoo witch doctor, Facilier (Keith David), and a foreign prince, Naveen (Bruno Campos). When both Tiana and Naveen are turned into frogs, they must fight through the dangers of the bayou and reclaim their true forms before the clock runs out and they are stuck in their amphibian bodies.
Once such a proud American tradition, Disney movies had completely lost their appeal to me over the last decade. As I've said before, that has very little to do with my age. I love animated films and am unashamed to sit in on a kid's movie on opening day if it interests me enough. My disinterest in Disney has everything to do with quality. Between 2000's "Emperor's New Groove" and last year's "Tangled", not a single Disney cartoon held any sort of appeal to me, with the minor exception of "Lilo and Stitch" which I only mildly enjoyed. For all intents and purposes, the studio completely lost its way and stopped living up to the standard it set for itself over the previous 60 years. Disney animation regained my attention with the aforementioned "Tangled." Put simply, I loved it. it was one of the more fun experiences of 2010 and resembled some of the magic Disney used to be so famous for. With that in mind, I decided to give "Princess and the Frog" a try.
Let's just say I'm hoping this is less a sign of things to come and more an example of just how far the studio had fallen before "Tangled." A decent-enough story and great music aren't nearly enough to save "Princess" from a host of problems. The script is weak and the voice actors don't do much to flesh it out. You don't have to have big names to make an animated feature work but you do need talent and while this group may be able to sing, the delivery of the non-musical lines is almost unanimously bland. Likewise, the animation itself seemed sloppy to me. Some of the characters looked like something from the Disney knockoffs that were so popular when I was a kid. But worst of all, "Princess" is just plain boring, a cardinal sin in a children's movie. Within 20 minutes of the opening credits, I found myself messing around on my laptop and later sorted my laundry and if not for those activities, I probably could have fallen asleep. There are some fun moments but overall "Princess" is a forgettable film that just feels like a waste of time.