The new Disney feature “The Princess and the Frog” is old school in more ways than one.
The animated film, number one at the box office over the weekend, uses hand-drawn animation to tell its magical story. It’s a technique most audiences grew up watching, but one pushed to the boundaries of animation thanks primarily to the computer wizards over at Pixar (“Toy Story,” “Up.”)
The film also relies on a conservative message – one featuring hard work, perseverance and the reality of the American dream.
It’s a far cry from recent kid’s films with their slams against the U.S. military (“Monsters vs. Aliens”) and the decadence of humanity as a whole (“Battle for Terra”).
“Frog” stars Tiana (voiced with elan by Anika Noni Rose) as a young woman who dreams of opening her own restaurant. She doesn’t scratch lottery tickets or beg and borrow from her second or third cousin to make it happen.
She works, and works, and saves every penny possible for a down payment on her dream.
And if that means skipping fun social events, so be it. It’s what her daddy would want her to do.
Naturally, “Frog’s” story doesn’t end there. We get a nicely choreographed romance between Tiana and Prince Naveen – both in frog form! And the Disney film features a number of great supporting players, from a jazz loving ‘gator named Louis to a peculiar firefly named Ray who steals the film.
It’s a pleasure to take in hand-drawn animation again, and it’s even more enjoyable to watch a film celebrate American values without equivocation.