I wouldn't be the first person to say that the past 10 years or so has been indifferent for Disney. They went from a company that made classic movies to a company that bought companies that made classic movies. I’m as big of a fan of Pixar as the next bloke, but Pixar doesn't hold the same place in my heart that Disney does. This is the same company that made Aladdin, The Lion King and Bambi – three of my favourite films of all time. I mean, we’re talking about my childhood here.
They've recently made Enchanted (another one of my favourites), Bolt and Tangled, three very good films which show that Disney, as a studio, still know what they are doing; but one film showed that Disney still have that one killer ingredient left in them – magic.
The Princess and the Frog is a film that has grown on me with every sitting. At first glance it feels like a re-thread of previous Disney classics – the back to basics drawn animation, the music and the Princess – but repeated screenings reveals the film for what it truly is, another Disney Classic.
The animation feels as familiar as my mother’s cooking. It’s delicious and nobody can replicate it, no matter how hard they try.Every character feels rounded and complex, even the bad guy. The Shadow Man had to live up to a long tradition of scary as hell villains and he, as well as his friends, don’t disappoint. I think he’s up there with the Evil Queen, Scar and Ursula. Frightening.
But it’s Tiana that warms my heart. I’ve recently had a little baby girl and if she grows up to have anything close to Tiana’s attitude, I’ll be delighted. I’ve never rooted for a Disney princess more and her independence and determination is the reason why I think she'll go on to be an icon.
The music in this film is incredible. The soundtrack is as good as any Disney film. Every song is strong and wonderful – every single one. I’ve already started singing 'Almost There' to my frightened and confused little girl, but I absolutely love the message of that song.
Also, a quick word on the song 'My Belle Evangeline': the first time I heard that song, I had goosebumps. It’s just beautiful.
I don’t know if the film made enough money to warrant Disney to consider these types of movies worth it. But based on the product itself, they should be extremely proud to have it in their portfolio.
I can't wait to sit down and watch this film with my own little princess.