Not only does The Princess and the Frog bring back that old Disney magic in full force, but it’s also well worth the wait. The film marks a return to the traditional hand-drawn animation the studio is known for and also introduces the company’s first black princess.
Based on the classic Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale, The Frog Prince, (with a little help from E.D. Baker’s novel, The Frog Princess), Disney’s version is set in early-20th century New Orleans. When a visiting, jazz-loving, care-free prince is turned into a frog by an evil witch doctor, Tiana kisses him to turn him human again. The spell backfires, and Tiana is turned into a frog, as well.
New Orleans, with its rich musical and cultural history, is one of the hearts of the American south. All of the great parts of this city are featured in the movie: Mardi Gras, jazz, voodoo, Creole and Cajun food and, of course, beignets. Tiana is the most ambitious and independent Disney princess yet. She has grand dreams of owning and operating her own restaurant, and tirelessly works two jobs to save enough for the down payment. She has an admirable mantra that hard work can make your dreams come true (although, by the end of the film, she comes to accept that, in life, there is a little luck involved, too).