A black Prince Naveen would have been nice to see because little black boys should get a little help imagining themselves as royalty too — but Tiana’s father represents the perfect example of a hardworking black man that is a thoughtful and loving parent.
Unfortunately, the attraction between Tiana and Naveen seems forced. The romance was more intense between the two robots in Pixar’s “Wall-E.â€ The cadence of Ray, the firefly, can be off-putting at first, but it is in context with 1920s Louisiana, where the Cajun dialect was prevalent. It is Keith David, however, whose acting takes the prize for the cartoon’s second most mesmerizing character (after Tiana, of course) and the soundtrack’s most memorable song, “Friends on the Other Side.â€
The rest of the music is great, but none of the songs by academy-award winning composer Randy Newman are hits that can compare with songs like “Mermaid’sâ€ “Kiss the Girl,â€ or “The Lion King’sâ€ “Hakuna Matata,â€ which were all created by Tim Rice.
Despite the film’s flaws, “The Princess and the Frogâ€ is a fairytale that children will relish. Kids will not only be in awe of its fantastical elements but they will also learn lessons on the importance of saving and investing, entrepreneurship, developing a work ethic, and that love doesn’t see color — even when its black, brown or green.
“The Princess and the Frog”
— Opens Friday nationwide; Rated G
— Starring: Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), Terrence Howard (James), John Goodman (Big Daddy), Keith David (Dr. Facilier), Jenifer Lewis (Mama Odie), Oprah Winfrey (Eudora), Michael-Leon Wooley (Louis), and Elizabeth Dampier (Young Tiana)
— Running time: 1 hour 35 minutes