My twin sister should write movie reviews for a living. This is what she had to say about The Princess and the Frog. I couldn't resist from posting this. She hit the nail right on the head:
Tiff: My thoughts on "The Princess & the Frog"...it's kind of a throwback to an older style of storytelling (such as that from the Rescuers), not bad, but not good either....Disney is still trying to find its niche in the animation industry "post-Pixar" if you catch my drift. I think they fell from grace and they have been desperately trying to recover.
The characters are kind of cute, but a little predictable with sloppy humor. They try to make it funny for kids and it ends up being silly for adults. Pixar can appeal to both audiences, and the Muppets can do that, too. I'm not sure what Disney's problem is.
I felt the story was more of a celebration of New Orleans than a story about a frog and a princess. It takes very unconventional twists, and the story is really too loose overall. It is somewhat difficult to follow and should have remained in a fairytale period rather than the roaring 20-30s of Louisiana. There was plenty of room for great songs, but the songs were not catchy at all and you got a little bored during them.
Disney needs to go back to classic storytelling and excellent songwriting....this movie had neither. Yep, I agree with you, it is a bit lacking.
If they want to use black culture in a film they should tell stories that are truly about black culture (perhaps one with the underground railroad, or African folktales, or something else). The black characters felt deperately retrofitted into a story that really wasn't about them....other than the fact that the main heroine is from a poor black ghetto.
I'm still waiting for Disney to top Beauty and the Beast. Still waiting.
" "Why else do we read fiction, anyway? Not to be impressed by somebody's dazzling language - or at least I hope that's not our reason. I think that most of us read these stories that we know are not 'true' because we're hungry for another kind of truth: The mythic truth about human nature in general, the particular truth about those life-communities that define our own identity, and the most specific truth of all: our own self-story.""— Orson Scott Card