ANIMATION; 1hr 37min
VOICES BY: Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Oprah Winfrey, Keith David, Jim Cummings, Michael-Leon Wooley, Jenifer Lewis
Storybook romance: Naveen and Tiana
Everything old is new again in the Disney zinger The Princess and the Frog. There’s the story, rejigged from the Brothers Grimm’s “The Frog Prince” to Jazz Age New Orleans. There are the rollicking songs of Randy Newman. And there’s the hand-drawn, 2-D animation, a delicate flashback to the good old days with the so-today twist of Disney’s first African American heroine (Rose as waitress Tiana; Winfrey is her ever-lovin’ mother, Eudora).
Tiana slings hash night and day, scrimping on life to save for her own restaurant. Her frog is Prince Naveen of Maldonia (Campos), a ladykilling n’er-do-well voodoo-cursed by a slinky, bitter magic man (David). When Naveen cons Tiana into a body-restoring smooch, in a nifty twist she is promptly transformed into a croaker. Oops! The two make slimy tracks for the Louisiana bayous in search of a spell-breaker (Lewis).
How much lustrous fun is all this? More than enough to keep the pot bubbling with zesty voice work, a loveable supporting beast and bug (Cummings and Wooley), and a perfectionist’s eye for every tiny, painstaking detail. Hop to it.