Okay, I know I need to stop reading about The Princess and the Frog. I know there are folks who say it is a children’s movie, get over it, and stop analyzing it. Well, if you are a member of that camp, that is fine. If not, go to Love Isn’t Enough (formerly Anti-racist Parent) and check out the latest post on the movie. I clicked through and eventually landed on Jeff Yang’s column at the San Francisco Chronicle. At the bottom of the column, Yang lists his Asian Pop Gift Guide, which is worth checking out.
As we walked into the theater to see Disney’s new movie, I overheard a mother saying she was just as excited to see the movie featuring Disney’s first black princess as her daughter. I think that pretty much sums up how so many people feel about about The Princess and the Frog. A good friend of mine who doesn’t have any children has already seen it, and I have another who shushed me this morning because I was revealing too much of the plot to her. This movie appeals to the little black girls and the black women who wished there had been a princess that looked like them when they were growing up.
Simone and Nadia loved the new Disney movie. Of all the animated movies we have seen, not one has ever held their attention like The Princess and the Frog. There have been bathroom breaks and crying jags. Sometimes, they have simply lost interest and wanted to walk up and down the stairs. I am sure it helped they saw the movie trailer on the Disney channel and that toys have been in stores for months. Simone knew about the big kiss that turns Tiana into a frog, and Nadia cried when the credits rolled because “it ended.” I should note that the movie’s bad character is a man who practices voo-doo, and he may be a bit too scary for younger children. Nadia did not cry but seemed anxious when the man and his wicked friends were on the screen.
I enjoyed the music and most of the characters, and I appreciated the focus on hard work. I was disappointed Tiana is a frog during most of the movie, and it appeared, at least to me, Prince Naveen saved the day.
Before I start, I should say we will see The Princess and the Frog. I have already made it clear I am no fan of princesses. Still, I am curious about the movie featuring Disney’s first black princess, and Simone and Nadia have asked to see it. One movie can’t hurt them, right? I would like to think so, but a study conducted by researchers at the University of Central Florida, which sits in Walt Disney World’s backyard, shows girls older than Simone and Nadia often define themselves based on what they see in the media. I am betting my girls will not notice Princess Tiana’s thin frame. If they do, we will have a frank discussion about it.
Read more about the study here and here.