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Academy Award® Nomination: The Princess and the Frog

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl and Geot

The Princess and the Frog
Walt Disney Animation Studios serves up a joyous gumbo of adventurous storytelling, captivating characters, offbeat comedy and memorable music in the all-new feature “The Princess and the Frog,” an animated comedy set in the great city of New Orleans. From the creators of “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin” comes a modern twist on a classic tale, featuring a beautiful girl named Tiana (Anika Nini Rose), a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again, and a fateful kiss that leads them both on a hilarious adventure through the mystical bayous of Louisiana. “The Princess and the Frog” marks the return to hand-drawn animation from the revered team of John Musker and Ron Clements, with music by Oscar®-winning composer Randy Newman.

Everyone knows the story in which a princess finds true love by kissing a frog that magically turns into her handsome prince. In this telling of the story, the girl still kisses a frog, but the result is quite different; it’s only one of dozens of surprises in this mix of wacky humor, thrills, melody and emotion. Love eventually finds a way—between a prince and a princess…between frogs, perhaps…or maybe between a firefly and the object of his affection. But it’s clear that the most important details lie well beneath the skin. The film features Disney’s newest princess, its next great fairy tale and the Studio’s return to the Disney musical, reminiscent of classics like “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King” and “Aladdin.”

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Musker and Ron Clements
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Peter Del Vecho
Executive Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Lasseter
Story by . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ron Clements, John Musker, and Rob Edwards
Screenplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ron Clements, John Musker, and Rob Edwards
Assoc. Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Craig Sost
Original Songs/Score Composed/Conducted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Randy Newman
Production Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Monica La Go-Kaytis
Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Draheim
Art Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ian Gooding
Visual Effects Supervisor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kyle Odermatt
Technical Supervisor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kimberly W. Keech

The voice cast includes: Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David, Jim Cummings, Jenifer Lewis, Michael-Leon Wooley, John Goodman, Terrence Howard, and Oprah Winfrey.

Reviews

IMDB member
“Just astounding. The story was genuinely touching, the intense scenes jumped out at you, the humor was funny, the acting was excellent, and the music was the best soundtrack of any Disney movie since The Little Mermaid (A standing ovation for Randy Newman). There is also something about the 2D animation – it just has more personality and emotion than CGI. I just saw it tonight, and I am honestly floored.”

Did You Know?

The first Disney movie to feature an African-American princess.

Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys and Tyra Banks were all considered for the lead role. Keys and Banks personally lobbied the studio for the part.

Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), requested that Tiana be a left-handed princess, because Rose herself is left-handed.

Three Nominations

Best Animated Feature
Best in Music (Two Original Songs)

Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, African-Americans, Artists, Best Animated Feature, Best Music Score, Children, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, New Orleans, LA, Pop Culture, Uncategorized, US, Video/YouTube, World

Disney’s First African-American Princess Marks Studio’s Return to Old-Style Animation

Posted by Audiegrl

Among Disney’s Royal Ladies, Princess Tiana Is a Notable First

AP/Mike Cidoni—For most of the last century, the Disney ‘toon heroine was as white as, well… Snow White, the studio’s first feature-film superstar, who marked her debut in 1937’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

It would take some 60 years for the Disney artists to begin painting their leading ladies with all the colors of the wind, including the American Indian Pocahontas (1995), the Chinese Mulan (1998) and the Hawaiian Lilo (2002).

Only now, with “The Princess and the Frog,” have Disney animators put a black female front and center. Ironically, the inspiration for the new film came from two Caucasian men: current Pixar-Disney chief John Lasseter and the late Walt Disney himself.

The story really came from an initial idea of doing an American fairy tale, which hadn’t been done at Disney,” said “Princess” co-director Ron Clements. “And setting it in New Orleans, which is John Lasseter’s favorite city in the world. It was Walt Disney’s favorite city in the world … Out of that, it seemed natural that the heroine would be African-American.”

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Anika Noni Rose in Disney’s ‘The Princess and the Frog‘; ‘Dreamgirl’s‘ latest role is history making

Anika Noni Rose, famous for her role in 'Dreamgirls' both on Broadway and in the hit movie, stars in Disney's latest.

Anika Noni Rose, famous for her role in 'Dreamgirls' both on Broadway and in the hit movie, stars in Disney's latest.

NewYorkDailyNews/Joe Dziemianowicz—Anika Noni Rose has good reason to feel animated.

Her latest starring role isn’t simply high-profile — it’s downright historic.

The Princess and the Frog” leaps into local theaters on Wednesday, and her voice will be heard as Disney’s first animated black heroine: Tiana, a sassy go-getter out to rescue a bewitched prince from amphibian oblivion.

The tweaked Grimm’s fairy tale is set in jazzy 1920s New Orleans, but Rose, 37, a Tony winner best known from the movie version of “Dreamgirls,” says her connection to Tiana is rooted right at the core of the Big Apple.

Rose was in the middle of Times Square when word came that she’d landed the coveted regal role.

The producers “had been trying to reach me for quite a while, but I’m a New York girl,” says Rose. “I was trying to do 10,000 things at once and didn’t get the phone. I ended up running to the Disney office. Luckily they were nearby — and I was in sneakers.”

Those sensible shoes fit the character of Tiana, a chef who’s waiting tables until she can open her own restaurant.

Unlike other Disney princesses introduced with a trademark “I want” tune revealing their deepest desire (like the Little Mermaid, Ariel, who wants to “be where the people are“), Tiana’s first song, “Almost There,” is one of self-confidence and certainty.

She’s been saving and saving, and she’s got the down payment ready,” says Rose. “She sees her dreams coming true.”

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A Fairy Tale Beginning

Tiana, the heroine in the upcoming 'The Princess and the Frog.'

Tiana, the heroine in the upcoming 'The Princess and the Frog.'

Washington Post/Neely Tucker—In the 72 years since Walt Disney’s animated version of Snow White captivated audiences as “the fairest of them all,” there have only been eight such Disney princesses. Through these movies and a line of toys, dresses and figurines, the Disney princesses have become global, doe-eyed icons of childhood. Sleeping Beauty awakened by a kiss, Cinderella’s clock striking midnight, Belle waltzing in the Beast’s castle, Ariel with Prince Eric in the moonlit lagoon — these have become heroines whom parents the world over feel safe to let their young girls idolize and mimic. And while Disney has brought us nonwhite princesses before (see “Mulan,” “Pocahontas“), Tiana is a first.

The implied message of Tiana, that black American girls can be as elegant as Snow White herself, is a milestone in the national imagery, according to a range of scholars and cultural historians.

Her appearance this holiday season, coming on the heels of Michelle Obama’s emergence as the nation’s first lady, the Obama girls in the White House and the first line of Barbie dolls modeled on black women (“So in Style” debuts this summer), will crown an extraordinary year of visibility for African American women.

But fairy tales and folklore are the stories that cultures tell their children about the world around them, and considering Disney’s pervasive influence with (and marketing to) young girls, Princess Tiana might well become the symbol of a culture-changing standard of feminine beauty.

If this figure takes off, you’re looking at 30 or 40 years of repetition and resonance,” says Tricia Rose, a Brown University professor who teaches both popular culture and African American studies, citing the enduring popularity of Disney princesses at the company’s theme parks, on Web sites and in videos.

“It’s a very big deal,” says Leonard Maltin, the film historian, critic and author of “Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons.”

She’s the first modern American [Disney] princess, and that she’s black sends a huge message,” says Cori Murray, entertainment director for Essence magazine.

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My Families Experience at Disneyland…

Last night, while putting together this story, I mentioned to Ogenec, my own families experience at DisneyLand. At his request, I’ve added our story to this post.

1966 DisneyLand Guidebook

1966 DisneyLand Guidebook

When I was around 4 years old we drove to Los Angeles to visit our cousins and their kids. My Mom and Dad being older, offered to take us all out to DisneyLand. So it was me, Michelle (age 4), Peter (age 5), and Alex (age 8), and our two sets of parents. My dad purchased the groups admission and also a ticket book, which allowed us to ride all day. Believe it or not, it was only $5.00 for adults, and $4.00 for kids under 12, which back then was a lot of money to spend for just entertainment. My Dad gave the ticket book to my cousin George to keep in his back pocket. My cousin’s were very young parents, and couldn’t have been more than 25 or 26 at the time.

So we get to the first ride, and of course, we are all excited and squealing with joy, and guess what? The ticket book is gone. Someone stole it from George’s back pocket, man, was he upset. So my Dad, being 46 and the oldest of our group, takes charge and he and George go to find some manager to see what could be done. They were taken into a office, and sat in front of the secretary in the waiting room. By this point, they were getting kind of nervous… This was 1966, and there were not many other Black people at the amusement park, so they just assumed that we were all going to get thrown out for trying to scam the joint. LOL 😉

After about 15 minutes, a man comes out of the office, and asks my Dad and George to step in and sit down. He sat on the edge of his big desk and listened very quietly to their story. My Dad told him they didn’t want to disappoint their kids, and was there anyway they could get some ride tickets back, not all that were stolen, but just enough so the kids could ride a few times, and then we would all leave.

The man said, “That’s out of the question. You came here with your family, and someone robbed you, so that’s not your fault. Please take these ticket books, they are good for all weekend, and your family can ride as much as they want, and come back tomorrow if they want to.”

walt-disney1My dad and cousin got up, to shake this mans hand and thank him. My dad said, I’m sorry sir, I never got your name? The man said, my name is Walt Disney…..

True Story…

I’ve read different opinions on why Disney decided to create this movie. Some are not impressed, and have said that Disney’s motivation is more of a financial nature, rather than a move to foster any kind of diversity. Whatever Disney’s reasons, I’ll always remember my own families story, and have to believe somewhere, some place, Walt Disney is smiling…because for him, it was all about the kids.~~AudieGrl

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