The Princess and the Frog

Disney returns to old-style animation, and gives us an African-American heroine, but it all looks a little old-fashioned, says Peter Bradshaw

 

 

The geniuses at Pixar have revitalised the art of animation: how weird then to see Pixar's guiding spirit, John ­Lasseter as executive producer of this very old-style Disney animation, which could have been made during the Nixon ­administration. The only thing that alerts us to its modernity is its new racial awareness. For the first time, the Disney corporation has given us a princess who is black. Or … have they? Tiana, voiced by Anika Noni Rose, is an African-­American girl who once dreamed of kissing frogs to find her true prince. Now she's a hard-working young woman in New Orleans who dreams of opening a restaurant. A visiting aristocrat, Prince Naveen, voiced by Bruno Campos, is turned into a frog by a voodoo trickster and when Tiana kisses him – yikes! – she turns into a frog, too. So these avowedly black people spend an awful lot of the movie being adorable, unthreatening little green creatures. Disney may wish to reach out to people of colour – but the colour green wasn't what we had in mind. It's a moderate film, nowhere near the Toy Story league.

alert: alarmować, ostrzegać

trickster: oszust, naciągacz

avowedly: otwarcie, jawnie

adorable: czarujący, zachwycający

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