Saturday, March 27, 2010

Princess and the Frog

I caught parts of Disney's The Princess and the Frog today while babysitting. I hadn't been especially enthusiastic about it and hadn't planned on ever spending money to see it, but was still curious.
A lot of fairy tale enthusiasts hadn't been crazy about this movie, since the plot (which was all pretty much given away in the previews anyway) was so completely unlike the fairy tale it should hardly share the same title (basically the same, anyway). But this is the only Disney fairy tale to acknowledge the existence of itself-it really isn't a retelling of the Frog Prince, but a story that is influenced by the older tale, which helped me forgive all the creative liberties.

I noticed they were deliberately trying not to fall into the typical Disney Princess stereotypes-this young woman had business ambitions and didn't care about romance (just like BELLE was smart and loved to read and wanted adventure and not a jerk husband like Gaston).

The first thing the heroine does after she meets the frog-besides scream-is throw things at him and slam a book on his head. I wondered if this was a subtle nod to earlier versions where the Princess didn't bring about the frog's transformation by a kiss, but a violent act, such as throwing him against the wall.

By the way, the concept of the girl turning into a frog instead of the other way around has already been done in The Frog Prince Continued by Jon Scieszka, who has done some really great fairy tale parodies for kids.

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