So how great was The Princess and the Frog? UM PRETTY GREAT. I'll try to be succinct with the reasons. One is that there were no wasted seconds of the film. It was short, and didn't feel rushed or frenetic, but it moved along very nicely and I never found myself bored. Scenes moved swiftly and fit perfectly together. Characters are bold and interesting and you care about them without knowing their whole life story. I have been listening to the soundtrack every day in the car for the past 2 weeks, but the songs still felt fresh and wonderful.
We identified with Naveen and Tiana much more than we expected to. I'm not a prince, and Molly isn't a waitress, but I came from a life of security with my parents having spent my time on idle pleasures, never really knowing how to *do* anything, and she's had to work hard her entire life and has a lot of hard real world experience. The scene when Naveen encourages Tiana to dance was remarkably similar to a time I helped Molly to dance in public for the first time, and it hit so close to home we got a little choked up, so, yeah.
But my main thing.. RAY.
I've noticed that a lot of people have had issues with Ray. He was in the very first teaser and made a lot of people go ":I". He's not terribly attractive, first of all, lulz. His voice also seemed to perturb people, he was percieved as a racist caricature, people thought he'd be the Jar Jar of the film or whatever. I dig Jim Cummings, and ugly characters, so like.. I was already kinda gay for Ray, and he was really funny and entertaining as I expected.
Anyway, I was wrong but close. I thought "Evangeline" was the moon, not the wishing star. We've been conditioned by so many family films, I guess, to think that if any main characters are going to die, they'll die in the first 20 minutes. Any characters in peril or with fatal wounds near the end will be magically restored for the finale. So, it was kind of a refreshing surprise that Ray actually honest-to-goodness died. I think if we were brought back for the end it would have cheapened the film considerably. Ray embodies 'the good death', which I'm kind of a fan of. Facilier had a bad death, which was still pretty cool to see, but that Ray got a good death is wonderful. I hope people give Ray a chance and appreciate him.
GO SEE THE FILM SEE IT A MILLION TIMES. THX.
Long story short: Fuck the haters. Movie was AWESOME.