Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Princess and the Frog: Dud or Boom

I, myself, like many out there am waiting for Disney’s newest 2D animation feature film to reach theaters. Many even thought at one time that Disney would forever be lost to 3D animation and never make another 2D feature film. I figured this was more paranoia than anything. Sure at the time 3D was the new kid on the block and can do things easier than can be done with 2D, but it does not have the same charm that people like myself love that can be gained from 2D.
But I digress, back to the reason for me to write this. I have been watching all the previews for “the Princess and the Frog” and think everything about it looks great. With that said, however, I must point out that I feel that it may not have the effect that Disney and many animations are expecting. I feel this way for one reason; Disney has done the same thing that it has done to most of its films, with a few exceptions. They have over run the movie with Broadway musical like scenes where the characters break out in song – song that some extent that has nothing to do with the plot other than to explain the obvious or hand the audience a gift wrapped lesson or moral. I think this is Disney’s fatal flaw, the reason why people enjoy Pixar or Studio Ghibli movies over Disney classics like Snow white and Beauty and the Beast. Neither Pixar or Studio Ghibli films need the Musical scenes- they understand that the audience is not idiots.
Some people may feel that I am wrong or too cynical in my observations; however, I would like to point out that the observations that have brought me to feel this way are not mine. The observations that I use are those of my Daughter, the person who these movies are made for. I have had her watch several of the older Disney movies: Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, etc. The ones that she loves and would sit through have not been the Princess classics, which are the most heavily musical, but instead have been movies like 101 Dalmatians, Lilo and Stitch, and many of the Pixar and Studio Ghibli movies. All these movies have one thing in common; they are not over run by pointless plot slowing musical numbers.
This is why I fear that “The princess and the frog” will not do as great as everyone hopes. Sure many people will see it, but I doubt that it will become a classic (except by Disney). The best thing that Disney can do is re-analysis their films to discover what makes one movie more likable for children now compared to 50 years ago. I believe that they will discover that they don’t need the lengthy musical numbers any more.