Monday, January 11, 2010

Miscellaneous: The Princess and the Frog

Working from Thanksgiving until my break the week of Christmas on my project left me little time for Christmas shopping (or posting). B gave me a morning to run down to Wal-mart on Christmas Eve (I know, the horrors). I bought a pair of red heart sleep pants for A because she has insisted on running around the house in her underwear against my claims that the house is not that warm. Unfortunately, I hadn't found anything for M.

Lo and behold, a wall of The Princess and the Frog merchandise (= clothing and paraphernalia). As I searched for a decent little t-shirt, a woman was rifling through every rack and warned me. "These shirts run really small..." she started and proceeded to tell me her tale about the lack of merchandise at the Wal-mart closest to her and how a 7/8 didn't fit her 4/5 granddaughter. In the end I ditched the shirt and went for a coloring book.

This experience led me to believe that the movie is good, which is a little different than what I've had experience with on the net. The critics mostly love it (like the woman at Wal-mart). It has a good story line that is more in line with the traditional Disney movies. Less flash and more story. It was sweet and a little less than expected in that, as the commercials have shown, Tiana (the main character) turns into a frog instead of her turning the frog back into a prince.

The grumbling I've heard is coming from some comments about how Tiana's prince isn't also African American. I can see that point entirely. Where is the representation of the good black couple? All the other Disney princesses have theirs. Isn't a black man good enough to be a prince? But I also see the flipside. Why can't Tiana fall in love with someone because that's who she loves? Why does he have to be black? There were so many other reasons people were unhappy, Dr. Facilier is black (he is the evil black while the prince is good "white") or Ray's dialect for example.

For those reasons alone I was hesitant to see the movie. What would others think of me for liking it? But see it I did. It was cute. I'm not blown over, but neither am I unhappy with it or how the characters were portrayed. Dr. Facilier may have been black, but the frog hunters and Prince Naveen's valet were white. Tiana's parents were a model set of parents. Let's face it, Prince Naveen was...well not quite white. His race doesn't match Tiana's, but it didn't match Charlotte's either. I could go on, but I'm going to get to the point. If you know me, then you understand me saying the match of Naveen and Tiana doesn't bother me at all. Don't let what others think keep you from seeing the film.


jo said...

I haven't seen it yet, but I do think you are right that it shouldn't matter who you love since love is, after all, fickle. ;)
And although I buy the argument that there are few good black men portrayed anywhere in our societies public forums I don't think the race of any character should be a determining factor for a movie or anything else being good or bad. The questions should be are the characters as a whole well rounded? Is there a good guy, bad guy, etc? Race in general shouldn't be a determining factor in anything we do or see. And from my perspective I'm drawn to all types of people for all different reasons because people are people and not the color of their skin or their socio economic status. I tell my kids that when someone speaks down to them or treats them like they don't belong to remember that the person speaking to them was born the same way they were and has to go to the bathroom (take a ....) just like they do.
Now I think I might have to go see this movie.

Cheryl said...

this is one of those arguments that will forever be dissected in movies. but people should try to see past race--especially in cartoons (or in mythical creatures like in the movie "Avatar" in which this same dilemma was mentioned). let's just take the movie for what it is, which sounds like to be a pretty decent film.