After months of anticipation, I finally got to see Disney's "The Princess and the Frog" on opening day! This, of course, was a monumental moment for Disney princess-kind since this movie was the first to feature black royalty (both Prince Naveen and the destined-to-become Princess Tiana).
As soon as I heard about the movie, I thought about how fun it would be to take Baby C to go see it. Of course, depending on her age, she may not be fully cognizant of why the movie is so socially important; but it was so cute, she certainly enjoy it nonetheless!
In spite of the historic implications of the characters in regards to race, what I appreciated most about the movie was the fact that race didn't really come up at all, in the sense that it was not overtly mushed in one's face. True, the young Tiana does befriend the spoiled, rich white Southern-belle-in-making, Charlotte, who constantly demands gifts and favors from the willingly manipulated "Big Daddy" (her fabulously wealthy father); however, the film does not really explore the often dark and horribly unbalanced nature of such relationships historically. Instead, Tiana and Charlotte (Lottie) seem to be able to forge a true friendship as they grow older even though their socio-economic statuses should have separated them long ago.
The more serious undertones aside, the main message of the film centers on Tiana's dream of opening her own restaurant, just like her beloved, deceased father always wanted. She works several jobs and long hours to save up the money for a down-payment on the building she and her father always wanted to refurbish. The only problem is that all of Tiana's hard work is keeping her from the most important thing life has to offer: love.
I won't spoil the ending for those of you who haven't seen it, but suffice it to say that in the end, Tiana learns that with love and determination, you truly can have all that your heart desires. It was a wonderful lesson for viewers of all ages - never give up on your dreams, but also never lose sight of what is truly important while you chase those dreams (friends, family, love, happiness).
While it was fun for me to watch my first Disney movie in over a decade, it would have been amazing to watch the movie with a child. In fact, all of the little kids in the theatre with us seemed to be reveling in the story and especially the music. It was fun to hear them squeal in delight and laugh at the jokes.
Later, I found a chart of sorts of all of the Disney princesses; it was so cool to see nearly every hair and eye color combination represented (something I really love about the fabulous "American Girl" doll and book collection). My hope is that in the future, race will be a fully transparent issue; that have an African American or Asian or redhead or Native American, etc. lead character won't be of any importance whatsoever; because we will not think of one another in the color spectrum to begin with. This is only the beginning!
So, to any and all considering watching this movie; I give you a whole-hearted "Go for it!" And check out the "princess chart" below - very cool!
Blessings and Love,