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The Princess and the Frog (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo w/ Digital Copy)) - Blu-ray / animation DVD / children's and family DVD / Disney DVD review
THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG (THREE-DISC BLU-RAY / DVD COMBO W/ DIGITAL COPY) Rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 5 stars
Featuring: Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David, Michael-Leon Wooley, Oprah Winfrey
Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
DVD release: 16 March 2010 Runtime: 98 min. (3 discs)
Format: AC-3, Animated, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p HD, Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 - English; Dolby Digital 5.1 - Spanish, Portugese, French), Subtitles (English SDH, French, Portugese, Spanish), Magic In The Bayou: The Making of A Princess, The Return To Hand-Drawn Animation, The Disney Legacy, Disney's Newest Princess, The Princess and the Animator, Conjuring The Villain, A Return to the Animated Musical, Bringing Life to Animation, Art galleries, Audio commentary (dirs. John Musker and Ron Clements, prod. Peter Del Vecho), "Never Knew I Needed" music video (Ne-Yo), What Do You See: Princess Portraits game, Deleted scenes

Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen - THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo w/ Digital Copy)THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG marks Disney's foray back into the realm of hand-drawn animation, after switching over to computer-generated animation for many years. Unfortunately for Disney, a combination of factors didn't translate into a huge box-office success for this movie, but viewers who missed it in the theater should definitely check it out - the animation, storyline, and music are fantastic.

Set in 1920's New Orleans, THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG features a young African-American girl named Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) who lives with her parents and is friends with a rich girl named Charlotte (Jennifer Cody), who dreams of becoming a princess. All Tiana wants to do, on the other hand, is someday open a restaurant where everyone in New Orleans can congregate to eat and dance. Then iana's father dies, and she grows up clinging to her dream while waitressing to save money.

Mardi Gras is approaching, and Charlotte and her father, "Big Daddy" (John Goodman), invite Tiana to their party to provide food. They are expecting Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos) to attend, and Charlotte sees this as the ideal opportunity to snag a prince husband. Things don't really go as planned. Naveen spends money and runs around, and has been cut off by his parents. He falls in with "The Shadow Man," voodoo practitioner Dr. Facilier (Keith David), who turns Naveen into a frog and Naveen's servant into Naveen. His ultimate goal: for the fake Naveen to marry Charlotte in order to access Big Daddy's money.

Frog prince Naveen escapes and shows up at the mansion just as Tiana is wishing on a star for the money she needs to open her restaurant. Naveen offers to bankroll her efforts if she gives him a kiss to turn him back into a prince. She complies - but she is not a princess. Naveen remains a frog, and Tiana becomes one as well. They set off in search of Mama Odie (Jenifer Lewis) to break the spell, meeting along the way some very funny fireflies and an alligator who wishes to play jazz.

All in all, this movie is a new gem. The stunning hand-drawn animation more than does justice to the movie's time period and theme. The combo pack contains three discs: the Blu-ray version of the movie, the standard DVD version, and a digital copy for watching on a computer or portable music player. The plethora of extra special features will appeal to viewers of all ages, and the Blu-ray picture sparkles with colors as vivid as they were on the big screen.

THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG is touching and heartfelt, its non-didactic plot elements of family, love, and pursuing your dreams shining through without viewers feeling like they are being taught a lesson. The humor is top-notch - the scenes after Tiana and Naveen set off to try to break the spell feature many laugh-out-loud moments - and the music catchy and imaginative. (note: Some of the voodoo scenes may be a bit intense and scary for young children - parents should give the movie a preview before allowing children to watch it.)

I highly recommend THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG. It is one to own and watch again and again.
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reviewed by Melissa Parcel
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