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THE PRINCESS + THE VISITING RELATIVES

December 16, 2009

We saw The Princess and The Frog this weekend. Impressed — they made great use of New Orleans, the city. Tiana is good, strong heroine with a hint of humor to be nudged out by a carefree prince; I even liked the blonde spoiled needs to be a princess girl (Charlotte) and I didn’t think I would from Disney advance advertising. It was also funnier than I thought it would be — and the Prince in no way reminded me of Pepe Le Pew, one of my original worries.

It had a strong opening weekend with lots of disclaimers — in December, for an animated movie, etc.

Go see it: the animation was beautiful; there was a great art deco Josephine Bakerish fantasy sequence, the shadows loomed with scary menace, the villain’s schemes and dreams were excellently evil and the heroine and hero captivated the audience’s interest even though they spend most of the movie as amphibians. There were some tough moments and real sadness — it’s a Disney movie, they’re harsh. But if it had been any less harsh it would have been a cop out and not served the story.

I would have liked more jazz. They should have put all the music through the jazz blender; the city and its culture were so beautifully evoked, I wish they would have done the same with the music and worked with a Marsalis instead of a Newman or a Ne-Yo.

Entertainment Weekly gave it an A; I’d agree if there’d been any memorable music so B+ from me. I’ll keep the Enchanted soundtrack for that slot until Disney kicks up its game to offer a replacement. Great to see Disney put so much effort into old school craft, solid story and timeless art.

The Big Bang Theory — ok, I adore Christine Baranski, she’s a very funny, very talented actress but she’s just not as funny as Leonard’s mother as I hoped. Now, Sheldon’s mother played by Laurie Metcalf is a triumph of walking humor’s fine edged line so I’m not sure whether to blame Baranski never clicking as a writing, directing or casting issue. She’s the only character on the show who doesn’t seem to have any seed of a real person at her core.

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One Comment
  1. Well written post, looks brilliant on my iPhone as well.

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