Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why I love that Erin loves the Princess and the Frog

Disney's The Princess and the Frog has to be Erin's favorite movie now.  She asks for it multiple times a day.  She even knows and repeats the lines.

It's funny now, I like movies that have a good message for her to take away from it.  As a kid, you just watch to be entertained.  lol.  Luckily this movie has both.

The main conflict is less about outright good vs outright evil.  It's actually about the difference between getting what you want the "easy" way and working hard for it.  In this culture of getting what you want NOW with as little effort as possible, I think it's a great message.

Our protagonist is Tiana.

Her dream is to open her own restaurant.  It had actually been a dream of her father's be he died without the money to be able to buy a place.  So Tiana is working two jobs, with double shifts sometimes, to save the money for the old sugar mill her dad had had his eye on.  In the prologue though (10 years prior), when Tiana is wishing on the evening star for her daddy to get his restaurant, he says to her "Remember that star can only take you part of the way.  You have to help it along with a little hard work of your own."

Enter Prince Naveen.
His parents have cut him off for being a "leach" and now he is penniless but wanting to live the high life.  He doesn't want to get a job, though, so he's decided he's going to marry the daughter of the richest man in town.  While he and his manservant Lawrence are discussing this, they are overheard by Dr. Facilier, who is also called the Shadow Man because of his voodoo talents.

Dr. Facilier is described by the makers of the move as the love child of Captain Hook and Cruella DeVille.  Unlike Maleficent though, there's no "ruler of evil!" bit here. No, he describes himself as someone who "just wants to help" and Naveen and Lawrence are taken in.  What Naveen doesn't know is that Facilier is planning on turning him into a frog and using his blood to make Lawrence look like Naveen.  Lawrence will then marry Charlotte and split the LeBouff fortune with Facilier.  Knowing that, you can see all the frog references in what he's saying to Naveen.He tells Naveen everything he wants to hear, but means something completely different while saying it.  He talks about how Naveen wants to be free to "hop" from place to place, but freedom requires "green."  The tarot card for Naveen's future even shows him surrounded by money, playing his banjo while lazily laying back on a lilypad.

Isn't this really how it works?  Whenever we are offered the "easy way" to what we want, it never turns out like we expect it to, and many times it's unpleasant.

But Erin doesn't realize all this.  She just thinks that the frogs are funny.


Kimberly said...

I think you mean that Tiana is the protagonist :-)

Happy birthday to Patrick tomorrow!

Brittanie said...

Yes. Yes I did.

HRHSpence said...

That's cute. Happy birthday to Paquack (tomorrow)

Anonymous said...

I so need to see this movie! So cool sounding!