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Published on September 9th, 2009 | by Niall


Down by the bayou…

Back in July Niamh posted about Disney’s forthcoming traditional 2D animation film The Princess and the Frog.  Today the latest trailer debuted online and such is my level of excitement I’ve decided to share it.

One of the very first things John Lasseter did when appointed Chief Creative Officer at Disney following the Disney/Pixar merger was to reinstate the traditional 2D animation features and short division that made Disney studios so famous. The Princess and the Frog is the first of this new batch of 2D feature films. It is being directed by John Musker and Ron Clements. They’re the guys that gave us The Great Mouse Detective, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Hercules, so they have a good track record. Randy Newman is also on hand to provide the musical numbers.

Princess and the Frog

The plot is centred in the bayou around New Orleans and sees a prince named Naveen from the land of Maldonia transformed into a frog by an evil scheming voodoo magician. The frog prince then mistakes a girl named Tiana for a princess and has her kiss him to break the spell but as always things don’t go according to plan.

Disney’s last forays into the world of traditional 2D feature films were not well received with Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Brother Bear and Home on the Range all tanking at the box-office. Walt Disney Animation Studios actually went so far as to announce, in the wake of the last box-office flop, that Home on the Range would be the last 2D traditional animated film and that from Chicken Little onwards, all future features would be CGI. So with that in mind it’s great to see traditional 2D animation return.

We all know that traditional 2D films can be utterly magnificent when done correctly and each of us has a favourite from our childhood. Being a child in the early 90s I witnessed for myself the last great golden-age of animation with the Disney trifecta of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and the Lion King all filling me with wonderment and happiness. That’s not to say the the likes of WALL:E, Toy Story and Finding Nemo are bad films, far from it, but I would hate to think that the emotional power and artistry of traditional 2D animation would be lost to the younger generations.

Early indicators are positive, and with Pixar’s track record Disney should be on a winner. Finger’s crossed that The Princess and the Frog will restore the lustre to this once great medium. We’ll know for sure when the movie is released on February 12th, but in the meantime here’s the new trailer to whet the appetite.

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About the Author

The proverbial man lost in La Mancha. Sports aficionado and all-round scoundrel. Über-geek to boot. I run the movie website Scannain.com and can usually be found twittering away as @niallxmurphy.

7 Responses to Down by the bayou…

  1. Disney’s last forays into the world of traditional 2D feature films were not well received with Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Brother Bear and Home on the Range all tanking at the box-office

    That’s because they were BRUTAL. Completely forgot the basic factor of a decent storyline and tried to do too much.

    Great post, Niall. Like yourself, love 2D animation (though to be fair, I love ALL animation) and am really looking forward to this one. Will it beat Beauty and the Beast? I don’t think so, but itlooks like it could be something special.

  2. Will Knott says:

    Given is location, does this mean the New Orleans Square(s) in the Disney parks are going to be updated with Naveen and Tiana?

  3. Niamh says:

    Ah nice one Niall, I’m dying to see this even more after the new trailer, it really is a step back to the old classics 🙂

  4. Yeah this does look really like more of a classic Disney film. I suppose my childhood one was The Lion King…I really love what John Lasseter did when he was made head of the animation department. Getting rid of the section that made all those shitty direct-to-dvd sequels and threequels to classic disney films was brilliant.

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