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When we heard that Walt Disney Animation Studios had decided that hand-drawn animation should not have died with the poorly received “Home On The Range” and that they were reviving the the Princess genre as well, with the first African American Princess to boot, too say that expectation were high is an understatement. The Princess and The Frog may have failed to meet those expectations, but it’s a solid effort on the road back for the mouse.
Disney called back a lot of the animators they had let go, rebuilt a whole new slew of animators desks, this time with a special new computer program that makes hand-drawn animation more efficient, and placed John Lasseter on notice – something magical had better happen.
Well there was magic, but not at the box office. I think a combination of a bad release date (it should have been a holiday offering) and poor marketing choices by Disney, led to some of the poor results. But it still brought in over $240 million at the world wide box office before it was pulled to make way for the DVD.
We all wanted the The Princess and the Frog to be a great film. Instead we got a movie that was slow in places, and with a story that lacked focus. But the animation was great, the music quality, and the characters are memorable enough to be featured in the parks for years to come.
Upon watching the film again I think it’s a big step over the films we had been seeing from Walt Disney Animation (although “Meet the Robinsons” is an underlooked gem if you ask me). I definitely see the foundation for more great films to come from Disney. They’re not back to “Beauty and the Beast” quality yet, but they’ll get there.
The single disc DVD comes with these exciting bonus features:
• Deleted Scenes
• Audio Commentary by John Musker and Ron Clements (co-writers and directors) and Peter Del Vecho (producer)
• “Never Knew I Needed”- Music video by Ne-Yo
Games and Activities
• What Do You See: Princess Portraits — A bayou-style quiz tests viewers’ knowledge of all of Disney’s beautiful princesses. Ray’s firefly family creates twinkling portraits of each princess and if
the player correctly identifies her, they can enjoy a tongue-cheek mini re-telling of that character’s story.
The Blu-ray Combo Pack edition comes with additional bonus features, including:
• Magic In The Bayou: The Making of A Princess — Co-writers and directors John Musker and Ron Clements take a freewheeling, behind-the-scenes look at the making of Disney’s newest animated film as it grows from an initial concept to a lavish animated film set in the enchanting world of New Orleans and the surrounding bayous.
• 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 with an introduction by John Musker and Ron Clements.
• Deleted Scenes introduced by the filmmakers
• Art Galleries — A collection of storyboard art traces the visual development of The Princess and the Frog’s rich gallery of
characters and settings.
The DVD hits the shelves on March 16th, but you can pre-order it today.
A couple video previews of the special features on the DVD below the cut. Also some fun facts from the movie
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