Early last month, the first five minutes of The Princess and the Frog appeared online. You’ve most likely seen it already, but I’m excited about the impending release so I don’t care. Early reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, and the fact that merchandise has been selling out for weeks now despite the fact that the film isn’t a sequel or “franchise” picture is a hopeful sign. I want this movie to be huge. I want this to be a smack in the face to every idiotic suit who thought that earlier, lesser films from previous years failed because they were traditionally animated.
I want this movie – a traditionally animated film that’s actually good – to make such a sickening amount of money that every studio starts scrambling to start up their shuttered animation units and every animator in New York and L.A. has as much work as they can stand. I want this project-to-project hiring and firing mindset to stop, and for people to sign fat, long-term contracts. Without those animators on contract but between projects, we’ll never get those inspired make-work projects like Goldberg’s Rhapsody in Blue.
Anyway, this is the first sequence of the film. It introduces us to Tiana and her friend Charlotte as children; soon after this clip ends, we transition to characters as adults. This was part of the film that was shown at D23, and it cracked me up because it seems to be taking a direct jab at the “princess” phenomenon and mindset.
One last note: while some of the animation in this clip is complete, some shots are still rough animation. That being said, here you go:
And it might be just me, but young Charlotte is reminiscent of Darla from Mark Dindal’s sadly unappreciated 1997 film Cats Don’t Dance. And her cat reminds me of the feline Yzma from Mark Dindal’s slightly less unappreciated 2000 film The Emperor’s New Groove.