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The Princess and the Frog (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

89






Studio and Year: Disney - 2009
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 98 minutes
Genre: Family/Animation

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David, Michael-Leon Wooley, Jennifer Cody, Jennifer Lewis, John Goodman, Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard
Directed by: John Musker & Ron Clement
Music by: Randy Newman
Written by: Ron Clements, John Musker, Rob Edwards
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 16, 2010







"Dreams do come true in New Orleans"



Film Synopsis:

Disney celebrates a modern-day classic from the directors of The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. Discover what really happened after the princess kissed the frog in an inspired twist on the world's most famous kiss. This hilarious adventure leaps off the screen with stunning animation, irresistible music and an unforgettable cast of characters. Enter Princess Tiana's world of talking frogs, singing alligators and lovesick fireflies as she embarks on an incredible journey through the mystical bayous of Louisiana. Spurred on by a little bit of courage and a great big dream, these new friends come to realize what's truly important in life...love, family and friendship.



My Take:

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Magic, music and romance are waiting around every corner of the legendary Big Easy as Disney's newest princess sets out on an exciting adventure through a magical new world. Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose) is a beautiful and hardworking young woman determined to fulfill her father's dream, of owning an elegant New Orleans supper club. When Naveen (Bruno Campos), a handsome prince arrives in town looking for romance, the evil Dr. Facilier (Keith David) hatches a nefarious plot and turns Naveen into a frog. A kiss from Tiana will return him to his true form, but in a hilarious twist on the classic story, she is instead transformed into a frog herself! The pair must travel into the heart of the mysterious Louisiana bayou with only a trumpet-playing alligator and a love-struck firefly as guides to find the priestess who can reverse the curse in order to find their happily ever after.

I am a sucker for Disney animated films. I watched this one by myself and my wife commented on the fact that I am nothing but a great big kid, and she's right. The spirit of Disney animated films is something that I grew up on and I find that I still respond to them in a similar way. Disney's ability to create evocative and charming stories built around memorable characters is second to none. The Princess and the frog marks their return not only to hand drawn animation but to the animated musical as well. This is an American Fairytale that is reminiscent of films like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the beast. Tiana represents Disney's first African American Princess/lead and the story has a lightly veiled and appropriate ethnicity that adds to its charm without overemphasis. Taking place in 1920's New Orleans it features pertinent references to the southern boundaries/customs/music and people while adding the typically wonderful splash of magic that elicits audience reaction. Being a fairytale there are the requisite ingredients in that there is a princess/heroine, prince (Naveen), fairy godmother (sort of in Mama Odie), and a villain (Dr. Facilier). There is romance, betrayal, evil, sadness, laughter and ultimately jubilation. I liked the fact that this film puts a slightly differing spin on the genre while engaging us with great music and a positive message. I had a great time and applaud Disney for taking a step back to their roots and giving us a chance to experience the type of film and presentation that helped make them a household word. Well done!



Parental Guide:

This film is appropriate for all audiences.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 86



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 92


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692
attachment.php?attachmentid=169332&d=1268055566

The Princess and the frog comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.9 mbps.

With digital animation taking center stage over the last decade or so it is refreshing to see Disney's return to hand drawn animation with this fantasy film. Animation can sometimes be difficult to thoroughly judge when evaluating its video quality. There are aspects shared by both high definition and standard definition versions in terms of the absence of defining texture and lesser dimensional perspective. Objects in backgrounds are two dimensional which isn't a problem but images can appear to have less depth. I have noticed that with good high definition animated video this is still the case but rendering is notably improved. Such was the case here. Images had excellent visual depth with deep, rich, color fidelity and bold defining contrast that enhanced dimension. I was able to fully appreciate the attention to detail that went into the look of each of the animated characters. Colors were tonally rich with a beautiful and diverse palette that looked succulent in high definition. Contrast and brightness were stable and struck a wonderful balance that highlighted the multi-layered grays and delineated whites within the video. The varying gradational structure of the light and dark segments within the New Orleans streets and forestation in the Bayou was appreciable and helped to invigorate colors. Blacks have excellent depth and dynamic range but fall just shy of the ink like levels of the best discs available in high definition. This is a minor quibble from an otherwise superlative presentation that simply looked stunning.

The high resolution DTS-HD MA soundtrack was well articulated with excellent headroom and crystal clear rendering across the board. This was a well balanced presentation that featured high level detail in a resplendent blend of dialogue, sound effects, bass and music. The film's music sounded simply marvelous as the variety of musical numbers, like the gospel inspired Dig a little deeper, took center stage and created an involving, active, and well integrated soundfield. Instrumentation and precise imaging allowed it to flow through the room as it maintained a position of prominence without an overpowering presence. The overall result delivered a dynamically enhanced, enveloping surround sound mix that delivered punchy bass, and room filling, three dimensional audio. This made for an entertaining experience.



Bonus Features:


  • Play film with work in progress option - Displays storyboards/working animated segments in a window that coincides with the current scene.

  • Audio commentary with John Musker, Ron Clements, and producer Peter Del Vecho

  • (HD) 4 deleted scenes with introduction by John Musker/Ron Clements

  • (HD) Never knew I needed music video by NE-YO

  • (HD) Bringing animation to life:

    1. Introduction by John Musker/Ron Clements
    2. Dig a little deeper with commentary by John Musker/Ron Clements - 4 minutes
    3. The proposal with commentary by John Musker/Ron Clements - 2 minutes

  • (HD) Magic in the Bayou: Making of a princess - 22 minutes

  • (HD) The return to hand drawn animation - 2 minutes

  • (HD) The Disney legacy - 2 minutes

  • (HD) Disneys newest princess - 3 minutes

  • (HD) The Princess and the animator - 2 minutes

  • (HD) Conjuring the villain - 2 minutes

  • (HD) A return to the animated musical - 3 minutes

  • Art galleries

  • (HD) What do you see: Princess portraits - interactive game

  • Bonus DVD: The Princess and the frog

  • Bonus Disc: Digital Copy of The Princess and the frog

  • BD-Live enabled
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Final Thoughts:

The Princess and the frog is a wonderful animated film that has a traditional Disney ambiance both visually and thematically as it marks a return to hand drawn animation with a theatrically musical flair. It is wonderful family film that has an endearing charm and entertaining story that people of all ages can appreciate. I never tire of Disney animated films. The Princess and the frog's debut on Blu-ray Disc features a high quality audio/video presentation that enthusiasts are sure to appreciate. Disney has included a decent set of bonus supplements that include new Blu-ray Disc exclusives, A bonus DVD of the film (with extras), and a digital copy bonus disc. This set makes a worthy edition to your family film collection and comes highly recommended.








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Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
post #2 of 22
Great review Ralph. I don't know if I will have the guts to watch a Disney movie by myself but it will be a while before I have to test this as my four year old loves Disney. Every time she sees a trailer for this she mentions that we do not have it and will we have it tomorrow?
post #3 of 22
I will be picking up a copy for my 4 year old niece and one for myself after reading your review Ralph. As always, you do a fantastic job and in my opinion have become the best reviewer on the net. My wife and I always get excited when you post a new review.

Tom
post #4 of 22
This is a great film, especially if you know anything about New Orleans. It's a shame it didn't do so well, but it got swept up in Avatar mania, I guess.
post #5 of 22
Been wondering about this movie... I am quite familiar with the traditional story, but knew Disney was making some changes.

I thought it was nice to bring the story to New Orleans and the African-American princess angle for a change... but wasn't sure about how else they were modifying (the princess also being a frog for a bit, for example).

Ralph has been pretty good so far on these kinds of on-the-fence movies... so he might have pushed me over to the other side to pick it up next week.
post #6 of 22
My wife is goo-goo over Disney musical animations...loves Lion King , Little Mermaid...ect.

She has been been hammering me...and the other day she says... I'm going to Best Buy and picking up my "DVD" Princess and the Frog...I said babe
please get it in Blu Ray...she says... "but then I can't watch it upstairs right" ?

Sooo.. thats why she has never bought a Blu Ray disc... and only DVD's...so I will purchase a Blu Ray player for our bedroom..so she can enjoy the offerings upstairs... and she can buy Blu Rays for me , what an investment.

Thanks again for the review King Potts , your reviews never let down ...

I look forward to this purchase...

Dave in Va.
post #7 of 22
This was a great movie for children and adults alike, it was swept up by Avatar. It is up there with Lion King and other great classics
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Monahan View Post

I will be picking up a copy for my 4 year old niece and one for myself after reading your review Ralph. As always, you do a fantastic job and in my opinion have become the best reviewer on the net. My wife and I always get excited when you post a new review.

Tom

Greetings,

Thank you Tom. I sincerely appreciate your comments and the great support by those here that read my reviews.


Regards,
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfreak0 View Post

This was a great movie for children and adults alike, it was swept up by Avatar. It is up there with Lion King and other great classics

Well the commercial for this release touts the "best" since The Lion King. I cannot judge since I haven't seen it. I'll be renting it though and we'll see about that!

Thanks for the review, Ralph.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertc88 View Post

Well the commercial for this release touts the "best" since The Lion King. I cannot judge since I haven't seen it. I'll be renting it though and we'll see about that!

Thanks for the review, Ralph.

Greetings,

Robert, I found this one enjoyable however I am not so sure it rises to the level of The Lion King. That is of course only my opinion.


Regards,
post #11 of 22
This film was one of Disney's better films of recent years; however, I do not believe that it quite reaches the level of such films as "The Little Mermaid" or "The Lion King". The animation is very good, for the most part, but most of the music isn't all that memorable to me. There certainly wasn't anything of the calibre of "Kiss the Girl" on this film. They had a sequence where they tried to (sort of) create a scene similar to that from "The Little Mermaid", but it didn't have nearly the masterful use of music and mood that the "Kiss the Girl" sequence in TLM had.
post #12 of 22
I'm surprised not to see more chatter to tell the truth.

It's on its way from Netflix and I'll keep my hopes up. I want to be entertained.
post #13 of 22
At lunchtime, 10 minutes of watching this on a 40" or 42"" display at a BV store doesn't give the full picture obviously but WOW, this looked great! The color, lighting, and detail were quite impressive.

Something tells me I'll be hitting the pause button tonight!
post #14 of 22
I hadn't seen this at the theater so I didn't quite know what to expect.
This is only the fourth Blu-ray I've watched.
The Panny DMP-BD60 just kicked out the jams making this an eye popping
experience.
The clarity of the picture and the colors were just intense.
The soundtrack was fantastic.
My wife echoed my sentiments.
My son and his girlfriend who had seen it at the theater came in and looked at the TV and said " 'Wow' that's a whole lot better than when we saw it at the movies".
The extras were nice. The "Work in Progress" feature was wild. there is a PIP
screen that is back and white with the early rough sketches of the matching completed scenes on the screen.
I really enjoyed Randy Newman's musical score.
Don't miss this, it's well worth seeing.
post #15 of 22
Looks like another good one from Disney. Thanks for the review.
post #16 of 22
This film was fantastic!

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I'm a sucker for rags to riches stories, and this one was excellent. Tiana'a journey was a fun one to watch, and the background at the beginning with her and her father cooking and sharing the meal was excellent.


This is probably the best looking hand drawn movie I've seen. Beats Ponyo hands down, which I loved, but they are different looks to be sure.

My kids absolutely were engaged in this film, and while there is no standout song like some other Disney movies, they were all top notch. The songs had a couple of my kids up and dancing in front of the movie screen a couple of times.

I love the story of hardworking people making a difference, and having a big goal or dream that they are working for. I loved the different take on the classic frog and the prince story. The characters in the bayou were especially endearing and fun.

I was surprised how beautiful this film was. Nice and sharp, with great shadow detail and contrast. Great skintones and color overall.

This one is a keeper.

PQ 4.5 out of 5, SQ 4.5 out of 5, Film 4.5 out of 5

Dan
post #17 of 22
Great review Ralph! I didn't thought that it was that great... But i was pleasantly surprised.. I also agree with the ratings...
post #18 of 22
I have already watched this movie but not the Blu-ray one.But I am still deeply touched by the two little frogs, I mean, the prince and the little girl.They love each other regardless the family differences between them.What a brave girl!And I am really fond of the movie!Hope the Blu-ray one will bring us new shocks!
post #19 of 22
I hope more eventually watch it. Right now it seems to be Toy Story mania on forums for those movies and the deals.
post #20 of 22
I ordered the blu-ray to my fiance's stating, "you are such a kid." This is probably due to the fact that my favorite blu-ray so far is Pixar's Up. It's something about Pixar and Disney that really take blu-rays to the next level.

Anyway, the fiance was extremely skeptical of this one, but once the movie scenes moved to the bayou, we could not stop laughing through the rest of the movie. Growing up in south Louisiana (cajun country to be more precise) I can honestly say the voice acting on Ray the Firefly is the best Cajun accent I've ever heard put on screen. He is HILARIOUS!

Altogether, it's great fun, great writing, and excellent hand-drawn animation. The music is exceptional and I found myself tapping my foot the whole time (especially growing up with those sounds!).

It's an absolute must-buy for any Louisiana native, and any family with kids.
post #21 of 22
This movie didn't work for me at all. Truly a kid's movie and the video was a major disappointment. I'd give it a 1 1/2 or 2 out of 5.
post #22 of 22
Finally got around renting this ( by my daughters request ) and I have to admit it wasn't bad. There was times where the singing became too much but didn't spoil the film for me. Your review is spot on Ralph regarding video and Audio quality. For me it's a rental, though my daughter disagrees.
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