The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Disney - 2009
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 98 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
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"
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.
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!
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)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
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.
- 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:
- Introduction by John Musker/Ron Clements
- Dig a little deeper with commentary by John Musker/Ron Clements - 4 minutes
- 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
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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