100 Facts About The Princess and the Frog

Aloha my wonderful merfolk!

We’re finally back to traditional hand drawn Disney movies, yippee. I didn’t see this movie till a few years after it came out but it quickly became one of my favourite Disney movies. It’s sweet, it’s enchanting and it holds everything that makes a Disney classic!

44. Princess and the Frog

  1. The Princess and the Frog as released on December 11th
  2. It is the 49th animated feature in the Disney Animated Canon.
  3. It is the first Disney associated film to be traditionally animated since Pooh’s Heffalump Movie.
  4. It is the first traditionally animated film in the Disney Animated Canon since Home on the Range.
  5. The main character is also notable as Disney’s first African-American princess.
  6. This I the first 2D animation where all the voice actors do both speaking and singing parts since Beauty and the Beast.
  7. While the film takes place in the mid-1920s, when prohibition was still enforced until 1933, alcohol is seen being served in Tiana’s restaurant, on the riverboat and at the La Bouff’s masquerade ball.
  8. Prohibition was widely ignored in the US generally and particularly in New Orleans, so this is not very surprising.
  9. When the Shadow Man is reading Prince Naveen’s tarot cards, the last card he pulls is of the prince’s future which shows him sitting on a lilypad in a pond.
  10. At the same time, he is singing ‘It’s the green, it’s the green, it’s the green you need and when I look into your future it’s the green that I see’.
  11. We learn he doesn’t see money but he foresees the prince turning into a frog.
  12. The Mama Odie character was inspired and patterned after the late famed New Orleans storyteller Coleen Salley, even down to the characters voice.
  13. Coleen consulted with the director several times but never lived to see the completed movie.
  14. Her name is mentioned in the films credits.
  15. Coleen was known especially for the telling of the old Southern children’s story ‘Epaminondas and his Auntie’ and her own updated version entitled ‘Epossumondas’.
  16. Mama odie can be heard saying a famous line from those stories: ‘You ain’t got the sense you was born with’.
  17. Coleen passed away on September 16th 2008 at the age of 79.
  18. Dr Facilier looks very similar to the Voodoo god of magic, ancestor worship and death, Baron Samedi.
  19. Baron Samedi is often described as being very thin, wearing a top hat and tuxedo and having a skull face.
  20. When Dr Facilier casts his spell on the Prince, you can see a skull spear on his face, solidifying the connection.
  21. One of the more subtle Louisiana references is the name of Ray’s love, Evangeline.
  22. The name refers to the poem ‘Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow about an Acadian girls search for her lost love.
  23. The poem is held dear to Louisiana and descendants of the Acadians, people of French descent who were forcibly relocated during a Canadian war in the mid-1700s from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to Louisiana, often permanently separated from their families in the process.
  24. Anika Noni Rose requested that Tiana be left-handed, because Rose herself is left handed.
  25. The alligator in the film is named Louis in honour of jazz great, Louis Armstrong.
  26. The film originally entitled The Frog Princess.
  27. Disney changed several key elements to the film after receiving numerous complaints of racial insensitivity.
  28. Besides retitling the picture to avoid the implication that the first African-American Disney princess was somhow ugly or an animal, the lead characters name was changed from Maddy to Tiana.
  29. Disney believe Maddy sounded too much like ‘Mammy’.
  30. A subplot of her working as a maid was also dropped to avoid negative stereotypes.
  31. When Louis is describing Mama Odie in the swamp, he pulls some Spanish moss down around his head and leave his snout sticking out.
  32. This mirrors an almost identical scene in Disney’s The Sword in the Stone when Mad Madam Mim pulls her hair down over her face before transforming into a pig.
  33. New Orleans celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse plays the voice of Marlon, one of the alligators who tries to eat Naveen and Tiana in the swamp.
  34. He uses his signature ‘Bam’ line in one of his characters sentences.
  35. Marlon is of course named after Marlon Brando, star of the New Orleans drama, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’.
  36. The print in the newspaper that Big Daddy reads in the opening song reads, ‘Rich playboy arrives in New Orleans this morning from the luxury S.S Beesknees. This is the final stop in a whirlwind tour for the United States. Rumour has it that the eligible and handsome prince is looking for a bride. True or gossip, the ringing of wedding bells has every lovey lady in town lining up to see Prince Naveen in all his royal glory. Dust off the gowns and tiaras. The royal ball of all balls s scheduled for the next week.’
  37. The animation style was primarily influenced by Lady and the Tramp for the city scenes and Bambi for the bayou scenes.
  38. Those films, in the directors opinion, the peak of animation in the classic Disney animation style.
  39. The star Ray calls ‘Evangeline’ is in fact, the planet Venus, named for the roman goddess of love.
  40. The band that Louis plays for is named the Firefly Five plus Lou, a reference to the Dixieland Jazz band, Firehouse Five plus Two which consisted of Walt Disney animators.
  41. The piano player is caricature of animator, Frank Thomas, who played piano on Firehouse Five.
  42. Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys and Tyra Banks were all considered for the lead role.
  43. Keys and Banks personally lobbied the studio for the part.
  44. The coloured symbols that float around during the song ‘Friends on the Other Side’ and whilst Dr Facilier is bargaining with his friends on the other side are based on actual voodoo symbols called vévé.
  45. One main symbol is the voodoo goddess of love, Eruzile’s heart vévé.
  46. Ron Clements was at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival when he got caught in a downpour and took cover under the table.
  47. Clements later added a scene in the bayou, un which Tiana and Naveen get caught in the rain.
  48. Beyoncé Knowles was considered for the role of Tiana but lost out on the role as she refused to audition.
  49. The Prince of Maldonia is called Naveen which is an Indian name meaning new, which suggests that Maldonia is a Eurasian country.
  50. The name Maldonia is a mix between Malta and Macedonia.
  51. During the down in New Orleans montage, the newspaper mentions in print that Maldonia cannot be found on a map – i.e it is made up for the movie.
  52. One notable similarity between Dr facilier and Keith David who provides his voice, is that both have a prominent gap in their front teeth.
  53. The animators also incorporated David’s expressions and gestures into the character.
  54. This is Disney’s first fairy tale film since Aladdin in 1992.
  55. The streetcar Tiana takes to work during an early scene, is labelled with the number A113.
  56. A113 as the room for the animation department at California Institute of the Arts where, during the 1970s, John Musker, Ron Clements, John Lasseter and Brad Bird studied animation.
  57. This film led Disney to create a now animation pipeline based around customized installations of Toon Boom Harmony, a retail software solution already in use for the DisneyToons productions and many other 2D productions from other studios.
  58. Character animation was traditionally done on paper and scanned into the computer system, while effects animation was input directly into Harmony using Wacom Cintiq pressure-sensitive tablet displays.
  59. Eric Goldberg supervised the animation of Tiana’s ‘Almost There’ fantasy sequence which was based on the art of African-American painter, Aaron Douglas, one of the major figures of the Harlem Renaissance.
  60. Right at the beginning of the opening credits of the song, ‘Down in New Orleans’ you can see someone shaking a carpet out of their window that is the same as the magic flying carpet in Aladdin.
  61. Dr Facilier is the only character in the film to refer to himself by that name.
  62. All other characters refer to him as The Shadow Man.
  63. Terrance Howard and Oprah Winfrey differ significantly in age despite voicing characters in their late 30s to early 40s with Howard being 44 and Winfrey at 60.
  64. Anika Noni Rose was 41 when she voiced the young Tiana.
  65. The prologue takes place in 1912 as indicated by the newspaper with the headline ‘Wilson Elected’, referring to President Woodrow Wilson.
  66. Animator Bruce W. Smith described Dr Facilier as ‘the love child of Captain Hook and Cruella DeVil’.
  67. The dance Naveen and Tiana do in the last few seconds resembles a simple verson of the ‘cakewalk’.
  68. In the graveyard scene, there are three headstone that appear with stone faces before the voodoo masks break out.
  69. The centre face is that of Madam Leota, a character from The Haunted Mansion.
  70. She appears both on a headstone and during the ride.
  71. The attraction is also in the New Orleans Square portion of Disneyland.
  72. The animation backgrounds in the film are entirely digital, painted in Adobe Photoshop using Cintiq tablet displays.
  73. When Louis is singing about becoming human, he mentioned Louis Armstrong before pulling some Spanish Moss from a tree and wiping the left side of his mouth.
  74. In later life, Louis Armstrong suffered damage to his lips from years of blowing high notes on his horn, causing the left side of his mouth to dribble saliva.
  75. He would always carry a handkerchief in his left hand and frequently wiped his mouth,
  76. The Princess and the Frog received three Academy Award nominations in 2010.
  77. It became the first Disney animated feature to receive more than one academy award nominations since Pocahontas.
  78. During their time in New Orleans, directors Ron Clements and John Musker and producer Peter Del Vecho volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, to help rebuild New Orleans.
  79. There was an early draft entitled, ‘Stop and Smell the Roses’ where Naveen tells Tiana she needs to have more fun.
  80. In this scene, Naveen claims in his home country, there are two numbers in between 28 and 29.
  81. These are twenty-badini and twenty-caladonza.
  82. Naveen’s home country in this draft was called Maldaquesh,
  83. The hunters in the Bayou represent Lennie and George from John Steinbeck’s novel, ‘Of Mice and Men’.
  84. This is the first film since The Lion King to have more than one song to be nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards.
  85. For much of the film, Naveen calls Tiana’Princess’ and later ‘Waitress’, symbolizing his objectification of women as a whole.
  86. He doesn’t all her by her real name until after the song ‘Ma Belle Evangeline’, when he starts to fall in love with her.
  87. A code title used during production was ‘Orpheus’.
  88. This was the first 2D animated Disney film for composer Randy Newman.
  89. Alan Menken and Glenn Slater were originally going to do the music for the film.
  90. John Lasseter however didn’t want it to seem as if Disney were getting too repetitive.
  91. During the Walt Disney Company’s annual shareholder meeting in March 2007, Randy Newman performed a song he had written for the movie.
  92. He was accompanied by the Dozen Brass Band.
  93. At the beginning of the flm, a doll of Merida from Brave can be seen on Charlotte’s shelf.
  94. When Mama Odie is looking for the clam with the pearl in ‘Dig A Little Deeper’, one of the items she throws away is the genies lamp from Aladdin.
  95. The film takes place in 1926.
  96. The Princess and the Frog is the first Disney Animated Feature Film to have a December release since The Emperor’s New Groove.
  97. Mama Odie is barefoot every time she appears on screen.
  98. Throughout the film, Charlotte wears clothes that are either coloured red or pink, symbolizing her girlish and over the top personality.
  99. The very first and the very last scenes show Evangeline in the sky.
  100. In the last scene, she is joined by Ray.

a mermaid be waiting for you, in mysterious fathoms below


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