December 9, 2009

Princess and the Frog: The City and Characters of New Orleans

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As with all movies, books and stories, the setting is one of the characters, and without it the whole plot would be destroyed. And this animated feature is no different, New Orleans is the heart of the movie, and without it the movie would not make sense, and would feel not connected. Being set in New Orleans, and along the Mississippi River, many steamboats take rides along the shores, and they are ALL modeled after the Mark Twain Riverboat in Disneyland, coincidence? I think not.

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Along with the waterways of New Orleans, comes with the heart of the city, the French Quarter area and the real city portion.

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Living inside the heart of New Orleans, in the city, is the main character, our heroine, or protagonist, if you will, Tiana.

Pictured below is Tiana as a child, and her dream to not be like everyone else, a princess. She wants to be independent and her own person. Tiana really embodies “today’s woman” as John Lasseter says.

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She dreams of owning her own restaurant and she works hard for it, and follows her father’s advice (played by Terrence Howard) of following her dreams and never giving up and working hard to get somewhere. Adult Tiana (and frog Tiana) is played by Anika Noni Rose, she is star of stage and screen, and before this was most notably known as the “third Dreamgirl” behind Beyonce and Jenifer Hudson.

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Tiana’s solo musical number and her “power” song like Part of Your World is to Ariel, and Colors of the Wind is to Pocahontas, Almost There is Tiana’s song.

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Check out one of the scenes in the movie, where Tiana kisses the Frog Naveen…

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Tiana Drawing

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The following two videos from YouTube focus on Tiana and how strong she is and different from any other Disney princess.

 

Tiana’s parents are James (played by Terrence Howard) and Eudora (played by Oprah Winfrey) who tell Tiana to follow her dream and that nothing should get in her way of doing that. 5655_151497233708_99911703708_3551668_5965794_n

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Being in New Orleans, we also have the stately mansions of the bayou country where the “American Aristocrats” of the day live.

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One of the many “aristocrats” of New Orleans is one of Tiana’s best friends, Charlotte La Bouff, an 18-year-old spoiled southern d├ębutante and diva. She dreams desperately of meeting and marrying a prince and becoming a princess.

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Charlotte’s father is Eli “Big Daddy” La Bouff, who is a wealthy, sugar mill owner in the South.5735_155652783708_99911703708_3611877_5999370_n

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You cant talk about New Orleans and not talk about two things: music and Marti Gras, both of which happen in the movie.

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As we conclude this second feature in the four part series, we will bring you to a character that will bridge this feature, to the next feature, Prince Naveen.  100_1708

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Prince Naveen is a 20-year-old, gregarious, smooth-talking, and fun-loving prince who comes to the French Quarter for the jazz scene and with whom Tiana and Charlotte both fall in love.   

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Naveen Drawing

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Due to being new in the city, he is persuaded by the shady Dr. Facilier into taking a tour of his office, which results in a curse transforming him into a frog.

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Pictures and Information from YouTube and Princess and Frog Official Site

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