Type: Review
Pages: 5 | Words: 1338
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The 49th in a row full-length animated feature film by Disney. “The Princess and the Frog” – the first after a long period feature film studio, made in the traditional technique (hand-drawn) animation. The animated film was directed by animators John Musker and Ron Clements (Little Mermaid, Aladdin, etc.) and composer — Randy Newman. The film continues the tradition of Disney cartoons and musicals. Cartoon was nominated for Movie Award “Golden Globe” and “Oscar” award in the category “Best Animated Feature”.

“Once upon a time”¦” this phrase is familiar to people from all cultures and it has made its way onto the movie screens of all countries. The Princess and the Frog movie came out in December of 2009 in the United States. It was inspired by Baker’s novel The Frog Princess.

Living in the French Quarter of New Orleans in the 1930s, the dark-skinned waitress named Tiana, by chance dressed in a costume of princess meets the prince of Nun, who was turned into a frog by the evil voodoo sorcerer Dr. Fasil. At the Prince’s request generous Tiana kisses him, but because she is not a real princess, the spell works in reverse, and turns Tiana into a frog.

The girl had a dream to open her own restaurant — her father instilled in her love of cooking before he went off to war and died. Now, her chances to realize their plans into reality finally crumbled. Straying on the moor, the boy and the girl in the guise of frogs meet the alligator Louis, who was playing jazz, as well as a fun firefly Ray (Raymond), who was in love with a star in the night sky, which he calls Evangeline. With support of these new friends, they come to a surprisingly good-natured but awfully strange voodoo witch Odie, who finds a way to help them become people again (in the story Mama Odie lives in “the farthest, darkest corner of the floodplains of Mississippi”). In the old fishing boat, hanging upside down on a giant tree, Mama Odie and her handmade kite Zhuzhu remove charms and spells for those in need. The couple returned to New Orleans because theoretically the curse can be removed only by Charlotta’s kiss, who is Tiana’s girlfriend. But they both found Dr. Fasil, seeking to obtain the blood of Nun, to disguise him his assistant (a former servant jealous of Nun). A sorcerer and his shadow hunt for heroes. Ray destroys shadows with his light, but he gets killed by the sorcerer who tries to persuade Tian to stand on his side in exchange for her previous form and execution of her dreams, but she refuses. The wizard tries to kill her in the guise of a frog, but she breaks the charm of transformation, which was borrowed from Fasil’s spirits. Those arrive to intimidate him and suck him into the pit, leaving the last reminder of the sorcerer – the gravestone. At the end of the film among the young people appears love, and it returns to them their human form. Tiana and Prince Naveen get married and Tiana becomes the owner of the restaurant, so her dream was fulfilled.

Now let’s leave the plot behind and talk about the cultural aspects of the movie. First of all I would like to mention that this is the first animation movie produced by Walt Disney animation studios, whose main character is an African-American girl. And starting from the first scene of the movie we can see the difference between Tiana and her friend Charlotte. They come from very different walks of life. And here we can observe the first stereotype, whose roots come from America of 1920s. If you are of African origin, you can provide themselves only through hard work working on white people from rich families.

Not less interesting is the fact that originally the cartoon was called “The Frog Princess”. But politically correct Americans have read in such a title hints stating the fact that the first African-American Disney princess is ugly, that there is something bestial in her — and could not let this happen. After receiving a barrage of letters with accusations of racial intolerance, the creators have changed the name of the movie and a couple of key points of the plot. Here we can see the second widely spread in the past stereotype that a person with black skin is considered ugly, because he is different from the dominant mass of white people. During period from the XVI century to the XIX century to the Americas were imported about 12 million Africans, of which about 645 thousand – to the territory of modern USA.

Although Congress banned import of new slaves from Africa in 1808, this practice has existed for at least another half century. Slavery was abolished during the American Civil War in the 1863 according to proclamation of the U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. In the southern part of the United States centuries of slavery and decades of segregation created legal and political system, which is characterized by domination of whites. Black people were not allowed to participate in the elections. There were laws, according which blacks could not attend schools and universities along with whites and they had to take special places reserved for them in public transport, etc. Many shops, restaurants, hotels refused to serve blacks. Blacks have always called white as “Mr.” or “Mrs.”, even though whites seldom bestowed politeness on blacks. As a conclusion, during all these years of treating black people as slaves and their slow steps towards freedom saw the reflection of those times in our minds and stereotypes today.

The influence of stereotype of black woman working as a babysitter and taking care of children of white people we can observe on the fact that the name the main character was also changed – originally her name was Madeline. The fact is that its short name, Maddy, sounds almost like “Mammy” (the “old Negro woman” or “mammy”). They had to abandon the collateral storyline, according to which the main character worked as a maid in a wealthy house to avoid negative feedback.

We can also see that “Princess and the Frog” is full of musical scenes. This film is made in the traditional Disney style with its inherent musical episodes. The prevailing style of music in the cartoon is jazz. And as we know, Jazz emerged in the late XIX – early XX century in the United States in the synthesis of African and European cultures. Here we can see the influence of African culture on the development of music in the United States. Music is using nonverbal style to convey the mood of the time and trend of African culture. African-American culture has become an integral part of the whole American life; music, created by American Negroes — spirituals, blues, jazz — was accepted by all Americans as their own.

In conclusion of all the above information, you can say the following. The long history of occurrence, life, growth and development of black people in America has affected the overall development of both white and black citizens of America. The peculiarity of Negro culture of the United States is further than up to 60s of the XIX century. The people who created it are essentially a single class of slaves, expressing it in their desire for freedom, their dreams and aspirations. In the struggle against slavery and later in the fight against oppression and discrimination there took shape the national culture of the American Negro, which found its expression in rich folklore, music, dance, theater, visual arts, etc.

These and many other features characterize the originality and uniqueness of Afro-American people.

Afro-Americans — are great people, they have unique and colorful culture. Their art is characterized by deep emotions and sincerity, bright colors and inexhaustible wealth of images and intonations.

And all this beauty and difference of cultures has been transferred with the greatest skills and talent into “Princess and the Frog” made by the greatest animation studio of all times — Walt Disney Company.

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