A leap backwards

2010-01-23 00:00

DISNEY has a new princess. She’s African-American, very independent, and her name is Tiana. What’s more she’s been created using good, old-fashioned animation techniques.

Tiana is the star of The Princess and the Frog, which is loosely based on E.D. Baker’s novel The Frog Princess, which itself was inspired by the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale, The Frog Prince.

It’s the 49th animated feature released by Disney and the first since 2004’s Home on the Range to be traditionally animated.

John Lasseter, executive producer and chief creative officer for Walt Disney Animation Studios, described the film as a “return to the timeless world of hand-drawn animation at Disney”, adding: “It’s an ageless fairytale, but with a fresh twist that combines everything we look for in great stories: comedy, adventure, music — and most of all, the kind of heart that always sets Disney animation apart.”

With the advent of computer-generated animation, hand-drawn animation had almost been abandoned as an art form, and a special team had to be assembled to create the new film. The team included both older, renowned hand animators and a new generation of artists who were trained specifically for the film.

All the characters were drawn in pencil-on-paper first and then scanned into the computer against either hand-painted or digitally created backgrounds.

“At every turn,” Clements says of the process, “we realised that we could reach out and touch the legacy of the animated Disney fairy tale, and yet move in surprising and interesting new ways, rather than slavishly imitating or reproducing what had been done before.”

The Princess and The Frog is directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, whose previous animated adventures include The Great Mouse Detective, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules and Treasure Planet. The songs and score were composed by Randy Newman.

Set in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the film tells the story of a prince named Naveen (voiced by Bruno Campos) from the land of Maldonia who is transformed into a frog by the evil scheming voodoo magician Dr Facilier (voiced by Keith David).

Naveen mistakes a girl named Tiana (voiced Anika Noni Rose) for a princess and has her kiss him to break the spell. But things go wrong and Tiana turns into a frog instead.

Together, the two of them travel to see the good voodoo queen of the Bayou, Mama Odie, befriending a trumpet-playing alligator called Louis and a hopelessly romantic Cajun firefly named Ray along the way.

The Princess and The Frog, which has proved to be a hit with critics and audiences in the U.S., will be released in South Africa on January 29.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

CSR Inbound

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
O'Brien Recruitment
R14 000 - R16 000 Per Month

Debtors/Creditors Supervisor

Century City
Pro Placements Recruitment Agency
R10 000 - R12 000 Per Month

Graphic Designer

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Creative Sourcing
R7 000 - R9 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.