(out of 5)
Anika Noni Rose contributes gorgeous singing and a delightful voice performance as a hard-working New Orleans waitress at the height of the jazz age, who dreams of one day opening up her own restaurant. On the night that a rich heiress, and her childhood friend, is to meet a prince (Bruno Campos) who has been cut off from his royal parents in order to pursue a ragtag life of music in Sin City, some bad luck befalls him. A bad guy with voodoo powers (Keith David) puts a spell on the charming young man and turns him into an amphibian, while his vengeful servant takes over his physical body. Rose unwittingly tries to help save the frog prince from his fate by following the old fairy tale and kissing him back to his own self, but instead turns herself into a frog. The adventure these two go on in search of restoration is one fraught with danger, devilish delights and dance music, all of it so incredibly bouncy and enjoyable you simply won’t be able to get your fill. A lack of really high stakes is the film’s only sour note, with a villain who is a bit too easy to circumvent, and no genuine sense of danger to give it the kind of dramatic power that directors Ron Clements and John Musker brought to their masterpiece The Little Mermaid. Otherwise you’ll get no end of pleasure from the lovely, hand-drawn animation, Randy Newman’s toe-tapping songs or the humorous collection of characters.
Story by Ron Clements, John Musker, Greg Erb, Jason Oremland, Don Hall, additional story material by Chris Ure, Jared Stern, Dean Wellins, additional source material by Will Csaklos, Ralph Eggleston, Screenplay by Ron Clements, John Musker, Rob Edwards, based on the story The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker
Produced by Peter Del Vecho
Music by Randy Newman
Production Design by James Aaron Finch
Film Editing by Jeff Draheim