Hollywood has a knack for turning innovation and excellence into formulaic predictability, and there are few examples more obvious than Disney films. Since that studio’s artistic rebirth with The Little Mermaid
, Beauty and the Beast
, and The Lion King
, the Mouse House’s output has not only settled into familiar conventions, but it’s been eclipsed by the company’s very own Pixar. Thankfully, The Princess and the Frog
deserves some credit for pushing against the restraints of the Disney mold.
Set in New Orleans at the beginning of the 20th century, the movie concerns a poor African-American girl named Tiana who has a knack for cook...