Throwback Thursday-The Princess And The Frog (2009)

Disney places before us an interesting conundrum. For all of it’s archaic story lines,  over simplified characters and inanimate objects that come to life, they sometimes do something right.

In The Princess And The Frog (2009), Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose) is waitress who dreams of opening her own restaurant. Prince Naveen (voiced by Bruno Campos) is a prince whose life is completely carefree. Naveen is manipulated by a voodoo doctor and is turned into a frog. Tiana agrees to kiss Naveen in frog form and is herself turned into a frog. Now they must both find a way to return to their human forms before it’s too late.

Based on the fairy tale, The Frog Prince, the story is taken out of it’s original place and time and put in 1920’s New Orleans.  While it is not as catchy as some of their earlier work (or maybe because I am not their target audience anymore), it was not that bad. I especially loved that Tiana is African-American and Naveen’s ethnicity was not explained, he was not obviously Caucasian.

Do I recommend it? Why not?


Throwback Thursday-Keeping Up With The Steins (2006)

In Judaism, a Bar or Batmitzvah is a coming of age ceremony welcoming the young person to their future adult self.

In Keeping Up With The Steins (2006), Benjamin Fiedler (Daryl Sabara) is about to become a Bar Mitzvah. As with any religious ceremony, his family is coming together to celebrate this young man making his entrance to the adult community. And anyone who has brought their family together for a event of this type knows that drama will always ensue.

Benjamin’s father, Adam (Jeremy Piven) and his grandfather Irwin (Garry Marshall) have not spoken in many years.  Benjamin is feeling the pressure to succeed while his family is feuding and trying to keep up with the neighbors. Will Ben’s Bar Mitzvah be a memorable one for the right reasons or the wrong reasons?

What is interesting to me about this movie is that you can change the location and religious faith of the characters and the same issues will come up. There is, even with the specifics of the story, a universality to this story of family and growing up.

I recommend it.

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