Today my family and I went to see the much anticipated first African American Princess movie, "Princess And The Frog." We had heard just before attending that the movie had racial undertones, however, we thought we'd check things out for ourselves. After 10 minutes into the movie it was clearly understood why people would feel this way. We were absolutely offended. None of us expected to see the old slave mentality from older movies in this film. Instantly you see the very well dressed white child, and the under-dressed black child, the black nanny/mammy and then the overbearing white slave mentality father, and not to mention the big pot of gumbo, and "don't forget to add the hot sauce!" It was entirely too much! We requested a refund, however the theater worker tried to get us to take a pass instead. Well, we insisted on the refund as we did not want Disney to reap the benefits of us NOT seeing this film. There were a hundred different ways Disney could have depicted this story without going into the 1920's and using old negro stereotypes to do it. My family and I are a melting pot and we understand the need for positive change with regards to race relations, but this film, if anything, takes us back to that old negro slave mentality. It was really hard to overlook what went on in the first few minutes of the movie to go any further. I personally believe that the writers thought setting the movie in the 1920's and in New Orleans, would excuse the fact that the movie is to a great extent, demeaning. Hyping this movie up to be the first African American Princess and hand-drawn 2-D Disney film in ages is not enough to overlook the thinking and sensitivity that did NOT go into the making of this film, respectively.
According to #!@%*#.com, this movie has the distinction of being the biggest financial failure in the history of Walt Disney Pictures, and I guess it heralded the beginning of the end for traditional hand-drawn animation. I never saw it when it first came out, but having checked out the DVD, I must say, I really enjoyed it, and it made me miss those hand-drawn animated features. This movie is the best example I've seen of combining 2D and CGI animation, and I didn't even realize that the character of John Silver uses elements of both until I'd finished watching the movie and moved on to the special features.
The visuals will stick with you a lot longer than the story elements, but 'Treasure Planet' made me nostalgic for the second Golden Age of Disney animation.