The princess is a poor girl, Tiana, with dreams of owning her own restaurant set in early heyday of New Orleans
(1920’s). She’s black, which turns her into an inspirational, aspirational role model for all girls, and especially black girls who’ve only grown up with quite white princesses (except for the occasional Pocahontas or Princess Jasmine).
On the New Orleans side of things…if you’ve ever been there, walked the French Quarter, eaten beignets powdered with sugar, or tried some gumbo, Disney captured the authenticity of the old city in animation form.
It got me. The whole kit and kaboodle. The animation, the characters, the story. And I’m 50.
There is no denying. This has been a really, really bad year. I’ve never had so many talented friends out of work and struggling — looking for jobs for almost two years. How is that possible? And there are much worse things than that. But I don’t want to head in that direction for this post. Nevertheless, going into this holiday season, people need something to make them feel hope. And the message in this movie for children and the adults that house their own children hearts, is that if a little girl in New Orleans, can find strength within herself to really flourish, then we should be able to as well. Her lesson, and ours, is that it can’t be about what you want. It has to be about what you need. And we all need love. Real supportive, family-building love.
Second. The music is just fantastic. Randy Newman wrote a host of songs, embracing the full flavor of New Orleans, plus, plus, plus.
Third. The relationship between Tiana and her father serves as a thematic reminder of the importance of the parent in the life and shaping of a child. Her entire self-path is determined by the impressions her dad made on her as she grew up and lived through his own dreams and struggles. And she still had to struggle herself to understand the true lessons of that pivotal relationship.
Fourth. Did I say this yet? The music is beyond fantastic.
If you need a lift…then…yes. This movie will do it for you. Take your hard won $10 and get a ticket. It will be one of your best $10 spends this season. Say “bonjour” to Dr. Facilier for me. D’accord?