Pixar has been accused by various people of having killed off Hollywood’s (and by extention the audience’s) interest in 2D animation. A ridiculous accusation of course, but when John Lasseter took over running all of Disney Animation in 2006, he heard that talk, and decided to prove it wrong anyway. He immediately put into production a new 2D theatrical feature, the kind of classic, old school, animated musical that Disney used to be best known for.
That’s out today as The Princess and the Frog, and Will and I checked it out today. It’s very deliberately old fashioned, from its setting to its style and classic 2D animation style, but it really is very good. With an outstanding New Orleans influenced jazz score by Randy Newman, including plenty of musical-style songs, the movie is steeped in African American and Creole culture, again, something not often seen.
Though unfamiliar with most of them, the voice cast is excellent, with plenty of great singers among them. When I get the access I’ll check more into them — they do some great songs.
Excellent animation in the classic Disney style — this couldn’t be any further from the Pixar style if it tried — but it’s up there with the Pixar quality. Almost too old school in some ways, but it is definitely worthy in its own right anyway. For some reason Disney stopped doing this sort of movie in any quality way nearly 15 years ago, so naturally it took John Lasseter to bring it back. Four stars.