Early Buzz: Disney’s The Princess and the Frog

THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG

Disney’s 2D animated film The Princess and The Frog won’t hit theaters nationwide until December 11th, but right now the film is playing in limited release in New York and Los Angeles. So what is the early buzz? Lets take a look at some of the early reviews.

The Hollywood Reporter: “So Princess and the Frog really marks Disney’s rediscovery of a strong narrative loaded with vibrant characters and mind-bending, hilarious situations.” … “This is the best Disney animated film in years. Audiences — who don’t care whether it’s cel animation, CGI, stop motion, claymation or motion capture as long as it’s a good story — will respond in large numbers. A joyous holiday season is about to begin for Disney.” .. “Princess and the Frog” reawakens your appreciation of the timeless beauty of the classic style while evoking a fantastic world with such warmth, vigor and confidence that you surrender to its happy lunacy.”

Variety: “Disney goes back to the drawing board with results more diverting than captivating” … “this cheeky update of a classic fairy tale boasts almost as many talking points as merchandising opportunities” … “this long-anticipated throwback to a venerable house style never comes within kissing distance of the studio’s former glory.” … “That derivative quality pervades the entire production, as directors John Musker and Ron Clements — who collaborated on such Disney new-wave masterpieces as “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin,” but also 2002′s poorly received “Treasure Planet” — seem content to sample the company’s back catalog and riff on classic conventions rather than forge an actual classic.”

More after the jump.

Entertainment Weekly: “This old-fashioned charmer holds its own beside the motion-capture elegance of Disney’s A Christmas Carol, the engrossing stop-motion universes of Coraline and Fantastic Mr. Fox, the CG-enhanced genius of Up, the wonder of 3-D technology, and, indeed, the unique, hand-drawn Japanese artistry of Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo as the year’s deepest, most affecting, and most inventive movies.”

Salon: “the sweetest, most sincere romantic comedy to come along in ages, and a luminous love letter to a great American city.” … “But the glow of streetcars, the light glinting off stars and fireflies in the night sky — the way that every element, every shade, is more beautiful in context of the other — that is some powerful, lovely stuff. And you don’t have to be 5 years old to be captivated by it.”

Village Voice: “The Princess and the Frog is pleasantly, if unmemorably, drawn. But the movie as a whole never approaches the wit, cleverness, and storytelling brio of the studio’s early-1990s animation renaissance (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King) or pretty much anything by Pixar, which makes it all too easy to follow Mama Odie’s own advice and ‘dig a little deeper.’”

Los Angeles Times: “It’s the studio’s return to the lush, fluid beauty of hand-drawn animation. It’s an old-fashioned fairy tale, even though they’ve had some fun with the story. And it’s set to music in the grand tradition of “Beauty and the Beast,” which is to say the neoclassic ’90s brand of Disney animation.” … “There are the big Broadway-style numbers we’ve come to expect from Disney musicals of that only slightly bygone era, the kind that let the animation team go wild.” … “The dialogue is fresh-prince clever, the themes are ageless, the rhythms are riotous and the return to a primal animation style is beautifully executed.”

USA Today: “The movie captures the traditional Disney aesthetic, with some up-to-date spins.” … “The film embraces diversity in a natural way. The film’s ethos is summed up by voodoo priestess Mama Odie (Jenifer Lewis) in her native patois: “Only thing important is what’s under the skin.” There Pinocchio was about wishing on a star, The Princess and the Frog emphasizes backing up wishes with hard work. That proviso is a thoughtful message for young moviegoers.”

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