Traditional animation returned to theaters in grand form last fall, but unfortunately the classic style failed to resonate with audiences on the level that the Walt Disney Company was hoping for. While mildly successful, The Princess and the Frog struggled to make it to the lucrative holiday weekends, and was decimated by the far inferior Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeaquel. It’s a shame, because The Princess and the Frog is a magical, entertaining event the entire family will enjoy.
The movie, full of princesses and sorcerers and bright colors and musical numbers, hearkens back to Disney movies of old, delivering a shockingly satisfying sense of nostalgia. In spite of this, or because of it, The Princess and the Frog also feels fresh and new, offering up a new batch of enjoyable, memorable characters that hopefully, in time, will cement themselves in Disney history.
For a full Princess and the Frog review, click here.
Like other Disney collections of late, The Princess and the Frog Blu-Ray comes with three discs, including a DVD and digital copy. The DVD contains some of the bonus features that will be mentioned below, but the Blu-Ray contains several more. Aside from some deleted scenes – which are simply storyboard animations (no thank you) – most of the bonus features are featurettes. The featurettes look at all aspects of the film, from the character design to the return of traditional animation.
There are 10 to 15 featurettes, though most of them are only a couple minutes in length, clearly to make it look like the Blu-Ray has more to offer than it really does. The two or three beefier ones are approximately 20 minutes in length and include interviews with the directors and animators talking about how excited they were to do a traditional animated film again, casting decisions and more. The featurettes are fairly informative and easy to watch.
Unfortunately, Disney missed out on some real opportunities to make a kick-ass Blu-Ray. For instance, featurettes that examined:
- The business decision to end traditionally animated movies, and the reasons why they brought the style back.
- The efforts of resurrecting traditional animation. Did the studios have to be re-converted? Did animators need to be re-hired?
- The process of doing traditional animation. This would have been the perfect opportunity to explain the steps taken to actually take a cartoon from concept to final form.
Given the lack of children’s material on the Blu-Ray and less than an hour of real meat, it does feel like Disney didn’t put their full efforts into this package. Still, The Princess and the Frog is good enough to own – especially if you have children – and the existing bonus features worthwhile.