Australian Council on Children and the Media

Princess and the Frog, The

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Short takes

Not recommended under 6, parental guidance recommended to 8 (Scary scenes and themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Princess and the Frog, The
  • a review of Princess and the Frog, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 1 January 2010.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not recommended due to scary scenes and themes
Children 6-8 Parental guidance recommended due to scary scenes and themes
Children 8 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Princess and the Frog, The
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 97 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

This animated film is set in New Orleans in the 1920s. Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose) lives with her parents, Eudora (voiced by Oprah Winfrey) and James (voiced by Terrence Howard) who work hard to give her a simple and secure life. As the small family struggles to make ends meet her father dreams of a future where Tiana will open her own restaurant and people will come from miles around to sample the food that only she can prepare. When Tiana’s father is killed her mother continues to work as a seamstress for the very wealthy Big Daddy LeBouff (John Goodman), sewing glamorous outfits for his spoiled daughter Charlotte (Jennifer Cody). Tiana keeps her father’s wishes alive by working two jobs to try to save enough money to buy the ramshackle sugar factory they had dreamed of converting into her restaurant.

Meanwhile Charlotte wants nothing more than to marry a prince, like in the fairy tales Eudora read to her and Tiana when they were little girls. When Prince Naveen (voiced by Bruno Campos) comes to town, with the intent of marrying a rich girl so that he can appease his parents who have financially cut him off due to his partying ways, Charlotte can hardly contain herself. Prince Naveen gets involved with Dr. Facilier (David Keith), known in local circles as The Shadow Man. Skilled in the arts of voodoo and black magic he transforms Naveen’s servant Lawrence (Peter Bartlett) into the prince while the real prince becomes a frog.

In an effort to break the spell Tiana kisses the frog but becomes a frog herself. Together the two frogs set off, with the help of a friendly crocodile Luis (Michael Leon Wooley) and a firefly Ray (Jim Cummings) through the Louisiana Bayou to find the reclusive Mama Odie (Jennifer Lewis), the only person who can help return them to their former selves.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Disparity between rich and poor; race and gender inequality; voodoo and black magic

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • In an act of black magic the Shadow Man causes Prince Naveen’s finger to be bitten and fills an amulet with his blood.
  • Tiana throws things at Naveen and eventually squashes him with a big book. He is fine.
  • Naveen and Tiana must escape from a costume party with many guests trying to attack and squash them.
  • Dr. Facilier talks about killing Big Daddy LeBouff and stands with a needle poised over a little doll which looks like him.
  • A group of crocodiles try to attack and eat Tiana and Naveen.
  • Three hunters try to capture the frogs and a fight ensues with the men hitting, shooting at, whacking, smacking and punching each other as they try to hit the frogs. As Tiana and Naveen escape the hunters are shown with bruises, lumps and missing teeth.
  • Louis describes how he was chased off a river boat and shot at when he tried to play jazz with some of the musicians.
  • Naveen’s tongue is stepped on.
  • Dr. Facilier kills Ray, the firefly.
  • Charlotte screams and tries to crush Naveen with a book.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Throughout the film Dr. Facilier conjures up all sorts of black magic. He physically transforms people against a back drop of scary masks with glowing eyes and evil faces. He turns inanimate objects into snakes and shadows. He conjures demons from another world to hunt down Naveen and Tiana. Sometimes they are able to elude these creatures, but they are eventually caught. The creatures themselves are very menacing and sinister looking with sharp, shadowy, teeth and claws. They are shown streaking, crawling and running all through the town and all over the Bayou, leaving no stone unturned as they continuously hunt Tiana and Naveen.
  • In Mama Odie’s house Tiana is frightened by jars containing dismembered body parts.
  • Toward the end of the film many of the masks come alive, there is loud, booming, music in a graveyard and the dead are brought back to life to help chase and capture Naveen. The sequence is very dark, evil and creepy and could easily frighten younger viewers.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be scared by some of the above-mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Most children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Tiana clarifies that she only needs to kiss Naveen once and he says: “Unless you beg for more.”
  • While hiding in a log Naveen tells Tiana in a provocative voice that “We might as well get comfortable.” She hits him.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Charlotte wears some cleavage revealing dresses and at one point adjusts her breasts inside the gown.
  • A hunter’s underwear is briefly seen when a bullet rips through his pants.
  • While trying to catch flies Tiana and Naveen wind up with their tongues tied together, in an unpleasant, prolonged, kiss.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Charlotte and the fake Prince Naveen have a picnic lunch in a gazebo. There is a bottle of champagne on the table.
  • Party goers are seen drinking from wine glasses.
  • At Tiana’s restaurant patrons drink champagne.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • There is some name calling and some disrespectful language such as: “maggot,” “ugly” and “Shut your trap!”
  • There is one use of “shitanza.”

In a nutshell

The Princess and the Frog is an animated fairy tale with beautiful graphics and a poignant story line.  It is likely to be too scary for under 6s and some slightly older children but for over 8s it is a worthwhile film that provides many avenues for family discussion.

The main messages from this movie are

  • work hard and believe in the power of dreams, but above all know your own heart and never lose sight of what is really important
  • it doesn’t matter what you look like, or wear or what money you have it is who you are that counts.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • determination and persistence
  • believing in yourself

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • Race relations in early 1920’s America
  • The loss of a parent at a young age and taking on that parent’s dream as your own
  • Voodoo and black magic
  • Focussing so much on work that personal relationships begin to suffer.

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