John Lasseter’s desire to take Disney animation back to basics seems a risky proposition
4/5 Dir Ron Clements, John Musker US (G) In this three-dimensional, computer-generated age, new studio chief John Lasseter’s desire to take Disney animation back to basics seems a risky proposition. But what’s surprising about The Princess and the Frog is just how far back they’ve gone: this isn’t The Lion King or even The Jungle Book: with its sensuous, hand-drawn animation, soft pastel palette and jazz-age setting, this is a rewarding exercise in retro recreation.
The plot is thin but fun, following the adventures of a poor New Orleans waitress with big dreams and a haughty prince of indeterminate foreign stock after they’re transformed into amphibians and marooned in the Louisiana bayou. The songs are a little bland and the story is uneven, but there are some great characters, some even better jokes, a general sense of good humour and that entrancing, eye-ravishing old-school animation. Tom Huddleston