New Princess and the Frog Trailer: Like True Blood, but with Fart Jokes
Shape-shifting! Dodgy Southern accents! Swampy mysticism! For a moment there, while watching the new trailer for Disney's The Princess and the Frog, you might be forgiven for thinking that Disney had been feasting from the same magic gumbo that HBO uses to fuel True Blood. Only this time, instead of leavening the proceedings with occasional glimpses of Alexander Skargard and Anna Paquin's breasts, Disney's offering fart humor and some slightly off-putting racial whatnot.
I'm actually going to give Disney the benefit of the doubt with Frog because the hand-drawn animation is unimpeachably gorgeous and Mouse House chief John Lasseter's earned my trust countless times over, but it's hard to deny a sense of unease provoked by Frog's caricatured characters. Lead princess Tiana isn't incidentally African-American (as Up's Russell was) because by setting the film in New Orleans, the whole movie is suffused in details plucked from one of the most unique, vibrant black cultures our country has to offer. Only...it's been adapted by two middle-aged white men and, as the trailer boasts, it features "songs by Randy Newman." If ever there were time for Disney to start tapping another musician's well, this would seem to be it.
VERDICT: We'll see.