Thursday, December 31, 2009

How to Perform Occult Rituals on Frogs and the Occasional Princess

The Princess and the Frog: Not at All a Re-telling of the Beloved Fairytale, but Rather a Beautifully Animated Infomercial on How to Start a Career in Black Magic and Be Your Own Voodoo Priest. With an Occasional Princess.”

I saw The Princess and the Frog with my wife and two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. We went with friends who had three daughters. I had already been warned that the movie was “going back to Disney’s roots” and that it was a little “over the head” of the carefully targeted young, purchase-decision driving Disney audience.

Many key plot drivers were missing throughout the show and I was often left wondering and confused. I wasn’t confused at any moment about WHAT was going on in the movie, but I often wondered WHY it was going on. Some of those questions include:

  • Why is the prince making deals with a voodoo priest?
  • Why is the prince’s servant suddenly such a willing accomplice in fraud, kidnapping, deception and eventual attempted homocide?
  • Why is this kid’s movie telling me so much about how to work voodoo magic, make deals with evil spirits and otherwise begin my own practice in the dark arts?

This last question occurred time and time again during various voodoo magic scenes in the movie where I saw beautiful animated sequences set to catchy songs filled with chorus girls and colorful flashing lights while characters performed blood rituals, fortune telling and otherwise sold their souls to the underworld. I kept tapping my feet and fighting the urge to shout, “Boy, black magic sure looks fun!”

At least there was an overt moral lesson near the end of the movie where the voodoo practitioner’s soul is violently, albeit colorfully, harvested by his demonic overlords. A valuable scene that clearly states to viewers of all ages, “Black magic isn’t ALL fun and games.”

On the ride home, while curtly checking the offspring over for signs of long-term mental and emotional injury, I determined she survived unscathed. I believe her two-year-old mind was confused during the film as well, but her recurring questions may have been more along the lines of:

  • Why aren’t there more princesses?
  • Why are we watching these boring frogs so much?
  • And What happened to the princesses?

Interrupted by the occasional thought, “When Genie did magic in Aladdin, he did it without human blood, voodoo dolls or apparent soul bargaining. Was that even REAL magic or was it just pretend?”

My overall rating for the movie is 3 and a half shrunken head voodoo talismans on a scale of five shrunken head voodoo talismans.

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