AFI Movie Club: PRINCESS AND THE FROG – American Film Institute
The Princess and the Frog Film Still



THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG features Tony Award® winner Anika Noni Rose as Tianna, Disney’s first Black princess, and garnered three Academy Award® nominations.

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In this exclusive AFI Archive video, Lesley Ann Warren talks about the importance of animation:


DID YOU KNOW  The story for THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG began development by merging two separate projects that were being developed at Disney and Pixar at the time, both based around the fairy tale of “The Frog Prince.” 

DID YOU KNOW  THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG marked a return to hand-drawn movie. Disney had originally announced that 2004’s HOME ON THE RANGE would be their final traditionally animated film – but that decision was reversed when new leadership was brought in to run Disney Animation Studios. Many of the animators were brought back to help on THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG.

DID YOU KNOW Anika Noni Rose – the voice of Tiana – requested that the New Orleans-based heroine be left-handed, just like her.

DID YOU KNOW  Directors Ron Clements and John Musker also directed ALADDIN and THE LITTLE MERMAID for Disney, and both movies are referenced in THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG. The magic carpet, genie’s lamp and King Triton all make brief appearances in the movie. Also, Clements and Musker have cameos in the film as animated versions of themselves dressed as fish, throwing beads in the Mardi Gras parade.

DID YOU KNOW  The character of Tiana was inspired in part by famed restaurateur Leah Chase, who directors Ron Clements and John Musker met on a research trip to New Orleans. Chase was known as the Queen of Creole Cuisine and co-owned the historic New Orleans restaurant Dooky Chase.

DID YOU KNOW In addition to appearing as the mysterious and magical Mama Odie in THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, Jennifer Lewis also provided the voice of Professor Granville in BIG HERO 6: THE SERIES and the voice of Flo in Disney/Pixar’s CARS.

DID YOU KNOW Originally, the trumpet-playing alligator, Louis, was written as a human with a passion for music, who had gone to Dr. Facilier to gain the ability to play the trumpet – but when Dr. Facilier granted his wish, he also turned Louis into a gator. The story idea was dropped when the filmmakers decided the subplot would be too complicated.

DID YOU KNOW THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG received three Academy Award® nominations – one for Best Animated Feature and two for Best Original Song for “Almost There” and “Down in New Orleans” – both written by Randy Newman.

Learn more at the AFI Catalog

The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram now using #AFIMovieClub. Or post your responses in the comment section below.

-What is Tiana’s dream? Do her dreams change at all throughout the movie? Does she achieve her dreams by the end?

-What is the difference between wanting and needing? How does that manifest itself for each of the characters?

-What is Mama Odie singing about in the song, “Dig a Little Deeper”? Why is it important advice for Tiana and Naveen? Why is it important for audiences?

-What is the significance of the New Orleans setting in THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG? How does it differentiate from other fairy tale stories – and other Disney princess stories?

-What makes PRINCESS AND THE FROG an important film in the Disney princess pantheon?

-How has Disney tried to bring more inclusion to their films both animated and live action?

-What do Prince Naveen and Tiana teach each other by the end of the movie? What does Ray teach both of them?

-How do songs help tell the story? What role can music play in storytelling that is different from non-musical films?

-How would you rate THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG?

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