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  1. #1

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    Cool I saw a Screening of Princess & the Frog! John Lasseter sighting! No major spoilers.

    I just wanted to share that I got to see a screening of The Princess & The Frog tonight (Tuesday)!

    I won't make any major spoilers or give the plot away, instead I want to tell you about the experience, drop a few minor hints about what to look forward to, and then there was my brief "brush" with fame with John Lasseter. Also, I got to speak with one of the animators afterwards (he said it was their first day of screenings they have had for the film!).

    In case you were interested: I got the passes for the screening from movies.com (occasionally they send emails about screenings, in this case, you knew it was The Princess and the Frog only if you clinked on the link for more info..I'll have to do that more often!). It was at The Bridge Cinemas in Los Angeles, and was staffed and run by the "Nielsen" the ratings people. A free popcorn and soda was a nice touch.

    Before the feature film began, they explained in person, as well as in a short film, that the movie wasn't finished, and that we would see a combination of parts of the finished film, the storyboards, and the unfinished hand-drawn animation. I thought this aspect of the evening was fascinating, and I loved seeing the unfinished hand-drawn animation, and I was somewhat surprised at how game the audience was, who seemed to be as involved in the story as if it were the finished product (I think that speaks well for the project!). I thought some of the finished animation was quite beautiful, and I can't wait to go back and see the finished film.

    I was quite touched and happy at all of the "Disney" references the filmmakers threw in. It made me feel like people behind the movie had a great affinity and knowledge for the subject. They were just small touches, and I won't spoil it for you, so you can find them for yourself, but they included homage's to specific parts of Disneyland (including Yesterland), as well as classic and not so classic Disney cartoons, and even specific divisions in the company. Sometimes these "nods" were quite subtle and respectful, and sometimes they seemed to be poking fun at their subject, for me, they seemed to find a balance, and it worked.

    As for the film overall, personally I really enjoyed it. It has some “classic” storytelling elements that I think are going to freak a few people out, but I thought it was well done and way overdue. The only thing I wasn’t happy about were the songs. Don’t interpret that as I didn’t like the film. I am just not a big fan of Randy Newman. I would rather have had Alan Menken, but that’s just me. Don’t let that stop you from seeing a great film.

    The following might be a minor spoiler, (so you can skip ahead if you wish) but it has previously been brought up on this website. I know that some people have previously complained about the “Thomas Kinkade” inspired look (Kinkade is a very popular contemporary painter, who is sometimes described as “mall art” - check his website out) . Well, you might already know they also use another contemporary artist for inspiration as well, and that is “Shag” (You can buy Shag’s retro-style products everywhere now, including from Disney). I thought the two completely different styles made for an interesting contrast. And, as so many of Kinkade’s paintings are “all about the buildings” watching the movie is an architecture lover’s dream . I am not a Kinkade fan, but the look of the film didn’t bother me at all, I thought it looked great. And just an FYI: I don’t blindly like every Disney movie I see, but I enjoyed this one.

    After the film, they asked us to fill out comment cards, and I was one of the last people to leave. I really had to go to the bathroom, and when I walked out of the theater into the hallway, there was a “clump” of people in the way. I really had to go. I could see the men’s room across the hall. A small gap opened up in the clump, and I made my move. Of course, as soon as I went for it, someone backed up, and I accidently brushed against them as I went by. I looked back out of the corner of my eye, to see who I had made contact with, and it was, of course, John Lasseter. It was literally my brush with fame for the night! When I came out, he was still surrounded, but seemed to enjoy talking to the group.

    Later, after a burrito, while leaving the mall, I saw one of the animators and struck up a conversation with him and got to tell him how much I enjoyed the film. Among other things, he said how much work they still had to get done, that they obviously had a lot of animation to finish. He sounded a little stressed about it! I am sure they will finish it before Christmas...right?!!

    Well that’s it. I hope you enjoyed it.

  2. #2

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    Re: I saw a Screening of Princess & the Frog! John Lasseter sighting! No major spoile

    Thanks for the non-spoiler review (I did skip the one paragraph when you flagged it at the beginning). And I - AM - SO - JEALOUS because The Bridge is where I go to watch movies! As a matter of fact, I'm going there tomorrow to watch Star Trek in IMAX. So close but no cigar.

  3. #3

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    Re: I saw a Screening of Princess & the Frog! John Lasseter sighting! No major spoile

    Wonderful job! Truly looking forward to seeing it. I bet the directors Clements and Musker were in the hosue as well as JL.

    The Bridge is an excellent moviegoing experience. The complex was once the site of the temporary IMAX theatre where Disney presented 'Fantasia 2000' during its run prior to the theatre's permenent IMAX's completion.

    Thanks again!
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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    Re: I saw a Screening of Princess & the Frog! John Lasseter sighting! No major spoile

    Thanks for that insight into the future!

    I am a little disappointed in the 'references'. Surely this has already been done (and well) by Shrek and Enchanted? Does every animated fairy tale now need to be self-referencial?

    Spoiler comment..... (Skip you fools!).....


    Shag? He's the guy who did those wonderful Pink Panther designs a few years ago I think. I like his style but it is better suited to a United Artists cartoon from the 1950s than a Disney feature surely?
    WDW - 1987 & 1991
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    DLR - October 2011





  5. #5

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    Re: I saw a Screening of Princess & the Frog! John Lasseter sighting! No major spoile

    Thanks for the great review! I've been really looking forward to more info on this movie.

    I love Shag, but I'm not a fan of Kinkade. It should be interesting to see the mix of the two styles.
    <o>

  6. #6

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    Re: I saw a Screening of Princess & the Frog! John Lasseter sighting! No major spoile

    TY for sharing!!
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  7. #7

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    Re: I saw a Screening of Princess & the Frog! John Lasseter sighting! No major spoile

    Glad you liked it and glad to hear that it wasn't a dud.

    I think I spotted John Lasseter here in Kelowna a few months back. You're probably wondering what John would be doing here in Kelowna and where the heck is Kelowna. Well, Club Penguin has their head office here. I was going into the neighboring building to drop off a resume and a guy came out of the other building where CP is located. I swear, the guy looked just like John. I should've gone over and said hi.

  8. #8

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    Re: I saw a Screening of Princess & the Frog! John Lasseter sighting! No major spoile

    I just have to know... How is Tiana a princess? Is she a princess of Mardi Gras, or royal blood? I'm just really curious as to her royal status. You can PM me if you feel it's too spoilertastic.

  9. #9

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    Re: I saw a Screening of Princess & the Frog! John Lasseter sighting! No major spoile

    great share... thanks...
    thanE

  10. #10

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    Re: I saw a Screening of Princess & the Frog! John Lasseter sighting! No major spoile

    THANKS for the "preview"!!!!!

    As for the film overall, personally I really enjoyed it. It has some “classic” storytelling elements that I think are going to freak a few people out, but I thought it was well done and way overdue. The only thing I wasn’t happy about were the songs. Don’t interpret that as I didn’t like the film. I am just not a big fan of Randy Newman. I would rather have had Alan Menken, but that’s just me. Don’t let that stop you from seeing a great film.
    Crap! I'm not a fan of Randy Newman's music, either. And I just made a similar comment about Alan Menken, wishing he would have been the one to do the music for this movie. I would have LOVED to hear how he would incorporate New Orlean Jazz music into a classic Disney fairy tale. It's one of the few types of music that he hasn't done, yet. Instead, we get Randy Newman's plunky toy piano music, bleah . Sorry to hear that my main concern about this movie is being confirmed.

  11. #11

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    Re: I saw a Screening of Princess & the Frog! John Lasseter sighting! No major spoile

    I was there, too, and I'm working on notes, but I wanted to say I saw nothing like Shag (big fan) in anything I saw. Kincade maybe but I'm not a fan and this all looked marvelous. There was an extended number with Jazz Age poster/art deco style which at this point seemed choppy. It will be interesting to see if they can make that flow and fit.

    Regarding tie-ins, it was not Shrekish where it was so self-aware, it just had the look and feel of many places Disneyland fans will be familiar with at times (I hope NOS doesn't transform completely to Tiana-land - shudder). And beignets should start selling like hotcakes. Mmmmm...beignets.... (Homer Simpson drool.)

  12. #12

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    Re: I saw a Screening of Princess & the Frog! John Lasseter sighting! No major spoile

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyDishwasher View Post
    I just have to know... How is Tiana a princess? Is she a princess of Mardi Gras, or royal blood? I'm just really curious as to her royal status. You can PM me if you feel it's too spoilertastic.
    Ok...you asked for it! ...I'll PM!

  13. #13

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    Re: I saw a Screening of Princess & the Frog! John Lasseter sighting! No major spoile

    Awesome preview!
    I am interested in finding out how Tiana is a princess would you care to share in public? If not PM me please..please..please... Many thanks.

  14. #14

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    Re: I saw a Screening of Princess & the Frog! John Lasseter sighting! No major spoile

    Quote Originally Posted by Cactushugr View Post
    I was there, too, and I'm working on notes, but I wanted to say I saw nothing like Shag (big fan) in anything I saw. Kincade maybe but I'm not a fan and this all looked marvelous. There was an extended number with Jazz Age poster/art deco style which at this point seemed choppy. It will be interesting to see if they can make that flow and fit.

    Regarding tie-ins, it was not Shrekish where it was so self-aware, it just had the look and feel of many places Disneyland fans will be familiar with at times (I hope NOS doesn't transform completely to Tiana-land - shudder). And beignets should start selling like hotcakes. Mmmmm...beignets.... (Homer Simpson drool.)
    Hey Cactushugr, I can't wait to read your notes! Were you one of the folk talking to JL?!

    MINOR SPOILERS!: I completely admit it is open to interpretation and maybe my eyes saw something no one else will, and I can't wait to read your notes and hear from others when the film comes out to see what they saw! Please keep in mind I think Kinkade and Shag were both just "influences". If they copied their style and work too closely, there would be royalties to pay and attorneys involved, and the film itself wouldn't become it's own work of art, which I think it is. For me, the New Orleans homes at the begining finished portions, were clearly done in Kinkades "painting in light" style (the overly warm windows & doors in that scene), with his trademark highly detailed attention to architecture (the detailed N'Orleans wrought iron and wood work), and, to me, the Restaurant scene, reflected Shag in colors, proportions, and stlyized retro "jazz look" ...in the "jazz restaurant". Again, just influences, and again, it may just be me.
    I agree, they didn't go as far to be considered Shrekish, and beignets....mmmm

  15. #15

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    Re: I saw a Screening of Princess & the Frog! John Lasseter sighting! No major spoile

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbossa View Post
    Glad you liked it and glad to hear that it wasn't a dud.

    I think I spotted John Lasseter here in Kelowna a few months back. You're probably wondering what John would be doing here in Kelowna and where the heck is Kelowna. Well, Club Penguin has their head office here. I was going into the neighboring building to drop off a resume and a guy came out of the other building where CP is located. I swear, the guy looked just like John. I should've gone over and said hi.
    Cool! (I had to google "Club Penguin"....no kids!...now, any hints about not "where", but "what", is a Kelowna??!)

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