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  1. #16

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    Re: Poor Performing Princess (and the Frog)

    Quote Originally Posted by sailerm View Post
    This is a misconception, but the same one Micheal Eisner had.
    I don't know, it used to be that no one could touch Disney when it came to animation.

    I can point to movies that aren't very good, and far inferior to PATF (at least based on the reviews), such as Shrek 3 or Shark Tale.

    Those movies will easily outgross PATF. Am I wrong to attribute this to CG animation?

    People used to gravitate to Disney for their animation fix, why are so many mediocre animated movies by rival studios now doing such big business?
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  2. #17

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    Re: Poor Performing Princess (and the Frog)

    It hurts to say this, but I'm afraid it's true that Princess/Frog is underperforming. I think there are several reasons for this:

    1. The princess thing. Yes, it's been a merchandising bonanza for Disney, but it's marketed solely, of course, to girls. That limits the audience right there. And...maybe Disney has been "princessed" out. The same thing happened when Sleeping Beauty premiered. People back then had had enough of princesses for a while. They'd seen Snow White, and Cinderella, and they probably thought Sleeping Beauty was just more of the same. Of course, in reality, it's a very different film from the other two (visually more stunning, if weaker in story elements), but audiences made assumptions and avoided it.

    2. Frogs. Frogs aren't cute, not like mice, bunnies, ducks, dogs, cats, fawns, and lion cubs are cute. Not even Kermit has a cute factor like Mickey has a cute factor. Plus the frogs in the movie were very bland and very generic-looking, and that was obvious in the trailers. And unfortunately, Tiana, who is a wonderful character (as she proved in the showstopping "Almost There"), spends much too much of her time in the film as a frog, and she really loses a lot of her charm. Too bad. I really liked her...when she was human.

    3. The sidekicks were also lacking in the charm department. It's pretty tough in the first place to make an alligator seem cuddly (especially one that looks a lot like the man-eating crocodile in Peter Pan), and I think that even the amazing animator Eric Goldberg couldn't make Louie the equivalent of Pumbaa or Baloo. As for Ray, he had far more charm in the film than he did in the trailers. But he is, after all, a bug. And bugs don't have that cuddly quality either.

    4. The whole film was just too dependent on a familiar formula. When people said they wanted 2D back, they didn't necessarily mean they wanted it to portray the same old thing. Me, I have high hopes for the upcoming (I hope) Snow Queen. The mind reels with visions of beautifully-animated snow and ice, something I think 2D can do better than 3D. Plus the Snow Queen isn't the usual princess-and-prince thing, that is, if Disney stays true to the story; in the Hans Christian Anderson version, the girl risks all to rescue the boy, and has incredible adventures along the way. It also has a lot of emotional punch to it. It's something Disney could do extremely well, and I have high hopes for it.

    5. The music. Just blah. Except for "Almost There", it was never any more than servicable.

    Speaking of assumptions, a lot of people skipped my fave movie of the year, Astro Boy, for the same reason: they assumed that a new version of an old classic would be crapped up when transferred to CGI. It's not true - it's excellent, which was the last thing I expected it to be. I wish I had been as similarly surprised and delighted by Princess and the Frog, but it just about met my expectations. Too bad. It's kind of heartbreaking...but I think Disney can learn from this and "keep moving forward" - as Walt himself would say...

  3. #18

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    Re: Poor Performing Princess (and the Frog)

    one, because the press focused on the first black princess, it made the movie image a bit polarizing, thus alienating some people.


    two, the music should had been better, you know, it lacked some of that Disney magic kind of.

  4. #19

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    Re: Poor Performing Princess (and the Frog)

    Disney once again limits it's audience to young families and prepubescent girls.
    Though the property may still be a success through merchandise, the actual film could have performed better with a February 2010 release. Free from the clutches of CG powerhouses, Avatar and 'Chipmunks II' and with a stable month long ground before 'Titans' would open in March.

    Also, if it's budget would have been greater than 103.1 million(a striving half of the average Disney 2D adventure) its story development could have been less rushed.
    Major characters such as Louis, Mama Odie and (depressingly)Tiana could have been more fleshed out. Naveen the only character really gaining any lesson from his transformation.

    Now 'Frog' is still a A-class animated film. It isn't one of Disney's best, but it remains a charming return to the company's original form of magic.
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  5. #20

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    Re: Poor Performing Princess (and the Frog)

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
    I think the main problem was this movie's marketing. Initial marketing should have tried to target boys instead of only to girls. This could hve been done like Disney did much more successfully with Enchanted. But they failed to do this.

    I think it was a good movie, but I think in this regard they shouldn't have made her a princess. That alone is a turn-off with most boys. And while I think it is a great movie overall I don't think it made sense to have a princess in New Orleans because there's no such thing as royalty in he US. And it would have made the film less threatening to a certain audience that could have easily been included.
    You might be on to something here. We had a boys night out at our house tonight and when it came down to Princess and the Frog vs Avatar, guess who won? I think just the word "Princess" in the title alienates almost all boys who are over 10 years of age. Not ALL, but ALMOST all. I think if they had come up with another title...like...Oh...I don't know....something like "Le Frog du Magique" or "The Amphibian's New Groove" you might have had something that was more marketable to both genders.

    That, and I think they could have done a better job with marketing. I mean...Shrek was basically a princess movie...sort of...and it raked in huge numbers. Actually, it was an "anti" princess movie, so I guess that doesn't really count. But "Little Mermaid" and "Beauty" were both princess movies that did very well. Were both of those movies released in December? I thought they were both Summer films.

    Regardless, I loved Princess and the Frog and it's disappointing to not see higher numbers by now. Avatar is a monster comparatively. I hope Disney doesn't equate this lack of turnout with lack of interest in 2D. The two have NOTHING to do with each other.

  6. #21

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    Re: Poor Performing Princess (and the Frog)

    Word is that the new Alvin movie not only slaughtered the Frog at the box office today, it beat Avatar. :O Looks like Alvin will snatch 19 million IN ONE DAY, while Avatar takes 16 million and Frog only 2.4.

    I think PATF has just croaked...

  7. #22

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    Re: Poor Performing Princess (and the Frog)

    I went to the movies today to see Precious (INCREDIBLE film.. a must-see) and the line to see Alvin was huge! A little bit of me died inside seeing all of those kids in line to see a movie keen on raping my childhood/destroying David Cross' career for the second time around when a great film like Princess and The Frog is sitting there with quarter-filled theaters.

    Thanks, America.

  8. #23

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    Re: Poor Performing Princess (and the Frog)

    Going to see Alvin today.

  9. #24

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    Re: Poor Performing Princess (and the Frog)

    Quote Originally Posted by sailerm View Post
    Going to see Alvin today.
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  10. #25

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    Re: Poor Performing Princess (and the Frog)

    Quote Originally Posted by stitchon View Post
    I went to the movies today to see Precious (INCREDIBLE film.. a must-see) and the line to see Alvin was huge! A little bit of me died inside seeing all of those kids in line to see a movie keen on raping my childhood/destroying David Cross' career for the second time around when a great film like Princess and The Frog is sitting there with quarter-filled theaters.

    Thanks, America.
    Well, and that's how I felt after seeing Astro Boy, and loving it, and then finding out about its weak box office, while a truly awful piece of dull dreary cinematic sludge like Where The Wild Things Are got all the love. (Of course, while it's made much more money than Astro Boy, it's a flop too, since its budget was so huge - those stupid muppet costumes failed and CGI had to be brought in so that the monsters' faces could display emotion) - but it DESERVED to flop. Never so bored by a movie in all my life. Whereas Astro Boy failed at the box office, but not as a movie. It's wonderful in ways that Princess and the Frog is not. It's more of a classic (Walt-made) Disney film in spirit than PATF is, in my opinion.

    As for Alvin, I saw the first film, and meh, it was okay. What was neat about it was that, while Alvin and his brothers did things no chipmunk could do, they still moved a lot like real chipmunks - jumping and climbing up things and so on. That helped their believability. The kids in the audience started laughing the moment they heard a chipmunk talk. They love those high voices. :P

    I think PATF's troubles could lead to a better Snow Queen. Disney now knows that by-the-numbers 2D movies aren't a guaranteed success. It'll have to try harder - a lot harder. Fortunately, The Snow Queen is a marvelous story, and a break from the princess formula, and these are major plusses. We'll have to see what Disney does with it...

  11. #26

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    Re: Poor Performing Princess (and the Frog)

    From an article I read today... astro boy is the biggest 'flop' financially of the year

    And 2009's Biggest Bomb Was…Not What You Think - E! Online

    "3. Will Ferrell is off the hook. Astro Boy, which ran a $45 million deficit, not Ferrell's Land of the Lost, which "only" fell $35 million shy of matching its budget, or Eddie Murphy's Imagine That ($37 million in the red) was the biggest bomb. As far as we can tell. Only the accountants know for sure. Other money-losers: Bruce Willis' Surrogates; Gerard Butler's Gamer; and Planet 51, which is still in theaters, so there's hope, but probably not $30 million worth of hope."

    "8. Kids' films for grown-ups add up to nothing for nobody. Exhibit A: Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are ($100 million budget; $75 million worldwide gross). Exhibit B: Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox ($40 million budget; $20 million worldwide gross)."

    and what I'd add are things people are all hyped up on Micechat about (see Wild Things and PatF) obviously don't align with the mass market.
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  12. #27

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    Re: Poor Performing Princess (and the Frog)

    Just came back from watching Alvin 2.

    SLOW TORTURE.

    It had none of the what little charm the first film possessed. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. And the Chipettes really pushed one's willingness to suspend disbelief. Especially in closeup. :P Princess and the Frog was a billion times better than this, and Astro Boy was 2 billion. Hopefully both will make a killing on DVD.

  13. #28

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    Re: Poor Performing Princess (and the Frog)

    Quote Originally Posted by Magenta Panther View Post
    Just came back from watching Alvin 2.

    SLOW TORTURE.
    Have to agree with you there. Saw it today, and it reeked of Cash Grab sequel. What's the deal with Jason Lee? (spoiler)
    Spoiler
    Was he in jail or something that he couldn't actually be IN the film? It was like Margo Kidder in Superman 4. "Hi I'm only in the film for 37 seconds"


    That said. My kids loved it. They were given the choice of Frog or Alvin, all four of my teen daughters chose Alvin hands down.

  14. #29

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    Re: Poor Performing Princess (and the Frog)

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    From an article I read today... astro boy is the biggest 'flop' financially of the year

    And 2009's Biggest Bomb Was…Not What You Think - E! Online

    "3. Will Ferrell is off the hook. Astro Boy, which ran a $45 million deficit, not Ferrell's Land of the Lost, which "only" fell $35 million shy of matching its budget, or Eddie Murphy's Imagine That ($37 million in the red) was the biggest bomb. As far as we can tell. Only the accountants know for sure. Other money-losers: Bruce Willis' Surrogates; Gerard Butler's Gamer; and Planet 51, which is still in theaters, so there's hope, but probably not $30 million worth of hope."

    "8. Kids' films for grown-ups add up to nothing for nobody. Exhibit A: Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are ($100 million budget; $75 million worldwide gross). Exhibit B: Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox ($40 million budget; $20 million worldwide gross)."

    and what I'd add are things people are all hyped up on Micechat about (see Wild Things and PatF) obviously don't align with the mass market.

    What about exhibit C: "Up"? A lot of MiceChatters were pretty hyped up about that, while a lot of people were predicting financial doom with the geriatric hero, and as far as I know it was a huge box-office success (and a critical success as well).

    Shame about Astro Boy, Wild Things, Mr. Fox and Princess and the Frog. They all deserved better. (I didn't see the other films mentioned).
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  15. #30

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    Re: Poor Performing Princess (and the Frog)

    Since when is CG not original animation? If one truely desires Walt's original animated style, they would be asking that we all suffer through pre-Steamboat Willie features with mute chacters, along with pre-Pinochio scetching that comes across flat and with little depth. Disney rejected his own original style of animation in favor of inventing new ones. This, in conjunction with awesome storytelling moved Disney to the commercial fore time and time again, nationally and worldwide.

    Walt's successful commercial history tells me that he would be jumping onto the CG bandwagon full on... and if anything, improving upon it. The songs didn't do anything to add freshness or captivating charm either. Never Knew I Needed was the only stand-out number.. and it was sung during the closing credits rather than by the characters during the film.

    The princess theme "being out of place in America" criticism can be countered by arguing that the foreign Prince Naveen made Tiana a legitimate princess. Unfortunately, kids do not think that analitically.. and for that matter, neither do many adults. The foreign prince/princess love story in the USA angle is pretty much limited to the live action comedy format.

    2-D worked in Enchanted because it was artistically fresh in that the film was the opposite of Mary Poppins. Insted of starting out live action and then magically changing to 3-D, the reverse occurred. Plus, the songs were all awesomeness unleashed. One other thing.. the movie was primarily a live action comedy.

    Several people on this thread have stated that frogs as the lead characters for The Princess and The Frog are unappealing. Oh contrare.. the frogs were one of the coolest elements of the film. However, many if not most kids likely lost interest as a story about two frogs contradicts the title, Princess and the Frog. A title on the order of The Frog Prince and His Lily Bride may have been a more related and assertainable title...
    along with fun sounding songs such as Jumpin' (Jivin') The Bayou and Nice Day For A Green Wedding.

    Louis the alligator was a fantastic comic sidekick... but he was underutikized in the film. Disney should have had him perform a heroic deed... like the character I feel he was modeled after (other than Louis Armstrong), which is Baloo... the bear in The Jungle Book, The other comical sidekick, Ray, was fun to watch.. but his accent was so thick that you could hardly understand a word he said.

    All and all, I would say that straightforward traditional 2-D is officially dead.. just like the non-talking toons that took place at the begining of the previous century. That's progress.. and progress is a good thing. Without it, there would be no Walt Disney's and John Lasseter's.. only company monopolies, bordom, and a poorly performing economy. Speeking of Lasseter (P&TF's Executive Producer), he had better stick with CG.. Fantasia 3 included.
    Last edited by Ride Warrior; 12-27-2009 at 11:57 PM.
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