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  1. #1

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    The Princess and the Frog barely broke even!?

    I finally got a chance to see The Princess and the Frog and I have to say, I was VERY impressed! It's always been a mystery to me why 3D animation just destroys 2D animation at the box office, and why Disney has given up on it, despite making their money back. But I just thought the film was outstanding! It was drop-dead hilarious at parts, I don't remember when the last time I laughed so hard at a Disney animation, and it had a lot of "scary" parts that were like a drug trip or something, and it had some very touching and sad parts.

    To be quite honest, I truly believe this is the best animated film Disney has put out since The Lion King. Now, that's not to say it's as good as The Lion King, far from it, but it is definitely better than anything that's come after it. For the few people who haven't yet seen it, I'm not going to spoil the surprise, but that tribute to the dead character was so touching. I was just waiting for the sappy, horrible moment when the writers would spring the dreaded, "Oh look, that character's not dead, he was just pretending" moment because they never have enough guts to truly kill off a character, but that moment never came. Instead, the payoff that you waited the entire film for showed up and it made that character's death so much more meaningful and bittersweet... it was pure classic Disney. Now, that moment was also a complete rip-off of Dragonheart from 1996, but it was endearing nonetheless.

    And that's my only complaints about the film, there's so many "tributes" and "homages" to classic films that it almost winds up being a collection of cliches and Disneyland settings. If I'm not mistaken, I'd say the bell sound is taken directly from the Mark Twain and the whistle is just a deeper form of the Twain's whistle (probably just modified in the studio). The alligator who loved music came from "All Dogs Go to Heaven" and there are many others I can't remember, but there's a lot of heavy "borrowing" going on here.

    But, I give Disney a LOT of leeway here because they haven't even attempted a 2D animation in 5 years and they haven't created one with any kid of emotion since Mulan, so if Disney actually pursued 2D animation and gave it half a chance, it would've had nowhere to go but up and start a whole new fascination with 2D again.

    The songs are very forgettable, except for that "Down on the Bayou" one... I've had that one stuck in my head ALL day long! This is one form of synergy that just works so well, it makes the Disneyland show more powerful, which in turn makes that scene in the film more powerful. I am just REALLY upset that Disney made such a half-hearted attempt at bringing back 2D animation... it was like, we'll make this one film, oops, it didn't make $500 million, lets go back to 3D forever now. While this film had its faults, it showed such tremendous promise for the future of animation.

    I can't figure it out... Pixar makes good films, no doubt about that, but once you've seen them, that's it, there's no lingering effect afterwards. When you see a movie like The Princess and the Frog, it sticks with you for days after you see it. There's SOOO much more emotion and heart put into it. And yet it is 3D films, even poorly conceived 3D films, that continue to pile up $300 million or more every single time without fail. And since traditional animation can't match CGI films in terms of 3D, as in the type where you wear the glasses, it's pretty much all over for traditional animation for the future. Disney has proven to us that animation, *true* animation (2D), still has that spark it had back in the hand-drawn days, but they're just going to let it rot because it didn't make enough to buy a new corporate jet.

    To anyone who hasn't seen the film yet, I strongly recommend it. That little firefly is one of the best comic sidekicks in a long time and the "hunter" scene is matched only by the slapstick genius of the 3 Stooges... in fact it feels *exactly* like the 3 Stooges, right down to the timing (again, another "borrowed" theme, but still classic). Tiana is also one of the best princesses ever... she's a strong character, yet she is still very feminine. The accent comes and goes, but when it's there it's really neat to have a non-stereotypical princess. I just hope the animators are proud of their work because it appears that in this day and age, box office receipts mean *nothing* to the actual content of a film, as far as how good it is. This one should have blown Pixar's "UP" off the map... so to speak.

  2. #2

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    Re: The Princess and the Frog barely broke even!?

    Moving this to the movies section.


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  3. #3

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    Re: The Princess and the Frog barely broke even!?

    I'm not sure what you meant by barely breaking even, but about the part where you said once you've seen a Pixar movie that's it, there's no lingering effect. Well I think a lot of people here on MC will debate you on that especially since Up was nominated for Best Picture and many believed Wall*E should have too. That sounds pretty lingering.
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  4. #4

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    Re: The Princess and the Frog barely broke even!?

    I adored Princess and the Frog (saw it three times!) but I love most Pixar films too so I can't go there.

    I am curious as to what you mean by "barely broke even?" If it barely broke even with its theatrical run (which is itself hard to say, since Disney only receives a percentage of the box office take)--then that's a win for Disney, because DVD and merchandise sales have been significant.

    If it barely broke even with its theatrical run, DVD sales, and merchandise sales, it's still probably a good move for Disney fiscally, long-term, because they'll have new princess merchandise for Tiana for years to come.

    I do wish 2-D animation were more popular nowadays, but it looks like things are going the other way. Pixar films also have a whole lot of appeal to grown-ups (I think Up was overall probably a more grown-up movie than a kids' movie) and I think people think that you have to see CGI in the theater. (The trend of putting movies out in 3-D is only going to make this more prevalent, IMO.)

    Meanwhile, people think 2-D animation looks fine at home and that it is "for kids" (I think they're wrong there!). So rather than spending $60 for a family night at the theater, parents are more likely to just buy the DVD for a third of that and let their kids see it again and again and again.

  5. #5

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    Re: The Princess and the Frog barely broke even!?

    now about the "best animated movie since lion king" thing, i'm just gonna say, what about pocahontas? hunchback of notre dame? ummm....there's something else but i can't think what it is
    Quote Originally Posted by JungleCruiseFan View Post
    You know what they say- The party don't start 'til Jordon walks in.
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  6. #6

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    Re: The Princess and the Frog barely broke even!?

    Quote Originally Posted by GummiBears_Rock View Post
    now about the "best animated movie since lion king" thing, i'm just gonna say, what about pocahontas? hunchback of notre dame? ummm....there's something else but i can't think what it is
    I think it was the "Best" 2D animated film since Lion King. It was better than Pocahantas, Tarzan and ESPECIALLY Home on the Range.

    Hunchback and Emporers New Groove (which I absolutely LOVE) came close, but I really LOVED Princess and the Frog. MUCH more than I thought I would.


  7. #7

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    Re: The Princess and the Frog barely broke even!?

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    I think it was the "Best" 2D animated film since Lion King. It was better than Pocahantas, Tarzan and ESPECIALLY Home on the Range.

    Hunchback and Emporers New Groove (which I absolutely LOVE) came close, but I really LOVED Princess and the Frog. MUCH more than I thought I would.
    ok yeah 2D is what i meant, forgot to add that. maybe i'm just biased with pocahontas and hunchback of notre dame since i thought i was similar looking to them. probably more Esmeralda with the really dark hair and green eyes, just with lighter skin hehehe
    Quote Originally Posted by JungleCruiseFan View Post
    You know what they say- The party don't start 'til Jordon walks in.
    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsoda View Post

  8. #8

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    Re: The Princess and the Frog barely broke even!?

    Hercules anyone?
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  9. #9

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    Re: The Princess and the Frog barely broke even!?

    I just think Princess and the Frog had more of "everything", great locations, classic characters, AMAZING villain, memorable songs, etc.

    I just didn't get that from Pocahontas. Didn't care for the villain, the songs except for the two main ones were just ok, the visuals were REALLY good, but it's not something I need to watch more than once every 10 years. In fact, Pocahantas, Home on the Range and Brother Bear are the only Disney movies we never bothered to buy on DVD.

    EDIT: Good call on Hercules Maverick. Another underrated movie IMO. Meg is HAWT!!!


  10. #10

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    Re: The Princess and the Frog barely broke even!?

    Princess and the Frog wasn't the BIG hit that the Disney Brass were hoping for, BUT still did decent box office numbers, and was both a public and critical success as well. That's still quite an accomplishment. And as others have already pointed out dvd sales, along with other merchandise did well, too. And Disney has officially added her to the entire current princess line up.

    I've never been a big fan of Randy Newman, and still think that Alan Menken would have had better songs and score. And I certainly didn't leave the theater humming any of the songs from PatF, as I did with Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. However, I did very much like the arrangements done for Tiana's Showboat Jubilee (specifically in DL). And I do give credit to Randy Newman for 2 great songs in the movie, which is more than I was anticipating.

    As for 2D falling away in favor of 3D animation, I think you really mean CGI animation. You miss a MAJOR part of what REALLY HAS BEEN HAPPENING FOR MORE THAN 2 DECADES. Look back at some of the "traditionally animated features that Disney worked on in the mid to late 80's and into the 90's:

    The Great Mouse Detective used cgi in the clock scenes, integrating cgi with tradtional 2D

    Beauty and the Beast used cgi in the show stopping Ballroom scene

    Aladdin escaping the Cave of Wonders in cgi, as well as the effects of the grains of sand as the Cave of Wonders rose from the desert.

    The Lion King's dramatic stampede scene

    The Hunchback scene with the hundreds of people dancing in the street.

    Tarzan's unique tree surfing, idea created by Glen Keane.

    Hercules amazing cloud home that rebuilds itself and Hades Hair and so many other fantastic effects.

    Treasure Planet with the first ever Disney Character with a combination of traditional 2D and CGI body parts, and the amazing ship sailing in space scenes!

    Disney has been combining 2d and CGI for Decades already. And they have done so beautifully. There are some other movies where the "marriage" of those two types of animation just don't look right, but Disney has done a great job of integrating the two types.

    So the process of the old 2d just isn't the same anymore, even if they want that "look" for a particular movie.


    Quote Originally Posted by GummiBears_Rock View Post
    now about the "best animated movie since lion king" thing, i'm just gonna say, what about pocahontas? hunchback of notre dame? ummm....there's something else but i can't think what it is
    SO MANY PEOPLE OVERLOOK AT LEAST TWO OTHER FANTASTIC more recent animated features, when saying PatF was the best animated feature since. . . . . DON'T OVERLOOK "Tarzan" and "Mulan" and "Hercules". I certainly don't think PatF is better than either of those three movies.

    (as for Hunchback and Poca, those two began the decline of the 2nd Disney Golden age, due to their depressing and heavier story lines. Due to that, I just cannot rank them high when comparring to other Disney Animated movies. There was some good music but not better than what their 4 predecessors had, nor better than Tarzan and Mulan and Hercules. H and P did try to put a twist on what Disney did, but if they really were that good, why hasn't Disney converted either of them to Broadway? Why not? Because they just area not as good. )
    Last edited by Aladdin; 04-23-2010 at 09:40 PM. Reason: had to add the overlooked Hercules to the list :)

  11. #11

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    Re: The Princess and the Frog barely broke even!?

    Quote Originally Posted by GummiBears_Rock View Post
    now about the "best animated movie since lion king" thing, i'm just gonna say, what about pocahontas? hunchback of notre dame? ummm....there's something else but i can't think what it is
    Mulan, Tarzan, and Emperor's New Groove

  12. #12

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    Re: The Princess and the Frog barely broke even!?

    Yes, ENG was fantastic, too, and would add to my list as well, but I was just listing musicals.

  13. #13

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    Re: The Princess and the Frog barely broke even!?

    What about Lilo and Stitch? The more people bring up films like Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan, Hunchback, ENG, etc. it really shows how rarely the hardcore fans collectively can dislike any Disney Animated Feature.

    On Frog's "success", I have to laugh whenever someone says "BUT THE MERCHANDISE DID WELL!". Reminds me of how the TRON video game was more successful than the movie, or how Xanadu's soundtrack went double platinum and had multiple chart topping hits while the movie just made a little more than its production budget domestically.

    Disney could have just made Tiana merch without a movie and it would have sold well. It currently shows a greater selling power for the Princess product line than the appeal of a Disney theatrical release in NA which is very sad.

    As for DVD sales, anything Disney puts to DVD can sell millions. Even Treasure Planet made $64 million in home video sales (Enchanted has made $87 so far which is a highly successful release if a comparison is needed). Princess and the Frog doing well is hardly a surprise.

    What Disney really needs to do is find a way to convince people that a) their hand drawn movies don't suck and b) have to be seen in theatres. I hope they find a way to do these things.

    $104 million when the competition (in house or out) regularly pulls in around $200 or more is very sad.
    Last edited by Angie_Duke; 04-24-2010 at 10:18 AM.
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  14. #14

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    Re: The Princess and the Frog barely broke even!?

    Princess and the Frog was much better than I was expecting. I really really liked it. I just don't feel that it was the comeback kid they needed in order to restore their 2D animation popularity. I felt the more modernized theming and less classical feel really burdened the movie a little. People want the classics from Disney 2D animation and once you move away from that they don't do as well as they could.
    With that said I am interested to see how Rapunzel does with it being more classic Disney and not so modern. (By modern, I mean timeframe wise in history)

    I am a hardcore Hercules fan and feel that it is extremely overlooked as a movie. The animation was great, the music was off the charts, and it has a classic humor to it that will last forever, unlike other 2D Classics that shall not be named.

    I have to disagree that Princess and the Frog is the best since Lion King. I am on the Hunchback, Pocahontas, Tarzan, and Hercules bandwagons. All 4 moved me in ways I can't explain. And don't hate but I would put those 4 above Lion King.

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    Re: The Princess and the Frog barely broke even!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
    Hercules anyone?
    More like "Jerk-ules."



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