Disney's holiday animated film this year, 'The Princess and the Frog,' carries the torch of several firsts: old school hand-drawn animation that had its death rattle sounded nearly a decade ago, the casting of an African-American princess after years of tardy inclusion. And critics are responding ... very well.

As the story of a princess who finds her prince after kissing him while he is a frog, 'The Princess and the Frog' follows the two through a mystical journey across New Orleans. Since 'Up,' 'Cars,' and even 'The Polar Express,' animation for kids has undergone a dramatic transformation. Smooth visuals and computerized looks replaced the old fashioned, hand-drawn way, as today's kids have become more comfortable in a technology-dominated world. 2-D animation became another relic of the 20th century like an 8-bit Nintendo.

While the story may not be a hit for all, critics are nearly universally celebrating the high wire acts of 'The Princess and the Frog' in its attempts to play catch-up. Movie critics can be a cynical bunch – but their hearts are open to this movie.

categories Reviews