With The Princess and the Frog, the Disney Studios have gone back to hand-drawn animation for the first time since Home on the Range (2004), which, along with Brother Bear (2003), convinced executives that the future was in CGI. (The scripts had nothing to do with it, of course.) Perhaps more importantly, the new film also features the first African-American heroine in a Disney animated film, though the mere mention of this has caused some heated debate of the sort that used to surround Song of the South (1946). Some have pointed out that the heroine spends most of the film not as an African-American girl, but as a frog. And others have pointed out that her handsome prince has Caucasian features while the villain has African-American features.

It goes on. The film takes place in New Orleans, which brings up Hurricane Katrina guilt as well as more racial issues. It also takes place during the early part of the 20th century (a newspaper headline mentions President Wilson); while the film faintly suggests the segregation of the time, everyone mostly gets along just fine. We also get a faintly stereotypical use of voodoo and blank magic as the source of the antagonist's villainy. There are many other complaints, including the usual absence of one parent, the anthropomorphic sidekicks, and the focus on marriage as a means to an end. But even taking them all into consideration, I have to say that I really enjoyed this film.