Disney’s second slot at this year’s ShoWest was designated for a sneak preview of the new Touchstone romantic comedy The Proposal (June 19), but as promised a day earlier, the company used it to preview two of its upcoming 2D movies, The Princess and the Frog and Old Dogs, both opening over Thanksgiving weekend.
The Princess and the Frog is Disney’s long-awaited return to 2D hand-drawn animation, which promises a lot of the things that long-time fans of Disney animated films have long cherished: comedy, romance, talking animals and musical numbers (provided by Randy Newman).
Disney previewed the movie with a scene shown in its unfinished state involving Princess Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose of Dreamgirls) and her co-star, the frog, formerly Prince Naveen (voiced by Bruno Campos), meeting for the first time. Tiana is on the balcony wishing upon the Evening Star and the frog shows up on the railing scaring her and she looks at him with disgust and asks, “Am I supposed to kiss you?” To her shock, the frog opens its mouth and responds, “Kissing would be nice, yes?” and she runs back into her room disgusted by the thought and starts throwing things at the talkative frog. He ends up jumping up onto her dresser and she slams a heavy book down on him. The book is the original “Princess and the Frog” and the frog tells her that he’s in a similar predicament, but might be able to return to being Prince Naveen if she kisses him. He’s a smooth talkin’ frog prince indeed. “I do not kiss frogs,” she insists but after a bit more persuading, she agrees to one kiss. He puckers up and his throat expands, grossing her out even more, but she leans in and he licks his lips with his long tongue and she recoils. After shaking it off, she shakes it off, and the clip ended as their lips met in the kiss and all sorts of sparks and magical stuff happened around them, though it quickly ended there to a clearly audible “Awww” from the audience.
Before getting to the movie, they showed a few trailers including the first trailer for Old Dogs, their new holiday comedy starring Robin Williams and John Travolta as Dan and Charlie, two well-to-do executives whose burgeoning careers are suddenly sidelined when they’re forced to take care of the former’s three illegitimate kids with a woman he hasn’t seen in years. There isn’t a lot to say as it looks like a typical irresponsible adults taking care of kids comedy like we’ve seen before (e.g. Are We There Yet?), and there were appearances by Luis Guzman and Dax Shepard. There’s also a scene where the guys are at some sort of Boy Scouts camp, and they’re confronted by Matt Dillon as a troop leader who tells them they’re going to learn how to play “ultimate frisbee,” and he tackles Williams. The clip ends with the duo facing a gorilla and Seth Green jumps in claiming he mastered in animal behavior, but the next shot is of Green cradled gingerly in the gorilla’s arms with the tune “All Out of Love” playing over it, which is actually a very funny sight. (I might be misremembering some of this, but one can probably safely assume this trailer might show up with Hannah Montana The Movie, and if so, we might be able to see it online sometime next week.)
So that’s two of Disney’s movies that can be seen on Thanksgiving weekend, The Princess and the Frog exclusively in New York and L.A. at special enagements.