Monday, December 14, 2009

'The Princess and the Frog' Gives Nod to 'Mermaid,' 'Aladdin,' and Disney Legend

Ron Clements and John Musker are two big names in contemporary animation. They are the directors of the beloved Disney classics Aladdin, Hercules, and The Little Mermaid, as well as The Princess and the Frog. In their recent film about an aspiring waitress, they have managed to sneak in some things that you may remember from their past Disney flicks, as well as Disney history (courtesy of Jim Hill Media):

  • That – as the film’s title sequence is getting underway while Dr. John is singing “Down in New Orleans” – you can clearly see the carpet from Aladdinbeing shaken out by someone who’s standing on a wrought-iron balcony.
  • That – as Mama Odie is quickly digging through a pile of magical objects during “Dig a Little Deeper” – the lamp from “Aladdin” gets tossed to one side.
  • That – during this movie’s Mardi Gras sequence – one of the floats in that parade features a figurehead that is clearly modeled after King Triton from “The Little Mermaid.”
  • What’s more, riding on that King Triton parade float are caricatured versions of John Musker & Ron Clements, the directors of “Aladdin,” “The Little Mermaid” and “The Princess and the Frog.”
  • In the film’s finale, Louis can be seen playing with a jazz band at Tiana’s restaurant. The lettering on the bass drum says that this band is called “The Firefly Five Plus Lou.” Which is obviously an affectionate tip of the hat to the Firehouse Five Plus Two, that ragtime band from the 1940s & 1950s which was made up of Disney Animation employees.
  • What’s more, the piano player in the “Firefly Five Plus Lou” is a caricature of Disney Legend Frank Thomas. Who was the piano player for the Firehouse Five Plus Two.
From my one time seeing the film, I only remember seeing the Triton float and the nod to the Firehouse Five Plus Two, but I will certainly be sure to see The Princess and the Frog again and keep an eye open this time.

Source: Jim Hill Media

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