Disney’s The Princess and the Frog
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD
Composer: Randy Newman
Walt Disney Records
Release Date: November 23, 2009
Disney’s The Princess and The Frog is coming out in just a few days…could I be more excited? Not likely, as a new Disney Princess is more exciting here in my house than the impending coming of the world’s most famous jolly old elf. And what better way to await the arrival of Princess Tiana? Listen to the soundtrack of course! It’s filled with music from Disney’s newest animated feature, and is a great way to get to know Princess Tiana and her friends before meeting them in the movie.
A nice feature of this CD is that it not only includes the vocal tracks from the movie, but also the instrumental score. With everything from strings to brass, the score seems to carry you along with Princess Tiana and her friends on their New Orleans adventures. Not having seen the movie yet, I can’t wait to place the tracks with the scenes and see if I’m close in my imagination as to the goings on!
The opening track, “Never Knew I Needed” by Ne-Yo, is sweet and catchy and sure to be a radio hit. While its musical flavor is much more pop/R&B than the rest of the more New Orleans/gospel/blues tracks, it’s still a nice addition to the entire collection. And it follows in the Disney tradition to include a theme song by a current popular artist.
Even without knowing that Randy Newman composed this soundtrack, Disney fans will be able to peg his musical style throughout each tune. The tracks are a fusion of jazz, blues, zydeco, gospel, and are just plain awesome. Dr. John’s “Down in New Orleans” (with a prologue by Princess Tiana actress, Anika Noni Rose) has a distinctly Newman sound, reminiscent of his work on Toy Story. “Almost There” is Princess Tiana’s “I’m a strong independent woman and nothing can get me down” theme. This is not the usual “someday my prince will come” princess tune, no, Princess Tiana is determined to follow her dreams and knows she will achieve them. This is my personal favorite track from the movie so far.
Not to be outdone of course, bad guy Dr. Facilier’s (Keith David) cajun fueled “Friends on the Other Side” is Disney villainy at its best — funny and arrogant and deliciously evil. “When We’re Human” switches gears to a Mardi Gras party sound where we learn what Prince Naveen and Princess Tiana plan on doing once they get out of their froggy bodies and back into their proper form. “Gonna Take You There” is a fun, zydeco tune that makes it near impossible to sit still while you’re listening to it. “Ma Belle Evangeline” is lovesick little firefly, Ray’s (Jim Cummings) elegy to his adored Evangeline, and it expresses everything the lonely little firefly misses about his beautiful bug-girl with a sweet, haunting trumpet as its backdrop.
“Dig a Little Deeper” is a rousing, gospel song sung by Bayou-style fairy Godmother Mama Odie (Jenifer Lewis) — can I say it? I LOVE HER…and I haven’t even seen the movie yet. This is an uplifting, fun song made all the better by it’s accompaniment by the Pinnacle Gospel Choir. Princess Tiana wraps up the vocal tracks on “Down in New Orleans (Finale).” Here she joyously proclaims that dreams do come true in good ol’ New Orleans…in true Disney style, yes they do princess, yes they do!
As an extra bonus in this CD package, you can insert the disc into your computer and get videos, interviews, behind the scenes content, links to the Disney and Princess and the Frog online communities, and more.