Princess And The Frog 10 Facts Disney Fans Didn’t Know

Princess And The Frog: 10 Facts Disney Fans Didn’t Know


The Princess And The Frog was Disney’s farewell to their beloved hand-drawn films. Let us honour that legacy by exploring this instant classic.

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Princess And The Frog 10 Facts Disney Fans Didn’t Know

Walt Disney Studios have been hitting a lot of home runs in recent years, especially in their Animated division. However, this wasn’t always the case. If one were to take a look at Disney’s history during the late 2000’s, they would see that they hit a creative rut. A lot of changes were happening internally and eventually, the studio came out on top. During that time period though, they decided to revisit a classic storytelling method which helped to define the company.

Princess and the Frog came along in 2010 and secured its place alongside the other Disney princess films. The film received mainly positive reviews and Princess Tiana has since become a beloved character, even popping up alongside the other Disney classic characters in Ralph Breaks the Internet. But, there are many interesting facts and hidden details in the film and surrounding its production that Disney fans might not even know! So here are 10 facts about Princess and the Frog.


Princess And The Frog 10 Facts Disney Fans Didn’t Know

Every classic Disney animated film usually has a heroic sidekick in the form of an animal. Princess and the Frog is obviously driven by animals, with the main characters becoming frogs for the majority of the movie. They have some other buddies including a firefly and an alligator named Louis. But Louis wasn’t always going to be an alligator for the whole film, with the script changing until they settled on the version we saw on screen.

One of the earlier versions of the screenplay actually had Louis start off as human. While the film now features an alligator that wishes to be in a jazz band, the original version of the character was a human who was unable to play instruments. The voodoo magic of Dr Facilier granted him the ability to play music, but the cost of this was to turn Louis into an alligator. This was eventually scrapped because it’s obviously quite similar to the story the protagonists were going through.


Princess And The Frog 10 Facts Disney Fans Didn’t Know

Disney loves to throw in cameos from their other movies, which usually sparks hundreds of fan theories about the films being connected in some way. Well get ready to start speculating again as the New Orleans classic has another famous cameo, although not quite in the way you would expect. The appearance of this character happens during the villain song of the film, about Facilier’s friends on the other side.

When you watch the shadows of the ghosts and ghouls that dance across the walls, during the musical number, one of the outlines might be quite surprising to you. The familiar long body and skull head of the Pumpkin King, Jack Skellington, is on the far right of the shot. It’s a blink and you’ll miss it moment but that silhouette really couldn’t be anyone else! It seems that Dr Facilier really has got some troublesome friends.


Princess And The Frog 10 Facts Disney Fans Didn’t Know

Oprah famously adds her voice to the film, in the role of Tiana’s mother. It’s a pretty big get for the studio and lent some star power to the film; as well as giving them a great opportunity to help the promotion. The role wasn’t specifically pitched to her though as they didn’t have anyone in mind at all. The way she got the part was actually quite surprising and came about because of an unexpected turn of events.

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The directors, Ron Clements and John Musker, who we’ll get back to later, went on a trip with Oprah to Disneyland. During this trip they started talking to her about the next film they were working on, which happened to be Princess and the Frog. Oprah loved the idea of the film so much that she made sure that she was a part of it! And the rest is history. If it wasn’t for the fun day trip they had, she might never have even been auditioned for the role.


Princess And The Frog 10 Facts Disney Fans Didn’t Know

We’ve already spoken about the darker years of Disney animation and part of this was to do with the animation style. The success of PIXAR forced Disney to start looking into more CGI animated films, putting their classic medium to the side for the time being. This led to both great and terrible films and Disney needed to right themselves a little. They decided that the best way to recapture some of the magic, was to head back to the classic drawing style.

The film was entirely hand drawn, although they did use the modern technology that was at their disposal. It helped to bring back some chaos to the musical numbers and some frenetic energy to the characters. It echoed a time that has passed although it may not have been a financial hit in terms of the promotion of the film and box office numbers. The last film that was animated like this was in 2004 with the failure Home on the Range.


Princess And The Frog 10 Facts Disney Fans Didn’t Know

The previously mentioned directors have had a prolific career with Disney. One of their best films is the absolute classic, Aladdin. In order to give a nod to their successful directing project, they had a few different props from the film drawn into Princess and the Frog. One of the most notable appearances is of the magic carpet. In one scene a lady can be seen shaking off the dust from her window, down onto the streets of New Orleans.

Mama Odie, the mystical wise woman of the film, can also be seen sorting through her clutter to find something to help Tiana. As she goes through the magical objects at her disposal, she shows little interest to one of the most power items in her possession. Without even a glance she throws out the magic lamp that holds the genie! Perhaps it’s empty now after the genie had been freed and was therefore of no use in the situation.


Princess And The Frog 10 Facts Disney Fans Didn’t Know

Animated films take a lot of time to develop. The script of this project was likely in the making for much longer than this. Any film that involves animation takes years to produce because of the pain staking attention to detail that is required for the film to really feel alive. Every set, character and prop is built completely from scratch, with rendering often taking a lot of time in the process. Princess and the Frog may have taken even longer than it should have though.

Due to the whole film being hand drawn, with some digital effects to help the process along, it took over 3 and half years to complete. This is a massive amount of time and shows the dedication of the crew behind the piece. The process would have taken so long because of the love that was behind all of the drawings. It needed to be done right to recapture the magic of some of Disney’s earlier days, although it would have been a lot easier now that so many new techniques have been introduced.

4 A113

Princess And The Frog 10 Facts Disney Fans Didn’t Know

That one letter and four numbers means a lot to so many animators at Disney. The A113 code has become incredibly famous because of its use in PIXAR films. Every single PIXAR film without fail has A113 hidden in a scene. Some are easier to spot than others and some are yet to actually be found! It’s less often that we see the magic code in a Disney film though. It refers to the classroom that many famous film industry professionals studied at, including Brad Bird and Tim Burton, at the Californian Institute of the Arts.

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Princess and the Frog highlights a rare occasion where it can be seen in a Disney film though. When Tiana rides on the cart through New Orleans, A113 is clear to see in the centre of the tram. It’s a fun nod to all those people who are working on the film and attended the college. As a bonus fact, the man driving the cart is actually another member of the team. The character is based off of the screen writer for the film, Rob Edwards.


Princess And The Frog 10 Facts Disney Fans Didn’t Know

Tiana is quite different from some of the other Disney princesses. Her background is quite different and her struggles are unique. While others have dealt with negative treatment from parental figures, the loss of family or even the huge expectations of being a member of a royal line of heritage, Tiana has to deal with some even more relatable issues: she has a dream but can’t afford it, nor can her family afford much else.

She does what anyone else in the real world would do in her situations. She gets a job and she works hard. This may not sound that groundbreaking but she is actually the first and only Disney princess to work a proper job! While the rest have been seen to be doing chores or perhaps contributing to their community, none of them have been in paid employment in order to get by. It’s actually quite an accurate representation of real life.


Princess And The Frog 10 Facts Disney Fans Didn’t Know

Ray the firefly is a big part of the emotional core of the film. The loss of his life is one of the most moving parts and all his scenes really carry a lot of heart. It’s his connection to the star in the sky that’s the most endearing quality about him. Calling it Evangeline, he’s obsessed and even in love with what could even be mistaken for another firefly. At the end of the film it’s implied he has now joined his love in the sky.

You might be surprised to learn that what he’s been staring at all this time isn’t a star at all though. The light in the sky is actually the planet Venus from afar. This is appropriate as Venus is the goddess of love in Roman mythology, although it’s unclear if Ray becomes a star or some kind of planet next to her; not that it really matters. It’s a fitting conclusion for the character that’s actually voiced by Jim Cummings!


Mama Odie is the mystical wise woman that helps our heroes on the quest to reverse their fate as frogs. The character is incredibly quirky and reminiscent of fortune tellers in New Orleans. The character had a number of real world figures that inspired her, as well as one surprising fictional one. The first was Coleen Salley who was a famous and talented writer. She actually worked a little on the film before her death.

The next was Moms Mabley who was an incredible comedian from the 60s and 70s, who had a brilliant personality and a complicated history. She was once said to be the funniest woman in the world and was billed as such for years. The final inspiration for Mama Odie came in the form of another Disney character, Yoda from the Star Wars films! His sense of purpose and peculiar tendencies inspired some of her quirkier moments.

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