The Princess and the Frog is a 2009 American animated musical family film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, inspired in part by E. D. Baker's novel The Frog Princess, which was in turn inspired by the Grimm brothers' fairy tale "The Frog Prince". The film opened in limited release in New York and Los Angeles on November 25, 2009, and in wide release by Walt Disney Pictures on December 11, 2009. It is the 49th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics line and the first of these films to be traditionally (2D) animated since 2004's Home on the Range. The film was directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, directors of The Great Mouse Detective, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, and Treasure Planet, with songs and score composed by Randy Newman and featuring the voices of Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David, Michael-Leon Wooley, Jennifer Cody, Jim Cummings, Peter Bartlett, Jenifer Lewis, Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, and John Goodman. Tiana, the main character, is Disney's first black princess. The Princess and the Frog, which began production under the working title The Frog Princess, is an American fairy tale, a Broadway-style musical set in, and around New Orleans, Louisiana at the height of the Roaring Twenties. The film received three Academy Award nominations at the 82nd Academy Awards: one for Best Animated Feature and two for Best Original Song.
Tiana is a young woman who lives in 1924 New Orleans and has held a passion for the culinary arts since childhood. She works two jobs in order to save money and eventually open her own restaurant. Charlotte La Bouff, a débutante and childhood friend of Tiana, hires her to provide refreshments for a masquerade ball being held one evening to welcome Prince Naveen of Maldonia, who recently arrived in New Orleans. Tiana is thrilled to finally have enough to purchase and renovate an old sugar mill into a restaurant. Prince Naveen, who is completely broke, is intent on marrying a wealthy woman. Naveen and his valet Lawrence meet Dr. Facilier, a voodoo witch doctor who convinces the pair that he can improve both their lives. Instead, Facilier transforms Naveen into a frog and gives Lawrence a voodoo charm, filled with Naveen's blood, which when worn transforms his appearance to that of Naveen's. Facilier intends for Lawrence, under the guise of Naveen, to marry Charlotte in order to gain access to the fortune of her father, Eli La Bouff. At the ball, Charlotte flirts with Lawrence as Tiana learns she may lose the mill to a higher bidder. Tiana then meets Naveen, who asks her to kiss him and break Facilier's curse. Tiana agrees, in exchange for the money needed to outbid the other buyer. However, instead of Naveen turning into a human, Tiana is turned into a frog herself. Naveen and Tiana escape to a bayou. Lawrence later proposes to Charlotte, who happily agrees, but shortly afterward the magic in Facilier's charm wears off and Lawrence reverts to his original form. Facilier realizes they need another sample of the prince's blood in order to prolong the spell. Facilier turns to the voodoo gods for help, stating that after Lawrence marries Charlotte, he will have total control over New Orleans and will be able to offer the citizens' souls as payment. The voodoo gods give Facilier shadow demons, who are then dispatched to locate Naveen. At the bayou, Tiana and Naveen meet Louis, a trumpet-playing alligator, and Ray, a Cajun firefly. Louis and Ray offer to lead them to the good voodoo priestess Mama Odie, who they believe can undo the curse. Mama Odie tells the frogs that Naveen must kiss a princess for them to become human. They determine that since Eli La Bouff was recently voted king of Mardi Gras, it follows that Charlotte is a princess. The quartet return to New Orleans in order to find Charlotte before Mardi Gras ends, at the stroke of midnight. Tiana and Naveen realize that they love each other but before they can admit their feelings, Naveen is captured and brought to Facilier. Before Lawrence (disguised as Naveen) and Charlotte can marry, Ray helps Naveen escape and steals the charm. Ray gives the charm to Tiana in order to hold back Facilier's minions, but is killed by Facilier. Facilier then confronts Tiana and offers to make her restaurant dream come true in exchange for the charm, but she refuses and destroys it. The angered voodoo spirits claim Facilier himself as payment for his debts and drag him into hell. Tiana and Naveen reveal their love to each other and explain the situation to Charlotte, who agrees to kiss Naveen. Unfortunately, the clock strikes midnight before she can kiss him, but the two decide they are content to live together as frogs. After a funeral is held for Ray, Tiana and Naveen are wed by Mama Odie. Because of Tiana's new status as princess, they are restored back to human form after their kiss. The couple return to New Orleans to celebrate and, with Louis's help, finally buy and open the new restaurant.