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This movie is a new spin on the classic story The Frog Prince. We see the very different lives of two girl’s growing up. Charlotte is the daughter of a wealthy businessman who wants for nothing. Tiana is the hardworking daughter of Charlotte’s dressmaker. And then we have Prince Naveen, who is a very spoiled young man, whose parents have recently cut him off financially. Naveen is accustomed to a life of ease, so when the New Orleans shadow man offers him more “green”, He enters into a deal with him, only to end up being turned into a frog so that his servant, Lawrence can assume Naveen’s physical form in an attempt to win Charlotte’s hand for her money. After Tiana is reluctantly talked into kissing the real Naveen (now a frog), Tiana is turned into a frog as well, and the two must rely on new friends from the Bayou to help them on their quest to become human once again.
As children, we all believe in the magic of wishes and of dreams coming true simply if we want them bad enough. As adults, we learn that we really need to add hard work into the equation. Methods involving laziness, gambling and/or dishonesty may seem at first to be the faster way towards a goal, but they are certainly not the way to go for long term success. Hard work may be the slower route, but it is more likely to pay off in the end. The one part of the equation that many devoted workers overlook, however, is the importance of love and family. All the money and possessions in the world don’t mean much if you don’t have someone to share them with. You may want success and riches, but everyone needs special people in their lives who will not only help you achieve your dreams, but who will also stick with you through your difficult times and celebrate all of your successes.
(If you have additional ideas on how this film can be used for educational purposes, please let us know in the comments below.)
Young Tiana: Charlotte’s fairy tale book said, if you make a wish on evening star it’s sure to come true.
Eudora: Hmm, won’t you wish on that star, sweetheart?
James: Yes, you wish and you dream with all your little heart. But you remember, Tiana, that old star can only take you part of the way. You got to help him with some hard work of your own. And then… Yeah, you can do anything you set you mind to. Just promise your Daddy one thing? That you’ll never, ever lose sight of what is really important. Okay?
Dr. Facilier: (appearing to read Prince Naveen’s palm) Were I a betting man – and I’m not, I stay away from games of chance – I’d wager I’m in the company of visiting royalty.
Prince Naveen: Lawrence, Lawrence! This remarkable gentleman has just read my palm!
Lawrence: (noticing the morning newspaper, which had a cover story about Naveen’s visit, sticking out of Dr. Facilier’s pocket) Or this morning’s newspaper.
Prince Naveen: You know, waitress, I finally figured out what is wrong with you.
Tiana: Have you, now?
Prince Naveen: You do not know how to have FUN. There. Somebody had to say it.
Tiana: Thank you, ’cause I figured out what your problem is too.
Prince Naveen: I am… too wonderful?
[the branch Tiana was holding smacks him backwards]
Tiana: No, you’re a no-count, philandering, lazy bump on a log.
Prince Naveen: Ahaha…
[fakes a cough]
Prince Naveen: KILLJOY.
Tiana: What’d you say?
Prince Naveen: Ah, nothing.
[fakes another cough]
Prince Naveen: STICK IN THE MUD.
Tiana: Listen here, mister. This stick in the mud has had to work two jobs her whole life while you’ve been sucking on a silver spoon chasing chambermaids around your – your ivory tower!
Prince Naveen: Actually, it’s polished marble.
(Naveen and Tiana are cooking dinner)
Prince Naveen: (mincing vegetables) I’m not really used to doing this. I mean, most of the time I had servants do everything for me: dress my clothes, brush my teeth, even help me get out of bed!
Tiana: (stirring broth) Aw, you poor baby.
Prince Naveen: Yes, they did everything for me, until the day my parents cut me off, and that’s when I realized… I don’t know how to do anything.
Dr. Facilier: And don’t forget your poor daddy. Now, that was one hard-working man… double, sometimes triple shifts. Never let know how bone-tired, beat he really was. Shame all that hard work didn’t amount much more than a busted up, old gumbo-pot and a dream that never get off the back porch. But you… you can give your poor daddy everything he ever wanted. Come on, Tiana… You’re almost there.
Tiana: My Daddy never did get what he wanted. But he had what he needed. He had love. He never lost sight o’ what was really important!