The Princess and the Frog is a 2009 American animated musical romantic fantasy comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 49th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, the film is loosely based on the novel The Frog Princess by E. D. Baker, which is in turn based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale "The Frog Prince". Written and directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, the film features an ensemble voice cast that stars Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David, Michael-Leon Wooley, Jennifer Cody, and Jim Cummings, with Peter Bartlett, Jenifer Lewis, Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, and John Goodman. Set in 1920s New Orleans, Louisiana, the film tells the story of a hardworking waitress named Tiana who dreams of owning her own restaurant. After kissing a prince who has been turned into a frog by an evil witch doctor, Tiana becomes a frog herself, and must find a way to turn back into a human before it is too late.
The Princess and the Frog began production under the working title The Frog Princess. It marked Disney's return to traditional animation, as it was the studio's first traditionally animated film since Home on the Range (2004). Co-directors Ron Clements and John Musker, directors of Disney's highly successful films The Little Mermaid (1989) and Aladdin (1992), returned to Disney to direct The Princess and the Frog. The studio returned to a Broadway musical-style format frequently used during the Disney Renaissance, and features music written by composer Randy Newman, well known for his musical involvement in Pixar films such as A Bug's Life (1998), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Cars (2006), and the Toy Story trilogy (1995, 1999 and 2010). The film also marked the return of Disney animated musical films based on well-known stories since the Disney Renaissance.
The Princess and the Frog opened in limited release in New York and Los Angeles on November 25, 2009, and in wide release on December 11, 2009. The film was successful at the box-office, ranking first place on its opening weekend in North America, and grossing $267 million worldwide. It received three Academy Award nominations at the 82nd Academy Awards: one for Best Animated Feature and two for Best Original Song. It lost to Up and Crazy Heart, respectively.
Some film critics and pundits regard The Princess and the Frog as a turning point for Walt Disney Animation Studios, and to have ignited the "Disney Neo-Renaissance", playing a crucial role in the studio's subsequent string of acclaimed animated films.
In 1912 New Orleans, a seamstress named Eudora is reading the story of The Frog Prince to her daughter, Tiana, and her friend, Charlotte La Bouff. Charlotte finds the story to be romantic, while Tiana proclaims she will never kiss a frog. The years pass, and by 1926 Tiana has grown into an aspiring young chef who works two jobs, both as a diner waitress, so she can save enough money to start her own restaurant, a dream she shared with her late father James, who presumably died in the Great War.