Wow, there's just no pleasing some people. - The online computery journal thingy of a turtle
Jan. 7th, 2010
12:00 am - Wow, there's just no pleasing some people.
I just found the most hilariously horrible review of "The Princess and the Frog", titled "Disney's Lump of Coal". The reviewer, Anthea Butler, seems to have gone in expecting to hate it, and not bothered looking for anything good in it.
"I’m going to go all out and say that the entire movie is a wholesale desecration of New Orleans, Creole culture, Cajun Culture, religion, zydeco music, the Evangeline story, and Louis Armstrong (I’ll get to that in a minute.) Rolled up, Disney hates the South, period."
Ah. This is obviously some strange usage of the word "hate" that I hadn't previously been aware of. As I recall, it was mainly John Lasseter's idea to set the movie in, and pay tribute to, Jazz-age New Orleans, to the point that he took a bunch of animators and writers there on a research tour. Yeah, that's such a big screw-you to the Crescent City, isn't it. Ms. Butler seems to hate the movie for not being an 8-hour documentary about New Orleans. St. Louis Cathedral appears near the end of the movie, and she complains that it's not identified by name. I'm not sure where you could shoehorn an explicit reference to the name of the building in without disrupting the story. It's a story about these two characters who meet and eventually fall in love. New Orleans and the bayou are background settings. Trust me, Ms. Butler, there's nothing wrong with that.
"The surprises come when staples of New Orleans life are used in ways that are either ridiculous or just plain wrong. Let’s start with the people. Why does the first black Disney princess have to be the hardest working woman around?"
Hugga-bubba-WHAT? The first black Disney princess is a strong, independent woman... and Ms. Butler has a PROBLEM with this? Given that she invokes The Song of the South at the end of the paragraph, she seems to be equally offended by both political incorrectness and political correctness. I have the feeling that nothing would please this woman.
"Louis is a trumpet-playing alligator who just wants to be human. Really, Disney, Louis? Really? Surely you could have given him another name besides the name of the famous New Orleans trumpet player Louis Armstrong."
"The worst is, the legendary Evangeline is reduced from a beautiful poem by Longfellow, (which may have antecedents in a historical love story) to a star that Ray thinks is an alluring but standoffish firefly, far out of his reach but not his love."
They're called homages, Ms. Butler. Really, there's nothing wrong with them. Maybe if Louis sucked at playing the trumpet, or if Evangeline were the name of some jerkoff or stupid character, it might be considered insulting...
"And those beignets that Tiana makes so that Charlotte can look like she’s a wonderful cook? They would have been stale."
First of all, Charlotte was not trying to pass anything off as her own cooking; she hired Tiana as a caterer. And yeah, I suppose the beignets would have been stale if they'd been prepared in advance... as opposed to what actually happened onscreen: Tiana brought cooking gear to the party and was busily making beignets on-site. I'm not sure how you could miss seeing the big pot of frying oil, or the long tongs Tiana was using, onscreen, to get the beignets out of the oil. This kind of sloppiness, in addition to throwing all the points made in the rest of the critical review into doubt, is also hilarious.
"Oh, and Disney, no funerals on Ash Wednesday unless you get a dispensation. So that funeral for the firefly Ray... liturgically incorrect."
First of all, who says Ray was Christian? Don't forget that the entire funeral procession was made up of animals (even Tiana and Naveen, who were still frogs at the time).
Second, um... I did some internet research, and I can't seem to find anything about funerals not being allowed on Ash Wednesday. In fact, a few sources seem to suggest it's permitted.
So... wow. It's kind of sad to think that this woman is a published author.