I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peek of the highly anticipated Disney film The Princess and the Frog
. The first African American princess makes her well overdue debut, carving out a place in animated history, joining the ranks of a bevy of beauties destined to sing and dance their way to the ever elusive utopia of “Happily Ever After.” The children in the audience woke up my inner child with their laughter and squeals of delight. They unknowingly gave me the okay to watch with a child’s eyes. No falsehoods. No facades. I was once a little brown girl that dreamed about meeting a prince. I am now a bigger, even older brown girl who still finds myself dreaming, all while trying to forget a few nightmarish dates and relationships.
I hoped that Walt’s crew would teach me all of the ways to catch and keep a prince. I listened to every song like "When We're Human," "Almost There," and "Down in New Orleans.” I watched every dance step with eagerness and anticipation. I was even willing to dethrone Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”
as my “Girl, it’s okay to be alone!” anthem.
The romantic and unyielding city of New Orleans was the perfect back drop for this tale of promise and perseverance. Flashes of the French Quarter filled with jazz bands, jambalaya, music and magic brighten up the screen. Anika Noni Rose
was the Dreamgirl chosen for this dream job of bringing Tiana to life. Bruno Campos brought passion to Prince Naveen with his buttery smooth Brazilian accent.
I don’t know any women who would hesitate to follow a smooth talking, good-looking man anywhere in the world -- even if that means following him into a swamp! You might just have to swat away a few mosquitoes while being serenaded by crickets and crocodiles. Hey, not a bad date -- you are out of the house!
Anyone who is still playing the arduous dating game knows you have to kiss a few frogs in your quest for love. We know there are evil forces that keep us from totally connecting with our true love, like long distance, feuding families, conflicting schedules, camera phones, caller ID, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. In Tiana’s case, the wicked forces came in three forms: a self absorbed Southern Debutant whose world solely consisted of parties and fashion; a disobedient servant who desperately longs to be a prince rather than serve a prince; and a voodoo man who keeps company with scary spirits while scamming his way to profit and power. Luckily, Tiana arms herself with good friends, common sense and old fashion upbringing. (You can’t go wrong when Oprah Winfrey
is your mother!) She also befriends a blind voodoo priestess (Jenifer Lewis
) who is more than willing to share her good juju. You can’t forget the feisty Cajun firefly that threatens to light his butt if anyone ticks him off.
Sadly, no magic words were found to help me cast a love spell. However, the message of self-love was revealed, all while Tiana was getting closer to her unexpected yet inevitable fairy tale ending with Prince Naveen. She had already successfully found love with herself, her life and made a clear path to her personal dreams and career goals. Tiana was “Almost There;” the Prince was simply a surprise to her already-fulfilled life. He was not the reason for her joy and happiness; he was a welcomed addition. Powdered sugar on the beignet!
J’Nara Corbin is a New York City-based actress and model. She is starring in the film, Finding Me, which is available on DVD. To read more of J'Nara's work click here for Good Hair: Am I Good Enough?