Disney returns to greatness with this hand-drawn, jazz-flavoured, Voodoo-infused beauty.
The skill of the artwork was personally inspiring, and I really enjoyed the short Art Deco sequence, inspired by the work of African-American painter, Aaron Douglas.
I absolutely loved the gap-toothed, lanky-legged villian, Dr. Facilier/The Shadow Man, who draws parrallells with both the Voodoo god, Barron Samedi and the mythical figure, Mr. Nancy (who derives from the West African god, Anansi.) He's rather like Maleficent in a purple suit and top hat, wielding Tarot cards and Voodoo charms. What's not to love?
This is the first Randy Newman score that I've ever liked (shock, and a little horror!) with some hot jazz, ala The Jungle Book, and a couple of sweet songs that make one teary and dreamy, in the same vein as "When You Wish Upon A Star" and "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes."
Sparkly stars for : hand-drawn goodness, N'awlins jazz, fireflies and swamp gators, magic, an anti-hunting sequence, and FINALLY! a black princess from Disney!
And by the way, just a note for all my Steel Valley compatriots, the voice of Ray, the Cajun firefly was voiced by Jim Cummings, a native of Youngstown, Ohio. Who knew?!
Director: Ron Clements, John Musker
Main Cast: Anika Noni Rose, Keith David, Bruno Campos, Jennifer Cody, Michael-Leon Wooley, Jim Cummings