My family and I saw The Princess and the Frog in the theater last year, we were utterly delighted with the stunning animation, vibrant colors, hilarious dialogue, memorable characters and toe-tappin' jazz music.
Apparently, we weren't the only ones, because this movie ended up nominated for three Academy Awards.
Arguably the coolest thing was the mention and use of Tarot! Admittedly, it was the villain–the Shadowman–who used Tarot cards for nefarious ends, but it was neat to not only see actual cards used, but used correctly!
Disney must have done their homework.
One of the cards in the reading showed an X at the top (Roman numeral 10) with a man carrying a burdensome load of sticks (obvious reference to the 10 of Wands, although no suit name was used). Disney brought the the 3-card Past-Present-Future reading to life by "animating" each card. For example, for the 10 of Wands, the man carrying the load comes to life and becomes henpecked by a woman and further burdened by future challenges.
Yes, I realize it's not great that Tarot has once again been relegated to use by charlatans like the Dr. Facilie aka Shadowman, but Mama Odie, the affable, slightly-crazy voodoo lady in the bayou, helps show that magic and intention can also be wielded by noble people with good intentions to serve others.
Also, it was great to see a heroine of color, as well as a strong, talented, confident female who works hard for her dreams and doesn't need someone else to save her. If I could sum up The Princess and the Frog, it would be that hard work + dreaming + flexibility + remembering what's important often = what you need, as opposed to what you want, and also can help redefine what it means to be "successful".
Click here to see the trailer for The Princess and the Frog. (By the way, Dr. Facilier has been added to Villains Mix and Mingle show from Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2010 in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World! You can see a video of it here.)