How Traditional Jazz influenced the Princess and the Frog
The Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog, was heavily influenced by traditional / New Orleans Jazz. The movie has songs from the traditional jazz genre all throughout and is based in New Orleans.
About The Movie
The Princess and the Frog is a 2009 Disney animated film that tells the story of Tiana, a young African American woman from New Orleans who dreams of opening her own restaurant. The film is notable for being Disneys first Black princess but also for its use of traditional jazz music, which serves as a key element of the film’s setting and story. The music in The Princess and the Frog is rooted in the traditional jazz of New Orleans.
Trad / New Orleans Jazz
The traditional jazz of New Orleans emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this jazz period lasted from the 1920’s – 1930’s. Traditional jazz is characterized by its use of improvisation, syncopated rhythms, and African musical traditions. Some popular traditional jazz artists were Louis Armstrong, Milt Hinton, and Jelly Roll Morton.
The Use of Jazz in the Movie
The music in The Princess and the Frog was composed by Randy Newman, a musician and composer who is known for his work on films such as Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. Newman was inspired by the music of New Orleans, and he worked closely with local musicians to create an authentic and vibrant musical landscape for the film. One of the key songs in the film is the song “Almost There,” which is sung by Tiana as she dreams of achieving her goal of opening her own restaurant. The song is a classic example of traditional jazz, featuring syncopated rhythms and improvisational elements. Another standout musical moment in the film is the song “Down in New Orleans,” which serves as the film’s opening number. The song is a lively and upbeat tribute to the music and culture of New Orleans, featuring a mix of traditional jazz, blues, and gospel elements.
Throughout the film, the music is a major element of the story and setting, helping to bring the world of New Orleans to life on screen. The film’s use of traditional jazz also serves as a tribute to the amazing musical history of the city, which has been home to some of the most important and influential musicians in the history of jazz. In conclusion, The Princess and the Frog is a great example of how traditional jazz music can be used to enhance a film’s setting and story. Through its vibrant musical numbers and diverse cast of characters, the film captures the spirit and energy of New Orleans, and it stands as a timeless tribute to the rich musical history of the city.