Opening in selected cities this holiday weekend is Disney’s long-awaited return to spectacular hand-drawn 2-D animation, The Princess and the Frog, a fairy tale set in New Orleans that also breaks new ground by offering us a Disney musical’s first ever black female animated lead character. That would be Tiana, an ambitious young woman whose chance encounter with the cursed Prince Naveen puts a unique spin on the classic tale about a princess kissing a frog – in that Tiana finds herself transformed into an amphibian as well.
Also opening in selected cities is the surefire Oscar contender The Road, which is a complete 180-degree shift in tone from the good-time cartoon musical above. This adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s relentlessly bleak dramatization of what would actually happen when human life slowly begins to die off after an environmental shift that rendered the world a bleak and desolate wasteland. Viggo Mortensen stars as a father traveling with his son across the country, scavenging for food and struggling against the odds to hold on to what makes them human, and Charlize Theron is the wife who haunts his dreams.