Welcome everyone to yet another installment of MOVIES PLUS FOOD PLUS ACTIVITY EQUALS HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY nights. And we have officially entered the home stretch, with this putting us inside the final 10. Just remember, this list was in no particular order so this isn’t a top 10. However, I am trying to save at least one of my top 5 movies for the last installment before we head off to Disney World.
For this one, we picked Disney’s final foray as of now into traditional animation – Princess and the Frog. As the last Disney feature released in traditional animation, this movie is already awesome and deserves a spot on this list. Not that I hate computerz or anything, but I am still sort of waiting for some sort of computer animation backlash. It’s coming. Trust me.
Being that this movie takes place in New Orleans, we decorated the house like Mardi Gras. On a Wednesday. This is how the Goodys live. Jealous much?
Being that this movie was in New Orleans, we ate Bourbon.
Chicken. Bourbon Chicken. And we also had some red beans and rice on the side. To drink we had bourbon.
-Less Powerade. Bourbon-less Melon Powerade. But we called it Mama Odie’s Swamp Juice.
And for dessert, we sort of had beignets. In that we had dough and we fried it and then we covered it in powdered sugar. But I wouldn’t say they were beignets. One batch was burned and the other was undercooked. So I guess we made burn-nets and Un-nets? We suck. It’s cool.
Since a lot of this movie is based around the occult, we decided to dabble in the dark arts for this one in an effort to understand what destiny has in store for the four of us. We all knew it was wrong. Welcoming this type of evil into our house will most likely bring serious repercussions but damn it, we JUST NEEDED TO KNOW.
So we created this…
And based on this tool of Satan, I learned that (spoiler alert!) I am going to lose my next game. Since the only types of games I play these days involve either a PS4 controller or a Sorry game piece, you can understand my immediate shift towards panic.
Also, while Nickie and I did the dishes, Myles and Owen played some Disney songs on the trumpet and bongos, respectively. I didn’t get any pictures of this….which you may say is an indication of my bad parenting. But remember…I was still reeling from the “losing my next game” revelation.
But beyond that, I really really really really love this movie. Oh, the music? It’s ah-may-zing. “Almost There,” “Down in New Orleans,” “When I’m Human” and “Gonna Take You There” are all great as is the whole point-of-the-movie-song “Dig a Little Deeper.” I literally find myself singing “When I’m Human” to myself all too often when I am in the car. This happens both when I am alone and when I am by myself. And I can’t figure out which is more embarrassing.
The characters are all great as well. The side characters are great, with Lottie being a high point but it’s really driven by the main four. Tiana is up there as a princess for sure. She isn’t one of those “I’m nothing without a man” type of princesses yet she still is super lovable. Plus, you know…HAWT. Louis and Ray are all kinds of adorable. And please let’s just never mention the “Ray meets the Shadow Man” scene. It’s still too painful. And Naveen? Hilarious. Like legit. Like when he says this…
High-larious. And we haven’t even touched on Dr. Facilier. He is really evil. Like Serpent and the Rainbow evil. It’s kind of terrifying. I mean, for kids. Not for me. Pfft. No…a guy I know said that once. An otherwise really brave guy that’s totally not losing his hair.
And I love how Tiana and Naveen are on two different sides of the same message throughout the movie, only to meet each other in the middle by the end. Naveen is all about being “charming and handsome, cutting a rug” while Tiana be like work>dancing. And of course, Naveen has to learn that life isn’t all blondes and brunettes and Tiana has to learn how to cut loose. Yep, that’s right. The main message here is…
Work-life balance. Obvs squad.
OK, the real message here is “love,” actually. Not Love, Actually. Love, actually.
And I know what you’re thinking. Oh the message is “love” in a Disney movie? How original.
Well, if you could maybe lose the attitude, I will explain.
OK, so Naveen has been cut off and just wants to get money so he can live the “high life” and Tiana just wants to get her restaurant. And at the movie’s start through the whole “Dig a Little Deeper” song, they’re both pretty intent on their dreams. Tunnel vision, yo. But they both come to realize that without someone you love to share it with, none of all that matters. It might be a cliché message but you know…money can’t buy me love and all that. And I mean…of course this is true. Money and material things are great. Like, really great. But without someone to share them with, they are just things. I am so lucky to have love in my life. I know that. And it’s what I value most. When I look around at where I am in life, I feel very rich in love. I love my wife. I love my kids. I love my family and I love my friends. I love my dog. And while I don’t dislike things, I know love is what makes them shine. It’s why we choose to spend our money on Disney trips rather than big screen TVs. Because when we look back on this life, we can say our money was spent making memories and cultivating love. Eh, I love love.
And this is why this upcoming trip is extra special. Because I get to spend it with close to 30 people I love and that make my life better. Spending time in my favorite place with some of my favorite people is a pretty amazing thing. I am pretty lucky.