Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Princess and the Frog
My mom told me that at a Young Women's workshop a year or two ago, a leader contrasted Snow White to Tiana from The Princess and the Frog to reveal that Snow White was more in line with Church standards. As a huge fan of The Princess and the Frog, I was shocked. After reviewing the facts, the only thing Snow White has over Tiana is a more modest princess dress. Otherwise, The Princess and the Frog portrays just as many Church values, as illustrated below:

Good Work Ethic
Tiana is an honest and hard worker and she saves her money for a purpose. She is very goal driven. Although it is shown mostly through her career, it is evident throughout the whole movie as she tries to become human again. Furthermore, her dream was one shared by her father to bring people together through food, not to climb the social, corporate, or financial ladder, as is usually associated with career-minded individuals. When she does open the restaurant, she and her husband work together.

Healthy Relationship
Tiana and Prince Naveen do not fall in love with each other right away, but rather after they have gotten to know each other and have endured trials together. The two complement each other and create a balanced relationship--not all work and not all play.

The song played in the credits, "Never Knew I Needed," reveals how sometimes what we have in mind for ourselves is not what the Lord has in store. Neither Tiana nor Prince Naveen were interested in the type of person the other was, but each ended up being what the other needed. They show that a good relationship requires self-improvement, compromise, sacrifice, and consideration.

Happiness in Trials
Tiana and Prince Naveen exemplify what President Uchtdorf said in conference last weekend: to have gratitude in all circumstances. At the end, the two resign to remaining frogs forever, but are nonetheless happy because they have each other, and they move on with their new life.

President Uchtdorf said,
Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges. 
This is not a gratitude of the lips but of the soul. It is a gratitude that heals the heart and expands the mind. 
Being grateful in our circumstances is an act of faith in God. It requires that we trust God and hope for things we may not see but which are true. By being grateful, we follow the example of our beloved Savior, who said, “Not my will, but thine, be done.” 
True gratitude is an expression of hope and testimony. It comes from acknowledging that we do not always understand the trials of life but trusting that one day we will. 
It is because of their challenge, being stuck as frogs and journeying together through the swamp, that they learn to love each other and change into the people they need to be. Even when they don't receive the ending they want, they are grateful in their situtation and have faith in a bright future.

In her song, Mama Odie tells the characters that if they dig deep inside they will discover who they truly are and what they really need. She makes it clear that Tiana cannot be fully happy without love and family in her life. Although Tiana's dream was not a bad one, it was unbalanced.

Mama Odie reminds the prince that money will not solve his problems. She sings:
Prince Froggy is a rich little boy.
You wanna be rich again.
That ain't gonna make you happy now;
Did it make you happy then? No!
Money ain't got no soul;
Money ain't got no heart.
All you need is some self-control,
Make yourself a brand new start.

Once the two fall in love, the story doesn't end there. The two get married despite still being frogs and expecting to remain so, sacrificing their previous dreams. Because they choose love and marriage, they end up solving their frog problem, showing that when we do what is right even when we think bad circumstances will not change, we will be blessed.

Wickedness Never Was Happiness
The Shadow Man's story is a perfect example to us of what happens when we participate in evil and invite the devil into our lives, just like with Korihor: "And thus we see the end of him who perverteth the ways of the Lord; and thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell" (Alma 30:60).

Discussion: How else does The Princess and the Frog portray gospel principles and standards?

1 comment:

DAD said...