Here's some interesting articles about the making of the film as well as the music:Interview: Princess And The Frog Directors John Musker And Ron Clements. Plus 7 Brand New Images!
Can you talk about how you guys came onboard to this movie and the genesis of the project and why New Orleans versus other parts of the country?
Clements: Sure. The history of this project is a little more complicated than some movies, but obviously this is very loosely based on the Grimm fairy tale 'The Frog Prince' which is a very short little story. Disney actually has been trying to do something with that story for years and years, going all the way back to the time of 'Beauty and the Beast' that I remember. They had versions in the works. More recently, in I think 2003, Disney bought the rights to a children's book called 'The Frog Princess' by an author named E.D. Baker and in that story, it was basically a kind of fairy tale with a twist. In that story the princess kissed the frog and instead of him turning into a prince she turned into a frog and then the two sort of went on an adventure together. It doesn't really bear a lot of resemblance to our movie except for that basic thing within that. Then Disney explored in the earlier part of this decade, I think, versions of that with some writers and some treatments.
Musker: Parallel to that Pixar had been exploring 'The Frog Princess' as a possible CG film and at first it was set in Chicago in the 1930's and then I think John Lasseter suggested New Orleans to Pixar and their development because he loves New Orleans. It's his favorite city and I think being frogs and all of that which made him go, 'Why don't you set this in New Orleans. It's a great locale and a cool place.'
And here's the one about the music:
Oscar Contender: 'The Princess and the Frog' is a music frontrunner
"Friends On the Other Side"
This scene finds the human Naveen and his valet Lawrence seduced by the story's villain, Dr. Facilier in the fantastic song "Friends on the Other Side." A big musical number in the vein of "Under the Sea" and "Be Our Guest," it is one of the most artistically daring animated sequences shown so far. In fact, you wish the song would go on a bit longer.
In this scene, Naveen, changed into a frog by Dr. Facilier, attempts to break his curse by kissing "Princess" Tiana. They both quickly learn what happens when you fool with magic. It's a little slapstick, but charmingly played out. Watch it embedded in this post or watch a larger version here.
"When We're Human"
This was probably the most disappointing scene we were shown. With Naveen and Tiana trapped both as frogs and in the Louisiana Bayou, they meet a jazz trumpet playing and friendly alligator named Louis (as in Louis Armstrong, get it?) who knows where the Voodoo priestess Mama Odie lives. It turns out Odie might be the key to transforming our hero and heroine back into human beings again. And for Louis, who just wants to play jazz with a real band, she might make him human too. The song is intriguing, but boy is it hard for the word "human" to flow lyrically.
"Dig A Little Deeper"
A great surprise, this rousing, gospel-inspired song is a solo for Jennifer Lewis' Mama Odie and the one completely new scene we were previewed. It’s a fun tune that will be one of the most memorable tracks after moviegoers leave the theater.