The first five minutes of Disney's The Princess And The Frog went up online, and though it's a very short amount of footage, there are some awesome ideas:
1. It begins with a star. "When You Wish Upon A Star" was sung by Jiminy Cricket in the 1940 Disney film Pinocchio and has become the anthem and theme song of The Walt Disney Company. There's lots of star-gazing in classic Disney films, but I can't tell if these stars hold a Hidden Mickey, like the ones in The Lion King did.
2. There's an Interracial friendship right off the bat. Tiana and Charlotte are BFF, and surely there's more to come about their relationship: One is black and one is white, one is rich and one is working class. But in this first scene, they're just two little girls who love a story.
3. Tiana's mom could win Project Runway. I just know it.
4. Tiana is a realist, not a romantic. When her mother is talks about the Princess kissing the frog, Tiana is justifiably squicked out.
5. Doting dad #1.
6. The gorgeous panning shot of the quiet transition of neighborhoods. From rich to not-so-rich.
7. Doting dad #2.
8. Foreshadowing of the jazzy, awesome nightclub to come. Also, this illustration of an illustration is just gorgeous.
9. "That old star can only take you part of the way. You've gotta help it along with some hard work of your own… Then you can set anything you set your mind to."
10. Two loving parents who also love each other. Of course, they're probably going to die very soon. This is Disney, after all. And as an ONTD commenter points out, Joseph Campbell's Hero With A Thousand Faces, which we studied religiously when I was a screenwriting major, is a pretty much the rule in Disney flicks.
11. Ridiculously beautiful hand-drawn animation. CGI can suck it. (Click "full size" to enlarge.)
Here's the video clip. As you'll see, it's not final; some scenes are missing color. But after pointing out possible problems with the movie, I have to say that seeing actual footage beyond the trailer is still really exciting. Then again, there's no toothless firefly in this clip.