This is a manga version of Disney’s The Princess And The Frog and it follows the animated movie closely. We get some nice discussions from the animators that give a bit more depth to the story as well as some history, which was definitely a plus. As well, this is a superb adaptation from a Japanese illustrator, unlike many manga adaptions that are more manwha (Chinese) or manhua (Korean) based. But because this is a manga version, the entire story is in simple lines/black and white and sadly Tiana’s deeper skin color has been whitewashed out. But that aside, this adaptation is well done and suitable for readers of even young ages.
Story: Tiana is a hard working young lady in New Orleans and best friends with the belle of society, the daughter of a wealthy businessman. When she is invited to a ball to celebrate a visit by the foreign Prince Naveen, she attends reluctantly. But Naveen has been tricked and turned into a frog; he comes to Tiana thinking she is a princess and can change him back. When that backfires, they will brave the swamps of New Orleans to find a way to revert the curse.
Interestingly enough, this volume stays truest to the original Disney animation and feels less ‘manga’ as a result (ironic, really, since the ‘big eyes’ of manga and anime were an homage to Disney cartoons in the first place). The art is clean and tells the story easily, with all the flair and panache as the source material. Character introductions in the beginning are nicely detailed with all kinds of extra information about the original animation and very welcome.
There are few additions here than in the original and really this is a retelling of the animation rather than a piece inspired on it. That means those who love the animation will get more of the same here – a fact some might find boring and others enticing. Because of the simplicity of design, this is a story that easily could be read to younger children or work as an early learning reader by lower elementary school students. Certainly, all the vim and verve of the Disney animation is in the book.
Other than the issue of white washing Tiana, it’s a lovely book and a good read. The extras make it worth the purchase, though, for fans of the movie. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.