“Princess Froglegs goes undercover to compete in her father’s Froglympics in order to avoid being married off to a male suitor.”-Anonymous, IMDB.
Frog Kingdom is a 2013 release and was originally made in China. It was distributed for North American audiences by Grindstone Entertainment Group, who has also brought us A Mouse Tale, Gnome Alone, and Bark Ranger. Frog Kingdom is listed as the first actor credit for Cameron Dallas, who to quote IMDB is “a social media sensation… he was one of the top ten users on Vine with over 6.3 million followers”. Cameron currently stars in the Netflix reality show Chasing Cameron. A sequel, Arctic Adventure: On Frozen Pond, was released in 2016. Cameron Dallas does not return to reprise his role in the sequel.
Some thoughts from me (Potential spoilers below)… So true facts, I debated not including Frog Kingdom in the running for our Bad Princess Movie nights purely because there’s so much talking in this one, I feel like there’s no time for us to get our usual snarky comments out. In universe, it’s almost as though the characters are afraid of silence, they constantly have to fill in any conversational pauses with an often unnecessary statement or an attempt at a joke. The actual reason is probably that the producers of this film are desperate to keep the attention span of whatever kid was unfortunate enough to sit down and try to watch the film. I’ve noticed this tends to befall dubbed films a lot, I guess when you’re in the process of redoing all the audio it’s easy to go a bit overboard with it.
This movie feels pretty meandering, there’s a few points where I have to remind myself what the plot was. It’s actually pretty impressive considering that there’s two main things to remember about the plot: 1. Athletes are participating in the Froglympics, and 2. There’s the threat of an encroaching villain that has to be dealt with. The main problem with the story is that the Froglympics gets so much more focus, when the war mongering villain is the more important threat. The film doesn’t really know how to properly handle these two elements.
My head wants to draw comparisons to Disney’s Mulan. In Mulan, the ongoing war with the Huns is felt throughout the entire film. The film is constantly moving towards the eventual confrontation with the Huns, who’s impact can be felt even in the film’s humourous moments (The abrupt end to “A Girl With Fighting For” comes to mind). With Frog Kingdom, it’s easy to forget there’s a potential war on the horizon. It makes me wish that the film took the Froglympics plot and stuck with it. It’s not a ground breaking plot, but it makes sense and if done right could make for a serviceable film.
As it stands right now, I’d put Frog Kingdom in the category of movies you should review first and judge for yourself whether or not to add this to your Bad Princess Movie line up.