Thursday, April 7, 2016

Character Analysis: Charlotte La Bouff

Character Analysis: Charlotte La Bouff
By: Brian Cotnoir

Hey, it’s been a while since I’ve talked about Disney, so here I am to do another Character Analysis.  I’d like to start out by thanking my friends and family for helping me choose which Disney character I was going to do an analysis on, and by the narrowest margin of 3-votes-to-2, they requested that I do a Character Analysis on Charlotte La Bouff from “The Princess and the Frog”.  I hope you all appreciate it, and if there are any other characters you’d like me to do a Character Analysis on you can always make a request in the comment section.

CHARACTER: Charlotte La Bouff from “The Princess and the Frog” (2009)

Charlotte La Bouff from "The Princess and the Frog"
Charlotte is the only daughter of Eli “Big Daddy” La Bouff a wealthy Sugar Baron from New Orleans.  Despite being raised in a life of great wealth and privilege, she still manages to end up best friends with Tiana, a young black girl from a lower class, hardworking family.  Charlotte has one goal in life: marry a prince and become a princess.  Charlotte is incredibly hyper (possibly an undiagnosed sufferer of ADHD) and is constantly making herself the center of attention with her loud hit pitched screams of joy and her constant grabbing of people to make them pay attention to her and grasp the magnitude of how excited she is.  Charlotte is overjoyed when she hears that Prince Naveen of Maldonia is going to be making a trip to New Orleans in hopes of marrying a rich Southern Belle. She is so excited that she keeps interrupting her father as he tries to tell Tiana about how he has invited Prince Naveen to stay with his family.  Charlotte is gung-ho and making a good impression on the Prince, and hires her best friend Tiana to make beignets for their masquerade ball.  Unbeknownst to Charlotte, though, Prince Naveen has been transformed into a frog, by the evil Voodoo Witch Doctor, Dr. Facilier, and his valet Lawrence has been giving a charm that makes him look like the Prince.  It is Facilier’s plan to get Lawrence (who is impersonating as the Prince) to marry Charlotte, and then kill her father after so the two of them can inherit his fortune.    


Young Charlotte is voiced by Breanna Brooks and Jennifer Cody does the voice work for adult Charlotte. Both actresses do a phenomenal job in their brief screen time, and really do capture the sound of that Deep Southern/New Orleans accent.  Cody actually won an Annie Award for her voice acting performance in “The Princess and the Frog


All though I cannot confirm this, I suspect that Charlotte is a nod to the classic Disney trope of the young girls who watched their early films and used to dream of growing up to be a princess and wanting to marry a handsome prince in a fairy tale wedding.  I can’t prove that, but when you really watch the scenes at the beginning of the film with young Charlotte and Tiana, we see Charlotte dressed up as princess, listening to Tiana’s mother read them both the story of The Princess and the Frog, and she proclaims without hesitation that she would kiss over one hundred frogs if it meant she could grow up to marry a prince and be a real princess. I kind of feel like the writers were really trying to pay (a slight) homage to their old ways of marketing their films to young girls with that scene.


Somebody Alert Chris Hanson, quick!
Prince Naveen ends up falling in love with Tiana and ends up marrying her after the two of them break the spell and defeat the evil Dr. Facilier.  Even though, she doesn’t end up marrying Prince Naveen, Charlotte is enthusiastically happy for her best friend and wishes Tiana the happily after romance that she has been waiting for her entire life.  However, Charlotte does end up meeting Prince Naveen’s younger brother and the two of them dance together at the Mardis Gras Ball.  Upon learning that Prince Naveen’s younger brother is only six-and-a-half-years-old she proclaims that she’s already waited that long to marry a prince and she can wait a little longer...which really makes her look like a gold-digger if you ask me.  Also, the fact that Prince Naveen’s brother is only six-years-old also makes Charlotte look kind of like a child predator (but that’s just my take on it).