No marriage required.
I have to say, Charlotte was one of the most surprising things about this film. They could have made her annoying but instead make her a very funny character. They could have made her a spoiled brat, but while she is a bit spoiled, instead they made her a very caring friend and pretty much a sister to Tiana. They could have made her a bland character just someone for Naveen to have to marry, but instead they gave her an actual personality and made her likable. Finally, this scene.
Even though it’s obvious that to Charlotte, finding true love is her dream, her ‘restaurant’, she is more than willing to give it up for her friend. She doesn’t even take a few moments to think it over. Her and Tiana have such a strong friendship, she would rather let her friend - who has found true love, not just a simple crush or anything like that - live happily ever after herself than marry a prince. And afterwards, she stays positive about it, not only because her best friend is happy, but she’s knows she’ll find her prince someday too, she just has to wait a little longer, and that’s perfectly fine with her.
Probably one of the best side characters and role models in the Disney canon.
Something that I think people vastly overlook in The Princess and the Frog is the friendship between Tiana and Charlotte. It may be only a small part in the film, but in the scheme of Disney movies, this is a revolutionary element.
If you trace the history of all of the other Disney princesses - Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora, Pocahontas, Jasmine, Rapunzel - no other princess is shown as having a female friend. Some may have mother figures such as Grandmother Willow in Pocahontas or the various fairy godmothers, and Ariel has sisters, but the princesses rarely interact with other women as friends. The Princess and the Frog is the only Disney princess film that actually shows women being friends with each other.
Charlotte and Tiana were pals since childhood, and not once did we see Charlotte ever do anything but be a good friend, not falling into any pitfalls of petty friendships or letting class differences affect their relatiojship. When Tiana is trying to earn money on her own? Charlotte hires her knowing that it will help Tiana’s goal. When Tiana fell at Charlotte’s ball and much of the desserts were ruined? Charlotte didn’t care about the food, her number one concern was to make sure Tiana was alright. And when Charlotte learns that Tiana loved Prince Naveen? Charlotte didn’t even flinch; she was willing to forgo her own aspirations of being a princess because she cares about Tiana’s happiness more.
I think this aspect of the film is what in my mind, separates it from other Disney princess movies. It deserve a lot more credit for being the only princess film that actually shows women being friends with each other, helping each other, and caring about each other.
The Princess and the Frog shows a better female friendship than a lot of movies, even outside of princess or animated films. It was really one of my favourite bits of the movie and to say that it avoids the pitfalls is so true. At numerous points when I first watched I was thinking, “Here is where Charlotte reveals her true nature” because how often in movies do girls or women get to just be good friends? I mean, all friends have petty disputes sometimes, but it seems to be unavoidable in most female friendships in media (especially when it comes to romance). So this movie was a really welcome change.
Their friendship was my favourite part of the movie