Hope everyone enjoyed their Easter weekend. We truly celebrated a fabulous holiday this year. My husband bought me a new computer (much needed) on Saturday. And on Easter Sunday we exchanged our baskets. My husband got a basket full of chocolate goodies. And I got a basket full of cute items, a new Southern Living magazine (updated subscription), Etta James Greatest Hits CD, and the movie Princess and the Frog. Oh my goodness is that the cutest movie. Being from New Orleans we're both highly critical of Hollywood's take of how The Big Easy is portrayed in movies. We had heard from our friends back home that this Princess and the Frog was a good one. We loved it!!!
We knew it was off to a good start when Dr. John sang the opening song. Dr. John is one of our favorite NOLA musicians. He's a legend as much as Harry Conick Jr, Marcia Ball, Fats Domino, or Louis Armstrong. He use to play at the JazzFest annually before Katrina. How much I miss the good food and live music of Nawlins. This movie definitely made us homesick. We still own property back there and who knows perhaps one day we'll build again.
One of my favorite characters in the movie was the lightening bug, Ray. He wasn't just any lightening bug but a Cajun lightening bug. Loved it! We have Cajun friends whom we like to go visit over in Lafayette. They also live south of New Orleans in Houma and Thibodaux. They talk just like little Ray. That's how we know we have entered Cajun Country. My husband's name changes from Richard to Ree-cha-rrrd. And my name changes from Gigi to Gee-Gee. I love the thick accent and I can't help but giggle when they call us. So much fun. I'll tell you, Cajuns are some of the most loving people I've ever met in my life.
The writers did a fantastic job on this film. There were two things that stuck out that made me realize that whoever wrote the story actually lived in Louisiana. There was a line that had my hubby and I rolling in laughter. The two main characters (frogs) had just met Ray (lightening bug). They told him they were from another world. And his response was, "Oh, you're from Shreveport?" We howled in laughter when we heard this. Southern Louisiana is completely different from Northern Louisiana.
The other thing that caught my attention was when Ray was singing about his true love, Evangeline. Evangeline is love story but not just any love story. It's a Cajun love story. And not just a Cajun love story but a real Cajun love story. In fact, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a poem about it, "Evangeline." Her name is Evangeline Bellefontaine and her lover's name is Gabriel Lajeunesse in the story. However, they are not fictional but real people. Let me give you the history.
Cajuns are French settlers (Acadians) who migrated down from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edwards Island, Canada. Back in 1755-1763 there was a war between France and Great Britain over the colony of New France (French and Indian War). Many Cajuns moved to Louisiana, seeking to live under a French government. Remember, Napoleon had control of Louisiana at the time. During the transfer from Canada to Louisiana many families were split and put on ships with different destinations to Louisiana/Mississippi.
Evangeline (Emmeline Labiche) was in love with a man, Louis Arceneaux. He asked Evangeline to marry him but they were separated when the British invaded Nova Scotia in 1755. Louis was forced on a ship and set out to sea. Emmeline was taken in by a family who referred to her as, "God's little angel" changing her name from Emmeline to Evangeline. Louis made it to Louisiana before Evangeline and thinking he'd never see his beloved again he had agreed to marry another woman.
However, Evangeline finally made it Louisiana a few years later. Some say she managed to carry a trunk with her at all times (carrying her wedding dress inside). She searched and searched in hopes that she would find true love once again. When she finally found Louis she heard that he had married another woman. Evangeline was beyond devastated and it drove her to insanity and eventually her death.This is a very famous story among Cajuns. There's many songs about her and artwork. Here's a version of the song I've heard before that I found on youtube for y'all to hear.