Photo: Will there be a happy ending for Prince Naveen and would-be restaurateur Tiana in “The Princess and the Frog?”

The Princess and the Frog (Disney, Blu-ray or standard DVD, G, 98 min.). The first hand-drawn Disney animated film since 2004’s “Home on the Range” is very definitely a winner. From John Musker and Ron Clements, the directors of “Aladdin” and “The Little Mermaid,” it also features wonderful, Broadway-ish songs written by Randy Newman and is steeped in New Orleans style funk. At times it recalls “The Jungle Book,” as a portion takes place in the Louisiana bayous and involves a horn-playing gator (Michael-Leon Wooley as Louis, an obvious homage to Louis Armstrong).

It opens with Tiana’s mother reading the original story to the delight of her charge Charlotte and daughter Tiana. Tiana says she would never kiss a frog. The film then jumps forward several years, when Tiana (voiced and sung by Anika Noni Rose of Broadway’s “Dreamgirls”) is carrying forward her late father’s dream to open a fancy restaurant by working two waitressing jobs and saving up her tips. It has been a long haul, but she has finally found the space and is about to make a down payment. Meanwhile, Charlotte has learned the Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos) has come to town and gets her rich father (John Goodman as Big Daddy La Bouff) to throw him a party. However, Naveen and his servant Lawrence (Peter Bartlett) are waylaid by the evil Dr. Facilier (Keith David), who promises to tell their fortunes with tarot cards but instead he turns Naveen into a frog and gives Lawrence an amulet that makes him look like Naveen.

At the party, Tiana comes across frog Naveen and kisses him to remove the curse, only to be turned into a frog herself. They eventually escape from the party by being carried off by balloons, which dump them in the bayous, where their adventures continue. Other characters include firefly Ray (Jim Cummings) and witch Eudora (Oprah Winfrey). Song highlights include Dr. John singing “Down in New Orleans,” Rose singing “Almost There” and Wooley doing “When I’m Human.” Dr. Facilier has the ability to summon menacing shadows and this can be pretty scary for really young children. (I still recall the threatening trees in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” from my childhood.)

The single disc has deleted scenes, audio commentary by the directors/co-writers and producer Peter Del Vecho, Ne-Yo’s music video and a quiz on Disney’s princesses. The Blu-ray edition, which includes the standard DVD and a digital copy, also adds an extensive behind-the-scenes look; features on the return to hand-drawn animation, aspects of making the film; deleted scenes; and an art gallery. Grade: film 3.5 stars; extras 3 stars

Ninja Assassin (Warner, Blu-ray or standard DVD, R, 99 min.). Brutal, but beautiful, the film makes the spraying of blood part of a visual symphony, with the stealthy ninjas often twirling blades on long chains. Korean pop star Rain (“Speed Racer”) plays the assassin Raizo, who broke with his master (Sho Kosugi) and the Ozumu clan in which he was raised. He now tries to thwart their assassinations, while being a target himself. Naomie Harris plays a Europol agent who stumbles across Raizo’s existence, making herself a target as well.

Behind the action-packed adventure, which includes ninjas fighting and tumbling over moving traffic in one jaw-dropping sequence, are producers Larry and Andy Wachowski (“The Matrix” trilogy, “V for Vendetta”) and Joel Silver and director James Mcteique (“V for Vendetta”). There are many flashbacks to Raizo’s youthful, unforgiving and brutal Ozunu training. The fight scenes incorporate free running, gymnastics and martial arts. Rain, who worked his body into incredible, cut shape, does most of his own fighting work, as shown in the training extra. Another solid extra is showing the multi-disciplined talent involved in making the stunts come alive. There also is a 19-minute look at the myths of ninjas; five deleted scenes; and a sneak peak at the new “Clash of the Titans,” including how the Kraken and Medusa were created. Blu-ray is definitely the way to go with its clarity of picture and tremendous sound. Grade: film 3.5 stars; extras 3.25 stars

Rating guide: 5 stars = classic; 4 stars = excellent; 3 stars = good; 2 stars = fair; dog = skip it

Additional reviews are available online at and include “Astro Boy,” the Blu-ray debut of the original “Clash of the Titans” and the History Channel series “Clash of the Gods.”