Move over New Orleans, Hollywood’s here to stay!

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With a slew of blockbuster hits that keep on coming, it seems Hollywood has gone gaga for the Big Easy. Box office blow-ups such as “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and older titles, (“King Creole” anyone?) have given the Big Easy great exposure; and with such wonderful nightlife, world-class cuisine, and charming neighborhoods, it’s no surprise NO is Hollywood’s go-to locale.

The highly anticipated “Princess and the Frog” was released yesterday around the nation. Using New Orleans as the setting in the animated movie rather than a fairytale land, the movie broke boundaries from the beginning. Another first: the introduction of Disney’s African American princess to the world. As the Big Easy kept things real for media mogul Disney, the next step was perfecting the scenery that we all know and love.

With an iconic NO building posing problems for the team, Directors Ron Clements and John Musker decided to take things into their own hands. As the team stayed on pins and needles over the clock face on the tower (it had four lines instead of the roman numeral “IV”), Musker and Clements went through photos of the St. Louis Cathedral, and realized that it was just a false alarm. But for the design team, with three years of work on the line, even the slightest detail could be a crisis.  Highly dedicated to their creations, the clock tower is just one example of how committed the Disney team is to getting everything picture perfect for the boundary-breaking tale.

As for choosing New Orleans as the backdrop, that decision can be credited to Disney’s animation chief and exec-director of “The Princess and the Frog,” John Lasseter. Word on the street is he is a huge fan of New Orleans.

With older movies paving New Orlean’s descent into Hollywood (“Live and Let Die,” “Walk on the Wild Side”) and newer movies blazing the trail one thing is certain: Hollywood and the Big Easy are a match made in heaven.

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Are you coming to New Orleans, or have you stayed in New Orleans in the past? Please share your thoughts or tips and feel free to ask questions in the comments section below.

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