Phoenix Suns: Which Disney animated film best represents the franchise?

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) /
4 of 4
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images) /

The many parallels between the Phoenix Suns and The Princess and the Frog.

While the movie would work well for the Utah Jazz franchise as well considering it is based in New Orleans where the Jazz franchise originated, it feels right for the Suns.

The title, the setting, and the movie posters make it pretty clear that a major aspect of the film involves a curse and a voodoo master.

The Suns have always been the frog waiting for a kiss from a princess to make them a prince and being the most cursed franchise in the NBA, voodoo just makes sense doesn’t it?

The Sun’s bad luck has lasted for 50 plus years, starting when they lost a coin flip to the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 for the right to draft the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (he was Lew Alcindor then).

That was two years into their history and they never had a No.1 pick until 2018 when they won the draft lottery and selected who will likely become their first great center: Deandre Ayton. Here is to hoping he is the key to breaking the curse, but he has a long way to go.

The film was also the first film that used traditional 2D Disney animation in decades and is reportedly the last film to be done in that animation. That kind like it feels like the Suns are the last great NBA franchise to not have won an NBA title.

There are even more parallels. The film was groundbreaking as it was the first Disney animated film to feature a black Disney princess (pretty sad it took Disney that long) and despite being very critically acclaimed with a wonderful plot, visuals, music and was culturally significant (like the Suns teams of the mid-90s and 2000s) it won zero Academy Awards and Golden Globes, despite four nominations.

That feels very relatable to the Suns franchise on many fronts.

It also was released in November 2009, around the time when the 2009-10 NBA season, the last season in which the Suns were perilously close to winning an NBA title, began.

It lost to the all-time great Pixar Film, ‘Up!’, which was the last in a series of amazing Pixar films in the 2000s, eerily similar to it being Kobe’s last title run in 2010, the culmination of the paramount decade in his legendary career.

The Princess and the Frog was revolutionary for Disney and black representation in film, much like the seven-seconds-or-less era. The Suns were the first to master the uptempo, team-oriented style of basketball we see in the NBA today.

The Princess and the Frog also helped pave the way for Marvel’s first black-centric superhero film, ‘Black Panther’  which was released in 2018, won tons of awards, and is a global phenomenon.

This is akin to the Golden State Warriors evolving from the Nash-era Suns style of play with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green (and later Kevin Durant) and receiving a ton of awards, i.e. NBA titles, and praise for it.

So there you go, my best stab at comparing the Phoenix Suns with a Disney animated film. Who has one better?

Next. The Suns are House Martell from Game of Thrones. dark