The Princess and the Frog - 2009
In Oprah's latest big screen release, 2009's The Princess and the Frog, she plays the character of Eudora, mother of the main character Princess Tiana. The Disney film is a return to hand-drawn animation that follows the story of a young princess in New Orleans and her experiences with a frog prince. The movie is set to be released on Christmas Day of 2009 and will be Oprah's 3rd role in an animated film.
In the 2007 animated film Bee Movie, starring the voices of Jerry Seinfeld, Renee Zellweger and Matthew Broderick, Oprah played the role of Judge Bumbleton. The film followed the story of Barry B. Benson (Seinfeld), a bee, as he sued the world for honey theft with the help of his human companion Vanessa Bloome (Zellweger) and best friend Adam Flayman (Broderick). Oprah's voice and likeness were used in the film as she portrayed the judge in the case of Benson vs. the world.
Oprah starred alongside Julia Roberts, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Dakota Fanning, Kathy Bates, and Robert Redford in the 2006 film of the children's classic Charlotte's Web. Oprah lent her voice to the character of Gussie the Goose in the barn where the much loved Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider hatch their plan to keep Wilbur off the family's dinner plate. This film was Oprah's first work as a voice artist.
In 1998, Oprah's dream of having the much loved Toni Morrison novel Beloved appear on the big screen came true. Re-uniting with Danny Glover, the pair played the parts of Sethe and Paul D. Along with the characters of Denver and Beloved, Morrison's tale of enslavement, sacrifice and growth was brought to the masses. While the film was praised by the critics, it didn't succeed as planned at the box office, but nonetheless it was a success in Oprah's life to have achieved her dream of creating the film.
Native Son - 1986
In her second film role, Oprah appeared in the 1986 film Native Son, also starring Matt Dillon and Elizabeth McGovern and Victor Love. The film follows the story of Bigger Thomas, a man who takes a job as a chauffeur for a wealthy family. After an unfortunate chain of events, Bigger accidentally murders his employer's daughter and attempts to cover it up by placing the blame on her liberal boyfriend to protect himself from the unfair trial he knows he would receive as an African American man in 1940s Chicago.
Directed by Stephen Spielberg and written by Alice Walker, it was a dream of Oprah to appear in the 1985 film The Color Purple. She has often mentioned on The Oprah Winfrey Show how she did everything in her power to land the role of Sophia in the film. Joining actors such as Danny Glover and Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah excelled in the film and received an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress for her performance. Always holding the book and film close to her heart, Oprah has since produced a stage version of the work on Broadway.