Dee Discusses: Frozen

Posted: January 24, 2014 by Dee in Dee, General Media, Movies, New Movies, Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

There will be spoilers in this review.

It took me awhile to go out and see this movie. Maybe I’ve just lost interest in animated films unless they really grab me, but I kept seeing Tumblr posts about it and listened to “Let It Go.” I’m glad I got around to it, but not as glad as I’d like to be. This movie I think suffers from some of the same flaws as Brave did, which I’ll get to in a bit. It had some truly excellent ideas. I love fairytales and lore, and I was a little psyched they planned on doing The Snow Queen, buuuuuuuut obviously this had nothing to do with the real tale. I know, I know, what did I expect? Frozen is well on its way to winning the Oscar for Best Animated Film, but I wonder if it would have gotten it if there were better movies in the running. The whole category is weak this year.  But let’s just get right to it.

Frozen is about two princesses: Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell). The sisters are extremely close, and Anna knows all about Elsa’s special magical gifts that allows her control over ice and snow. How she got these powers are never explained; not that it needs to, but it did make me go ooookay. While playing, Anna is accidentally injured, and she suffers a head wound. Their parents go to trolls for help, who say they have to erase Anna’s memory of Elsa’s powers (uh okay why? Bueller?) and they have to teach Elsa control. Apparently that translates to lock Elsa away and teach her to fear and repress all of her emotions in case she kills her loved ones. Real smart, parents. This leads Elsa to seclude herself from her sister and everyone else. Uh guys if she’s the heir this is going to eventually be a problem and there we go the parents die, leaving Elsa the next Queen. And she’s at the ball and extremely uncomfortable and terrified of losing control, since no one ever taught her. Anna’s just psyched her sister’s actually talking to her.

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Before the ball Anna meets Hans (Santino Fontana), a prince from foreign lands who has a lot of big brothers. He charms her so when they meet later on she’s willing to accept that they’re in true love and should get married. Anna’s very naive and believes her storybooks it happens just like that. Oh you sweet summer child. Elsa’s like ha ha ha no you knew him a few hours, no marrying, and Anna fights with her in public. Elsa loses control of her powers and runs, leaving behind a terrible blizzard that goes over the surrounding lands. The people are understandably terrified about this and not prepared for the weather at all. Elsa decides to let go of her lack of control and enjoy her powers for once, creating an ice palace far away. Anna’s determined to get her sister back so she rides off to look for her. She meets Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his reindeer sidekick, and they eventually come across a snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad) who Elsa willed into life. So she can make life too? Uhhh okay. And sentient beings. That should come in handy. She should just make herself an army of snow beasts. More on that later.

Anyway in classic Disney style Anna and Kristoff argue and bicker and you know that means they’ll be in love. He’s reasonably WTF at her about Hans  proposing after a day, although this is really undermined by the fact the movie expects us to believe he loves her after a day too. Don’t lampshade something and then use it, boooo hisssss. Elsa refuses to listen to Anna when she arrives, hitting her with ice in the heart and having a giant snow beast chase them off. Elsa honey, you seem nice, but you are also terrifying and I’m not sure I blame people for being scared of you. Because you are making giant snow beasts that nearly kill your sister. Work on that. She admits she doesn’t know how to stop the snow. THIS IS WHERE YOU TRY ELSA? Okay, okay, I know I’m being harsh, but come on. People are going to die eventually in this blizzard. She’s supposed to care about them so she could at least try something outside of ‘hiding forever kbye.’

So Anna starts to die because there’s ice in her heart, and Kristoff brings her to see the trolls. I don’t know why the trolls are in this movie they don’t really serve much of a purpose outside of exposition. It’s not like they really help Anna here, outside of saying only true love can save her. They bring her back to Hans but he’s like lol I don’t actually love you it’s been a damn day. I want the throne. He leaves Anna to die. That was a good villain reveal actually. Eventually it comes down to Elsa and Hans facing off, and Anna’s heart is healed because what she does is sacrifice herself to save her sister. That’s the real true love, and it melts the ice so she’s fine. Elsa realizes love is the key to controlling her powers instead of fear. Sigh Disney. Yes love conquers all. I didn’t hear you the first 100000 times. Kristoff and Anna are together, I hope Elsa is still like let’s not get married in a day, and Hans gets punched. Olaf is kept alive even during summer by being followed around with a snow storm. Does it take a lot of energy for Elsa to just keep him alive? Or does once she creates it, it stays forever? Hmm. Well everyone’s happy. The end.

I love love love love love love LOVE that this story is really about the sisters. Thumbs up. Disney is at its best when it plays with familial relationships. It’s what I liked the most with Brave. The mother/daughter relationship and family in general? Epic. I’m also a big fan of friendships. Elsa and Anna’s love for each other was what really mattered, that was the true love, and I can’t give enough applause about it. I think maybe downplaying Kristoff’s love for her would help? Like it seemed more of a footnote. I would’ve been fine with him being more like Shang in Mulan, where they got along and in the end he’s like oh hey so you’re kind of great? Love is jumping a little quick, especially when he joked about how ridiculous it was to be that fast before. Also I found the sidekicks rather forgettable and uninteresting. Olaf was okay, just … I can’t really remember anything he said. Hans was a pretty good bad guy, I liked the simplicity and logic of his plan. The visuals on this movie are stunning. The ice palace and all the artistry of her powers? Just beautiful. I probably could watch her make ice sculptures all day. The music was great, although I think outside of “Let It Go” the others are a little forgettable. Still good though. The score was beautiful. I felt like the plot was something of a mess. There were a lot of holes. It jumped in logic. A lot of characters were unnecessary. I got bored several times while watching and sort of wanted to skip to the end. I am all for Disney continues to explore family relationships. Remember Lilo & Stitch? I didn’t care much about Stitch’s story itself, but the sisters were the most interesting part by far. And found family! I love found family.

Overall,  Frozen has some wonderful aspects, and it’s great to see Disney moving a little outside of the ‘only focus on romance!’ I’m not sure I’ll watch the movie again. It was cute, but I came out of it with a bit of an ‘eh’ shrug. The sisters were great though. More of that! Also friendships. You know what my favorite part of The Princess and the Frog was? Her BFF relationship with Charlotte. I liked Aladdin and Jasmine, but Genie’s friendships (and Abu and Carpet!) made me happier. I like they’re trying new things, so I want to support that. I just didn’t see this as a particularly strong film in terms of plot or even music. It was good, not great. Kids will love it though. Enjoy!

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