Reviews for the Easily Distracted:
Frozen

frozen1127.jpg
Title: Frozen

So? Another Disney "Classic?" I'm less annoyed by Big Mouse calling everything a classic than I am their strategy of only releasing their movies "from the vault" at certain times. Kids don't just decide they want to watch The Little Mermaid during your stupid windows of opportunity.

Rating Using Random Objects Revelant To The Film: Two Ice Pirates out of five.


Brief Plot Synopsis: Spunky princess must save town from magically powered sister (and queen), and also save queen from herself.

Tagline: "From the creators of Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph."

Better Tagline: "From the creators of The Aristocats and Treasure Planet."

Not So Brief Plot Synopsis: Very loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, Frozen is the story of two sisters: Elsa (Idina Menzel), the oldest and soon-to-be crowned queen of Arendelle, and Anna (Kristen Bell), the younger, more adventurous one. In addition to no-doubt formidable bureaucratic powers, Elsa can create snow and ice, but she hides this ability from the world after accidentally injuring Anna as a child. At her coronation, she accidentally unleashes an eternal winter and flees into the mountains, forcing Anna - with the help of a strapping mountain man (Jonathan Groff) - to pursue and get her to dispell the curse before they succumb to a terrible fate: playing hockey for eternity. And also probably death.


"Critical" Analysis: With Frozen writer/co-director Jennifer Lee appears to be trying to atone for some of Disney's past sins. The two main characters are both female, and neither of their primary objectives involve landing a man. Obviously they're both still princesses, but at least in this case Elsa and Anna are not wholly defined by their royal heritage.

The animation is also some of the best Disney has ever done (who wouldn't jump at the chance to animate some frost fractals?), and the pseudo-Scandinavian landscape is rendered beautifully. It also probably goes without saying that Menzel and Bell are fine vocalists.

It's just too bad the songs are, well, mostly crap.

Again, Menzel could sing the Oscar Meyer Weiner song and she'd probably win a Tony, but a great voice doesn't hide the fact that lyrically, these are some of the worst songs I've ever heard in a Disney movie this side of Hercules. The big single (at least, the one Disney is pushing the hardest) is supposed to be "Let It Go," Elsa's anthem about freeing the shackles of her past:

Let it go, let it go
Can't hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn my back and slam the door

Yeah, I realize it's *Disney*, but Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez are no Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. There are a couple of memorable songs here, but one is "In Summer," sung by Olaf the Snowman. Olaf likes warm hugs and imagining what it would be like to hang out on the beach (it's funny because he's a SNOWman). But that's less empowering and more amusing diversion, which Frozen really could've used more of.

And for a movie that's almost an hour and 50 minutes long, very little happens. Elsa flees, Anna follows, some stuff happens. Throughout are all the familiar Disney beats that started wearing thing around Pocahontas. It isn't until the final act that the film's true villain is revealed, and the climactic scene is almost a note for note ripoff of Beauty and the Beast.

I'm afraid a lot of people are going to be distracted by how pretty Frozen is and ignore its significant flaws. Then again, it's Thanksgiving and there's a new Disney movie out. Nothing I've said here is going to matter one iota.

Frozen is in theaters today. I hope your kids aren't like mine and think they can build our own Olaf -- in Houston -- for Christmas.


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16 comments
joe444
joe444

Perhaps the best movie review I've read.


This is a cynical narrative about how rich people can redeem themselves by having a moment or two of empathy and singing a power ballad.  It's pretty because a lot of money was thrown at it, but it is so transparent.

leatherbackba
leatherbackba

I agree with everything in the review except that the animation is far from Disney's best. I feel that the animation is akin to a high level 90's video game. The movie looks as fake as it feels

tanderson2076
tanderson2076

I happen to agree with review, good job. Am I embarrassed because it's popular?  Hardly.  I like McDonald's too (the most popular restaurant in the world) but that doesn't mean I think it's quality food. 

newilcott
newilcott

Ahh that feeling of embarrassment when the movie wins best animation and best original song at the oscars. Not to mention its in striking distance to take out toy story 3 as the highest earning animation of all time and most of all the frozen album topping the billboard top 200 for 5 weeks. Specially after saying "It's just too bad the songs are, well, mostly crap."

DisneyInsider
DisneyInsider

No I actually agree with the author some what. Significant flaws being:

(SPOILER ALERT)

Elsa was using her power out of LOVE for her sister when they were little when she originally injured Anna. So how is it okay at the end of the movie to use her power for love??? Isn't that what caused her to stay in her room all those years?? But now it's okay somehow?? That answer didn't get solved she just decided to be more careful now, I guess???? 


Also ummmm....how did DIsney miss the story that was really going on is that ELSA's heart was freezing not ANNA's and that if Elsa, the SNOW QUEEN stayed bitter then she would turn to Ice??? HOW THE HELL DID THEY MISS THAT STORY??? I'm sure they saw it but figured that would almost actually be a good story, so of course they have to make it complicated and have Anna's heart freeze which is just like the Tinkerbell DVD movie Secret of the Wings  in which Tinkerbell's wings almost freeze off when she visits her sister the WInter Fairy. 

FROZENISGOOD
FROZENISGOOD

"Notice the prettiness of Frozen but ignore its significant flaws." First off, a 10 year old isn't going to be looking for any significant flaws. Speaking of significant flaws, i really don't see any. Every movie has flaws...but significant? Not even close. I think the Let It Go song was amazing. Are they trying to win musical awards and sell this song for millions? No you idiot. Have you even seen Frozen? Doubt it. Typical modern critic - pure ignorance and stupidity. Go flip some burgers.

myyysha
myyysha

Alan Mencken? That was wearing thing?
REALLY?
You know what they say about reading things on the internet: If you know nothing about the author, judge his relevance from his grammar.

drnegative
drnegative

I think a critic was distracted by the visuals and missed an amazing heart-felt story. And the fact that you think the third-act is even remotely like Beauty and the Beast is laughable. I'm starting to question if you've actually seen either of them. Frozen has one of the best third-acts out of any animated film I've seen, the twist at the end broke that cliché and stomped on it.

jimmy
jimmy

@DisneyInsider  Young Elsa ACCIDENTALLY hurt her sister when they were younger and her parents insisted she hide her powers. Elsa was afraid to be around anyone because she did not want to hurt them. FEAR made her powers uncontrollable and she was afraid of her powers because her parents instilled that fear when she was younger. Her powers would get out of control whenever she was scared (pretty much anytime she was around other people). I don't think the gloves helped at all, her dad told her they helped and that calmed her fear but when she removed them she felt vulnerable and fear would overcome. 

That's what I think.

DisneyInsider
DisneyInsider

@jimmy @DisneyInsider Yeah I absolutely get what you are saying. So Elsa ACCIDENTALLY hurt Anna when she was using her powers out of LOVE. Then she hid in FEAR. Then Anna's act of bravery helps overcome her FEAR and she goes back to using her power out of LOVE----which is what hurt Anna the first time.....So really the story just came back to square one where Elsa just has to ACCIDENTALLY hurt Anna out of LOVE and we are right back into the whole FEAR thing again...Actually I was half way waiting for it the end when Elsa makes her skate blades that she ACCIDENTALLY shoots her knee cap off.

dasistkalt
dasistkalt

@DisneyInsider @dasistkalt 

Except that that would never happen now because Elsa now knows how to self-regulate; not only knowing how to control her powers but how to UNDO what she has done. She never knew how to UNFREEZE anything before, and because she didn't know how, she felt her powers were a danger to everyone. they were not looked at as a gift, she was only ever told that she should lock them away.


Yes, her and her sister were having fun when they were ignorant children and, like many problems, hers started in childhood. Playing in the snow as children does not compare to giving your life for another human being, so that argument that that act was 'true love' is just silly.


Elsa was told all the way up until the -resolution- (Anna giving her life and then thawing by that same act of true love) that her powers were dangerous and uncontrollable.

She spent her whole life controlling her actions but never her emotions. Her spiraling emotions were what caused her to lose control over herself, her powers, and in a sense turned her heart to ice.


I don't doubt that Elsa knew that Anna loved her, but I don't think she knew just how MUCH until Anna stepped in front of that blade with her final breaths.


When Elsa saw Anna give her life for her- choosing to save Elsa over saving herself- something in her snapped and changed FOREVER. For that reason, it is not a 180 degree turn- how could you look past someone giving their lives in the most literal sense for you??

Her frozen heart melted and she realized in THAT MOMENT how to both freeze things AND to thaw them. 


Hitting someone with an ice bolt to the heat or heart would no longer be a concern of hers, because if it happened again, she knows how to take it back. 


She. Knows. How. To. Thaw. Now.


Right there, problem entirely solved.


The entire movie is a metaphor for a frozen heart/fear and how love and kindness can help someone who is struggling (with whatever battles may be keeping them socially or emotionally distant or worse) to come out of their shell and use their natural gifts/passions to be the best individual they can possibly be.

DisneyInsider
DisneyInsider

@dasistkalt There is no real resolve because Elsa can still accidentally hit Anna in the head or heart like she did before. Then Elsa would be heading right back up the North Mountain singing her song. A permanent resolve would be to show that Anna now has an immunity to being hurt by Elsa's powers after she got momentarily turned into ice. All the ending is just a 180 degree turn back to their relationship when they were little which is what got Anna hurt in the first place. That is how it is NOT a real resolve/conclusion.

dasistkalt
dasistkalt

@DisneyInsider @AnotherJerk @jimmy

Did you not pay attention to the last part of the movie or something? There was absolutely resolve and conclusion. 

How would Elsa feel fear over her powers now? The kingdom knows and loves her, her sister loves and accepts her and that was the entire premise RIGHT THERE.

There is no longer fear of her freezing anything for good. During the whole movie, she never knew how to control and undo her powers. She learned how to unfreeze things, and that was with the love that she'd never been able to express before. 

Since she knows that now, and thus has NO fear over her power, How is that NOT a resolve/conclusion? 

DisneyInsider
DisneyInsider

@AnotherJerk @DisneyInsider @jimmy well you just said it- there was an accident while playing in the snow. Elsa was using love as a sister to play with Anna in the middle of the night even though she was sleepy.

So really it can happen again. There was no resolve like showing in the end that Anna is now immune to getting hurt by her powers so Elsa has no excuse to live in fear anymore.

They even had a resolve in Tinkerbell-secret of the wings. (Which Frozen copied) Tinks wings would freeze and break when she would try to visit her sister in the winterwoods but they later discover if Tinks frosts her wings first, it traps in the warmth and her wings will never break again. 

That is a resolve. A conclusion to a problem because the problem at the beginning of the story now has a fix. 

AnotherJerk
AnotherJerk

@DisneyInsider @jimmy 

Uh... Not entirely sure how an accident playing in the snow after Elsa repeatedly tells Anna  she's going to fast is any kind of use of love. But let's look at this another way.

Control is ridiculously hard to have when you are afraid that everything will go wrong within seconds. It is far easier when you are filled with love and self assurance. Will there still be accidents? It's a chance, the power's always got that side to it. But she can be careful. Which is far easier when you don't think the world is going to fall down on you at the first sign of frost.

Also, they were kids. Kids get into some awful accidents. Never doing something again because you did something stupid when you were eight is not a particularly healthy line of thinking. 

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