If you love Frozen, great. I’m happy for you. Truly. However, I didn’t fall in love, and that makes me sad, because I was so looking forward to falling in love with another Disney movie! Sigh. Allow me to explain…
UPDATE 6/29/14: Upon ample reflection, I believe my utter distaste for this film is primarily rooted in heightened expectations. I was so excited for another Tangled, or, as I had daringly hoped, another Beauty and the Beast. I don’t take back anything I initially wrote below. However, I think the intensity of my displeasure would’ve been softened by more realistic expectations. Moral of the story: HYPE LESS. Unless you are 210% certain the hypee will enjoy as much as you did… Otherwise, please enjoy spazzing out together once you’ve both enjoyed the feature and it has decidedly rocked both your worlds. Alright, back to the rant:
SPOILERS AHEAD!! I’m pretty sure I give away just about everything. Because I’m so generous like that… hardyharhar…
- AMAZING ART! A truly gorgeous film. Well done, Disney! Top marks! All contributing artists should be proud. I wouldn’t mind receiving that book of concept art.
- The Tangled Cameo Cute, funny, and I didn’t catch it the first time, so points for surprising me! (But I have more to say on Tangled later…)
- The Norwegian Salesman I would nominate this as the best bit, and best character, in the entire movie. And his family in the sauna, I couldn’t handle it. Very funny.
- Strong Independent Female Leads Not like this should really be a reason for celebrating (because we really should have as many strong female as male leads nowadays), but I did appreciate that both girls were strong and independent in their own ways.
- Anna’s Scene with the Art That scene during “For the First Time in Forever” was very cute and clever. I enjoyed it very much. (Especially knowing the art behind Tangled was initially based on The Swing featured in that scene. I do enjoy when things tie together. And “for the first time ever” are actually lyrics in Tangled too. Just building my case…more to come…)
- The End of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” I’ll admit it. I cried. It hurt so badly. It was a well crafted moment. I believed the relationships for a whole 40 seconds.
- The Music This deserves a wonky face. : / I expected, at the very least, the quality of Tangled. At best, especially with all the hype surrounding “Let It Go,” I almost expected the magic of the Tim Rice/Alan Menken/Howard Ashman era. But the truth is I didn’t leave humming any of the tunes. I forgot them all as soon as the characters finished their duets. (When I walked out, I was thinking about Kristoff and Disney’s statement about men and their boogers, which was hilarious. The tiara bit was also cute.)
The Ugly (uh oh, here we go….)
- The number of questions I had at the end of the film!!! A good movie may have plot holes, but I will be so taken by the movie that I don’t notice them till later, don’t notice them at all, or forgive them as soon as I see them. Not so with this film. In my eyes, they were fundamentally hurtful plot holes that, had they been filled, would have improved relationships and believe-ability! Such as…
- Why does Hans bother trying to stop the two “bad guys” if they’re just going try to kill Elsa? (And while we’re on the subject, why do the new Disney bad guys have mutton chops? Poor Colin Firth.)
- What happened to Kristoff’s parents? Are people in Norway totally cool with little children running around on the ice with baby reindeer? Had we known his past, he would’ve been more developed and interesting. As it is, why are Norwegians incredibly negligent of orphan children?
- Kristoff saw Anna as a kid. He saw her entire family and their powers. Yet now he never mentions it or seems to know nothing about it? I was so looking forward to them meeting and talking about that day, and the conversation never happened. That was severely disappointing.
- And does the creepy grand pappie troll gnome not remember Anna either!? Does he just heal so many people of iced body parts that he’s forgotten that?? The trolls seem to remember Kristoff’s childhood well enough, why don’t they remember that moment? Again, a moment I looked forward to that never arrived.
- After Elsa has fled and Anna meets her at the ice palace (which, don’t get me wrong, looked awesome), why doesn’t she tell her that she’s staying away to protect her sister? It’s not like there’s a secret to keep anymore. What’s the motive? I don’t believe it. And their problems could’ve been solved a lot faster. I’m bored.
- And if nothing happens when Anna finds out Elsa’s got the ice powers, like suffer an ice aneurysm or implode, what was the point of keeping the secret all those years?? That negates their entire childhood secret thing. This movie is falling apart at the seams.
- I’m so unclear on the parents and magic. So her dad the king had magical ice powers too? Did he get this magical book from his parents? Is this an ancestry thing? What do gnomes have to do with ice magic powers? What are the rules? Did the writers think any of this through? Felt very wibbly-wobbly and thrown together, and not in a charming Time Lord kind of way.
- Does anyone else worry about sentient snowmen running around? Everyone’s okay with this creepy, dumb Olaf guy? Not to mention the giant monster still hanging out at the ice palace? I know Elsa’s now a nice girl and all, but that’s a little too much power for one person and no way to keep her in check. (Also, does this mean they can create their own army of giant snowmen? How about servants? Is this going to create a new era of social hierarchy problems for Norway? Will Norway take over the world with their snow troops? Very important questions.)
- I know I’ve read other people asking this question too, but what the heck does Elsa eat up there? Maybe if she can make magical fibers out of snow for clothes, then she can make magical ice meals too? Unclear. Irritating.
- Can’t Anna take five minutes to change into a more practical outfit? The frozen skirt bit was my kind of slapstick humor, but I was thinking, “You have servants who can bring you six more layers of clothes in a matter of minutes…” (This is certainly low on the totem pole, but I thought I’d throw it in anyway. It occurred to me during the film. Therefore, it’s valid…?)
- ReindeersSSSS????? Children are watching this movie! Stop teaching them incorrect English! I don’t care if you’re trying to show Kristoff’s colloquial charm. Cut it out. As cute as that song was (though I don’t remember what it sounds like or any of the lyrics) you shouldn’t be calling them reindeers!
- The Opening I was excited by the opening, as I thought it would be a cool, relevant “Fathoms Below” or “Virginia Company” kind of thing, but it really had nothing to do with the rest of the movie. Just ice and Kristoff. But Kristoff wasn’t the main character, and men moving ice didn’t really relate to the freeze to come. It just felt out of the blue. Again, cool looking, but lacking relevance or substance.
- Too Many Sidekicks There were too many little animals and creatures running around. Between the troll gnomes, Sven the Reindeer, and Olaf the Oaf, I was distracted and annoyed. Keep it simple with maybe one per hero or heroine, like Max and Pascal, Abu and Raja, etc. One blog commented there were simply too many characters period. I agree. It was a convoluted story with too much going on and no clear (and well pronounced) purpose.
- Elsa’s and Anna’s Relationship I don’t buy it. I have a sister. I know how strong that bond can be. There is no way in any universe that if our parents’ died, I wouldn’t do EVERYTHING in my power to comfort my sister and be with her every minute that I could. I would harness that power by sheer willpower. Or I would tell her the dumb secret so she wouldn’t sit there suffering, thinking that I didn’t care enough to be by her side. I would do something. I wouldn’t just sit there. No.
- Parents, Both Bad and Dead They had bad parents with poor parenting skills. Since when is locking up both your kids (and your entire household) the solution to your problem? Since when is telling your kid to subdue all feelings the right action? (Maybe his parents taught him the same way? We have no idea, because THAT WASN’T EXPLAINED EITHER.) And keeping your kids apart all of their young lives? It’s seriously creepy. But to have bad parents, then to have them die, well that’s just overkill (haha…sorry). It would’ve been enough (and better) for them to be good/normal parents, die early, and Elsa to figure for herself that concealing her feelings was the best way (Tarzan-esque). Otherwise we just get to blame everything on her dead parents and she never really grows.
- “Let It Go” is a Crock It’s a fraudulent piece. It is sung out of selfishness and running away from her problems. I’m happy for her moment of discovering the beauty of her powers (thanks, parents and trolls, for ruining that for her), but her, “Here I stand, here I’ll stay!” thing is her taking triumph in running away from her problems at home. It’s so immature. And I know she’s only 18 and it’s a Disney movie, but these are heroines, people we’re supposed to look up to. I’m so disappointed in her and her selfish behavior. I can’t imagine for one minute my older sister or any other older sister I know choosing complete isolation over love and care for siblings. But the real problem is it’s shown as this great and powerful moment, yet she’s still shutting everyone out and letting the world freeze to death. Sure, that’s the point of the film, but this song still isn’t one of triumph. It’s only a little blip on the map. She still hasn’t grown. Boo.
- This Movie is Really Tangled‘s Lesser Cousin Anna and Repunzel are very similar in their naivete and eagerness to get out, even sharing a streak of contrasting hair. Hans and Flynn look alike. Hans’ horse is Max’s doppelganger, and Sven basically is Max. Sigh. And the art is similar. And the kingdom on the sea. It just feels lazy. Every Disney movie heretofore has had individual styles and characters. Okay, the sixties and seventies run together a little bit (like the dancing scenes from Aristocats and Robin Hood are exactly the same…), but at least the princess movies and princesses themselves have always been unique! (And I believe Tangled‘s music is catchier, writing is funnier, love story and characters stronger and better developed…. Shall I go on?)
- Too Relationship Focused This movie focused too much on the family relationship, which is boring. Just like Brave (which I also don’t like…. Whoops, I went there.). Brave has bravery in the title, and trailers made it look like an adventure, but it was actually just all about relationship between an obstinate daughter and her overbearing mother. I can turn on Dr. Phil anytime. This film too is about two sisters who were raised very poorly and don’t know how to interact. THAT SOUNDS SO BORING. AND IT IS. I don’t care that there’s magic and pretty graphics and lots of ice. It’s still a boring plot that is drawn on pointlessly by leaving massive, gaping, obvious plot holes lying around in the middle of the story. It’s not that I don’t like relationships, I just like them seasoned by adventure and momentum and depth. These adventures were pointless and a waste of time. Again, I don’t buy it.
- Not Strong Enough I LOVE STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS. Because they’re human and they should be strong and complex. So this is not about some vendetta against Disney for having independent females (I thought Repunzel was a great independent princess – spoilers: SHE SAVES HIM. Twice.) The thing is these girls are boring and I have a hard time believing either of them, caring about either of them, and I don’t know them. We see Elsa for like 10 minutes during the whole film. She’s scared. Then she’s angry. She’s scared because she’s angry. She’s sad. Oh wait, she’s happy. Oh, the movie’s over. We never get to know her! The only time we spend with her is when she’s singing about abandoning her sister or hiding from bad guys. Meanwhile we see more of Anna and her character, but she still doesn’t feel fleshed out. Like we’re missing part of the picture.
- Too Kitsch And maybe the whole thing was just a little too kitsch. “You’re gorgeous, wait, what?” was really funny!! But also incredibly dated. I think that line will sound really stupid in ten years, because it will no longer be current. And it won’t be charming like Cinderella‘s 1950’s lilt. It’ll just sound dated.
The thing is that The Lion King, the former top-grossing Disney film, was a FANTASTIC STORY. There’s deceit, revenge, adventures, redemption, and it all pays off so well. The characters are complex. They’re believable. There’s real heart. Frozen might’ve beaten Simba in the box office, but it doesn’t come close in much anything else.
Essentially, I don’t believe the characters. The plot holes are too big. Other than the art, it didn’t feel like it even brushed the heights of Disney’s innovative capacity. It felt the recycled leftovers of Tangled‘s engineering.
You don’t have to agree. And I expect 97.6% of you won’t. I felt like sharing my very honest opinion, in case the 2.4% needed assurance that they were not alone. Next time, I keep my expectations low.
Now go watch this funny video (not appropriate for all ages) that is aligned with my silly blog post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb5IH57SorQ
Comments welcomed and encouraged! ;]