I may be a little late in watching this movie, but I wanted to do a quick review of it for anyone who has already seen it. I say “those who have seen it” because this review is going to contain spoilers.
So yeah, this review contains spoilers so if you haven’t seen Disney’s Frozen yet and you don’t want to know what happens – don’t go any further!
With that, I give you my review of Disney’s Frozen:
My First Reactions To Disney’s Frozen
I will say that I’m a Disney fanboy at heart. I saw commercials about Frozen and I was unsure what the story was about – which was reminiscent to my initial reactions to another Disney movie: Brave.
From the trailers, I didn’t really know what to expect. The only image that ever stuck was that goofy snow man character, so I assumed the movie circled around him… I mean, c’mon… It’s a December… There’s snow everywhere… and a talking snow man is on all the commercials…
This movie’s gotta be about a talking snowman!
With that in mind as I entered the theater, I didn’t have high expectations for it. I went with my wife and knew that because it was a Disney movie, at the very least, we’d both be entertained and that’s all I was going in for.
Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.
What Disney’s Frozen Was Hiding Behind The Movie Trailers
We start with a snowy day and what looked like eskimos digging into the ice to pull out giant ice blocks – all while singing in chorus. THIS is the Disney I remember!
The tribal drum beat… the opening scenery… the assortment of characters cascading the screen all within the first five minutes! THIS is Disney, and boy how I missed this!
So the opening sequence got us off to a nice start. No snowman. I’m cool with that.
The next scene however, takes us to a castle and two princesses: One trying to sleep while the other is jumping on her bed tempting her with playing in the snow.
Okay… talking snowman is a comin’!
The girls go into another room and…
WHAT THE HECK?!
One of them throws out ice and snow from her hands! I’m starting to think Frozen isn’t centered around the snowman!
But then… they get together and actually make a snowman… which is DESTROYED only a few seconds later.
Nope. This movie isn’t about a talking snowman.
Disney’s Frozen Compared To Traditional Disney
So after the first 10 minutes we come to the pleasant realization that this movie is centered around two princesses, which is a neat twist to the Disney mythos. Disney is no stranger to princess stories (DUH) but they usually stick to just one per movie – this one has TWO… at least, for now. The one with the ice powers (Princess Elsa) becomes Queen later in the movie.
Another interesting twist to the Disney mythos is that every queen in Disney flicks has always been the antagonist to the princess. When Elsa becomes queen, we see her go through many emotions and I’ll admit, at a time or two I even imagined she was slowly becoming evil, slipping into that role that most Disney Queens fall into. While her sister, Princess Anna falls right into the big eyed, innocent princess stereotype we’ve come to expect from Disney, we see Queen Elsa exploring her darker side as she taps into her full potential – creating an ice palace and changing her whole look to reveal the side of her she always kept hidden.
I could have seen Disney exploring Queen Elsa as a villain to a great length. There was much room for them to do so, especially with this movie being based off Hans Christen Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”. However, I was overall very pleased that they kept Queen Elsa as a good person – which I believe was the result of her overwhelming guilt towards the near tragic incident where she almost killed Princess Anna. Her attachment toward her sister kept her noble and always brought her back, even when nearly lost her sense of virtue in a later fight scene where she almost took the lives of two soldiers trying to kill her.
One other Disney mythos that was addressed here was how the prince and the princess always gets engaged for marriage RIGHT AWAY. Disney seems to be poking fun at themselves with this one, which they started back with Disney’s Enchanted and it was explored here as well. The conversation between Princess Anna and Kristoff when Kristoff discovered Princess Anna’s engagement to Prince Hans after the first day of meeting each other was unbelievably hilarious!
It’s nice to see Disney can laugh at themselves… Hey, it was a different time back then, but it’s funny to talk about it.
My Only Gripes With Disney’s Frozen
Disney Animation vs Disney CGI
I’ve been waiting for something this big since The Princess And The Frog. Throughout the movie, I kept wishing this was a traditional hand drawn movie as I typically associate the CGI Disney films with Pixar Animations, and this movie was all Disney, as was Tangled.
Unfortunately, hand drawn films cost a lot to produce and these days, they don’t turn a big enough profit. Disney’s Princess and the Frog didn’t flop in the Box Office, but it didn’t turn the profit they were expecting. That’s why Tangled was in CGI and why Frozen was too. Still… nothing would have made this awesome Disney flick better than the hand drawn animation it could have been. That would have really brought on my nostalgic moments as a kid.
Transition Of The Real Antagonist
Well, Queen Elsa wasn’t the villain in this movie, which I thought was great… but of course, SOMEONE had to be the bad guy and c’mon… we all thought the Duke of Weaseltown…AHEM, I mean… Westleton… we all thought HE was the bad guy.
He was, but… he was no where near a threat. I was more intimidated by his goons than anything but they were easily taken out by Queen Elsa, which meant the BIG BAD GUY had to be someone very cunning and crafty…
And boy did we get that! PRINCE HANS as the antagonist… I did not see that coming! I guess I should have, because he had the motivation: being the youngest of 12 successful older brothers, there had to be some huge amount of motivation on his part to do something dramatic… and I thought Princess Anna leaving him in charge over her kingdom was a bit strange…
BTW his name is HANS… like Hans Christen Andersen, the author of The Snow Queen that this movie is loosely based off on. That should have tipped me off right there.
So he had the motivation… but DANG his transition was WAY WAY WAY too rushed!
I mean, really… He comes off as this PERFECTLY NOBLE and typical prince… A total boy scout… and at the most awkward moment, he decides to let his true colors show. Like a flip of the switch! BOOM! He’s a baddie!
I was pretty much left bewildered but I guess that’s what made the moment that much more impactful.
Okay, you either love of hate musicals. This isn’t a “musical” per say… It’s just Disney magic at work, so of course there’s going to be music! It’s like watching a Broadway on the big screen! Frozen has ALL the allure of what made Disney so memorable…
…Except for one thing…
…Their songs are NOT memorable.
I remember walking out of the theater reciting “Hakuna Mattata” from Lion King, “Be A Man” from Mulan and “Colors of the wind” from Pocahontas… just to name a few. These songs were memorable, they stuck with you from the very first viewing.
… I can’t remember a SINGLE song from Frozen!
The only line I can recite is “The cold never bothered me anyway” from Queen Elsa’s song because it was such a defining moment in her build up as a character… but I couldn’t even tell you the title of that song! I’ve got nothing!
Disney did a GREAT job with this movie… but if you can’t walk out of the theater reciting their songs, then the movie just won’t stick as well, and that’s a shame because this movie has EVERYTHING else going for it!
GO SEE IT! YES the snowman is in there (Olaf) he’s funny and all that… but I’m glad it wasn’t ABOUT him… it was about these two girls who grew up together and through tragedy had to be separated for many years without knowing why until that one fateful day when all heck broke loose…
Oh and one last thing… This movie was HILARIOUS!
Frozen has excellent character development, beautiful environments and CGI effects…. I give it a A- for how amazing it is!