Anyway here we are at Disney’s latest attempt to justify not just giving Pixar total control over their animation department, Frozen. This movie, like The Little Mermaid, is based on a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. In this case The Snow Queen. I don’t know why they didn’t just call this movie “The Snow Queen” but I’m sure it was a marketing decision and also dumb and probably sexist. I have a lot of interest in this film because when I was in grade school (So long ago. WHAT HAPPENED TO MY YOUTH!!!!!) we did extensive studying of The Snow Queen even though it’s not the most famous fairy tale in the world. Judging by the trailers Disney didn’t feel a great need to stay accurate to the original story. This film was directed Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee (Lee was also one of the writers of Wreck-It Ralph) and written by the two and Shane Morris.
So Wreck-It Ralph is a pretty hard act to follow. Can Frozen continue the trend set by its predecessor or is it just another example of an overrated Disney movie?
Full review after the jump.
|Sheer terror or dull surprise; you be the judge!|
So before I talk about Frozen let me tell you that I really don’t see why people like Tangled all that much. It’s a fun trailer aside (most of the original trailer wasn’t in the final film) Tangled felt like an extremely typical Disney Princess affair with nothing at all being particularly memorable. Frozen is better than Tangled in every single conceivable way. Yes, this is a Disney Princess flick and, yes, a major plot point involves the main character waiting for her prince to come BUT Frozen attempts to go against the formula and comes up with something both unique and entertaining.
|Superfluous Love Story, Ho!|
The rest of the cast is mostly fine and they do their jobs well. Special shout-out to Alan Tudyk as the Duke of Weselton, as he continues to show why he is in contention for Hollywood’s greatest character actor. While we’re talking about characters I should point out that while the trailers and commercials made Olaf, the magical talking snowman (…ugh), looks like the most annoyingly stupid sidekick since Jar Jar Binks but in the movie itself he’s mostly fine. Really the marketing for this flick wasn’t very clear but that’s beyond the scope of this review. Cause I’m lazy.
|Elsa, performing the villain song minus the "villain" part|
Because this is a musical I should probably talk about the numbers. Honestly it was all fairly typical stuff with few standouts. The on possible exception is “Let It Go” which was the only song that stuck with me after the film ended. The song was performed by Idina Menzel who played Elsa and she is great. Menzel is famous for being in the original cast of Rent (boooooo) and Wicked (less “booooo” but still not great) which makes some sense as “Let It Go” feels very thematically compatible with Wicked’s signature song “Defying Gravity”. Hiring a veteran of Broadway to play a lead role in a musical rather than an A-List actor who can barely sing? Wow, who says Hollywood is completely run by morons and assholes?
Also…this movies has f**king nothing to do with the Snow Queen. It’s a completely different f**king story. It makes The Little Mermaid look like a goddamn perfect adaptation. So if you love The Snow Queen and hate when people change stuff you’ll probably need to avoid this one. Everyone else should probably check it out.
|That said Disney's "new princess" media blitz made me want to set fires|
-Strong Female Lead
-Great plot resolution
-Not afraid to step outside it’s comfort zone…
-…but doesn’t do it nearly often enough
-Bares little resemblance to the original fairy tale
-A frustrating “By the Book” romantic subplot