Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Musings - Frozen Review

So now that I have discussed television for several weeks, it seems to be time to talk about movies. Consequently, I decided to review a movie that was released several months ago, because this website seems to not concern itself with timeliness.

Although I live in California and was walking around in shorts and a tank-top yesterday.
I finally saw Frozen last week. While many people seem to be enamored with the current trend of Disney films, I have found them to be sickly-sweet television specials with better animation. While I think messages are fine, there is a way to do them. Take Beauty and the Beast: yes, there is a message about looking beyond a person’s appearance, but the characters never say it blatantly. It goes back to trust: the writers used to trust that children could read get the message, and now writers have lost that trust.

This being said, Frozen is an improvement on recent Disney fare. I liked that it poked fun at traditional Disney storylines—You can't marry a man you just met—and that it was a story about siblings (Disney always focuses on parent-child or lover relationships). It also didn’t preach at the audience about how some people are born slightly different, but they still deserve respect; they trusted the audience to get the message anyway. However, Frozen was just clunky in places due to some major issues with the script.

These writing issues are perhaps best illustrated in Let It Go. The animation is beautiful; Idina Menzel did a fabulous job of singing it. During a casual watch, the song seems catchy and has that Disney-ish quality that makes you want to sing along. However, when you look at the lyrics, the song seems to be out of Elsa’s character.

I don’t care
What they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway

At this point, Elsa doesn’t know that she had frozen the kingdom—how can she be singing about a storm? And she clearly does care about other people. Why would she be allowing people to suffer—and not only that, but continue to cause their suffering by aggravating the storm? The song does not fit with Elsa.

A secondary example could be the (SPOILER ALERT) Hans reveal at the end. I have no qualms with the idea that Hans was a bad guy; however, there was no foreshadowing, and no earlier indication of his motives. His character seems to change completely without any visible character development. It’s lazy writing, and it as if the writers didn’t both to go back to the first few scenes and add a line or two of dialogue to indicate his true personality.

On the whole, I think Frozen was a fine kid’s film. Olaf was funny; the songs were great. But what used to make Disney films so wonderful was that they could appeal to all generations; parents could enjoy them with their children. However, Frozen too many script problems, and it desperately needed another rewrite. In the end, Frozen fell flat.

Flat like a melted snowman. :(

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