Frozen

I have a confession to make.

I did not like Frozen.

I hope my friends/readers will still remain such after this post but I would be lying if I said I found that movie enjoyable.

I’m not saying it was horrible. I love love LOVE that the people behind animated kid movies are finally realizing that they all don’t have to be about romantic love. And I love that Anna’s rescue came from her own actions, not from someone else saving her. And these are huge steps in the right direction for Disney. Too many girls grow up watching Disney movies where the message is always the same: You can be as fierce, strong and/or independant as you please. But your story will not be complete until you end up with a guy. (I do want to clarify though that I have no problems with romantic movies. I still love most Disney movies and watch them regularly!)

But despite these good bits, I was so disappointed and bored with the rest of the movie that I’m not sure they really matter. I’m going to do this in a list format because I think that’s going to be the easiest way for me to organize my thoughts.

1) Besides “Let It Go”, were any of these songs actually good? I thought they sounded terrible. Like Broadway showtunes. Disclaimer: I hate Broadway musicals, with a few (very few!) exceptions. I’ve only seen the film once but I couldn’t tell you one thing about the other songs. Wait, no. There was the ice song at the beginning. And then the snowman song. And then there was the Hans and Anna song, and then the troll song. Were there more? I don’t know. I don’t really care. They all sounded distressingly similar to the point where I wasn’t sure if this was actually a new song or just a continuation of a theme. I had mentally checked out during a good chunk of the muscial offerings.

2) Oh look. Dead parents. How infuriatingly unremarkable.

3) The “love” story between Hans and Anna was creepy. And very, very disturbing. Even for a kids’ movie when you’re really not supposed to think too hard about the plot. Really though, our heroine just agreed to marry a man she just met. As in, literally, a few hours ago, she had no idea he existed. And then leaves that man in charge of her entire country. Am I really supposed to believe that a girl that naive can truly go on a journey beyond the castle she hasn’t left in years to save a sister she doesn’t know and hasn’t seen since she was a child?

FrozenCastle

That is truly phenomenal.

4) Elsa goes from not even being able to keep herself from freezing the sceptre to building ice castles and weight bearing staircases. Annnnd creating life (where in the world did Olaf come from? Was that a freak? Or can she make other living creatures??). I’m also a little…intrigued…by the idea that she went from a mousey little blonde to being a Nordic sexpot just because she’s started using her ice powers.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great sequence. It’s got a great empowerment message, it looks good, it feels good. And I understand we’re running on Disney time here which means true love grows in a few days and whole kingdoms can be traversed in the course of a few hours. But it doesn’t work. If it was that easy to control, why didn’t she learn to master her powers in the years she was locked in her room?

5) Why is it so hard to create distinctive looking female characters? Hans and Kristoff look very different.

This is Hans.

This is Hans.

This is Kristoff.

This is Kristoff.

They look different.

Elsa and Anna are the same character with different hairstyles.

I know they're sisters, but they are allowed to have differences other than hair color and height.

I know they’re sisters, but they are allowed to have differences other than hair color and height.

Why do we keep restricting ourselves to such narrow confines of female beauty? (Slightly related- has anyone noticed that if you were to take the women from The Bachelor (any or all seasons) and put them in the same dress with the same hairstyle, excepting minor gradations in skin and hair color, they would all look the same?)

To be fair, I could take any Disney or Pixar movie and pick it apart like this. But I feel that other movies have a redeeming value that, in my opinion, Frozen does not. You want an unconventional love story? Go watch Brave.  You want a traditional Disney musical? How about Beauty and the Beast? Or The Little Mermaid? Or Tangled (anybody else think the Stabbington Brothers are two of the hottest animated Disney villains in a looong time? Or is that just me?)

Since I feel pretty bad about posting such a curmudgeonly review of a movie that everybody just seems to LOOOOVE, here are two reviews from the Egotist’s Club that both describe what an excellent movie it is.

Part 1

Part 2

I would love to hear about why I’m wrong about Frozen! Or maybe you agree with me??

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8 thoughts on “Frozen

  1. Your opinion is your own. It cannot be right or wrong. Good for you for going against the crowd and sharing your own thoughts 🙂

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  2. Briana says:

    I enjoyed Frozen, but I’m not entirely sure why it’s gained such huge popularity, and some sort of cult status.

    Also, yes, enjoying the movie does entail ignoring plot elements that are completely illogical. (One is even tempted to ask why the trolls, the “love experts,” didn’t just tell Elsa that love is the key to controlling her powers. They basically caused the entire movie/tragedy by erroneously instructing her to attempt to stifle her magic.)

    And, as a general observation, I think it’s possible women tend to look more “alike” than men because women more aggressively alter their appearances. There’s a large contingent of women trying to achieve some “societal standard of beauty.” In my high school, for example, that meant a good third of the girls bleached their hair, straightened it, and went to tanning booths. So, yeah, a lot of them looked similar, especially since we had uniforms so they were all wearing the same thing, as well.

    Final observation: I was in Barnes and Noble yesterday, and it looks as if Anna is being made blonder on all the movie tie-in books. So she and Elsa look even more alike.

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    • Mary says:

      You’re right about women altering their appearances more than men; I still wish it wasn’t…encouraged…so much in movies like this. I’m not saying we need to have a woman with African features or Asian type features just for the sake of having them (especially since this movie actually makes more sense with the Western features), but can’t we see more than just the round face, the big eyes and the upturned nose?

      And honestly, the fact that it has become so popular is probably what put me off enjoying the movie more. I have issues with popular things, which is not necessarily a good thing.

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  3. jubilare says:

    Hahaha! I liked the movie, but it’s not anywhere good enough for me to object to you having your own opinion about it. I love a good musical, and that is actually why I agree with you on one indictment of the film. The songs were, at best, weak.

    However, I think the Hans issue was well done. Children’s films often have a message, and “don’t trust someone you have just met” is a pretty good one, as far as it goes… much less problematic than the “your parent is trying to control and cage you and might not even be your real parent!” message of Tangled. Don’t get me wrong, I like Tangled more than Frozen, but it has its issues.

    I also think Elsa’s ice thing makes perfect sense when looked at it from this angle: fear of her power and repression of it caused it to be uncontrollable in the sense that she could not hold it in, but she has a natural knack for controlling it when she isn’t trying to suppress it, as shown by her childhood ability. As far as the extreme nature of her abilities (not to mention how much they ignore physics), that works under the normal level of suspension of belief that I usually give to animated films. As for why she didn’t teach herself to control it, she was a little girl and her parents made her terrified of what her powers could do. To her, ice power = bad, not something that she needed to control more. 😉

    Comparing it to Brave isn’t really fair, considering that Brave is Pixar, but I agree that Frozen doesn’t have the strength of the best Disney films. I found the story-telling interesting and entertaining, though, and I was thrilled to see Disney examining some of their more problematic formulas and altering them. Frozen is, I think, and experiment, and a successful one, at that. With any luck, what comes after it might be better because Frozen broke ground.

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    • Mary says:

      I liked Elsa’s response to Hans and Anna and I agree with you that the issue of not trusting someone you just met was well done; Hans’ reveal was a nice poke at the standard Disney trope of the hero and heroine falling in love immediately. I’ve just seen a lot of relationship problems with friends who are so in love with being in love that they tend to forget who they fall in love is kiiiiind of more important. It just hit a little too close to home I guess.

      Ok, good rebuttal on the issues with the ice powers.

      Honestly, is comparing anything to Brave really fair? (Ha!) I would put Frozen somewhere in the midrange of Disney films- not great, but it’s not bad either. And I am pleased that, like you say, Frozen was a succesful experiment. I hope that this means they’ll be at least trying to create more diverse love stories, as in siblings/parent-child/friendships, and stepping away a bit from romantic love.

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  4. emilykazakh says:

    I enjoyed Frozen, but I don’t understand why it’s as popular as it is. Personally, I think Let It Go was a disappointing song with a rather selfish message, but I did enjoy Hans & Anna’s duet.
    The Hans/Anna storyline was creepy, but as an adult, I kind of enjoyed it because I wasn’t expecting the way it ended. (I thought since it was a Disney film both girls would end up with a “prince,” and for a good portion of the film I was shipping Elsa & Kristoff. Because apparently I’m weird. But hey, they both like ice a lot!)
    There’s just one thing you didn’t mention, and no one mentions it but it freaked me out, so I’m going to just ask, how creepy were the trolls?!?! I mean, they can alter a person’s memories! Did they kidnap Kristoff? Is he a changeling? Can we talk about how terrifying it is to think that Kristoff has been raised by TROLLS?

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    • Mary says:

      I actually got spoiled on the Hans reveal before seeing the movie so I was expecting Kristoff and Anna to end up together romantically once they got thrown together on her adventure.

      Ha! The trolls! They were a very bizarre addition to the story. They show up to set the plot in motion and then disappear for a decade or so until it’s time for them to sing a song. Perhaps Disney will come out with some extra videos explaining his upbringing/background??

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