Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Frozen

Beware -- MAJOR SPOILERS!

I'll admit it: I cried during this movie.

Of course it's not what you may think -- I didn't cry during the opening sequence, even though it was pretty moving. Nor at the end, even though it was a satisfying sweet and magical, and a surprisingly deep ending fitting to the rest of the film. Nor during any of the sweetly melancholy and thoughtful moments in the middle.

No, I cried...

Because I was laughing too hard.

I guess there's just something totally original and brilliant and hilarious about having a snowman come alive, and naively dream about spending a nice summer day at the beach. Add a cynical listener who stoutly resolves, "I'm going to tell him" and an unfailing optimist who shoots back, "Don't you dare!" and suddenly I'm trying desperately to regain composure so I can hear what was going on during the following two minutes.

And that's more or less how the whole movie went. Introducing the cynic, and the optimist.

Just like I suspected all those months ago, Frozen is another example of Disney being very weird and releasing a trailer that makes their latest soon-to-be-smash hit animation princess flick look like the first-ever awful Disney Princess movie. Okay, the trailer maybe wasn't that bad, but a sigh and an eye-roll is a big difference from not being able to breathe from all the laughing, and then being nearly floored by the maturity of the message. The trend started with Tangled, so, the next Disney movie whose title is an adjective is the first movie whose trailer I boycott. I don't need all those good jokes spoiled anyway.

I might as well admit this too: I (and the rest of the universe) adored the music.

"Reindeers are better than people. Sven, don't you think that's true?" No, wait a minute...


"Let it go, let it go... can't hold it back anymore!"-- That's the one.

I can't get it out of my head and it's very distracting. Although some of the lyrics gave me a kinda odd new-age-y impression once or twice, the tunes are undeniably catchy, and just pure fun, and of course, very often hilarious. 

All the voice work was top-notch. Kristen Bell as Anna was quirky and chipper and cute, Jonathan Groff as Kristoff was funny and charmingly grumpy (I loved the way he spoke for Sven -- too good). Santino Fontana as Hans was, well, perfect... and perfectly sinister... and perfectly annoying when he reveals himself! Why oh why must you be evil? Then Josh Gad as Olaf was a laugh a minute, so consistently hilarious. And I must mention Alan Tudyk, (in a small role but still) who was totally wacko as the Duke of Weaseltown, er, Weselton... whatever.


But Idina Menzel as Queen Elsa blew the rest of them away. She effortlessly outshone everyone, even Bell in their every scene together (though not too much so as to make anyone seem actually bad) but most impressively, she occasionally out-shined the gorgeous animation work; sometimes her vocal inflection was more expressive than the animator's expressions. (And no, that's not a flaw; it's too impressive to be called a flaw.)

Especially since the animation was so gorgeous, as I mentioned. But that's no surprise; in fact I knew that it would be since they released the first picture -- of concept art.

Who needs a trailer anyway? All you really need is a similar picture to this, and the name "Disney."

The theme about true love being sacrificial love was awesome, and I was pleasantly surprised at how matter-of-fact they were about it. And that the only way Elsa can control her powers is by embracing it, and wielding it through love, not through her own effort of trying to force it -- that's some powerful stuff. I was impressed, pleased and practically even proud at these things.

However, I thought the theme rebuking the idea of "love at first sight" came off a bit heavy-handed. They were probably only trying to say "Don't rush into what you may think is love but is really only skin-deep," but what I heard was more like, "If you meet your dream fellow, and he appears to be everything you wanted and a perfect match for you, dump him, because he's probably a fake and will try to kill you." Of course, Hans being a bad guy just confuses everything -- the point would have been better made if Anna had chosen Kristoff over Hans because Kristoff was the better man, not because Hans was a bad one.

Gosh, look at me -- I'm hyper-analyzing a Disney movie! But seriously, if Hans was good, and had saved Anna with selfless love, would he still be the wrong guy for her? Just because he seemed perfect?

The Hans twist was definitely unexpected, and halfway sensible, but I can't help wondering how the story would have gone if Hans was just being shallow like Anna. Maybe, like Anna, as the story progressed and he grew in character (like he appeared to be) he'd find a more difficult, but ultimately more rewarding match in someone else...a. (Get it? Get it?) Yes, my ideal ending for this movie was a double wedding.

It didn't happen, (there wasn't even a single wedding) but that's okay, that's what I get for deciding how the story should go. And I did have a bit of a bone to pick, but honestly, I liked Frozen -- a lot. I liked the humor, the look, the sound, the characters and the heart. It was all wonderful. In fact I may even love Frozen. I can't say positively yet because I've only seen it once and I wouldn't want to rush into anything, but there was definitely an element of... immediate... attraction.

4 comments:

  1. I love this review! Like you I've only seen Frozen once so I don't know where it would fit in "My Favourite Disney Movies" list but I did love it and I'm seriously excited about the Broadway adaptation. I doubt I'll get to see it but I'm sure it will be a huge success and that it will eventually transfer to the West End.

    Yes, Idina is fantastic in this movie and Elsa is definitely one of my favourite Disney heroines now. She's also an INFJ which helps :D

    It is really annoying me though that everyone is making such a big deal about Frozen being the first Disney movie where "the girl doesn't end up with the man that she wanted at the start!" Er, am I the only one who *watched* Enchanted?! :S Also, I can see why some people would like the Hans twist but it didn't do very much for me either. If it had been up to me I'd have had Anna realise that she was in love with Kristoff and then have her break off her engagement to Hans. Hans would have then taken it really well and maybe he could have even ended up with Elsa at the end. To me that ending has the same message about love at first sight that Disney were trying to make but... it's nicer, more mature. But aside from that I really did love this movie!

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    1. Oh yeah, I heard about a Broadway adaption! Is that really happening? Cause that would be awesome.

      YES, the same thing happened in Enchanted! But more how I wanted, because Edward didn't turn out to be bad and ended up with... Idina... Menzel... Aha. So maybe they made Hans a bad guy so it would be different from Enchanted. Ha, that would be a terrible reason to ignore such an obviously perfect ending. You said it! But yes, happily it didn't really effect my enjoyment. Thanks Hannah! I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought all that!

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  2. I really liked Frozen too! I can't wait for it to come to DVD in a couple weeks so I can show most of it to my kids. They already know all the songs anyway cuz I kind of played the soundtrack nonstop for a couple weeks, heh heh.

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    1. It can't come out on DVD too soon for me! Lizzie and I went to see it in theaters, but we couldn't get Mom to come, and now she really wants to see it. So we're anxiously awaiting the release so we can make the whole family watch it! :D

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