Saw Frozen finally. Gotta say, it was much better than I thought it was going to be.
Like many of you, I was privy to the ongoing “takedown” of this latest Disney cartoon through various forums and blogs online. And this is a spectacular reason why you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. So much of the pre-release hatred was focused on trivial things (some of which had been changed without the community knowing for a long time) and on pointing out minor technical errors that I kinda feel like people were WANTING to hate this movie from the start. (And full disclosure here: I even participated in some of that pre-release hate.)
To be honest, after I saw it I felt kinda “meh” about it. But the more I’ve let it sink in and the more I’ve thought about it after the fact, the more I began to appreciate it (Which is always good). It’s better to have a movie start off meh and become a favorite over time than one which you think is decent but gnaws away at you until you realize how awful it really was (I’m lookin’ at you “Man of Steel”).
And to be fair, this isn’t a perfect movie. It’s very weighty in the front with story exposition and there are a couple pointless musical numbers (smurf rocks). It’s also not very impressive visually. The “Disney Style” of 3D animation is becoming quite... boring. This is, unfortunately, what 3D animation fails to accomplish that 2D animation does so well. In 2D animation you can vary the line weight and the way the characters are drawn to shift and change the animation style quite a bit. But with 3D... all the characters look like the same stock “good guys” we’ve seen in hundreds of other 3D films both Disney and others alike.
However, what pulls this movie out of the mediocre is it’s central sibling love story and a surprising twist that comes halfway through the movie. They played it up so well that I honestly didn’t see it coming, and it made just enough sense that it allowed me to buy into the twist despite the dramatic shift in character tones it takes.
One of the biggest issues with this movie, interestingly enough, is that the advertisements on TV are not selling what you get on the big screen. From what I understand, most of the adverts center around Olaf the Snowman’s goofiness. And that’s honestly a shame because Olaf ISN’T really a central character. He’s just enough on the side that he doesn’t obscure the real focus of the story, and he’s just endearing enough to not be annoying. If it wasn’t for this false advertisement campaign I’d probably say the internet wouldn't have hated Olaf so much.
The best part of the movie (for me) was the musical number “Let it Go” in which Elsa releases her full potential as a Snow Queen and sheds off her inhibitions. Some of the songs are hit or miss (smurf rocks ugh), but that one in particular was astoundingly performed.
It’s nice to see Disney take jabs at their own storytelling tropes without it seeming cynical or mean-spirited. The twist that happens halfway through the movie is set up so perfectly you almost expect it to work before they pull the rug out from under you because you’ve grown up on Disney’s unique formula.
Overall, I enjoyed it much more than I thought I was going to, and the more I think about it the more it grows on me. Like I said, it’s not a perfect movie, but it does a fine job on it’s own. Thoroughly recommend (especially in 3D for the snow effects alone).
Listening to: Tales of the Tongue
Reading: The Cats of Skyrim
Watching: Helgen get Reborn
Playing: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Eating: Sweet Rolls