Yes, this movie has been out for a while… so why did I wait so long to post this review?
Because I’d like to really get into the messages portrayed in the film without spoiling it for anyone- so I’m posting this now in hopes that anyone who is reading this has had the time to go out and watch the movie. That being said, I’ll be REALLY getting into the wonderful messages
Let’s talk about the bad, the good, the in-between, and the messages portrayed in the movie, shall we?
Starting with the ‘bad’ of the movie, there was so much about this film that seemed a bit too familiar. I’m not sure if Disney is attempting to give a signature look to the characters, but everything about this movie screamed Tangled. The success from Tangled was comparably one of the biggest Disney films (in the time period it was released in, anyway), and this movie looked like it was making an attempt to mimic a successful film in hopes of success… in other words, this movie wanted to be Tangled sooo bad. And in giving us these familiar characters, many of us didn’t even give this film a chance (thanks to this horrible marketing method). …not to mention the annoying song sung by the trolls. Ugh! While Disney has made these mistakes (probably more than once), there are many, many more redeeming qualities to this movie.
While the first 20 minutes of the movie might have you thinking you can predict the ending very well, this film was far from foreseeable. That’s probably the most intriguing thing about the movie. You expect a happy ending with a wedding at the end where Ana and Hans live happily ever after under the rule of Elsa, who learns to control her powers. But (for me, anyway) this is the first Disney film that completely pulled the rug from under my feet. It had me saying… ‘Wait –the real bad guy is WHO?!?!’
The comedy for this film was actually very good. The introduction of Olaf, the snowman who longs for summer, is also the first that we’ve seen in… ever? …I guess. -Not because he’s a suicidal snow man, but because he has no idea what Summer is like, and likes to experience new things – which (apart from the unpredictable plot-line) is another stepping stone for Disney –having a character who is curious about something that could theoretically kill him.
The best thing about this movie, though, is the wonderful messages it illustrates to the youngsters –which I’ll get to down below (I promise).
While Queen Elsa had a very ‘Wicked’ –like storyline… and was even voiced by Idina Menzel (Elphaba from Wicked).
…You would think that the story would revolve about her (Elsa) and how she’s been misunderstood, but in general it was about the sisterhood between Elsa and Anna –which I thought was original and new. While it is refreshing that Disney didn’t intend for Elsa to be the villain of the story, this is nothing new, we’ve been seeing several different adaptations of stories being told in the ‘villain’s’ POV- reassuring the audience that there really is no villain… and we’ll see this again with the release of Maleficent later this year. But, again, this is nothing new, so don’t give Disney credit for that! Another plus side to the movie was the visuals! The snow, the ice- the giant snowflakes, and that big scary roaring ice monster -made this one great big piece of eye candy –and it certainly would have been a treat to have seen it on an IMAX screen.
While there was a lot of ‘good’ in the movie, and a little ‘bad’, there were also some ‘in-between’ moments that I felt a little iffy on. While I was surprised with the comedic relief provided by the snowman, Olaf, there were certain moment where his outbursts seemed too unnecessary-that threw off the balance of the ‘drama’ a bit; but not to the point where I felt it was bad or overdone in any way. I’m also not too sure about the Duke of Weselton- I understood he wanted to somehow make a profit and commercialize the town, but his direct intentions were a bit unclear as to the story –he just didn’t fit into the pieces too well.
The film’s main component that really broke the ‘Disney mold’ was the direct, and some indirect messages behind the film.
FIRST MESSAGE: My favorite direct message of the movie was a most definite slap to the Disney face… yup, I said it –Disney smacked themselves in the face with the message to young girls, pointing out the classic Disney flaw –with one question: “Who marries a man they just met?” –this illustrates the ultimate flaw in all Disney happy endings- most princesses tend to marry or at least fall completely in love with their price charming right after meeting them in the classic tales (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, etc.). In Frozen, one of the main morals to the story is that one must learn to trust, and get to know the other before willingly giving their heart away to them. This lesson is learned by Anna, as she was so gullible and got swept away by the first gentleman she met; which leads to the next message.
SECOND MESSAGE: Don’t trust others too easily. Poor gullible Anna once again illustrates this for us, as she was too quick to trust Hans because she was too quick to fall in love with him. Of course, for Anna, being locked away behind closed gates, it seems fairly logical that she grew up reading only these types of fairy tales, while Elsa had presumably been reading/learning what it would mean to be queen behind those closed doors. Anyway, Anna learns this lesson the hardest way possible when she misplaced all of her faith on the one man she fell in love-at-first-sight with. Not only was this extreme misdirection on Disney’s part –but it was a huge stepping stone in breaking that classic Disney mode. And I, for one, loved it!
THIRD MESSAGE: Prince Charming isn’t real. While I wasn’t a fan of the trolls in the movie (or their musical number), I definitely liked the message behind their song. That message being, you’re never going to find the perfect man. The ideal Disney ‘Prince Charming’ isn’t real. I love this because it shows that you cannot look for something that isn’t there. It’s bad enough many young girls choose men that have the looks and not the brains –look at how those relationships end up. Instead, this song aims to tell young women that no man is perfect- they are all only human, and you cannot expect any man to live up to your every expectation. So what if your man has stinky feet, and picks his nose –he’s the one who truly cares about you – not some imaginary prince in shining armor.
FOURTH MESSAGE: Love yourself. This message is best illustrated by Elsa, who spent most of her life locked in her room- as if the sealed gates surrounding the castle weren’t enough. She is ashamed of her powers, and sees them as something to be ashamed of and terrified of. This fear that she will lose control eventually leads up to her freezing the entire town. It is not until she decides to ‘let it go’ and embrace her powers that she learns to love them. And with love, she finds a way to save the town. This self love is very eminent and is a very strong and clear message, that learning to love yourself and embrace the gifts you are born with overpowers any form of fear caused by what people around you think about you.
FIFTH MESSAGE: Love comes in many forms. This was yet another stepping stone for Disney, as their views on true love have always been between a handsome prince and a damsel in distress. In this movie, Sisterly love was the ultimate form of true love which saved Anna from a frozen heart. ‘The act of true love’ was not a true love’s kiss, but her willingness to sacrifice her own life for Elsa’s.
SIDE NOTES: Did anyone notice the gay character? Of course you did! It has been flowing through the internet waives, and frankly I think it’s awesome that Disney placed a gay character in their films. Although it was not apparent at first, but the lone clerk at the shop where Anna first meets Kristoff greeted his family, which consisted of three kids and one other man. At this scene, I thought, ‘oh, that’s cool’.
Some have even argued that Elsa is also a gay character, saying that her ballad, ‘Let it go’ can be taken as a sort of ‘coming out’ ballad.
No matter how you read that scene, it is all about self-acceptance, and self love.
What do you think??
In regards to the film, I have decided that from now on, I will be ranging my film scores at a range from 1 to 10.
That being said, I have decided to give Frozen a score of 7 out of 10.
This is an above average score -All of those hearts were given thanks to the lovely messages portrayed in the film. Disney did a great job with this, and it is definitely a must see again –type of film!