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Frozen--Shattering all expectations. Truly a fine start to the new Disney legacy.

xocolatlxocolatl MemberFull Members
edited December 2013 in Entertainment
**SPOILER ALERT** I will be discussing a lot of themes from the story, but not the actual story itself. Read on at your own risk.




Let my preface by saying this: Frozen, when taken as a whole Disney legacy, is a very bold step in a new direction. It is a must watch for all connoisseurs and long time fans, and will hit you especially hard if you are the type who reads a lot between the line and take film appreciation seriously.

Oh, and before I start--Please go see the movie. It is excellent, and it will be something that will truly stick with you for life.

My first experience with Frozen started with the pre-movie animated short. You know, the type that Pixar often does. It sets a strong tone, using the oldest Mickey model, and Peg-Leg Pete (that's the original Big Bad Pete from Steamboat Willie), juxtaposing their black and white hand drawn model with colored CG models. Other obsolete characters like Horace the Horse and the goat (I believe he was abandoned before he got a name) also showed up. It was a fourth-wall breaking love letter to the old days, with a recognition that the world has since evolved. Little did I know that this short would pass on the torch to the main attraction throughout the next 90 or so minutes.

The movie started out by highlighting every single Disney tropes, put them on a pedestal for all to see--then it promptly and utterly destroys them. Sure, it was a Princess story--but there are two Princesses. Their childhood is also different from most other Disney's childhood, where the characters braved through trials to become a strong, lively person. But no, Frozen splits those out entirely, turning it into an unadulterated, gut-wrenching streak of hard times with absolutely no breather. Life is hell for the girls for years and years with no redemption in sight. Oh, and did I mention it's a story about two princesses, not a princess and a prince?

The main conflict of the story began with an accident, and ...well, that's it. There are people of different motives, some more selfish than others, but the main course wasn't the work of a bad sorcerer who sets out to destroy the world or take over the kingdom. There was no Maleficent, no Ursula, no Jafa. The witch is not evil. She's just doing her thing. Disney canceled the bad guy party for this movie!

Oh, and let's talk a slight bit about resolution. Prince charming wasn't charming, and the hero was ultimately nothing more than a Sherpa. He sped up the journey a lot, but he saved Princess Anna once about 7 minutes after he first appeared, from a very minor threat. His action was definitely brave, and he went through a lot of effort to assist her (out of moral conscience, not "love at first sight"), and arguably he made an excellent transport that played a lot into saving her in the end as well. In most cases, however, Princess Anna's action saved herself. And in her gravest hour, he didn't do much--he stood, dumbfounded--a total failure--as Princess Anna proved that true love can exist and culminate in ways other than True Love's Kiss--an idea popularized by Disney that became so prevalent since Snow White that it bled into just about every medium.

And while we're talking men, let's talk romance. Ever seen a Disney Princess(TM) dumped? Other girls might get dumped, but no Princess(TM) ever got dumped. Princess(TM) don't get dumped, period. Unless you're in Frozen. The words were biting, but it rang true, even if slightly cheapened by Anna's and Christov's earlier verbal bout. The irony and foreshadowing was just a little bit too obvious for adults. However, Frozen did end on a positive note, with the princess learning what love is.

Let me end on my general impression of the movie: Frozen never takes itself seriously. It knows it is light on plot--an experimental work, aimed at charting new waters. It is never jarring, and one might feel that it is much less "epic" compared to other movie's scale. It is quite well paced, with no scene taking longer than it needs to be, but just long enough to create some real tension and empathy in the audience. Characters were well designed, expressive, sharply animated. The scenery were picturesque, and captured the feeling of the story well. Voice was done well, and I am thankful that Olaf provides an interesting voice quality to keep things fresh (and by that, I'm talking about voice quality as in how Fran Drescher has a ring to her voice). Music was not to my taste. I like the contemporary feel, and their leaning to rock music, but I feel that the lyrics simply wasn't up to speed with older main Disney movie.
Ultimately, you can see that this is a holiday movie by the B-team. It was much bigger than most straight-to-DVD holiday movies, but more attuned audience will realize the smaller scale. But that is fortunate, because that allows Frozen to break the mold and be absolutely free to explore and dissect all things we held dear and sacred about Disney. And it was 100% successful with that.
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