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review of Walt Disney s Frozen
Frozen blu ray photo
Created by Walt Disney
I took the photo using the digital copy and my Ipad. All images belong to the original content creator Disney.
A long time ago one of Europe’s greatest fairy tale writers by the name of Hans Christian Andersen penned a short story called the Snow Queen. In it an evil goblin makes a magic mirror that displays how ugly even the most beautiful things are. He tried to take the mirror up to heaven to cast Gods reflection in the mirror, only to have the mirror break. The mirror embeds itself into people eyes making them see the world has ugly, and into their hearts making them cold and emotionless. A girl by the name of Gerda best friend Kai gets a piece of the mirror stuck in his eyes and heart and goes from being her best friend to biggest jerk in town. He is eventually spirited away by the snow queen the spirit of winter and the only thing that Kai sees that is beautiful. Gerda decides to set off to rescue Kai by going far to the north along the way she has to outsmart a kindly witch who wants to keep her has her own daughter, runs into talking birds and a royal family, gets trapped and befriend bandits and a talking reindeer has she sets out to rescue Kai. So what does this fairy tale have to do with Walt Disney mega hit Frozen??? Absolutely freaking nothing!!!
Yeah despite it saying it’s inspired by Hans Christian Andersen tale the two have little to do with one another. Still some of Disney’s best work is when they take something and make it their own. Aladdin had little to do with its original tale and it’s still a good movie. But still with all its hype is Frozen a good movie. Yes it is a really good movie and one that shows Disney can upgrade their 90’s musical formula for today, but it’s not Beauty or the Beast or the Lion King there are just a few flaws (and the biggest one I will write after my review in just plain text if you want to skip that rant go ahead because it features major spoilers for the movie).
So let’s get into the movie plot with one that doesn’t spoil the end of the movie first up. The movie begins with two young sisters Elsa and Anna, and Elsa has the power to freeze things and create snow (which is never explained).However one day Anna gets carried away while playing with her sister and Elsa accidentally strikes Anna in the head with her powers. This almost kills Anna but there parents take Anna to some nearby trolls who cure her, and then remove the fact that she knows that her sister has powers. The trolls warn Elsa that her power will grow has she grows older, and if she ever strikes her Anna in the heart with her powers it will kill her.
Anna and Elsa
Elsa then shoves Anna away while the parents lock the castle up pretty much creating a prison for both girls. 10 years pass and the parents die in a ship wreck, much to Anna disappointment Elsa still pushes her away. Meanwhile unbeknownst to Anna; Elsa is losing the ability to control her increasing powers. Finally Elsa coronation comes day and Anna is looking forward has a chance to meet some new people and escape the castle. She meets Hans a prince from the southern aisles. She decides she is in love with him and decides to marry him, despite the fact that they met only a few hours ago. Elsa doesn’t take the news lightly telling Anna she won’t give her the blessing for the marriage. Anna gets Elsa emotionally upset and then makes the mistake of removing one of the gloves Elsa uses to keep her powers at bay. Elsa accidentally sends a wall of ice that almost hits the guests at her party. Scared Elsa runs away into the mountains not knowing her emotional outburst has frozen the entire kingdom. Seeing that she is partly responsible for the predicament Anna decides to head up into the mountains to find her sister and see if repairing the bond between the two of them will end the early winter Elsa seems to have started. Along the way they meet Christophe an ice sales men, his reindeer Sven, and Olaff a talking snowman that Elsa somehow made and is pattern off an imaginary character the two girls made up before they grew apart.
Let me say this about the animation it is gorgeous from the character models that now have things like freckles and pimples appear on their skin, to movement that look realistic in movement like clothes. And of course the special effects when it comes to showing the snow effects is absolutely perfect and it is gorgeous. Small flakes, ice, snow being blown in the wind it all looks real. Disney did a good job with the CG animation for this movie.
Olaf in summer
The music for the most part is top notch, and they all do a good job either letting us know a character like Olaf’s “In Summer” which is a comical number of a Snowman wishing for Summer to return not knowing what happens too Snowmen in summer. To do you want to build a snow man which is basically Anna singing trying to get Elsa to come out of the room that Elsa has locked herself in. We also get some good songs like the first in forever about Anna’s joy that the castle is open up to the public in the first time in a decade if it is only for her sister coronation. And love is an open door helps explore Hans and Anna’s love at first sight feelings for each other.
And of course there is “Let it Go” the one song that almost everybody agrees is the best song of the movie and the best song Disney has put out in a while. It’s won several awards, been parody about a million, and remixed about a million times. And I think everyone will also agree that the next person we hear singing it we will strangle to death. Still the song is good and it happens right after Elsa frozen over the kingdom. She’s tired of locking herself up and trying to appear normal and tired of being scared about her out of control powers so screw it all she’s just going to toss it all away and live in the mountains.
the youtube video of let it go posted by Walt Disney
The Nostalgia Critic Comic Parody
- Are you Sick of Let it Go?
The Nostalgia Critics parody of let it go, and it pretty much goes along how sick everyone is of hearing this song.
Kingdom Hearts a Japanese action role playing game made by Square-Enix makers of the final fantasy series, and co-created by Disney. The game takes the dark and light version of Star Wars and then turns it up several notches. The goal of the game is to lead the game protagonist (usually Sora) through several different world destroying the heartless dark creatures that come out of peoples heart.
Has for the characters their all lively. Anna and Elsa relationship is in the center of the movie and for the most part it hits the tones it needs. Elsa has always been the more reserved one and her powers and fear of her powers makes her antisocial. Meanwhile Anna is the bone head adventure I want out of this place and it’s easy to see why she would want to hook up with Hans right away. She wants away from Elsa the only person she really knows, because the only thing Elsa only knows how to do is push her away.
Elsa could have had more screen time but she is basically a character who could have become very dark, and would have made the movie a little bit better if she did. But basically her powers are a blessing and a curse and the fact that she hides her emotions to controls them ultimately makes them go more and more out of control. I like how they animate just how much a threat her powers are even to herself after her first confrontation with Anna after she freezes the kingdom. We see her castle she builds which is a nice pristine palace made out of ice turns blood red and spikes coming out has she is struggles with her emotions towards her sister (and yes I do see a Kingdom Hearts stage based on that).
Olaf who is an update on the annoying side kick character from the 90’s is the comic relief. But rather than being smart aleck and obnoxious Olaf is instead quiet and his humor often times comes from how clumsy or naïve he is. He does want them to succeed to bring in summer because most of the movie he doesn’t know what will happen to him, and even when he does find out what heat will do to him he wants them to succeed because his friends life’s are on the line. Basically Disney avoids making him annoying and succeeds and making humorous and having him actually contribute to the characters and to the story.
So do I have anything bad to say about it.
Well there is one wasted song and that’s the first one. It basically focuses on young Chirstoff trying to mine ice while the workers sing about the dangers of the ice. It’s wasted because A Christoff mining ice doesn’t make that big of an impact on the story, and B we get reintroduced to him a few minutes later when he follows Anna and Elsa to meet the trolls and gets adopted by them, which does impact the story later on. It’s not a bad song, it’s quite catchy. But it neither A moves the story along, or B introduces a character or let us know what the character is feeling at the moment. So has a song in a musical it is 100% pointless.
The first two minutes should have been how exactly did Elsa get her powers. Were only told she was born with them. Ok so is it a family trait, did mom get fed a potion made out of a magic flower, tick of a magic enchantress who wanted a room for the night, not invite the black fairy on a scary nearby mountain to a baby shower, or did she just make the mistake of screwing the milkman in the freezer. Were never told how Elsa got the power to freeze things, and why her sister came out so normal. This is kind of a big story element to just gloss over Disney. Fortunately they do manage to salvage it by making it the movie about the relationship between the two characters and not about the powers itself. Anna never looks for a way to get rid of her sister power just to bring her back so it is easy too over look once the story gets rolling. But it is still a flaw and a huge one.
But it’s not the one that nearly ruin the movie and that comes because of a poorly written betrayal. But I will leave that to the spoiler section.
The Blu Ray
I got good audio and video quality from my small set up. The special features are a bit of a disappointment. There is no 2nd screen or audio commentary on the movie. We get a few deleted scene (including one that makes my rant below valid showing Elsa was going to be the villain), several covers of let it go (just in case you weren’t sick of that song yet), and yes they even troll us with a video called the making of frozen. Which is a lame music video of the cast singing and dancing and then ending with the sings saying they don’t know.
There are only two features worth watching one is a look back at an amusement park ride scrapped by Walt but was based on the snow queen which had some of the same type of artwork which is kind of interesting. And the Mickey Mouse short get a horse which is set up like an old Mickey Mouse cartoon from the late 1920’s only to have Mickey break the 4th wall and become a colored CG character. There Mickey from this side uses his ability to manipulate the movie to keep Mini out of danger. Nice look at animation now and then and how culture and technology has changed. Pete the villain big thing is he owns a car (which in the late 20’s out in the country chances are you did have car owners getting into fights with people still using horse drawn carriages), and then in modern times one of Mickey’s friend finds a smart phone. It’s a funny and clever short.
Frozen got some fantastic animation, some really good music. The characters are creative but there not perfect. It’s not Beauty and the Beast or the Lion King, but it does show an effort to update and put on a good animated musical that we haven’t seen from Disney in over a decade. I hope this is a start of something that just gets better. The thing that ticks me off almost ruins the move but it still manages to dig out of the hole it digs for itself.
Frozen on blu ray
and yes they do make an Elsa barbie doll
Spoilers ahead while I address something that happens in the 3rd act
All right from now on now pictures, videos, or anything fancy just me writing about the ending and the things that ticked me off about it. All right about the half-way point Anna meets up with Elsa and they have another spat. Anna won’t follow Elsa’s advice to leave her alone because she is a threat and Anna’s advancement sparks an emotional outburst from Elsa in the form of icicles one of them strikes Anna’s heart. Anna is at first ok but her hair starts to turn white. Chirstoff takes her to the chief troll (and after another musical number) tells her that her heart is now frozen and she will soon freeze into an ice statue, unless she does an act of true love. Believing true loves first kiss will work she rides back to Hans, who then betrays her by not kissing her and locking her into a cold room so he can take over the kingdom.
Rather than gasps in the audience when I watch this in theaters I heard groans (and one of them was coming from me) Disney was avoiding unnecessary clichés including love on first sight that we have seen from them since Snow White. However this turnaround just doesn’t work. Why did they do this. Well simple because if Hans didn’t become the villain Elsa would be the villain and if Elsa the villain then Mattel couldn’t sell many Barbie has Elsa dolls to girls. Just like how Oogie was added in the last act of Nightmare Before Christmas to be the villain so Jack Skellington is let off the hook of being the movies trouble maker. Unlike Oogie though who is set up to be a bad guy, and is kind of a cool if unneeded bad guy. Hans is neither cool nor is he ever set up to be a villain.
To have a good betryal and to set it up takes a bit of work. We have to first like the character’s, but at the same time something has to tip us off that there not who they say they are. It can’t be done too soon or to much, if we catch on then the fun and the agony of the betrayal goes out the window. If it’s something big it’s got to be done right before, or if it’s a bunch of small it’s got to be done in a way where we notice it but quickly regard it has thrown away information. Let’s look at Disney’s last big animated hit Wreck it Ralph, in the movie Ralph gets caught by King Candy and is taken to his castle. He remarks how pink and girly it is. Candy has a response that it is salmon and the audience forgets about it. But watching the movie again you catch up that throwaway line was actually a major clue that King Candy doesn’t belong there. While Candy is an antagonist we don’t’ know his true nature until the end but that scene is a clue. He looks to be a middle age man in a very girly looking castle, also wearing purple that clashes with the Pink. It helps add up the story.
Hans gives us no clue and to make matters worse his actions work against his betrayal not for it. So he claims he wants to kill the two sisters and take over the kingdom. Problem everything he done suggest the opposite. He tries to stop Anna from going after Elsa, he later saves Elsa from some assassins sent by a duke who proclaims her an evil witch, and when he is told he now has the keys to the kingdom a perfect time for an evil smile we instead see he is concern. It doesn’t add up, there is no shock there because there isn’t any indication in the character that he is evil. So therefore it doesn’t work. And if he was out to kill the two so he could take over the kingdom wouldn’t he want the assassins to kill Elsa when they have a chance. We’re talking about young woman who can freeze the entire kingdom and pretty much sentence her sister to die a painful death. You really want to go out of the way to make her mad at you.
What I was hoping for is she goes in and kisses him and the kiss doesn’t work because the movie has beaten us in the head that love has to be earned. She has spent all those live and death situations in the mountain with Christophe so she is obviously closer to him then Hans. Kiss doesn’t work Hans then goes crazy and tries to kill Elsa out of revenge. This would have made sense he for what he know is like Anna a bit of a simpleton, and we don’t know what a blow like that would do to him. Anna would have to stop him from killing his sister. It would have worked better than a flat out betrayal that just doesn’t fit the character.
So how does the movie save itself from that well, it does it by showing there is more than one kind of love. Yeah there is the marriage and romantic love that is seen in most fairy tales. But there is also the love between family’s and siblings. Even though siblings often times don’t get along with each other doesn’t mean we hate each other or wouldn’t sacrifice for on another. Anna saves Elsa by getting between her and Hans has she is turning into an ice statue stopping the sword. Anna dethawes right after words because she showed love by sacrificing herself for someone else, Hans gets beaten up, and they live happily ever after (yeah Elsa’s subjects I guess ok with the fact she nearly killed her whole kingdom by freezing them to death, ehh it’s Disney). While the very end is a little bit too simplistic the idea that Disney would show the love between siblings and not the romantic love is definitely good sign that Disney is changing some of its story telling.