Movie Review: Frozen

Frozen_21Frozen hadn’t really been on my radar when it was first coming out. Then most of my friends loved it and most of the blogs I read on Tumblr collectively lost their shit over it, so when I desperately need a “me” day, I decided to make it my movie of choice.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and thought it was very lovely, but I’m not sure that I like it quite as well as some other, more recent animated movies, like Tangled and Brave.

In Frozen (very loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s story The Snow Queen), Elsa and Anna are the princesses of the kingdom of Arendelle, and Elsa has the ability to create snow and ice. When she accidentally injures Anna and Anna loses her memory of Elsa’s powers, Elsa is forced to hide them, driving a wedge between the sisters.

Elsa still struggles to control her abilities, however, especially as she gets older, and any strong emotions make them worse. When she and Anna have a public fight on coronation day, Elsa inadvertently reveals her abilities to everyone. The people turn on her, and terrified, Elsa flees the country.

Unfortunately, she leaves Arendelle trapped in winter, and it’s up to Anna to get her sister back to save her country and mend their long-damaged relationship.

Much like how Brave was about the relationship between a mother and daughter, Frozen is, at its core, about the relationship between two sisters and rebuilding that.

It’s easy to see why Elsa’s so afraid to let Anna or anyone else come close to her, considering she has the ability to hurt them so badly. And for years, she lets that fear rule her life. Watching Elsa learn to let go of that fear and let people back in, particularly Anna, is probably the best part of the movie. (It’s really not surprising that her song, “Let It Go,” is one of the most popular from the movie.)

Haters gonna hate.

Haters gonna hate.

I loved how determined and persistent Anna was regarding her sister; no matter how much she was hurt or shut out in the process. Their relationship was very sweet, and I’m glad that it’s where the movie chose to put the bulk of its focus.

The visuals in the movie were absolutely gorgeous. I spent an inordinate amount of time marveling at how real the snow looked, how the animators did such a fantastic job of replicating how it looks caked on someone’s clothes or how powder actually moves. Elsa’s ice palace is also amazing; I kind of wish I could just look at it forever.

The part that bothered me the most was the romantic subplot. Not because I didn’t like the characters—I did, and Kristoff was probably my favorite—but it didn’t seem to be developed as well as the relationship between Anna and Elsa. The biggest criticism Kristoff levels at Anna regarding her fiancé—that she’s only known him a day—is one you can, ultimately, throw right back at him.

Not to mention the trolls’ song, “Fixer Upper,” didn’t really sit well with me because, for the most part, it sounded like they were saying you could change a person. Which…yeah, that’ s a big “no,” and even if they  clarified the message better near the end of the song, it still wasn’t quite enough to pull it back.

It also came at a point in the movie where time was of the essence. I couldn’t help but think “Yes, yes, the song’s cute, BUT FOR PITY’S SAKE CAN WE GET ON WITH IT?”

It is an enjoyable movie, though, and again, I loved that the main focus was on a family relationship rather than a romantic one. If you’re intrigued, give it a go. I’d say it’s worth seeing in the theater, if you can.


5 comments on “Movie Review: Frozen

  1. I really enjoyed the movie, but I felt like there were a lot of ‘filler’ moments that detracted from it. The trolls mainly and even the wolf chase scene. I thought Kristoff’s background was waaay too noisy considering iceman was enough. A looser connection with the trolls would have been more acceptable.

    Also, the party scene, to me, was a huge fail. Anna goes back and forth and back and forth from her sister rather than develop that scene. And they argue over her sister getting married . . . which is more of a normal argument and added noise when they had enough material to argue on (like isolation and differences of opinions concerning that). I think Anna should have just had a good time. Could have still fallen in love without getting engaged and could have just tried to get her sister into the party and asked her why things could not always be this way. That was enough of an argument starter without all the stupid silliness that distracts from the main conflict.

    The problem is not Anna wants to get married; it’s that the sisters are alone and broken.

    Great review! Sorry, I went on a tangent.

    • Michelle says:

      Hey! Thank you for the kind words. And don’t worry, going on a tangent are what comments are for, right? 🙂

      I can see where you’re coming from with the argument between Elsa and Anna in the party scene, but I think it worked. Actual arguments are difficult to have between two people whose relationship has been so fractured, so having a normal one–why did you forget to turn the dishwasher on, pick up the damn towels, why are you getting married to a guy you’ve only known a day–can act as a catalyst to get all the real issues out in the open. Or, it allows people to have an argument about the real issues without ever saying anything about said issues aloud.

      I think that was what they were trying to do with the argument here, and for me, it worked. (I also think the engagement probably had to happen for other plot-related reasons, but yeah.)

      • True, those are good points, though I still would have preferred less bouncing around in that scene . . . maybe taking out the awkward dance scene. I really wanted to get more of the sisters together since they were strained.

        And the trolls . . . haha

        Fun review.

  2. Paul says:

    Great review, somewhat in line with my own feelings. I enjoyed the film, but I couldn’t connect with it in the same way that I did the Disney films that I cherish the most. The sequence with the snow castle is an absolute wonder and, like you, I sat there watching it like the green lines of the Matrix, seeing it for the technical wonder that it is rather than in the context of the film! 😀

    Any criticisms or reservations aside, though, I am totally down with Olaf. His song about summer was the film’s high point for me. I also loved the Mickey Mouse short that played before the film. On one hand I was like…wait…this isn’t real, but then I recognized Walt Disney’s Mickey voice so it kept me wondering just long enough for its little twist to play out!

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