Is Disney’s ‘Frozen’ Overrated?

Yes. BUT, before you lose your mind, hear me out. This is my analysis of Frozen and the hype that has recently surrounded the film’s release. If you know anything about me, you’d know that I myself am an animator, and I take the art of bringing stories to life very seriously. I have always looked up to Disney’s rich history and quality standard (I’m not talking about Disney Channel), and I actually went into the theatre with a totally open mind. Frozen is by no means a bad film, but it was extremely disappointing to me, and I can’t believe people are actually claiming it’s Disney’s best.

To describe this disappointment, I’m going to compare Frozen to Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 2010 feature; ‘Tangled’. With just a glance, it’s obvious that these films are very similar stylistically… 

Character Development:

In Tangled, even after the opening sequence that establishes Rapunzel and her past, the film gives us close to twenty minutes to breathe and get to know her character. In Frozen, the same character development is done in about ten minutes, most of which through song. Perhaps because her movie came first, Rapunzel comes across as an original and relatable character, with a personality that comes through her dialogue and well incorporated musical sequences. Anna and Elsa are thrown in much quicker, and their backstory is explained so fast that I didn’t understand the logic behind how Elsa’s powers work/affected her sister (spoiler alert, Elsa has a limitless ability to wield the elements of winter. She can also play God by giving snowmen consciousness). Especially relating to Anna, the characters in Frozen seem recycled and bland, whereas those in Tangled seem organic and memorable.


As explained before, Frozen is either paced way too quickly, or uninterestingly slow. I didn’t feel content very often to sit back and enjoy the film, because I was either trying to engage myself in the fast-moving story, or waiting for something interesting to happen. With Tangled, there was never a dull moment, because the story was always strong enough to push itself along at an appropriate speed. Again this is just my opinion, but Frozen felt like it was being rushed at every moment of its production.


This is what seems to be everyone’s favorite part of Frozen. I will give Disney credit, ‘Let It Go’ and Olaf’s song were very well done, but I can’t say the same for the other numbers. Tangled did a fantastic job of incorporating the songs to tell the story, and knew how to play around with subtlety and variations of styles to make them memorable. Tangled felt like a real Disney movie. Frozen seemed more like a Broadway play. I know that Idina Menzel played Elsa, but the belt~ish style just didn’t do it for me. Almost every number was in the first half of the film (the first few in the very beginning were back-to-back), and I only found a couple either memorable or necessary.

The Trolls:

This is by far the biggest problem I have with Frozen. If you’ve already seen it, you may have even forgot about this part. But I did not. I realize that the kingdom of Arendelle was supposed to be a Norway-like setting, but please answer me this: why on Earth were there trolls in Frozen? Why? What purpose did they serve to the plot? I would say that this is a spoiler, but because they had nothing to do with anything, it isn’t giving much away. This is a huge, HUGE fantasy element that is only comparable to Elsa’s magic. After looking into it, I’ve learned that the addition of trolls into the movie was a last second change, and it definitely shows. It may be petty, but the forced inclusion of fantasy characters for no good reason is unacceptable.

            In all, Frozen isn’t a bad film, but it’s grossly overrated. The animation is beautiful, but everything else feels rushed and almost like a first draft. Walt always wanted to make an adaptation of ‘The Snow Queen’, and I can’t help but wonder what he’d think of its realization. While I admire the idea of “true love” not being confined to the definitions of romantic love, Disney seems to be really proud of the film’s “girl power”, which to me seems rehashed and almost like an imitation of a modern Disney movie.

However, if you haven’t already, see the movie in theatres for the Mickey Mouse short. Other than some continuity things with the character designs and voices of Mickey from the late 20’s that only weird people like me would notice, ‘Get a Horse!’ was phenomenal. I highly recommend seeing it, especially in 3D.

25 thoughts on “Is Disney’s ‘Frozen’ Overrated?

  1. I completely agree with you on all counts. I would even go as far as to say that Frozen was formulaic in in the sense that it all but copied Tangled, and but changed the scenery and added a second princess. To me the songs were cute but rather forgettable, and the overall movie while OK, doesn’t live up to all the hype.

  2. I agree completely. There were far too many gaping plot holes and the story seemed slapped together. Anna saving her sister would have been more meaningful if the two were actually close, but they had no relationship whatsoever, as the exposition showed. They have been better and I’m sick of all the hype around it. Definitely not Disney’s best.

  3. The hype this film has generated has taken me by surprise. It’s not that it’s a bad movie, far from it. It has gorgeous animation, nice songs, and it succeeds in entertaining you, but when I left the movie theater I certainly didn’t felt I had watched a masterpiece. I agree with Sadie too; the all saving sisterly love doesn’t hold up in a closer examination because the siblings didn’t have an actual relationship to begin with. I told this to a friend who’s a rabid fan, a Frozen Tumblr troop through and through but boy, was that a big mistake. That personal experiences might give me some bias I accept, but I still think that the relationship wasn’t developed enough to make that climax believable.

    • The trolls don’t really have to be that much explained if you ask me. The dwarves from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves are actually critical to the story. However, it’s not explained why they live in the forest or how long they’ve been there. It’s not the first time Disney has left some information out about a group of some sort.

  4. The trolls are actually inspired by Norwegian mythology and I thought that they at least established that magic was real in the world. Seriously, nobody wonders how the X-men got their powers. Why are people complaining about Elsa and the trolls?

    • Perhaps you’re missing my point. While a bit more explanation on Elsa’s powers would have been nice, that isn’t what bothered me, because her powers were essential to the plot. The trolls weren’t essential, but rather irrelevant, being both distracting and unrelated to the already established element of fantasy (Elsa’s magic). What if a group of trolls randomly showed up in one of the X-men movies?

    • The fanbase makes me cringe. Whenever I say the word Frozen or the name Olaf or Elsa, it’s like I’m surrounded by 5 year olds screaming Let It Go into my face.
      Frozen is not life.
      Take a break from being fucking annoying.
      Maybe I didn’t like it as much as you did, that’s ok, at least if you don’t be a little bitch about how I said it was meh.

      The Lion King, for example, is one of the best Disney movies. It’s based off Shakespeare, and it has songs that aren’t just Broadway wannabes.

      And by the way, just because a movie earns money because of its success doesn’t mean it’s the best movie of all time.


  5. I don’t know why people always claim that Rapunzel is “so developed”. Personally, I found her goals to make little sense.

    She’s locked in a tower her whole life with only Mother Gothel and convinced by her that people are EVIL. Yet, Rapunzel has little to no trouble leaving Mother Gothel’s side. Rapunzel also opened up to people much too easily. She is able to take out a thief, sing with thugs, and dances with people in the square. May I remind you that she was convinced that people are EVIL. Yet, Rapunzel did not fear them in any way whatsoever. There was no arc to her leaving Mother Gothel’s side despite her being her only “parent.” Everything was shoves aside to get to the floating lanterns and for her romance with Flynn Rider. This makes her a very poorly written character in my eyes.

    An example of isolation done right is in The Hunchback of Notre Dame with Quasimodo. He was mentally abused by Frollo and kept in the cathedral. However, Quasimodo could at least SEE what people were doing, and have an idea as to how they behaved. Even with this knowledge, Quasimodo did not interact with people to a wide range and spoke in a timid voice.
    He even had a “black and white” view on people, such as believing Esmeralda to love him immediately.

    In addition, I found the song “When Will My Life Begin” to be a little pointless at introducing Rapunzel. However, NONE of her traits or abilities added to the story whatsoever. They were just sprinkled on her character.

    The climax in Tangled was very sloppily done for me too. So let me see: Rapunzel somehow painted Corona suns unknowingly, and remembered a vision of herself AS A BABY. She rebels against Mother Gothel (out of nowhere). Meanwhile, Flynn Rider is about to be hanged, but Maximus gets the thugs to help rescue Flynn Rider (despite Maximus talking like a horse and the thugs not really liking Flynn either).

    I thought that Tangled had a very sappy ending. Shouldn’t the ending of a Disney film have a good finale score or something like that while we look at the characters and see/interpret what they’re doing? An example I can think of is in Beauty and the Beast when a chorus sings the ‘Beauty and the Beast (theme)’. We see Belle and the human prince dancing with the servants looking on.

    However, Flynn’s narration at the end just told you everything and EVERYONE had a happy ending. One thug even became the ‘greatest pianist in the world’. Maybe this could be counted as personal taste, though.

    Flynn’s narration hindered the film for me personally. He’s NOT the main character, so why is he narrating the story? How does he see everything? It’s like be like the Beast narrating the intro to Beauty and the Beast.

    • Also, outside of liking ‘Eugene’ more than ‘Flynn’ I wasn’t so into Rapunzel’s infatuation with Flynn, nor the other way around since I felt like Flynn only though that Rapunzel was ‘cute’ (judging by how he reacted to Rapunzel’s new hairstyle in the kingdom). But that’s just me.

      Note: I never once said that Frozen was better than Tangled.

      • As for the thugs in Tangled, I didn’t feel like they were very necessary to the story either. All they helped me realize was that I didn’t buy for one minute that Flynn Rider was truly a ruffian. He stood out like a sore thumb.

  6. I couldn’t disagree more in the characters in Tangled being ‘organic’. In the Tangled/Frozen debate, you’d be right. Anna and Kristoff are admittedly a little similar to Rapunzel and Flynn Rider/Eugene.

    However, personally, I found Rapunzel to be basically a “blonde Ariel” (maybe because they’re both designed by Glen Keane). A girl who wants to get out more and disobey their parents to do so. Even the “I See the Light” sequence is practically “Kiss the Girl” (both by Alan Menken).

    Personally, I don’t find Eugene to be a “breath of fresh air” either. Wow, another nice thief trying to escape from guards?(…Aladdin)

  7. Hmm. I honestly wasn’t too bothered by the trolls. They didn’t last that long, anyway. True, they could have been left out, but I don’t feel like it’s a big deal. Maybe having only Pabbie (the elderly troll) and no song would have been better.

  8. I don’t feel like Rapunzel is a very well written character.

    She was locked in a tower her whole life and convinced by Mother Gothel that people are EVIL. Mother Gothel is her only human companion. However, despite her isolation, Rapunzel is able to take out a thief, sing with thugs, and opens up to several people in the town square. May I remind you that she was convinced that people are EVIL and she was ISOLATED for her whole life? She was just lucky to meet nice people.

    An example of isolation done right, is in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” with Quasimodo. He was mentally abused by Judge Claude Frollo (much more than Rapunzel to add) and lived alone on the cathedral. However, his advantage was that he could at least SEE how people acted, so at least Quasimodo had an idea of how they act. Even so, Quasimodo is shy and scared around people when he meets them and speaks in a timid voice. He also had a blank image of people such as believing Esmeralda to be in love with him.

    • Personally, all of Rapunzel’s isolation had no impact on her leaving her tower. It was shoved aside for her “deep journey” to see the floating lanterns and for her romance with Flynn Rider.

  9. Personally, I find Rapunzel to be a very poorly written character. Her isolation has NO affect on when she leaves her tower. She’s convinced by Mother Gothel that people are EVIL. Yet, she taked out a thief, sings with thugs, and dances with people in the kingdom. May I remind you that Rapunzel was convinced that people are EVIL. She just opens up to people instantly and despite Mother Gothel being the only human around, she opens up to people easily. All of that isolation was shoved aside for her “inner journey” of seeing the floating lanterns and bonding with Flynn Rider/Eugene. Rapunzel was lucky to meet nice people. NONE of her traits added to the story. What did chess playing, paper mâché, and knitting add? They’re just sprinkled on her. So personally, I find “When Will My Life Begin?” to be a waste of time.

    Mandy Moore may have the most blandest voice for a Disney Princess ever. I can’t remember anything about it except that it’s girly and sweet. Her performance is below Disney standards.

    Tangled reeks of unoriginality. It’s basically a collaboration of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. The “I See the Light” sequence is just “Kiss the Girl” and “A Whole New World” all over again. Already been there with the nice thief from Aladdin. Didn’t believe he was a thief for one minute, anyway. Eugene’s death is almost exactly like the Beast’s death. Another evil stepmother figure? Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Cinderella. Girl who wants to see the world? The Little Mermaid. I even find Pascal to be little like Abu. I don’t find these characters “organic” at all.

    Aside from that, climax makes no sense. Somehow, Rapunzel has a vision of her parents from when she was a NEWBORN BABY after somehow painted Corona suns unknowingly. Rapunzel rebels against Mother Gothel OUT OF NOWHERE. Maximus gets the thugs to help Eugene escape from prison (despite being a horse with no way to understand him and the thugs not really liking Eugene either).

    Then the sappiest ending to a Disney film yet. EVERYONE (except Mother Gothel) had a happy ending. Even the thugs no matter how weird they were. One became the greatest pianist in the world, I kid you not.

    I didn’t believe Eugene really liked Rapunzel outside of her being cute and liking his name. He did look at Rapunzel when she got her hair out into a braid. Another thing to add is that his backstory is told, not shown. His personality traits were so inconsistent. One minute funny, the next serious. His narration also hindered the story. It’s Rapunzel’s story. Not his. Why is he the one doing the talking?

    Just my thoughts. Not trying to be defensive. Just a little peeved off at some points.

  10. Tangled reeks of unoriginality. It’s basically a collaboration of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. The “I See the Light” sequence is just “Kiss the Girl” and “A Whole New World” all over again. Already been there with the nice thief from Aladdin. Didn’t believe he was a thief for one minute, anyway. Eugene’s death is almost exactly like the Beast’s death. Another evil stepmother figure? Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Cinderella. Girl who wants to see the world? The Little Mermaid. I even find Pascal to be little like Abu. I don’t find these characters “organic” at all.

  11. While I basically agree…I am pretty tired of Frozen and Tangled are constantly pitted against each other. It doesn’t really matter that much that Tangled is easily the best movie Disney did in the 2010, only rivalled by Wreck-it-Ralph, and pretty “The Little Mermaid” of the current Disney success. What matters to me is the question of Frozen is a good movie.

    And I think…it is okay. To me, it is the “but” movie. “Let is go” is an outstanding song BUT neither it, nor the other songs which sound like they belong to three different soundtracks (one of them Wicked) are really worked in that well in the story. At the best they are either useless or contradicting the actual plot. At worst they are grating and annoying (Fixer Upper! Worst Disney Song Ever!!!!!!!!!). It has it’s good moments and memorable scenes BUT the plot is just a huge mess. I like that they made a movie about a sister relations BUT said sisters are the only important female characters in the movie and barely share any scenes together. The animation is impressive BUT I wouldn’t call it charming or unique. And don’t let me get started on the lack of logic in the actions of more or less all the characters.

    The worst thing about this movie is for me, though, that Disney somehow managed set up a twist with no built-up whatsoever which I saw coming from a mile away and kept praying wouldn’t happen.

    • Oh, and I don’t think that it is a matter of time to set up a character. Beauty and the Beast pretty much set up Belle in one single song. The Little Mermaid set up Ariel before she even turned up on screen. The question is if it is well done, but I don’t get Anna’s character from the get go, because her character was not set up well.

  12. You cannot compare the dwarves in Snow White to the trolls in Frozen and say the trolls don’t need to be explained because the dwarves weren’t. The dwarves exist in the original fairy tale upon which Snow White is based. There are no trolls in The Snow Queen, though that of course is another problem with Frozen; it is not based on The Snow Queen, despite its claims, which is a shame as The Snow Queen actually IS about a strong heroine and the strength of non-romantic love. I am an actor and playwright, and the problems with Frozen are not only glaring but become more obvious upon repeated viewings. The characters are thin, the plot is disjointed, there is no chemistry at all between Anna and Kristoff, Hans’ revelation as the bad guy is a wtf moment that comes out of nowhere and feels forced so Disney can save Anna from having to chooses between two men, there is absolutely no relationship between Anna and Elsa, and before anyone says, “They’re sisters so naturally they love each other!” I know several people who cut ties with their siblings long ago, so being a sibling really is not enough to hold families together if one sibling is constantly shutting the other sibling out or acting in such a way as to indicate they don’t care about the familial bond. Yes, I know, Elsa wasn’t shutting Anna out by choice, but there should have been a clear strain on their relationship at the coronation. Instead Anna just kept being all sheepish around Elsa like a dog expecting to be kicked. That is not a strong female character.

    Which brings me to another point. Frozen is being hailed as a true feminist movie, but it is the worst kind of feminism (and doesn’t have a single strong female character at the end of the day). Rather than relying on strong female characters, Frozen surrounds two weak women with even weaker men. No man can be good looking and into you without having some ulterior motive (Hans). If you find a guy who doesn’t have an ulterior motive, then he’s not going to be as attractive and his hygiene will be questionable (because men), and in order to get him to be what you’re looking for, you’ll have to fix him (Kristoff). Dads have no clue about raising children and aren’t going to make the best choices for dealing with difficult issues, especially with daughters, so their daughters will grow up emotionally scarred (the king). Meanwhile Anna, as already discussed, is a classic emotional abuse victim who keeps going back to her abuser (Elsa) no matter how many times she is rejected, while Elsa’s only moment of strength cones in the form of a narcissistic song where she talks about how she can’t be bothered with anyone else because the cold doesn’t bother her. Hello, self centered! Then when Anna shows up and says, “You froze the kingdom, come thaw it,” Elsa loses what little character growth she had, goesback to being afraid, and doesn’t even TRY to help. That’s not a strong woman.

    I’d also like to go back to the parents for a minute. The king and queen in Frozen have to be the worst parents in Disney history who aren’t supposed to be villains. First off, they come into the room after the accident with, “Elsa you’re a f*ck up” practically on their lips. Way to comfort your upset CHILD who wasn’t trying to hurt her sister, and in fact was doing everything she could to kerp Anna from getting hurt, but ANNA was the one who wasn’t listening. Then they allow trolls to alter Anna’s memories after Elsa hits her with the ice. I don’t know about anyone else, but the idea of trolls messing with my kid’s brain and removing more than just the problem of the ice doesn’t sit well with me. And speaking of the encounter with the trolls, it’s pretty clear the king and queen have done nothing to try to figure out how Elsa can control her powers up to this point, and she’s at least 6 or 7, maybe 8. That’s a long time for your kid to have ice powers and you to have done no research into them. Then when the trolls explicitly tell them fear is the enemy, what does the dad do? Fire the servants,shut ththe castle gates, lock Elsa in a room by herself, basically everything he can think of to reinforce to her how dangerous she is, thereby keeping her in a constant state of terror that she’s going to hurt someone. Never mind that all he had to do was set rules for BOTH girls that they were never to play using Elsa’s powers unsupervised, but something like that would have required parenting, and we don’t do that anymore in this country, so why have a mother and father setting limits like, “Anna, you are not allowed to ask Elsa to use her powers when we’re not around”? And speaking of the mother, where the f*ck was she??? If they’re going to make the father a typical dumb dad, then why wasn’t the queen standing up to him going, “This is a bad idea and we’re not doing it”??? It had to have been obvious after a very short amount if time that the dad’s plan to lock Elsa up wasn’t working. Surely by the time Elsa told her parents to stay aware because she was scared and her powers were getting stronger mom must gave realized that her daughter was being traumatized. Why didn’t she step in at that moment and say, “That’s it, this isn’t working. We’ve tried it your way long enough, Fred. We’re not doing this anymore, it’s making things worse. Open the gates, get the servants back, let Anna come in, because she’s so lonely she’s talking to the pictures in the parlor.” Oh, right, then there would have been an actual strong female character in the film.

    I could go on about the music and how the voices overpowered the characters, but I have to take my two year old to her birthday party where I already know she is getting a ridiculous amount if Frozen crap from my mother in law, whom I may never forgive for introducing her to thus film (and which I will never add to our DVD collection – ever). It’s a sub par film with a sub par plot and sub par characters that is not only not based on The Snow Queen, but was very clearly written by people who have no concept of the way fairy tales are crafted or how to fix gaping plot holes.

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