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…
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.
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.