“Frozen” Review

Based off of a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, this Disney animated musical (they failed to mention this in many of the advertisements) stars Kristin Bell as Anna, a princess who must find and stop her sister, Elsa, who accidentally caused eternal winter in their Kingdom with her ice powers.

With Robert Lopez – co-creator of both Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon – on board for the soundtrack of this film, it’s disappointing that the songs are as bland as they are. For a movie that’s being sold as the next Lion King (1994), the songs shouldn’t be so forgettable. Not to mention that halfway through the movie they just stop, likely to avoid reaching a 2-hour run-time. It never feels like the movie fully commits to being a musical. It just seems like the songs were added last minute for the sake of novelty.

The characters in this film are incredibly one-dimensional. While an interesting moral dilemma is presented early on with Elsa, it quickly gets recycled and the writers never really do all that much with it. Anna is same faux-strong female archetype that you’ve likely seen many times before. Josh Gad’s Olaf – a snowman obsessed with summer – provides most of the laughs, but his character is still very hit-and-miss.

Frozen has been getting a lot of press for being the “female-friendly” Disney tale. It was refreshing that even though they were playing up the romantic elements throughout the film, its ultimate message is not one of “needing a man to survive.” But while this is all good, it should be pointed out that Frozen takes out most of the female characters from Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, replacing them with comic relief and potential love-interests. In fact, in the original story, Gerda, the character that would become Anna, attempts to rescue her passive platonic male best friend, who is the only significant male character in the story.

Ultimately, the energy is just spent in the wrong place. The animation is beautiful, but the story is just plain lazy. Near the climax, there are plot-twists that occur for the necessity of the plot, not because they actually make sense. And the resolution to restore the Kingdom is downright cringe-worthy. That said, for the most part, it’s not a painful movie to sit through; there just aren’t many redeeming factors. 5/10.

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