Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Film Review: Frozen

A big problem Disney has always had was luring little boys to movies about princesses. In this film, I think they quit trying. Two princesses! Each one fiercely independent in the post-Beauty and the Beast mold. And they sing Broadway-calibre songs about self-determination.

The heinie of my 6-year-old boy was squirming for sure. It wasn't until a giant fierce snow monster showed up later in the film did things get interesting for him.

That being said, things start getting really good with a third act twist, and after that the climax kept him glued to his seat.

The characters speak in modern vernacular, but the humor isn't simply making modern-day references. And thank god Olaf, the comic relief snowman doesn't speak in jive.

The animation is astonishing, the CGI just gets better and better.

By all means take a date, take your daughter, but ask yourself how patient your son is with musicals featuring princesses before taking him.

Actually, go see it if only to see the short it opens with, "Get a Horse." It blends 1929 animation with CGI and "The Purple Rose of Cairo." And you get to hear Walt Disney do the voice of Mickey Mouse. I'm telling you this guy has a future as a cartoon voice artist.


The movie's apparently the biggest hit Disney Animation has had in years, and it's still running, so I don't feel bad about adding to my review.

I was surprised by the lack of peril, or urgency in the story. The key plot line in the movie is: "I have to get my sister."

And I'm thinking, "Why?"

I'm not giving any spoilers but, the sister has the powers of Frozone from the Incredibles, or if you want to get real nerdy, Polar Boy from the Legion of Substitute Heroes. She inadvertently freezes over her kingdom, then runs away to live in an ice castle of her own making.

And the protagonist says, "I have to get my sister."

Why? It has not been established the sister can melt the kingdom. Once she finds her sister the movie has no direction to take. If the sister says "yes, I'll come back," nothing will change. If the sister says, "No, I won't go back," nothing will change. The kingdom will still be frozen over, which seems like a major inconvenience, but not fatal.

I'm standing by my original review, by all means, see it, but take your little girls, not necessarily little boys, but from a story construction point of view, the heroine's quest doesn't really seem necessary.

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