Release Date: November 27, 2013
Director: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck
Writer: Jennifer Lee, Hans Christian Andersen, Chris Buck, Shane Morris
Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Grogg, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk, Ciaran Hinds, ChrisWilliams, Stephen J. Anderson, Maia Wilson, Edie McClurg, Robert Pine, Maurice LaMarche, Livvy Stubenrauch, Eva Bella, Spencer Lacey Ganus, Jesse Corti
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 102 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Budget: $150,000,000 (estimated)
Once upon a time some would say animations where mostly targeted towards children. Adults would have to take a deep breath, dragging their feet to the theater to painfully sit through the next feature. With the exception to some of the greats Disney released like Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and a few others, it seemed like the magic was fading away year by year. Then Pixar hit the big screen, raising the bar to a completely new level of entertainment for both adults and children. I’m sure most can agree that Pixar’s animations are the greatest today by far, but I don’t always expect other studios to top these wonderful experiences. At the very least, I want them to convey a message to children that they can walk of out a theater with confidence and a new life lesson to possibly mold out their future. Not make them insecure of who they are, and shut the world out. This is what Frozen is all about. As a young adult I chuckled a few times and enjoyed the 3D spectacle, but the overall message is the exact opposite of what I would ever want to tell children of my own.
Meet Elsa the princess born with magical powers to freeze her surroundings at will with ice and snow. She can’t control her powers completely, then has an accident and is locked away from the outside world. As she grows into young adulthood, her abilities are still below novice. Then runs away while accidentally setting the land into winter that could destroy the kingdom. Going back for a second, I can only imagine how much fun that would be to possess such an ability (If under control). Her younger sister Anna, lacks these same powers but makes up for it with her optimism, the will to help, and loyalty to those around her. As children play all the time without a care in the world a tragic accident occurs, pushing a loved one of hers to near death. Instead of her parents consoling her, she’s taught not to feel anything but conceal who she truly is. Now of course, if you have magical powers you don’t want to go freezing everything in sight. It would draw too much negative attention, give power to the haters, and create more fear if not already present. I’m instantly frustrated with her Father’s parenting style. If I’m blessed to bring life into this world one day, I will love and accept my seed for who they are. Whether they’re short, tall, big, or small that is who they are and are meant to be. The King doesn’t see it this way. Instead he wants to lock his children away from everyone leaving them without any types of social interaction. How could you expect the world to except you or your children when you’re not even teaching them to accept themselves? On top of that YOU’RE THE KING, and they your princesses. You don’t want to be a dictator to the people but your word and/or authority is absolute! His time was short lived, but could’ve at least pointed his offspring in the right direction for social maturity and acceptance. Everyone is afraid of what they don’t understand, but in time even teaching your offspring verbally not to appear as a threat and with their current status the Kingdom will accept them.
Going back even further when Elsa was a child she was blasting off ice mountains inside of the palace like she’s been doing this for years. I’m thinking by the time she gets older she would be the main star of the next super hero team. Yet after years, years, and more years in solitary confinement with no distractions, Elsa still can’t control her powers. What sense do that make? The answer is absolutely none! At this point she should be a Master at her craft using her powers for good. Even if a few of the towns people disagree, SO WHAT! You’re now the Queen of your land and your authority is absolute. But no, the movie doesn’t decide to take this route. Instead our Queen Elsa runs away to the mountains to more seclusion. Once she gets there we get a wonderful musical number of “LET IT GO” basically meaning accepting who you really are and embracing it. It’s a wonderful message and I start to smile. I would’ve song along but didn’t know the words and didn’t want to be removed from the theater from distracting others. As the song plays and Elsa is embracing who she is, she starts to gain control of her powers creating a Giant Ice castle and even creating life itself (I’ll get to that in a moment). So if finally it seems like Elsa has a grasp on things, but still decides to shut the world out. In other words, how silly would it be to see someone running on a treadmill with a Bacon cheeseburger and fries in both hands? Exactly! The song that she just sung contradicts itself. As I previously stated, Elsa can even create life from snow. From a giant Ice monster to a little cute snowman. The snowman Olaf reminded me to Jar Jar Binks from the Star Wars prequel. He was a bit annoying but can’t wait for summer to come back around even though he’s never experienced it before. I felt the film could have easily done without him.
Brining Elsa’s younger sister Anna back into the mix, I do respect her loyalty to the sister she never really knew (still makes no sense). She’s determined to rebuild the great relationship she had with Elsa even though her memory was slightly erased. She ventures off to find her sister despite not being properly dressed and no direction in an ice blizzard mountain. Once she finds her sister another accident erupts and sends the Kingdom in an uproar that will only settle for blood. Yet after years of Elsa having powers, finally able to control them, building her own personal Ice castle, and creating life at will, she can barely handle two henchman with crossbows. The effects in this scene were great, but the scale is completely off. That’s like being able to fight three pitbulls simultaneously but then getting defeating by a kitten.
At this point we’re halfway through the film and I’m completely clocked out trying to hang on. I also feel so sorry for Anna and her ignorance of love. She meets a man in one day and by that night she wants to get married. This decision of course boils of ignorance, but who can blame her? Her Dad and/or guardians didn’t worry about her social maturity when they decided to keep her away from the real world. Her emotions are a roller coaster at that. As soon as she finds out her true love is not who she initially thought, a light bulb goes off like, “oh I forgot maybe I love this other guy” THAT SHE ALSO JUST MET! Seems like a garden tool for affection, yet it’s a children’s film.
I walked into this film thinking it would be great with high expectations, but unfortunately I was let down. There was a few musical numbers that I did like, but certainly not enough to consider a soundtrack. The 3D on the other hand was a treat to witness, and I can’t even see that well. I’m always hearing directors rant on about how they don’t always want the images to pop out at the screen, but are more focused on the depth of their objects presented. I never noticed before, but with Frozen it does it’s job well. Whether it’s a large city or a pencil placed on a table the depth makes a name for itself. Here the depth of 3D is a visual pleasure from the Kingdom of large buildings or a cup of coffee in the foreground. I still laughed a few times even from some of the characters and company, but I still can’t accept the message. It doesn’t teach children confidence about who they are, but may leave them in an insecure state rising into adulthood.