I was so happy to finally see “Frozen” Friday with Mom, John and William! And, naturally, I’ve got a lot to say about it.
The Mickey Mouse cartoon short before the feature film was … OK, not particularly good or bad. The fourth wall jokes were cute and some were actually kind of clever. But compared to “Paper Man” (the animated short before “Wreck It Ralph,”) well, it just wasn’t up to snuff. But it kept the kiddies in the theatre laughing, especially The End (literally).
Now on to the movie! The opening song gave me chills. Later that night at dinner, John told me that the opening made him feel like he was watching the Lion King’s opening again and I couldn’t agree more. That would start a strong lineup of songs in the movie, though, as my husband said, some songs just weren’t necessary. I kind of suspected Frozen would song-bomb us every 15 minutes kind of like “Tangled” did. It didn’t disappoint.
Movies like the Lion King give you just the right amount of songs at just the right time so it’s easier to remember the songs and you just don’t grow tired of the singing. Frozen had so many songs that I honestly forgot half of them.
However, when the movie had a good song, dang, it had a good song. “Let It Go” was our hands down favorite without question. Elsa’s voice actress, Idina Menzel, delivered on that one. I found her singing voice not particularly unique, but man the POWER! No spoilers, but Elsa sang this one with all the gale-force winds blowing around her and it only added to the awesome. Also, Let It Go reminded me of “Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood for obvious reasons, I guess.
“Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” also brought a tear to my eye. That song just starts out silly with little Anna bored and frustrated that her sister ignores her. But toward the end of the song (again, no spoilers, don’t worry
), you see Anna’s silly little song ends a very poignant story arc. Little Anna’s jokes about the castle’s paintings during the song also made me laugh.
Olaf’s song about summer (like everything else he did in the movie) was just hilarious. And that brings us to the characters!
Elsa was my favorite as I thought she’d be. I loved her sense of reserve; she seemed like an incredibly powerful creature, masking all that raw energy with just a thin veil of dignity. She also put her duty to her family and kingdom ahead of her own wants, needs and comfort, but her awkwardness with her role as queen seemed to add to her charm. And when she did “let it go,” that is her reserve toward her ice powers, I felt a supreme feeling of joy for her that she was finally, FINALLY embracing her powers and being neither ashamed nor afraid of them.
Anna I didn’t like quite as much as her sister, Elsa; she was just too bubbly and bouncy (and too much like Rapunzel from “Tangled”) for me. But she did her charms too. Just as Elsa seemed to personify the “model” eldest child – wanting to please at her own expense – Anna perfectly fit the role of the younger child. She was fun-loving, but unsure of her own worth. She was constantly saying things like, “Oh, it’s JUST me!” or deferring to Elsa. When it came time for her to take charge and actually order people around, she stumbled around about it. To me, that wasn’t annoying; that was actually very charming. Now, her naiveté was a bit annoying, but more on that later.
Kristoff was OK. He certainly wasn’t my favorite character. (I’ve kind of had it with the macho, strong-and-silent blockheads.) But he did have his endearing qualities. His affection and embarrassment toward his troll “family” was really very sweet. I love, LOVE the scene where he’s nervous about introducing Anna to the trolls. The movie nailed the butterflies a couple gets about “meeting the family,” but it portrayed that well-used cliché in a wonderful new way. And his affection for Sven the reindeer in very touching. There is a scene in which Sven is in real danger and Kristoff is about to abandon his quest for Anna to save his caribou pal.
Sven was cute and fluffy and big-footed and I want a plushie of that reindeer. I WANT A PLUSHIE OF THAT REINDEER!!! And thank you, THANK YOU, Disney for not making that reindeer act like a dog the way you did in the trailers and the way you made Maximus the horse in Tangled. Sven is a reindeer, not a dog. Maximus is a horse, not a dog. Thank. You.
Olaf was my favorite character after Elsa. I know. Shoot me. But I loved that talking snowman. Every time he opened his mouth, he had me laughing. The scene where Kristoff says, “I have a thick skull.” And Olaf just blurts out of nowhere, “I have no skull! Or bones!” That was so bizarre and random, I just burst out laughing!
Olaf is also so innocent … especially in his affinity for summer weather.
And I love the way his character serves a practical purpose in the way he bridges Anna and Elsa back to the childhood they’ve both all but forgotten. He’s constantly reminding them of sweet memories they shared in a very troubled past. Oh, and I want a plush Olaf that says, “I’m Olaf the snowman and I like warm hugs!” Get this for me for Christmas!!!
That brings me to the comedy which was lovely. I don’t know if the movie meant to be so self-aware, but it constantly pokes fun at the Disney cliché of falling in love with someone you just met. I howled at Elsa’s straight-faced reply of “You can’t marry someone you just met.” to Anna and Hans’ enthusiastic engagement announcement. I also love the way Olaf – a friggin’ TALKING SNOWMAN – is creeped out when Anna insisted that she knows him when he has no clue who she is.
The designs were stellar! Disney totally went all out with the whole Dutch inlay craftsmanship. Even Anna’s petticoats were painstakingly detailed. The designs of the horses’ manes with their checkerboard patterns caught my attention.
I was on to Hans for the beginning.
Also, the “act of true love” that saved the day at the end was beautiful. The fact that familial love wins the day in this movie is both refreshing and moving. Not that a “happily even after” love story between a boy and a girl is bad, but it was nice to see Disney take a new approach. And, com’on, what is more important than family? Not much, I’d say. Family sticks by your side while friends and acquaintances will sometimes flee. This movie drove home that lesson and I thank thee, Disney, for that.
All in all, Frozen was a great movie for the Thanksgiving weekend, a time when family togetherness takes a forefront. I give this movie a solid four stars out of five. Go see it if you can!