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Friday, July 18, 2014

Movie Review:Frozen

Premise:The kingdom is put in danger when the queen's ice powers get out of control and she runs off, leaving her sister to fix things.

Cast:Idina Menzel as Elsa, Kristen Bell as Anna, Jonathan Groff as Kristoff, Santino Fontana as Hans, Josh Gad as Olaf, Alan Tudyk as the Duke of Weselton, Ciarán Hinds as Grand Pabbie

Directors:Christopher Buck and Jennifer Lee

MPAA Rating:PG for some action and mild rude humor

Genres:Animation, fantasy, comedy

Notes:Poster taken from IMP Awards and belongs to Disney.

Pros:The snow queen. Her non-whiny angst. The comic relief. Voice acting isn't bad.

Cons:Most of the music isn't that great. Something about Anna bugged me. The parents. Plot problems. Toilet humor.

What would you do if you had secret powers? What if you accidentally hurt someone you cared about with them? Would you bottle your abilities and your feelings up? And what if they spilled out on the worst possible day? Would you run? Elsa did. Now the kingdom's covered in snow, and her sister Anna has to find her and bring her home.

My favorite thing about it is Elsa. She has had to conceal her powers her whole life and everyone who finds out about them thinks she's dangerous. There's no whining about how she's different, just that she doesn't want to hurt anyone. They could have easily turned her into a sympathetic villain (which would have been cool to see), but she works as a heroic character as well. Her sister I didn't like as much. Many it's just her energetic personality. But out of all the main characters, she's the least interesting to me. And unfortunately, she gets a great deal of focus.

Most of the music just isn't that great to me. Sure, I liked "Let It Go", but the rest of it doesn't rise above average. It's cheesy in places (including a fart joke in the middle of "For The First Time In Forever" is not that funny, nor does it improve the quality).

And now for the parents. After an accident that hurts Anna, their approach to Elsa's powers is to have her bottle them up. I know they meant well, but good intentions does not equal good results (as demonstrated in Thor). And then the parents are killed off, so they don't even have a chance to reconcile with their daughter or think maybe they made a mistake. It seems pointless for them to die 3 years before the heir is old enough.

The comic relief did succeed. Olaf is a sweet and clueless little bundle of snow. Sven the reindeer also provided plenty of amusement. Overall, it's fairly funny. Although I would have preferred less of the bathroom-related jokes.

There's a love story here too (of course). Anna meets this guy and it's love at first sight. Except as everyone tells her, getting engaged to a guy she just met is not a great idea. I have mixed feelings on where it goes because of the way it affects any possible romance.

Many parts of the story didn't make sense in the end. Who was in charge before Elsa was old enough to be queen? Who kept an eye on things while Hans was out looking for Anna? How did Elsa go from having no control over her powers to building a huge castle? How did she manage to make the fabric of her dress disappear during "Let It Go"?

For that matter, when the ice thaws, why doesn't she lose the ice dress and revert to the old one? Why didn't Kristoff selflessly taking Anna to Hans count as the act of true love needed to thaw her heart? Why did Anna freeze completely after she performed the necessary act of true love? Why didn't the trolls figure out something was wrong when she had a big, obvious streak of white hair?
End spoilers 

So overall, I think it's okay, but not nearly as good as all the raving would suggest.

Sex:Anna dreams of meeting her soul mate at the ball. She meets a guy named Hans, falls into awkward situations with him, and accepts his proposal shortly after they meet. When Kristoff finds out Anna is engaged to a man she just met, he wonders if she even knows Hans' shoe size. Anna replies that doesn't matter. She insists it's true love.
Elsa creates a tight-fitting dress slit up one leg, and swings her hips as she walks toward the camera. Trolls try to fix up Kristoff with Anna. Couples kiss. A man tells his dance partner he'll catch her if she swoons. A troll tells Kristoff to take off his clothes so she can wash them; he says he'll keep them on.
Elsa's powers and keeping them secret have been compared to closeted homosexuality. This interpretation is supported by the fact that she isn't given a male love interest.

Violence:Elsa's icy powers hurt her sister when they're children. She accidentally freezes parts of the castle, uses ice to block and threaten attackers, creates a giant (and hostile) snowman, and creates snowstorms.
Men try to kill Elsa with arrows and swords. A woman nearly freezes to death. The king and queen die in a storm that sinks their ship. A man is thrown out in the snow. He also hits his head. Wolves attack a couple, who fend them off with a burning bundle. A sleigh crashes.
A snowman shows a disturbing fascination with summer and heat, unaware it would kill him. He also impales himself on an icicle, cheerily commenting on it. A wild dancer injures his partner. A woman's dress freezes, which is meant to be humorous. Anna's clumsiness results in a few spills. She crashes her bike, but isn't hurt. A man on a ship is punched overboard.

Drugs/Alcohol:Champagne is served at the ball after the coronation.

Language:G-rated insults like "Weasel Town" pop up.

Gross Stuff:Anna sings she isn't sure is she's elated or gassy. Olaf mentions yellow and snow don't mix. Kristoff spits to polish his sleigh and takes bites of carrots his reindeer did first. He also believes all men pick their noses and eat what comes out, something the credits say is not the opinion of Disney Pictures. A troll tells Anna that Kristoff tinkles in the woods, something she says she didn't need to know. There's a joke about passing a kidney stone.

Spiritual:After Anna is hurt by Elsa's powers, their parents take them to a group of trolls in order to help Anna. A shaman-like troll fixes the injury and erases memories of Elsa's powers. It's asked if Elsa was born or cursed with her powers; it's the former. The Duke of Weselton calls her an evil sorceress. The coronation is overseen by a bishop. Something not really talked about in the film but noteworthy is the fact that Elsa creates two living snowmen.

So what did you think?

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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