Early Thoughts on Disney’s “Frozen”

[EDIT] 12/29/2013: I would just like to say there has been an update made to this post. Read it here. [/EDIT]

I would like to take a minute to say that I hate Disney’s marketing team. And this is why:

That is the first look to Disney’s latest animated movie, Frozen. It tells you nothing about the movie. Absolutely nothing. Is it so hard to give a clip of the actual characters? Must you show the, ugh, side kicks? And is it too soon to have a non-dog animal act like a dog? It’s not uncommon to have Disney horses act like dogs and if memory serves, this will be the first time an elk (I think it’s an elk…could be a reindeer) would be seen in a dog-like role. But c’mon. Tangled is still a fairly recent film having made its debut in 2010 and it featured Maximus, the dog-like horse.

And if that parallel isn’t enough to make you raise your eyebrows, take a look at the main character, Anna.

And don’t get me started on the this similarity.

Tangled Concept Art

Frozen Video Still

The only thing that Frozen can vouch for is that Tangled never used the hair-climbing clip. I THINK they were originally wanting to (they did have a clip in their trailers that showed hair falling on Flynn when he called to Rapunzel) but for whatever reason it got cut.

I realize that they want to go all out with this and make it the first CG musical film they’ve ever created, but they need to remember what happened when they got gung-ho with The Princess and the Frog. Being the first 2D film since their flop Home on the Range, The Princess and the Frog was supposed to put traditional, hand-drawn animation back on the map and they had all the right people to do it, except it lacked in some areas and to me, those lackluster areas doesn’t make Tiana’s story stand on even ground with some of the other Disney princesses. Originally Frozen was going to be 2D, which made me positively giddy. And the concept art was just gorgeous and the cast that they have is stupendous. I mean, really? Idina Menzel (Elphaba in Wicked, Maureen Johnson in Rent) as the villain/other princess/Snow Queen?! Tell me how awesome that is?

Early rumors had Alan Menken attached to the score. And really, how amazing would it have been to have Disney’s main composer create a song for Idina Menzel? Don’t get me started on that. Instead, the official composer appears to be Christophe Beck. He’s the guy in charge for the music for The Hangover trilogy, Pitch Perfect, and The Muppets. But most importantly, he’s the guy responsible for making me cry with his beautiful soundtrack in Paperman.

With a lot of great people behind the film, I feel like the potential is there. But if the trailer and some of the Tangled-esque art/concept is any indication, then I shouldn’t set the bar too high for this film (in case Disney disappoints). I just hope that they don’t leave me too disappointed; The Snow Queen has always been one of my fairy tales.

Comments 13

  1. Person

    It’s called “animation resources”. When you work in the animation world, you would actually be needing to do it cuz

    1) Animating isn’t an easy job
    2) Thinking for new projects when deadlines are nearing is pressuring
    3) you can’t handle lots of project

    As an artist and an aspiring animator (Not an animator yet fyi), I understand why they did that.

    And besides, at least they aren’t plagiarizing from other companies work, right?

    Being resourceful yet being creative is something you need to have the animation world. If you don’t have it, how will you at least make your resources be any different from your old ones?

  2. Ann

    Just came back from watching the movie. Hated it! Didn’t know it was a musical plus the scene with the pond and snowman reindeer wasn’t even in the movie. Not as much comedy as portraid in the commercials. Love disney movies but not that one.

  3. Ella

    Must make a small correction re: Tangled (my favorite of the new generation of Disney movies) – also, spoiler alert if for some reason you haven’t seen Tangled – the trailer shows hair falling down to Flynn/him climbing hair because that does in fact happen toward the end of the movie, only it’s a trap. Rapunzel never throws her hair down to him of her own free will, but it happens. Also, just saw Frozen – there were a lot of similarities, but I thought it was beautifully done, and if you’ve never seen Tangled, it was a great standalone movie. If you have, and you loved it, this was like the winter version of Tangled. And I still loved it.

  4. Marina

    I think it is good to make a movie like onother movie.but I leave a question. What’s so bad about making a movie like another movie?

  5. Marina

    What Ella said. “Frozen was a Winter version of Tangeld, and it is Amazing. Did you even see Frozen or did you just look up pics and video tape your TV!

    1. Post
      Author
      Sheenah

      I’m going to reply to both of your comments here.

      Let me make clear that this post was written back in June, around the time when they first released the very first trailer to Frozen. I had been following news of the movie since it was still called “The Snow Queen” and had Alan Menken tied to compose the music. The rant was mostly because I’m tired of seeing Disney’s marketing team try to make the Disney princess movies look like silly comedies or action/adventure movies. Yes, there are those elements in there, but when you watch one of the trailers, you never really get a great idea of what the movie is about until you actually see it or unless you’ve been following news about it.

      What started as a rant, sort of turned into my fears of what Disney COULD be doing, that is, with the success of Tangled and them dropping the whole 2D animation thing that the movie was originally going to be done in, were they just trying to recreate Tangled in a musical version? Because yes, there’s nothing wrong with making a movie like another movie, but this is Disney we’re talking about. There are similarities between all the princess movies, but Disney has always striven to make sure each and every movie is a unique experience. If it’s already been done, they don’t want to do it. It’s a benchmark they’ve created for themselves and I would hate to see them disregard their beliefs for a blockbuster.

      I actually haven’t seen the movie YET, but I do plan on it and will be posting an update about the movie when I do. I’m excited about the cast and the music and the artwork looks gorgeous. Because the movie is based on one of my favorite fairy tales, I just have these reservations that the movie will disappoint me and I sincerely hope it doesn’t.

  6. annabella

    The reason they do look so similar and even act very similar is because they are actually cousins (Anna and Rapunzel). Its a werid concept but just hear me out. In the movie when Elsa and Anna’s parents leave for two weeks its was three years ago from the present that is now. And tangled (rapunzel) came out in 2010 and they got married then. So most likely this is what had happened. Also many people have also said how repunzels mother and Anna’s look familiar. Well this where they’re cousin. The mothers are sister! this is why elsa and Anna’s mom wears the same purple that is so symbolic in tangled. Also this why the animator put rapunzel and Eugene in the opening if the gates sence of frozen. Boom! All the signs are there for these two films. And some of the head animator of frozen did confirm the princesses being cousin. All in all its a fabulous movie and like you said Idina Menzel is so amazing for this role just the building of her ice kingdom in “let it go” was remarkable! Hope you take into consideration all this story lining its a wonderful tale if you put all that into it.

    1. icesnow

      Actually there not cousin. Rapunzel and Eugene only appeared in frozen because for the first time in forever sounds similar to a song that sang by rapunzel. If you watch the movie frozen Anna and Rapunzel look different.

  7. solflower

    All I can say is that I work with 8 year olds. In my art club all the kids wanted to draw Frozen. I didn’t know what it was so I looked it up. I saw this pic ‘Seriously Disney?’ and it made me laugh. Why? Because when I asked the kids, ‘What’s Frozen?’ they said – It’s Rapunzel, but its not Rapunzel. Well it’s like Rapunzel, it’s sort of Rapunzel. No it’s not Rapunzel, but it is Rapunzel. Well the marketing certainly got to the kids. Though most of them love Olaf and hate Hans, prefer Elsa to Anna who they think is kind of BoRING. I suppose I better watch it now so I know what I’m talking about next week

  8. solflower

    IT was sad. Definitely not a favourite from Disney, sorry! The best bit was definitely ‘Let Go!’ that was amazing. Everything else was derivative, and uninteresting. Goodness even the ice men at the beginning with that song immediately put me back to snow white and the seven dwarves. I also loved the Snow Queen as a child, but this had very little to do with that.

    1. Post
      Author
      Sheenah

      Hm… Well, I’m going to have to see it. I meant to last week, but things got hectic. I’ll have to try to carve some time to catch it soon!

  9. Pingback: The Official “Frozen” Post

  10. Snowman

    I love it when people have to find something to complain about. People now a days have nothing better to do but criticize everything, and be so dang negative.

    1. crystalme

      I know, right. There are critiques and then there is just whining and this is clearly whining. I guess for some people that’s all they know how to do. It’s really sad. 🙁

  11. ZackTheSnowman

    There is a bit of similarites. I kinda agree on annabella. They may be cousins. They look the same. The movie “Frozen” and “Tangled” were both great. Definitly movies i would watch a thousand times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *