I’ve been thinking about the movie for a few days now and mulling over it. If there’s anything that I hate to be accused of, it’s being biased for being a Disney gal. SO. After much debating and re-listening to the soundtrack here are my thoughts on the movie. Brace yourself. And do note: This is going to be spoiler-free.
The movie was so much better than I thought. It’s actually about the importance of family and family love. I want to think the last time Disney made a movie that focused on the importance family was back in 2002 with Lilo and Stitch (I could be wrong) and when it comes to Disney princess movies, I’m coming up blank on any of those that focus on family. Most of them tend to be about finding adventure, true love, and, in the case of The Princess and the Frog, being totally independent (though there’s been some family love aspect in some of them, like Beauty and the Beast).
And just like Enchanted, this Disney movie isn’t afraid to make fun of its history of insta-love. Trust me. Insta-love is always creeping around the corner of a Disney princess movie (and a YA book for that matter, but that’s something for another day).With everyone wanting to compare Frozen to Tangled since day one (myself included), I got wrapped up in the name-calling and the Disney-shaming. The gals really do look similar and I’m still convinced it’s a matter of the CG-ing; for whatever reason when you draw them out, you can see more differences between them than similarities. During the number “For the First Time in Forever” there are actually a couple of Tangled Easter eggs thrown in, including a mash of Lisa Keene’s concept art for Rapunzel and the painting “The Swing.” You seriously need to check it out here. I was quite excited to see it and was probably one of a handful of people who probably recognized it at once. Interestingly, even though I was ranting six months ago about how the movie appears to be paralleling Tangled with all the things Disney was releasing on it, I saw a lot of similarities with Beauty and the Beast (wolves are always the enemy, okay?). The overall story was really sweet. I personally would have loved it even more if the movie gave both sisters equal screen time. C’mon Disney. This is like, what? The second movie you’ve had Idina Menzel in and you keep failing to utilize her voice. Grant it, they did give Idina, who voiced Elsa, the best song in the movie. And my, oh my, is it a great song with some spectacular animation. And kudos to the Lopezes for utilizing the word “fractals” in the song. I don’t know about you, but I’m just going to sit and pray that Disney gets rights to do an animated Wicked movie.
As long as we’re on the subject of songs, I had a hard time at first finding out who wrote the songs. Like I just found out who wrote the songs before I started writing this post. It’s a married couple, one of whom actually wrote the songs to The Book of Mormon. Seriously, this information would have made me feel so much better if I had known before hand.
But I digress.In short: This is an animated musical. The first song, “Frozen Heart,” brought me back to opening songs from The Little Mermaid and Pocahontas. The animation is beautiful. The story is wonderful and sweet and did I mention? The snowman and reindeer aren’t annoying sidekicks. The reindeer doesn’t talk. The snowman is a helpful guy who helps Anna on her quest to find her sister and says things that are comedic, but I never felt like the comedy was forced. It felt rather natural (like Cogsworth and Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast) and he gave the movie the comic relief it needed to make the movie not so dreary. I felt like the number “Fixer Upper”, although cute, was a bit like “A Guy Like You” from The Hunchback of Notre Dame — not really a number that needed to be in there and could honestly have been cut for another song. Like, I don’t know, maybe giving Elsa another song?
I’m still trying to figure out what’s up with Disney’s marketing team. I think you can do the cute, little comedy trailers for the kids, but I do recall that they used strong musical numbers before to promote their movies. Why not have “Let It Go” be the “trailer” that the adults got to see? That’s how they first promoted Lion King, after all, with showing the number to “Circle of Life” and I want to think showing “Colors of the Wind” for Pocahontas was one of the ways they promoted that movie. So Disney: seriously consider doing a trailer for the kids and a trailer for the adults to keep me less ranty. It would be nice to have an idea of what the movie is going to be about before actually seeing it.