Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Frozen; CGI animated fantasy comedy, USA, 2013; D: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, S: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff

Elsa, a little girl and Princess of Arendelle, has special powers with which she can create ice and snow. During one play, her powers accidentally wound her sister, Anna. Their parents thus wipe out Anna's memory of Elsa's powers, while Elsa has to keep away from her sister and always wear gloves that inhibit her powers. Years later, Elsa is crowned as the princess, but publicly reveals her powers and thus flees from the public who consider her a witch. Elsa creates her own ice castle and decides to live in isolation from the kingdom. However, he powers inadvertently caused an eternal winter, and thus Anna and Kristoff try to reach her to talk her to bring things back to normal, since other people want to kill her to bring back spring. In the end, Elsa learns how to control her powers.

One of the most popular CGI animated films of the 2010s, and a one that caused some critics to interpret it as a 2nd 'Disney Renaissance', "Frozen" is a film with two great moments - the great song "Let It Go", and the charming-comic encounter of Anna and a Prince (she is at the end of a boat, hanging from a dock, but a Prince falls on her when his horse - that was holding the boat with his leg - kneels to bow and tips the boat. The horse quickly brings the boat in balance, but this time Anna falls on him) - everything else is solid, yet somewhat contrived. The film is imposing upon the viewers that Elsa should at one point be placed in the role of a villain only because she has powers that control the ice, and unfortunately, they built a whole story around this fake premise, even though it was obviously not well developed.

The viewers are thus left with a strange disparity of Elsa who did not want to turn the whole kingdom into ice on one hand, and Elsa who does not want to talk to her sister Anna to simply resolve this trivial problem on the other hand. We thus got yet another story built up entirely only on misunderstanding, whereas the jokes are nothing special - snowman Olaf is one of the lamest Disney comic sidekicks in a long while, with misguided jokes about him not being able to feel how he is decapitated and such stuff. Ironically, if the "Let It Go" song is ignored, which features a cool sequence of Elsa creating her own castle from ice, the only warm, good moments in the film involve spring, which is in minority: just like the ice-bound kingdom, the storyline is strangely cold, rigid and lax, with an overstretched segment where Anna and Kristoff wonder around the snow to find Elsa. A few refreshing feminist moments are welcomed (Anna is not saved by a Prince charming, in an unorthodox finale), yet they are sparse and cannot quite compensate for uninspired jokes and a confused narrative in search for a villain who isn't there. They broke some cliches, yet these novelties do not have the same effect as the classic ideas. As for the message of the film: it is that people should talk more with one another, to avoid misunderstanding.


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