I feel like I am the last person to see Frozen, however, if that person is actually you: Warning! Spoilers abound!
I'm a bit ashamed to admit it, but I bought into the Frozen hype. David and I have been wanting to get our hands on a copy since it came out on DVD, but it's been all but impossible to find at a Redbox until this past weekend. We were just as excited to watch it ourselves as we were to show it to Lucia.
Big mistake. If I had watched it expecting a Disney movie, I probably would have enjoyed it tolerably well, but I was expecting the Disney movie of the
year decade century and I was sorely, sorely disappointed. So much so that as I stayed awake the last few nights with a sick toddler, I couldn't help wondering exactly what I found lacking in the movie.
1) The "You Can't Marry a Man You Just Met" storyline seemed contrived and a bit too obvious. I heard so many people saying, "Finally! A realistic Disney movie!" Realistic? Might I remind you of the anthropomorphic snowman? Or the character that controls wintery weather? Who watches a Disney movie for realism? Isn't the whole point of fairy tales (and Disney movies are the fairy tales of modernity) to teach morals through the use of a fantastic story? They are supposed to get kids thinking and analyzing in order to find the moral. But, apparently, it's much easier these days to just have the sister of the main character say the moral pointblank. Unless the moral of the story is actually "your older sister knows best". In addition to feeling like this "fairy tale rewrite" was a little forced in order to please the modern woman, it's also not a consistent message throughout the film (see #2 and #6).
2) Hans must be evil because Kristoff is good. If we're talking about realism, let's talk about this love triangle. In real life, it's not unusual that a woman might be interested in two men, but rarely is one all good and the other pure evil. But I guess that's where people stop praising Frozen for being realistic. As soon as I saw the love match-up between Anna and Kristoff, I knew that Hans would turn out to be the bad guy. Not because anything in the movie suggested that, but because I knew Disney just wouldn't make a female character choose between two good guys. You can't marry a man you just met, but you still have to marry your one true love. I was hoping that Anna would actually have to make a choice and that there would indeed be a new and exciting departure from the classic Disney princess model. But apparently the only thing that has changed in princess relationships is a longer dating period.
3) "She's my sister. She'd never hurt me." I saw a meme of this going around facebook a while back with friends tagging their sisters as a sign of the sisterly bond. Did they see the movie? Elsa does in fact hurt Anna, which would be somewhat understandable if it were done on accident (the ice in the heart was an accident after all) but she sent a snow monster after her. And then later Elsa was so upset to find out that Anna was dead. Well, it very well could have been that snow monster! Anyway, this movie is touted as so new and unique because it's sisterly love and not true love's kiss that saved Anna, but that ending was pretty obvious from early on in the movie though, wasn't it?
4) The bipolar snow queen was too much for me. One minute, Elsa is running away from her kingdom in tears because she revealed her powers, scared her subjects, and could have killed them. A moment later, she "let[s] it go" and changes herself from a modestly dressed princess to a sexy snow goddess complete with a slit up the leg. She spends her childhood hiding from her kingdom and the sister she loves in order to protect them, then quickly changes into an angry, bitter witch. Then at the end the movie, she is back in her kingdom frolicking with others - even though she was just enjoying herself living free in isolation. The mood swings are a bit too drastic. Even if I don't care that Disney movies are realistic, the emotions of the characters should still make sense for the fantastic situations they are in.
5) The trolls seemed unnecessary. The role of comic relief was already taken by Olaf. And Kristoff. And Sven. And they seemed to undermine the whole "You Can't Marry a Man You Just Met" moral as "love experts" who wanted Kristoff and Anna to marry right away. I did agree with their advice that you can't change a person and that no one is perfect, but that was just another romantic love lesson that was being shoved into this movie that was primarily about sororal love.
6) We rented Turbo last week and it got more play in our house than Frozen. Lucia just didn't like it. She didn't ask to rewatch it once, whereas we kept Turbo for days because she was thrilled to watch it over and over. They are different types of movies, but Lucia enjoys the traditional Disney princess movies - one of her current favorites is Sleeping Beauty - and some more story driven cartoon movies like The Prince of Egypt. Frozen just did not keep her interest.
That said, I appreciate that Disney has seemed to revive an interest in making music-filled movies based on classic fairy tales. I just think they would do a bit better if they kept closer to the original story lines like they did in the past. I couldn't see any resemblance of Frozen to it's supposed influence, Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen". Other than the snow, of course.