Frozen

Now, I don’t like to think of myself as very conceited. So I can’t really say that these reviews are very important to anyone but me – heck, I consider two dozen views a pretty big amount any time I post one of these things. But reviewing Frozen a year later? I would be the first to admit that it’s now pointless.

Frozen is what I like to call a Classic Of Our Times. As I was watching it in the theater, my negative Nancy tendencies pointed me to all sorts of story problems, inconsistent characters, unfortunate implications, and bad musical decisions…but all that time, I was also sitting there thinking what an amazing movie it was. That’s how you can tell: Flawed movies can be classics of our times (Inception and Fight Club spring to mind) if those flaws don’t detract from your enjoyment of it because of how well done everything else is.

So goes Frozen, an unlikely candidate for the first COOT since – depending on who you ask – BioShock Infinite or The Avengers (but how likely was that?): A Disney Princess movie starring two princesses (remember to get both toys, girls!) and an adorable non-human sidekick who was the focus of most of the advertising, because…those Ice Age movies, maybe?

Despite all this, it was a touching story combining coming-of-age drama with the mix of admiration, jealousy, condescension and affection felt between older and younger siblings – which, being a withdrawn older brother, I can definitely relate to. It even achieved the unexpected milestone of having a big game-changing plot twist in a Disney Princess movie (not a late reveal, but an honest-to-god reversal of what we thought was true – I’ll admit I was played).

The only recourse seems to be to point out the few points I haven’t seen any of the reviews catch. Everyone already knows how “Do you want to build a snowman?” is a better song than “Let It Go”, that getting ice powers is a particularly uncomfortable puberty metaphor, and that Anna and Elsa are among the few actual empowered heroines out there. This is some weirder stuff…

– Did anyone else notice that the whole sequence with the ice palace is exactly like that bit in Watchmen where Dr. Manhattan builds his clockwork machine? The setup of a powerful being showing how they’re unfettered and unconcerned with the mass opinion by fleeing to a remote land with a heavily blue-on-warm-color color temperature, and using their powers in a grand display to create a gigantic abode? And then their significant other comes in and starts breaking it, which leads them to rediscover their connection?

– While we’re on the subject of that part, I’m surprised no one else has seen that “Let it go”, Oscar-winning tune or not, makes no sense in the context of the narrative it’s supposedly part of. Elsa’s supposed to have embraced the idea of letting it go and not caring about people’s opinions of her, but what’s the very next thing she does when she sees a person? She’s embarrassed, conflicted, and ashamed, and ends up driving them all off with a snow goon. I guess it’s much easier to “not care what they have to say” in your “kingdom of isolation”, princess.

– What’s the point of Alan Tudyk’s shortsman, in the movie? We already have Olaf the snowman for bumbling short guy humor. We have all the other people at Elsa’s coronation for political intrigue. We already have a perfectly serviceable villain – even two, if you count Elsa as she’s seen by the populace, who has a lair and goons. Is it to introduce to children the idea of spotting the same actor in two different-looking roles, since he was the actual bad guy in Wreck-It Ralph?

(Oh yeah, by the way, Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph were good kids’ movies, but this is a good movie, period.)

– Why did the songs just stop? After Olaf sings his song about summer (which is way too close to “Marian, Mme. Librarian” for my liking, since I loved that and don’t like Olaf at all), it seems to be so bad that there aren’t any other songs in the whole movie – even that little reprise of “For the first time in forever” is instrumental. I know the same problem happened with The Wizard of Oz, (one of the earliest COOTs to still be popular today) but wasn’t that snowbound harbor at the finale a perfect moment to have multiple people singing the same melody?

– What was the point of the part at the beginning, with the Ice Road Truckers? The opening song was good, and we get to see Kristov when he’s little, but why does he wander off? Why can’t he just stay with his family of Ice Road Truckers – it wouldn’t have a meaningful effect on his character.

– As much as I enjoyed the constant subversion of love at first sight between Anna and Hans, how come it gets completely played straight at the end when Anna and Kristov end up together? This is just the clumsiest thing!

– Since the last point showed that Disney is willing to subvert their classic platitudes and refrains, when are we gonna see that animated movie of Mort they’ve had the rights to for decades? Get the lead out, folks! Pterry won’t be aten’t dead forever, and there really won’t be any substitute for Christopher Lee as Death! Chop, chop!

– Who would win in a fight between Kristen Bell, Kristen Schaal and Kristen Wiig?

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, folks.

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