I went in to see this movie with high hopes, but low expectations. I mean, I was first introduced to this movie by this piece of shit of a trailer.
Ok, so that’s all well and good for small kids, but I was expecting the whole movie to be about the stupid snowman. I thought ‘no way am I seeing that’. Then I started to hear about it. Everyone was saying how good it was. High Metacritic score, high IMDB score. Then my friends started singing the song Disney released. It was built up so much that I thought it might be something worth giving a shot. And I was glad I did.
The movie plot (get ready) focuses around two princesses: sisters Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel). Elsa was born with magic powers that make ice form but after accidentally hurting her sister, they got magical rock-trolls to wipe her memories and heal her. From then on, their parents split up the sisters. As in most Disney movies years later the parents die, and Elsa as the eldest is now queen. But in the ceremony, Elsa’s powers are shown to the public when she argues with her sister, as her sister falls instantly in love and wishes to marry Prince Hans (Santino Fontana). Following so far? … Good cause there’s more. So, the public chase away Elsa and she makes a castle on a mountain and lets her magic free: which has negative effects on the local town. So, Anna goes after her sister to try and get her to stop this never ending winter and is helped by Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his trusty reindeer. Oh and there’s a snowman in there somewhere.
First off, wow what a backstory. Second, this is mostly told in song. That set-up covers about a third of the movie and it’s almost completely made up of songs. A song about the scenary, a song about them playing, a song about them not playing now they’re split up, a song about Anna’s excitement about the coronation ball, a song about the coronation, a song about falling in love, a song about how reindeer are better than people and the pre-released song about Elsa going to live on her own. Oh and… a song by the snowman. So many songs SO LITTLE TIME. Saying, that they’re quite nice. Except the snowman’s. The main one (the pre-released one) was the most… song-like, whereas the others are mostly film-dependant plot songs, but they’re all quite pleasant to listen to. They’re sung extremely well and they help capture what each character is about. You’ve got the happy-go-lucky excited classical princess Anna with her songs reflecting that, and Elsa’s songs a little more moody and worry-some until she can finally let her powers free.
And then… the snowman gets a song. Ok, I’ll come clean. I’m not all that keen on the snowman. Actually, for a comedy relief character he isn’t all that bad. As much as I can complain about him (and that’s a lot) he isn’t as bad as he could have been. And at least the damned movie isn’t about him. But for me, the only thing that makes his song bearable is the fact he’s so stupid. Which… I guess is the joke. See, the snowman really wants for it to be summer, so he can lie in the grass and get a tan. He’s also pretty naïve in everything he says. This makes him bearable. The film could have gotten along just dandy without him, but… ah well. I can live with the ugly idiot.
Anyway, I digress. I like how this movie both captures and goes against the typical princess thing. Anna wants to instantly get married to Prince Hans, yet the characters around her (Kristoff and Elsa) note how stupid this is. There is also quite a bizarre song, sung by the rock trolls, trying to teach kids that you can’t go looking for a prince, so just ‘fix up’ an average guy. I guess this is a nice change. It’s at least funny to me to see the changes in Disney’s morals. In fact, this happened in Princess and the Frog, too. Instead of teaching Disney’s ‘wish upon a star and your dreams will come to you’, it taught us to work hard for what we want. But whether for me to chuckle at, or whether it’s actually trying to change kid’s attitudes: it made for a fun scene.
And really, that’s what this film is: fun. It doesn’t have too many scenes centralised on the comedy characters, like Tangled does a little, yet it includes just the right amount for kids. It has a wonderful web of developed characters that have great links. The songs are… numerous, but good. And it has an interesting ending that leaves you satisfied. I hope Disney keep bringing out the, what I like to call, “New-age princesses” and keep challenging the stereotypes. I hope they keep upping their game with movies like this. Just stop it with the comedy trailers…. I know you’re for kids but kids don’t need this. Kids can sit through a film and care about the characters if they’re strong enough without the need for some funny looking thing on screen. Make it kick ass, action with strong character links and you’re set to go. But this film is definitely a step in the right direction.