- Right away, from the very beginning, the music reels me in... while I'm not a big on medieval/traditional/folk music, there's a lot of exciting atmospherics to be found there and to my absolute joy, Christophe Beck seemed to have picked up all the right elements into his film score of Frozen; I believe I need to credit traditional Sámi music for most of the cooler (no pun intended) sounds I heard
- Roughly 10+ minutes into the movie and I found myself chuckling "about time". After all, it's a Disney movie about princesses, and you can't get a story going on without at least one parent biting the dust (or, in this case, getting flushed away)
- The coronation scene in the stave church... once again, absolutely fantastic in all ways; the visuals, the choir music, the sound design, the tension with Elsa... I felt like I was right in there
- When Elsa revealed her ice powers to the shocked villagers and the Duke called her doings 'sorcery', I MST'd that we finally got to see the very first member of the X-Men
- I never thought I'd see a scene in a Disney movie where a character gets impaled and reacts to it with an amused chuckle – more this, please
- While I loved the instrumental score and the Sámi-styled song that opens the film, I generally felt most of the songs (especially ones sung by Anna) were lacking in writing... we don't need characters to sing about what they're literally doing at the moment, we can see it; this seems to be a common problem with a lot of musical numbers in cartoons these days, resulting in lyrics that are way too married with on-going visuals and may even feature the dreaded shoehorning
- Kristoff reminded me a lot of Han Solo, only a lot nicer and a tad less intelligent; of course, that would make Sven his Chewbacca (hell, I think I even heard some wookiee-like sounds from him)
- The true villain of the film... came as a complete surprise to me; I also expected a traditional ending of at least one of the princesses getting married to a guy, as well as the magical Deus Ex Machina kiss and the movie just kept pulling the rug from under my feet, but in a very pleasant way
- The copious amounts of Anna/Elsa slash out there... I... I finally understand
- I went into this thinking Olaf the Snowman was going to be another B.E.N. – I was dead wrong, and he ended up being one of the most genuinely enjoyable characters in the entire movie, as well as having the second best song in the film
- Elsa is best girl
is one of those movies that I will always remember as going almost completely against my expectations and emerging victorious. Right from the beginning, when I first started seeing the adverts for it, and then the poster
where all the main characters have been sunk deep into snow, with Olaf holding his detached head above them and Elsa making the dreaded Dreamworks face, I was ready to roll my eyes at this movie. I also have to confess now that I never saw Tangled
. Again, the advertising killed it for me, as I kept thinking that it was going to be Disney pulling off a hybrid of Shrek
and contemporary rom-coms, with a hefty dose of forced 'grrrl power' in the Rapunzel character. With Frozen
bearing somewhat similar-looking art design for the characters, as well as having a single-word title consisting of a verb in the past tense, I figured it must've been more of the same. At this point, I should mention that I believe that if something is very popular, it's not automatically a sign that it's good, but neither does it imply the opposite. I never felt indifferent towards Frozen
due to their popularity, but rather because of my preconceptions stemming from the promos and adverts I saw.
Remember that answer essay I wrote about bias and why it can serve you well? I did mention in it that while it has often saved me from wasting valuable time on mediocre-to-crap products, there are times when it doesn't work and it may actually prevent you from experiencing something you'd enjoy. As an addendum, let it be said that if you want to be absolutely certain, you should inquire about it from your friends, preferably from more than one (because there can be friends whose tastes greatly differ from yours and may have different conceptions of what constitutes as quality). In my case, these people would be
. Thanks to their reassurances, I felt I needed to check this one out. After this, I think that I just may have to do the same with Tangled
The only things that really bothered me in this movie were far and few. The biggest would probably be the way Anna (and occasionally Kristoff) speaks and what words she uses. While in no way a historically accurate movie (no evidence exists of there having been Norsemen and Sami people with magical ice powers), I would've preferred for them to steer clear from contemporary style vocalizations. Another thing that bugged me somewhat, at first, was how quickly and effortlessly Anna and Kristoff managed to get into Elsa's castle and how little time seemed to pass. I was fully expecting a timeskip, with Elsa staying away for months, maybe even years, creating a new kingdom for herself complete with all sorts of snow- and ice-based underlings that function with magic and getting more and more twisted by her self-imposed isolation (think Jack Torrance, but without a family and a cursed hotel full of ghosts). Little did I know that was not
where the movie was going... but I have to say, as cool (again, no pun intended) as that would've been, I'm very content with the direction they went. As for the reindeer character, Sven... he got a little irritating at times, mainly because I've had it with non-canine animals acting like dogs, as well as the "cutesy" slapstick he constantly did. It's been done to death.
Speaking of clichés, Olaf was probably the most pleasant surprise in the movie in that aspect. While his design practically screamed 'doofus slapstick character', the way they portrayed him was pure perfection. This, people, is how you make a sidekick that's goofy yet
loveable. I expected him to do some of the unfunny things Sven ended up doing and what I got instead was an exercise in patience and good writing, with Josh Gad's splendid voice acting as the cherry on top. I was prepared to see him act all intrusive and obnoxious, constantly yelling and screaming loudly, as that has unfortunately been the direction with animated sidekick characters; none of that happened as Olaf's demeanor was very balanced and devoid of constant extreme emotional outbursts. I was also fully expecting a bittersweet ending for him and while I would've stomached that, I was still happy that they didn't take that route. Olaf's song, as I mentioned earlier, was IMO the second best song in the movie. Just like the character himself, the song was funny in a naïve, sweet way.
I also had no idea of Hans' true motives. At first, I kept thinking that Elsa would probably become corrupt and turn into the movie's villain... after all, she was crowned as the queen and Disney's never really portrayed queens in a good light (infact, it's been such a powerful trope that while working on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
, Lauren Faust – following Hasbro's orders – had to change Celestia from queen to princess for this very reason). When it quickly became apparent that they'd probably not go there with Elsa, I started to suspect the Duke of Weselton. As for pairing Anna and Elsa with their future princes, I suspected Hans would end up with Anna while the ice-loving Kristoff would find his true love in Elsa (the movie seemed to be heavily signalling this when Anna and Kristoff approached the entrance to Elsa's castle). Around the time Hans was fighting his way to Elsa, I began to play with the idea of him suddenly finding Elsa attractive, whereas Anna and Kristoff might end up together: after all, the trolls (Kristoff's "love experts") certainly seemed to think they'd make a great couple. When Anna had to be rushed back to Arendelle for Hans' Magical Kiss, I knew by then that she'd probably end up with Kristoff and the kiss wouldn't work. When Hans suddenly pulled away and started doing the evil guy monologue, I was dumbfounded. After that, I figured I'd just go into Kill La Kill
mode and let the movie take me away with its flow and gave up trying to figure out what is going to happen next.
Being a winter person, the visuals in Frozen
were, to put it mildly, a treat. While the snow occasionally looked like moist salt, the effects were generally gorgeous. The way the movie was lit, the colour choices, the freezing effects... I couldn't get enough of them! Something has also changed in CGI lighting in general. Starting with Toy Story 3
and Monsters University
, both Pixar and Disney seem to be able to create more natural looking saturation when needed. In a way, they're now able to bring in more effective changes in the overall mood and tone of the film with a more broader usage (or purposeful lack thereof) of colours. The permafrozen Arendelle, for instance, had the kind of desolate, almost greyish saturation to it. While this is nothing new, I don't think CGI animation could portray it as effectively as it can now. I don't know for sure but I suspect there might've been advancements in lighting/saturation manipulation that allows CGI animators to render these things with more ease, avoiding situations where they may have to redo most of the lighting in order to make slight adjustments... or it could simply be that they hadn't thought about it as much before.
Now, about the characters. Anna and Kristoff were much more balanced than what I expected. I was happy to see that they both had their strengths and their weaknesses, and that Anna, while being feisty, wasn't suddenly the strong leader type who tells men what to do without even flinching. The scene where she orders Kristoff to help her... and then slips behind the door all nervous, uncertain if she had been able to convice him... that was brilliant. Hans was nicely written, playing along the old stereotype of a cardboard cut-out prince who's The One She's Been Looking For, acting with valor and determination to save both Anna and
Elsa, only dropping his guise at the moment he's certain he's won. And Elsa... wow. I was in love with Elsa right
from the start. A very discreet Sámi girl with ice powers? Count me the fuck in.
...and her song, 'Let It Go'. Holy shit
. While the song overall is musically nothing groundbreaking with its obvious late '80s/early '90s musical/pop roots (which I love, don't get me wrong) and a chorus with a chord progression we've heard countless of times before, it works. Goddamn, does it work. It works so well that, IMO, the sound of this song should by now be classified as 'timeless'. And the scene it goes with in the movie... I don't really know what to say. It's like the most beautiful, empowering music video I've ever seen. And yes, a bit sexual as well. I wouldn't have minded if she kept taking off even more clothes but since it's no longer the '80s and she's not Miss Kitty in The Great Mouse Detective
, she settled for using
ice powers to modify her original dress on-the-fly. I don't think I've ever seen an animated movie with a scene where a character goes on a self-imposed exile and finds it liberating
instead of wallowing in self-pity.
Finally, I'd like to touch a bit on the whole Anna/Elsa pairing. At first, I kept thinking that it was the usual internet shit. You know, fan artists and authors place two good-looking sisters together for some forbidden action because it makes everyone happy. To be honest, I had no idea there were actual possibilities for reading incestuous lesbian subtext from the film. I'm not saying there was
such thing, on purpose, but it's very obvious how easily it can be interpreted that way. The ending, with Elsa and Anna's (sisterly) love being the
true love that ends up saving the day... wow
. There's no
way you can avoid seeing that more than the one, innocent way if you're a horny scumbag like me.9/10 would purchase on Blu-Ray
– An intelligent post? In my IMDb forums?