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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Frozen - The Reasons it Sucked

Frozen took over Facebook cover pictures the past months. People are make memes. I see "wise" quotes in my feeds. They played that silly song "Let it go" on the Oscars. And all I am asking is, what's the big deal? Where did all the attention come from?

I love Disney films. We all grew up with them and learnt much from the stories. Even though, most of the animations are generally for little girls, dreaming to find their prince charming, I really loved some of them. I know many of you connect these cartoons with princesses, castles, chivalrous men and horses acting like dogs, but you mustn't forget there are 53 Walt Disney Animated Classics in total.

Frozen Wallpaper

The studio has made a great job with most of these classics, because the original stories could be quite gruesome. This is the reason they are so popular. Happily ever after, is what you expect from a Disney Animation, and they always give it (except in Pocahontas probably). Children can take the best out of the tale, they can learn some good manners, can learn about good winning over bad in the long run, how love is what matters.


What's the basic plot in every animation? Basically:
  • Beautiful girl/princes, who is always smarter than the others, charming and has great sense of humour, has a tragic experience/life. Oh, and she can communicate with animals.
  • Singing
  • She falls in love with the first prince/guy she sees
  • Singing
  • There should be a goofy sidekick who never stops talking, but is lovable either way.
  • Singing
  • There is a obstacle between the two lovers
  • Singing
  • Love always wins
  • Singing
  • Happily ever after
  • Credit Singing
And we mustn't forget, every animal in fairy tales understands the human language and they act like dogs, because it is funny for some reason.

SPOILERS 


River Song from Doctor Who is saying Spoilers
Shhhh.. Spoilers!
Do we have these points in Frozen? Yup. Elsa almost kills Anna with her mutant powers. Their parents die. Anna falls in love with  literally the first prince she sees. The obstacle - Elsa can't control her powers and she freezes the whole kingdom. Also there is another dude (Kristoff), who has a reindeer for a best friend, which acts like a dog. There is a goofy sidekick (Olaf). Anna almost dies, there is a traitor on the team and there is a battle between good and evil. Love wins at the end. Everyone lives happily ever after.

So it covers everything! Wow! So, why isn't Frozen a great film? Why don't I like it? 

Critics are quite positive about the movie. The audience loves it. IMBD give it 8,1 and Rotten Tomatoes is giving it 89%. People are comparing it to Beauty and the Beast, to The Little Mermaid and other Disney masterpieces. But was it really that good?

In my opinion, no.

Frozen first poster

First reason - it wasn't original.  Showing the same story, but with different characters, doesn't make a great film. So you know what will happen even before you start watching the film. When you saw the first poster you said to yourself "I bet the girl on the right falls in love with the prince at first sight. And that reindeer is like a dog".

The part with Hans being a selfish prick, playing his own games, wasn't that obvious at first. But after 20 minutes of watching, even your four-year-old cousin knew what will happen.

It is based very, very loosely on The Snow Queen, but so loosely, you can hardly tell.

Another reason - There was no depth. Anna and Elsa had a huge accident which almost killed one of the sisters. This changed their lives for ever. They didn't see each-other for years. But it didn't feel so tragic. It was just a song away and BAM! They were together again... sort of.

Their parents died. Did you even notice that? I mean you mother and father die out there in the sea and it's like nothing happened. It felt like their distant cousin from another city had his appendix removed. I couldn't feel the tragedy. And they barely mention it after that.

Professor Charles Xavier from the X-men
Professor Charles Xavier

Three years pass, it's time for Elsa to become the queen. She didn't learn sh*t for that period isolated in her room. She still can't control her powers. Probably if there was a Charles Xavier  things would be different. So Anna goes out, bumps in to a guy and falls in love with him. REALLY?!

I have a feeling they smashed some random ideas together and made one whole. Did you see Hans being there when the elder Troll saves Elsa? How can't he remember this? It's like it never happened.

And that "Love" part at the end. She just figured out love will make everything warm again. But how did this happen? She wasn't a poor miserable child, with no love. Her parents loved her, her sister loved her. She used to be a happy girl. How did she figure out her powers can work the other way around? It really came out of nowhere, just so they can end the film.

Nobody explains her powers, either. Was she the first mutant? Did she have X-genes? Or was it a curse?

The rest of the film was pretty straight forward. Some walking, battles, trolls and betrayals. But when Elsa became an ice block and Hans hits her with the sword, I really expected for her to break in to pieces. With all the realistic snow and dynamics around, that was the only logical thing to happen. But I guess frozen water is far more durable than steel. It would be a sad ending, but it would make the film something worth watching.

a picture of Bambi's mother
Bambi's Mother
Disney's policy for killing people is complicated. They only kill parents (I always cry when they kill Bambi's mother). Main characters can get wounded, but always survive.  

Maybe I'm being too harsh. It's a family film after all. I can't expect to have the twists every Nolan film has. Of course the end will be predictable, but can't they make it less obvious at least? Or maybe there is just something wrong with me. According to this list of Walt Disney Animations Bolt is 49, Dinosaur is 46 and Tangled is on 39. I love those movies, but apparently they weren't that good according to others.

The animation was brilliant, though. The snow was looking incredibly realistic, the breath-taking scenery. It really is something new and they put great work in it.

The only reason I would let my daughter (if I have one some day) watch the film is to teach her, that she mustn't marry the first guy she meets. Because that's what other fairy tales would teach her. Beauty and the beasts will teach her to marry the person who kidnaps her. The Little Mermaid will teach her to sacrifice everything for the man you love. Snow White tells girls it is okay to sleep in a strange house and to live with seven strange men (that came out wrong). So there could be a good moral story in Frozen, after all. 

I am not saying it's a bad film, just that it doesn't deserve the attention it's receiving. People are going crazy, they worship it and I am pretty sure soon there will be a new religion in the US, based on the animation.

Oh, and this:

the characters in Frozen have no ear holes
I can't hear you
For such an expensive production, why didn't they have ear holes? It's just so weird to miss such a small detail. Not that Disney pay extra attention to the ears in other movies, but this is kind of important. And it's funny... that's why I added it. Not because I'm a douchebag who simply looks in to every detail to hate the film.

How it Should Have Ended