Saturday, April 19, 2014

15 Thoughts and Reactions to Frozen

Until last weekend, I had not seen Frozen.

*waits for collective gasps, tomato-throwing, and general rage to die down*

Much of my relationship with popular media is a constant battle between "I don't trust the opinion of the masses" and "I just want to satisfy my curiosity and see what everyone is talking about".  I had barely heard of Frozen until right before it came out, and since then, I've been hearing about it everywhere.  I had little desire to actually see it until I kept hearing people raving and raving about how amazing it is.  Ultimately, it was more a matter of curiosity than anything else.  (Besides, I still haven't seen Brave.  I know.  Don't judge me.)
  1. It's so pretty.  The animation is lovely.  The landscapes are gorgeous, the clothing is colorful, and the magic powers are awesome.  The movie certainly has its flaws, but the visuals are not among them.  It's full of purples and blues and whites that make the whole thing seem more magical than it already is.  (But why are Elsa's eyes so big?  I understand why Disney gives their protagonists disproportionately large eyes, but it's getting a bit extreme.) 
  2. It's so sparkly!  Speaking of magic, this movie just...sparkles.  I didn't think a movie could sparkly, but apparently, it's possible.  It's not quite at an Anastasia level of glitter, but it's getting close.  
  3. But so overhyped.  I enjoyed it, but it's not as good as people say it is.  I have only seen two movies of the five that were up for the Oscar this year for best animation, but between this and Despicable Me 2, I would have given the Oscar to the latter.  As Disney movies go, there are plenty that I like more than this.  
  4. Speaking of Oscars...'Let It Go' is also overhyped.  Let's do a Disney lyric comparison:
    "Gotta keep one jump ahead of the breadline
    One swing ahead of the sword
    I steal only what I can't afford (That's everything!)
    One jump ahead of the lawmen
    That's all, and that's no joke
    These guys don't appreciate I'm broke"
    -'One Jump Ahead', Aladdin

    I understand that I'm comparing two dissimilar things, but my point still stands.  Disney songs like 'One Jump Ahead', 'Reflection', 'Colors of the Wind', etc., are either clever, meaningful, unique, or a  combination of all three.  But 'Let It Go' doesn't meet this standard.  Here's the refrain:

    "Let it go, let it go
    Can’t hold it back anymore
    Let it go, let it go
    Turn away and slam the door
    I don’t care
    What they’re going to say
    Let the storm rage on,
    The cold never bothered me anyway"
    -'Let It Go', Frozen

    The lyrics are what I like to call "sloshy"--lyrics that sound a bit generic, and lack substance.  It's not bad, but I don't see what the big deal is all about.  Is this really Oscar-worthy?  I think not.  (Also, doesn't it sound familiar?  Right--that's because it is.  Disney and Demi Lovato have done this before.)
  5. Elsa's sudden attitude change that precedes this song in the first place is not prompted by...anything.  One minute, she wants to hide her powers and keep it contained.  The next, she's singing 'Let It Go' at the top of her lungs.  There was no visible cause of the attitude change, which made it not make sense.  I'm sure something was happening internally, and some thought caused her to realize this, but in that case, you have to show the audience.   
  6. This is not possible: 
    Alright, now I'm nitpicking, but I'm just going to go ahead with it because that's what I do around here.  Elsa's coronation hair involved no braids.  (For reference, here's what it looks like.)  And now she's suddenly pulling it down into a french braid?  That doesn't happen.  I'm just very interested in your hair and the magical qualities it possesses. 
  7. Another problem with a movie this popular is that spoilers are everywhere.  (Including this paragraph.)  I already knew the major plot twist (that Hans is bad news) before I saw it.  Instead of looking at Hans and Anna and thinking, "That's so cute!", I was sitting there waiting for the revelation to happen.  Then again, I spent the whole time looking for foreshadowing of his betrayal, so I don't feel deprived.  By the way, that's how writers watch movies.  We pick out the foreshadowing and other storytelling tricks.
  8. Pacing: LOL, what's that?  The day after watching this movie, I quickly jotted down some notes in this post so that I could later expand on them.  Most of my notes have become the bolded headings, but with less caps lock, and written so that they make sense to someone other than me.  This one, though, I kept how it is, because that's word-for-word what I was thinking during the beginning of this movie.  For me, the beginning was hard to get into, mostly because of the pacing.  It starts out with a song about ice, and then snowman-making, and then BAM! major plot point and then BAM! suddenly they're orphans.  The parents' deaths felt so glazed-over.  Things started happening quickly, and for me, it didn't work.    
  9. Excuse me...nobody told me that Alan Tudyk is in this.  Well, briefly.  But he's still in it.  Okay, carry on.
  10. Is that Gondor in the background of 'Let It Go'?  I'm pretty sure that's Gondor. 
  11. Yay for movies about sibling relationships.  I feel that this is an underused topic, especially when so many movies (even Disney movies) put more of the focus on romantic relationships than family relationships.  [Insert Jaime/Cersei Lannister joke here]  While Frozen certainly has its share of romance, in the end, it's about Anna and Elsa's relationship.  And I appreciate that.  I appreciate a movie like this that spends time establishing and developing this relationship.  I like how it lies at the very heart of the movie.  
  12. For some reason, all I could think of when this happened... 
    ...was this: "Some day, all this will be yours."  "What, the curtains?"
  13. I love Kristoff.  I love the initial apathy.  I love the reluctant way he befriends Anna.  He's the most down-to-earth person in the entire movie.  He was raised by trolls.  And besides, he has a lot of feelings about ice.  What's not to love?
    "I might cry."
  14. THE PHAAAAANTOM OF THE OPERA IS THERE...INSIIIIDE YOUR MIIIND.  Okay, I'm done.
  15. I saw it.  I liked it.  Can we all please stop talking about it?  Even though I'm nitpicking it, mostly because of the hype, I still enjoyed it.  It's cute, pretty, enjoyable, and has a good message.  But I don't think it's the most amazing thing to ever hit theaters, even though so many people are still raving about it, months after it came out.  Maybe I'm contradicting myself by writing about it, but...isn't it time to tone down the hype?  Just a little? 
What did you think of Frozen?  Am I the only one who likes it, but doesn't love it?  Or am I in the minority? 
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12 comments:

  1. My husband and I went to see it and it was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, but not lifechanging. It struck me as very Broadway, and I think people are connecting to it in the same way. Which is a very powerful thing.

    As for me, I have a lot of trouble connecting to Broadway works--like you, I have a standard that I feel song lyrics and story elements should rise up to, and I generally feel like Musical storylines are very scattered. If not downright contradictory at times.

    Dr. Horrible is more my speed, lol

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    1. I can't say much about Broadway musicals, since I haven't seen many (either live or filmed). Still, I agree that movie musicals and live-action, Broadway-type musicals have differences, and shouldn't be watched or made in the same way. It's a totally different medium, like how you don't paint on canvas the same way you paint a street mural.

      I haven't seen Dr. Horrible, but with Joss Whedon and Nathan Fillion, how can you go wrong?

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  2. Hey! :D

    I love Frozen but at the same time I do think that it's been a victim of its own hype. A lot of critics are saying that Frozen is Disney's best movie since The Lion King but I just can't agree. For example I don't love Frozen as much as Tangled. Tangled has better pacing than Frozen and its plot is tighter and more focused. Tangled has a better villain. And I happen to like Rapunzel and Eugene more than Anna and Kristoff.

    I still love Frozen though. I don't think it would make my Disney top 5 but maybe my top 10. I love its visuals and I really like the characters, especially Elsa. I love most of the songs (apart from that troll song!) And I looove Let it Go. I wouldn't say it's Disney's best lyrically but it still gives me goosebumps. Idina Menzel sings it with so much passion and feeling that I just can't help but be moved by it.

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    1. Oh, I changed my URL name BTW! I used to go by the blog name Indigo Montoya until I decided that I didn't like it any more. Now I call my blog Miss Daydreamer's Place.

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    2. People say it's their best movie since The Lion King? Have they forgotten Mulan? I agree that Tangled is better paced--it's so much less awkward and it's easier to get into. And I also love Eugene.

      URL change noted! (Though it seems that Blogger switched it automatically for me anyway.)

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  3. Apparently so. And it seems they've also forgotten The Hunchback of Notre Dame which is a terrible shame because, whether you love or hate that movie, it's probably the gutsiest that Disney have ever made.

    Blogger switched the URL change? Yay! I'd been thinking of changing my URL name for ages and just assumed that it wouldn't be a problem, that my followers would still get my posts. But my first post under my new URL didn't show up on my dashboard and then I started getting nervous.

    I noticed that you went on a cruise around the Caribbean which sounds amazing. Which islands did you visit? :D

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    1. I've never seen The Hunchback of Notre Dame, unless I saw it when I was really young and don't remember. What about it makes it gutsy?

      On the cruise, we started in Puerto Rico, and from there went to Antigua, St. Croix (Virgin Islands), and St. Lucia. There were two other islands we were supposed to visit, but the stops were cancelled due to issues with the ship.

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    2. Annie, a lot of Victor Hugo fans really dislike Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame because they removed and toned down all of the darkest elements of the story. I'm in the minority because I absolutely love it. It's beautiful and one of my favourite Disney films :) It's nowhere near as dark as the book but it's still really dark for a Disney film! It touches on some really adult themes like genocide and religious hypocrisy. That's why it's such a brave and gutsy film for Disney to make.

      I've just googled all of your destinations :D Your trip sounds fabulous although it's a shame that you didn't get to see everything.

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  4. Okay, random comments :D :
    1. Yes, it is VERY pretty. *-* Though I think that may be the reason for most of the hype, rather than the plot, which is unfortunate. Still, love the ICE. I'm not entirely sure it's the BEST Disney movie ever, but it's probably the sparkliest... And Elsa's eyes? Yup, my dad makes jokes about that, but they portray her emotions so well, it's incredible.
    4. Yeeeaaah, okay. A lot of people have complained about how sort of dumbed-down the script in general was. I'm not sure how I feel about that. The song in particular, though: I think the sort of general lyrics help more people to connect with it? Possibly? Plus they do just sorta sound cool, even if their meaning isn't the most intricate thing ever. (Annnnd I used the word "cool" already. Just don't even pay attention to that. Totally not a pun anywhere.)
    5. Meh. Seeing as she was sort of singing her mind, it made it easier to follow her thought process. It could definitely have been a little more gradual, though.
    6. I'm not quite as skeptical of the fact that it became a braid as how FAST she did it. It was like she pulled out one pin and the whole thing fell into place. Ha. Ha. Sure. (The Rapunzel reference made me laugh because I literally JUST watched that movie. XD)
    8. OH yes, the pacing. Okay, the plot timing wasn't so bad, but... The time between the first two songs was just about zero. The time between the second and third was not much at all. (So it seemed anyway: Elsa hits Anna, Elsa learns to hide her powers, they grow up, parents die, Anna wakes up on coronation day. That went by fast.) The timing between the third and fourth was ehhh, a little longer. Then Let it Go came nearly right after that. And then... nothing. Anna's climb up the mountain took forever, and there was only one song in that entire period! It just seemed incredibly sparse after that, compared to the beginning. Also, the finale (from the time Elsa wakes up in the cell to the end of the winter) did seem to take an incredibly long time.
    11. Oh yeah, you haven't seen Brave. Brave IS that. And not much else except some cool arrow-slinging and waterfall-climbing (again, neat graphics).
    12. Teheheh Monty Python.
    13. Yeah, he's cool. Even if he does smell like a reindeer.
    14. LOL. But hey, did you notice? She slipped on ice. Again. How does she keep slipping on ice!? She's totally immune to cold, but can't run on ice faster than a normal person? And yet she doesn't trip walking in high heels made out of ice on a floor made out of ice. Until it's helpful to the plot for her to do so. >_>
    15. The hype makes me like it less. That makes me sad. ;-;

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    1. for me the pace was the only flaw, if it could had an extra hour or so then the picture of the story would've probably be more completed. and the thing about hans, i just knew he wasn't a good thing on the first scene (base on the logic "nothing will ever goes that smoothly").

      but i still find myself deeply addicted to this movie, Elsa, and Let it go. All the graphics and Idina's voice were simply EPIC(despite many stated that she sound like a 50+ cigar smoker). cant wait to see Frozen Fever and the sequel.

      PS: my sister said that one of her classmate was able to do that "hairstyle transforming trick", so maybe it wasn't another piece of Elsa's "out fit transforming magic".

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