Disney has shown again and again that they rise to the occasion with fairy tales. Their fantasies featuring sparkling animation and lively characters always bring out the bliss in audiences and the bacon at the box office.
Frozen is no different. It’s charmed movie goers far and wide with its strong female personalities and fetching tunes. Frozen also serves as being one of the only current family films that has stabilized sturdy legs with its theatrical run. Overwhelmingly positive word-of-mouth has helped this happen.
I consider myself an embracer of nearly everything Disney. If the film has been made with endearing prospects and an affable heart, it’s hard not to welcome in the latest Disney flick.
However, I left Frozen feeling disenchanted. My thoughts were unappeased not because I set high standards. My expectations were actually hovering at a reasonable level. I was bummed out because Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee’s generic flick hadn’t stood out in any way that made this different from anything else Disney has produced.
On a technical standpoint, Frozen is doing everything correctly. The visuals have been beautifully constructed by a team of adept artists who know exactly how to make a film attractive. The 3D that’s been incorporated with the ripe presentation doesn’t uncomfortably push itself at the audience, but rather compliments the chilly scenery.
The film’s vocal cast fits each role too. Kristen Bell is barely recognizable as Anna, a quirky do-gooder who is accepting of everyone. She successfully portrays her undying willingness to invite her sheltered sister Elsa into her life – either through the spoken word or through emotional songs that are only somewhat catchy.
Elsa is voiced by Idina Menzel, who you may have seen on TV’s Glee or on stage performing in the crowd pleasing smash Wicked. Menzel – and Bell – have sensational voices and can carry melodic notes that will have you swooning.
But, it’s Josh Gad who steals the show as a goofy snowman named Olaf. Gad – who is quickly showing the world how talented he is – is a riot as a clueless nutbar who is oblivious that his dream of living in the Summer could waste him away. Gad’s great voice and comedic stylings are featured prominently during the musical number ‘In Summer’.
Even though Buck and Lee are doing everything seemingly right to give audiences a cute family-friendly feature, Frozen regularly feels recycled.
If one was to look at the character design alone as well as how Anna has been fleshed out, it’s easy to notice copies to Disney’s 2010 hit Tangled. Because there are so many exact lifts from this previous, much better movie, Frozen can never come across as anything but auto piloted entertainment with a “been there, done that” stance.
Frozen hardly had me invested or feeling any enthusiasm. I sat in my seat waiting patiently to see – or hear – something new and instead, my persistence wavered after each replicative beat laboriously played itself out.
The film does offer another viewpoint of a rising villainous that is kind of enticing and the love substitutions Frozen provides could’ve been stronger in a less conventional film.
Buck and Lee’s film, however, only makes us vie to watch other family films that not only offered substantial material, but made matters an original joy. Tangled, although based loosely on the fairy tale Rapunzel, is spunky, hilarious, and offers a more meaningful female role model. Frozen is a shallower variation of all that.
I only lay into Disney when I know they’re capable of so much more, which is why readers should consider this review a marginal disapproval. There’s plenty of skill shown throughout Frozen, but it isn’t being put to good use. It doesn’t bother to take this story of two princesses into new territory. Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee think they have all the freshness Frozen needs and, apparently, seem to be building the groundwork for when this widely accepted film will evidently hit Broadway. Contrary to what they believe, this approach flopped and left this usually eager movie goer feeling cold.