movies: frozen

I know there have been a few Disney movies in the last few years that have contained singing, but Frozen is the first one in a good long while that's structured like a musical... and to be honest I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Don't get me wrong, the movie is absolutely gorgeous to look at (and I would imagine doubly so in 3D) and the major relationship at the heart of the movie (quite literally) is between two sisters, which while it isn't a first for Disney (Lilo and Stitch takes that honour), it's a very different kind of relationship.

However the portions of the movie where the characters were half-singing what probably should have been straight dialogue (or else a full blown song) bugged me.

It's a pet hate of mine... if you're going to do a musical, do a musical properly. Have a song, start the song, move the character development or plot along as required with the song, stop singing the song, move on with actual dialogue... not this namby pamby speak-singing half a song thing that it seems like the majority of modern musicals go in for.

And venturing a little into spoiler territory, I also had a bit of an issue with the song the character of Elsa sings after she runs away from the castle and creates an ice palace in the wilderness... not the song itself, that was fine, but the fact that in the space of this one song she goes from a character who has lived her entire life being fearful of her powers, thinking there's something wrong with her because of them and repressing both her power and her emotions. And in the space of one walk up a mountain and one song she goes from that to revelling in her powers. It just didn't sit right with me.

Yes it's supposed to be a positive, uplifting song, but I just couldn't see someone that emotionally damaged essentially fixing herself in a couple of minutes.

I will say that overall the story held more than a few surprises... I don't know the original story, The Snow Queen, that the movie is (loosely, I'm guessing) based on, so I didn't really see any of the twists and turns coming... well other than the fact that the two leads were going to fall in love, that's pretty much a given.

And I can't help thinking the trolls were hideously underused... and only really in the movie because the original story had trolls... the same role could have easily have been filled by the old magical woman in the woods, but maybe they didn't want to do that after Brave (or to a lesser degree, Tangled).

Speaking of the leads, it was nice to hear one of my favourite actresses, Kristen Bell, as Princess Anna, but it was also nice that, to me at least, the rest of the cast were either mostly unrecognisable or else relatively unknown.

The visual style of the movie was incredibly beautiful, from the design of the town and the costumes, through to the ice and snow effects... once again, I can only imagine that they would be even more impressive in 3D.

It's also nice that Disney has finally had a female director (although technically Jennifer Lee does share a co-director credit with Chris Buck) and the first female screenwriter since Beauty and the Beast... especially on a story that is based around a female relationship.

yani's rating: 3 carrot noses out of 5

1 comment:

Michael said...

Jonathan Groff was also the first gay man to voice a lead (kristoff) in a Disney movie :-)


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