Tangled took everyone by surprise when it was released in 2010. Disney’s attempts at computer generated animated films had been decidedly lack luster up until Tangled’s release. Tangled was well received by critics and fans, although it wasn’t quite up to the high standard set by the likes of Aladdin and The Lion King. Disney took a break from fairy tales in 2012’s Wreck-it Ralph, but returned to their usual story telling with 2013’s Frozen. Frozen is a really enjoyable film, but it doesn’t quite reach the lofty heights of Disney’s most successful films, nor does it surpass Tangled.
Frozen is the story of two princesses, Anna and Elsa, growing up in the kingdom of Arendelle. Elsa, the older of the two, has the ability to create ice and snow, but one day accidentally hurts her sister with her magic. Anna is taken by her parents, the King and Queen, to the mystical troll people. Anna is saved by the troll people’s magic, but the Troll King warns the King that Elsa’s magic may hurt those around her. The King makes Elsa hide her magic from the world. The trolls also use their magic to alter Anna’s memories so that she will never remember her sister’s powers and accidentally reveal them to the world.
Many years later, after the passing of the King and Queen in a horrible accident, Elsa’s coming of age ceremony is set to take place, which will see her finally become Queen. Unfortunately she’s unable to control her powers due to the stress of the event and she accidentally unleashes a devastating winter upon Arrendelle. She flees into the mountains in order to protect her people from her growing power, and to protect herself from the people who now see her as a monster. However Anna is unable to give up on her sister and follows her in the hope that she can convince her to return to Arendelle and figure out a way to break the spell.
- The animation is really top notch (the water and ice in this film is beautiful)
- Cute “twist” at the end
- Eccentric and appealing characters
- More than a few laughs
- A couple of really great songs…
- … but still not as much memorable music as the Disney classics…
- The story is cool (dun dun tssh) but also plays it too safe (it had really great potential to do something different while still maintaining the twist, but maybe the original writers missed it)
- It sometimes feels like the story should have focused more on Elsa than Anna
- Sometimes feels a bit too much like Tangled…
- One character’s actions in the first half of the film seem at odds with his motivations which are revealed in the second half of the film
I really enjoyed Frozen, but at the same time I couldn’t help but feel a little bit disappointed at the end. I was hoping Frozen would manage to surpass Tangled and return Disney to their glory days, but unfortunately it doesn’t. On the bright side, at very least this makes Frozen a good, if not great, movie.
As a small side note there is a great Mickey Mouse short that plays before Frozen. The slapstick is a bit over the top and reminded me just how violent old cartoons used to be, but it’s still a great technical piece and should be seen by every animation fan. It also does some really awesome things with depth which is great considering how few 3D movies actually make use of this.
If you want a small taste of the film, check out my favourite song from the film (obviously minor spoiler in the video below):