Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I Have Some Thoughts About Frozen

Well, I finally saw Frozen


After . . . 

"Frozen is the most Christian movie Disney has ever made! Anna IS Jesus. Get it?"


No, wait.


"Frozen is the most pro-gay movie Disney has ever made! Elsa is singing about coming out! And the shopkeeper has a whole gay family in his sauna!"


I had to see for myself. Annnnnnd . . . 


It's neither.


It's not obviously promoting a gay lifestyle, nor is it a Christian allegory. It's just not a particularly good movie.


Mostly, it's just not very well written. Flipping a charming, caring character from good to evil like the flip of a switch with zero foreshadowing or motivation isn't "a twist" it's "bad writing." 




And Elsa's big musical number is VERY Jessica Simpson-esque somehow. It weirded me out.



I've heard people praising it for championing sisterly love over romantic love. Sure, I guess it does that. But it does it within the context of a movie that doesn't live up to its potential. (And has exactly nothing to do with The Snow Queen, by the way. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Not even reminiscent of Hans Christian Andersen's story, which DOES have Christian themes.)

Frozen bugged me because it didn't know what kind of movie it was. It felt like it was written as a screenwriting class group project, and they just shuffled everyone's pages together and shot the thing. The subject matter is very somber, but then, every so often, someone bursts into a very peppy musical number.

It feels very derivative of Tangled, which I really enjoyed. Right down to the dog-horse. Only this time it's a dog-reindeer. 



That said, it's a very pretty movie, and the snowman is funny. His big musical number is brilliant. Of the seven instances that post claims makes Frozen so very progressive, I'd say they're all either quite a stretch, or not actually particularly progressive. I don't know if the filmmakers intended the shopkeeper to be gay, but he's a minor character and that sauna shot is literally a second. If they meant it to be a commentary they were huge wusses about it. 

Bottom line for me: confused, not well written, too much hip action and hair flipping in musical numbers, a flawed understanding of human nature, but not unacceptable for viewing.

And don't even get me started on the "You can't marry a man you just met" thing. Oops, too late, I wrote a whole post about it. 





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19 comments:

  1. Thank you! Everyone I've talked to said they loved Frozen and it was just so cute and I was starting to think there was something wrong with me for being all......eh. I totally agree that it just seemed like a sad version of Tangled and the musical numbers seemed forced or like the whole thing was written to be a high school musical :)

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  2. Haven't seen it yet, but in getting older, (49), I am wary that any movie after $7-$10 admission and $35 on popcorn is going to be worth my watching. I am with you in the marrying someone you just met river of thought.

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  3. Thank you for the review. I've read such polarizing reviews other places. We married young too and only after a couple of months! Best decision ever. Love the guest post too

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  4. Wow, that "7 progressive things" article really came off as grasping at straws. I haven't seen "Frozen" nor do I particularly care to (I still haven't even seen "Tangled" and only just saw "Princess and the Frog" thanks to your positive review of it.) But I do have a good friend for whom "Frozen" was sort of a life-changing experience and served as a nudge from God to allow himself to be more vulnerable and less alone and to come out of the emotional ice castle he's allowed himself to be stuck in. I guess it just goes to show that God can use anything, no matter how silly to glorify His name and help those He loves.

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  5. After learning more on the original "frozen" storyline they were planning on making what ended up in this movies definitely falls very flat. It's cute, it's nice not having a princess movie based on finding a guy in some way, we'll probably own it and the music grows on you - but it's not the best ever. I like the some of the messages they worked in, but it also seemed like they worked a lot of it in just to appease people.

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  6. I pretty much totally agree with you. People have been ranting both about all the "hidden messages" and how amazing the movie is. I enjoyed it a lot, the music is fantastic, and the moral is possibly one of my favorites, but the script was disappointing. There was next to no character development (what's with the troll people?), and the plot was weak.

    Still, I think I like it a little more than you do, just because I'm in love with "Let it Go" and feel I've been the sisterly-love-over-romantic-love champion practically forever xD

    ~Stephanie

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  7. I haven't seen "Frozen" (nor do I really plan to), but I love it when people go out of their way to find strange connections to social issues in children's movies. Also, I got married last year at age 24 and some people are already banking on our marriage to implode spectacularly. ...Thanks, "friends."

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  8. Thanks for your review. I'm excited to see the movie, probably without the kids though, in the comfort of my own home. I loved Elsa's "Let It Go" song (it's on youtube) but I agree that at the end she starts strutting around in a very Jessica Simpson-esque way, as you put it. Even so, Idina Menzel's singing will always give me chills.

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  9. I've only heard good things about Frozen, but not much about why. Thanks for sharing a little about what you heard before and your perspective after. I think I'll still check it out (eventually), but it will be interesting to see what I think after hearing a little more about it.

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  10. I'm glad that someone else in the world left the theatre not loving Frozen. My husband and I took our kids, and while the kids liked it, my husband and I thought it left a lot to be desired. Tangled is by far my favorite Disney movie, but in comparing the characters to Frozen, it just has more likeable characters. Paying to go see Frozen at the theatre is not something that I was too thrilled with after we left (especially knowing that Disney supports Planned Parenthood with some of that money! Why, oh why?) I agree with your stance on early marriage too. My husband and I were both 21, but we had already dated for six years. It was time for us!

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  11. I both agree and disagree. I think one thing that I did love about the movie was that I didn't leave the theater feeling like some agenda ("save the earth", "kids triumphing over parents", etc) being shoved down my throat as with previous movies.

    The songs did kinda come out of nowhere and were more "pop"ish than I think I normally like (especially the "dancing" in Let it Go, I agree with you there, that was weird)...but then I am comparing them to the songs of the Disney movies that came out when I was a kid.

    It definitely could have used more character development, I do agree with that. Loved the trolls, but more story there would have been great. Why did Kristoff live with them (orphan? lost? what?)? They were kinda random. I think that the foreshadowing and motivation for Prince Hans' switch was there, it was just subtle subtle. The shift in music when Princess Anna says he's in charge while she's gone. When he says he's the 12th son, my first thought was "He's looking for a kingdom to rule." Him being the antagonist didn't seem all too surprising to me. He was mostly the vehicle for the whole sisters theme to develop in my opinion.

    I think people have pounced on the "you can't marry a person you just met' more than Disney meant to have happen and it is being skewed into propaganda against getting married young and "fast" (which is all relative anyway). I saw that whole scene/phrase as Disney poking fun at themselves for having these 16 year old princesses marrying a guy they met that day/week in their previous movies, not as making a statement about acceptable marriage ages or time frames, but I could be wrong. In my family so far I have been the oldest to get married and I got married at 20. We marry young, and by the rest if the world's standards we marry fast. My sister met and married her husband within 5 months. I went from dating to engaged in 4 days, and got married 5 weeks later, but I knew Cameron a long time before that (we did the whole, "we're just friends, I can't date him/her" thing for a while before we wised up and realized marrying your best friend is awesome). At the same time though, I've had friends who meet and marry within 5 weeks. Some marriages are still going strong, others didn't even last a year. It boils down to the things you mentioned in your guest post, compatibility, commitment, and faith, not the time frame or the age.

    All in all, I did like the movie. It wasn't my all time favorite movie, but it didn't promote a skewed view of romance, didn't push politics down my throat, and didn't make me squirm in my seat waiting for an awkward scene to pass. It did made me smile, made me miss having my sisters live close, and made me go home and want to play the piano. So, it wasn't the most well written movie, didn't have the best character development, and wasn't exactly my favorite style of music, but I'd watch it again and enjoy it again.

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    Replies
    1. Woah, that was a lot longer than I meant it to be and longer than it looked in the comment box...sorry about that.

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    2. I agree with you. I think most of the agendas are imagined. And it's so pretty and sisters are great, they should HAVE a Disney movie about sisters. But for me, this just wasn't good enough. I wanted it to be better. It was like Tangled + Wicked + Frosty the Snowman, with just a dash of those little troll guys I had in high school. What WAS up with them?

      And you are always welcome to take up as much of the combox as you'd like. Always!

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  12. You should mean H. C. AndersEn not AndersOn :-) ;-)

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  13. You inspired me to slap down my thoughts on this as well:

    http://spinstrawintogold.blogspot.com/2014/02/missing-heart-of-fairy-tale.html

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  14. We all have a stomach bug here and watched it today. I thought it was terrible. No character development. No magic. Total disappointment. I also like when movies end with a wedding. Marriage is something to be promoted and celebrated!

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  15. Wow. So nice to have someone agree with me on a movie--that NEVER happens. Frozen: My daughter (15) fell in love with it. My son (19) plays the songs on the piano. Even worse, he plays, she sings (now--they are great musicians and it's lovely. The songs are dumb). My cousin (40) thinks it's the greatest movie ever and officially renounced her stance that "The Little Mermaid" rules forever (my other most hated Disney movie because rebellious girls win). And I read the reviews that said it had a gay agenda. So... I finally *tried* to watch it for myself. But it was just DUMB. Dumb dialogue. Dumb story. Dumb music and lyrics. The only good thing I got out of that is a 2yo who sings "Let It Go" at the top of his lungs while sitting on the potty. But I may have to move out of my house soon if the other 5 children don't quit singing/playing the songs on the Kindle/playing the songs on the piano. Good news is, I had just read on your blog that you had watched "The Princess and the Frog." So I tried that instead. ADORABLE. Great music. Great characters. Great message. I watched it again. "Emperor's New Groove" is by far my favorite Disney movie. And I did really enjoy "Saving Mr. Banks." I'm going to have to become a bit of a Disney fan since our family is most likely relocating to Florida this year! :-)

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  16. Funny, I have not seen Frozen, have not even heard much about it (agenda or anything else) except that it wasn't about romantic love, but I just KNEW it was going to be exactly as you describe. I think that perhaps that is the only way Disney (or any big time modern cartoon film makers) could possibly comprehend to go trying to break away from the tried and true mold of a real fairy tale. Sigh.

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