Friday, February 28, 2014

Frozen [2013]

So, my sister and I went to see Frozen, just us two! It was fun, the theater was almost empty because the showing was on a Thursday afternoon at 4 pm. We almost were the only ones in the auditorium, but some other people came in before the movie started. XD Anyway, both of us wanted to review it, so we decided to bunch it up on one post. My sister shall go first.

The animation was so pretty! Anna could have been a little less cross eyed at times, besides that it was beautiful! One of the first songs called Do you want to build a snowman, was probably one of the saddest parts of the movie. Hans is a HUGE jerk! you will see why later. Elsa's song was so pretty! I can understand why everyone was gushing about it! Now onto Olaf the snowman, he was a pretty decent character even though his little song about summer was SO ironic! was I the only one who thought that the way he lifts up his head was weird? the reason everything was frozen was because Elsa's powers went crazy and she ran away. When Anna finally finds Elsa, Elsa kicks her out of the castle leaving some damage. A giant snowman that Elsa sent after them throws them and then for some reason Anna thought that it was a good idea to throw a snowball at a giant snowman! I am not even going to talk about the trolls. And now, you will finally get to find out why Hans is such a jerk. HE PRETENDED TO LOVE ANNA! I'm serious, he dumped her as soon as she was in danger and lied telling everyone that she was dead! at the end, Anna risks her life to save Elsa from getting chopped by Hans! Elsa figures out how to control her powers and reverse winter! one of the funniest characters who I forgot to mention is Kristoff! He is  really funny the way he talks to his reindeer. He was the one who Anna actually fell in love with!

 The verdict
A  it was pretty good, not as good as Tangled, but it is really good!

Thank you Libby, I see you were quite liberal in your use of exclamation points. ;) Now [cracks knuckles] my turn.

 I'd heard a lot of conflicting things about Frozen, some of it was extremely positive, and some of it was... not so good. Despite all that, I tried to go in with as clean a slate as possible.
The animation is absolutely gorgeous, I mean, wow. They really worked hard on that. As much as I love hand-drawn and stop-motion, I have to admit that there's no way you could make the snow effects so vivid in those. It was visually spectacular. Aside from being a feast for the eyes, the music was also really good. The instrumental music is good, and has a very Nordic flavor, so that is cool. As for the sung songs, they're quite awesome. The only one I don't really like that much is Fixer-Upper, sung by Kristoff's Troll friends. I mean, it's pretty good but it's just not as memorable as the others. Let It Go is obviously the show stopper, it's got terrific vocals and orchestration. The one that got stuck in my head was Do You Want to Build a Snowman, which is an adorable song, but at the same time is really heartbreaking. There's also a really ironic, disturbing song sung by the snowman about how great Summer is. The peak of dark irony is reached when a line ends with Cuddle, and the next line is "In summer, I'll be a... Happy Snowman!" I'm pretty sure Libby and I weren't the only ones who thought he was going to say puddle. [shudder]
Oh yeah, and while we're on the topic of the snowman... I thought he would be really, really, really annoying, but he was merely annoying. Don't get me wrong now, he certainly did have his moments, and he was necessary to the plot, but I um... didn't like him as much as my sister did.
The other characters on the other hand, were pretty good. Their development (especially the relationships) left a little to be wanted, but for the most part they were good. Elsa was the more complicated of the main duo (her and Anna). She was conflicted, had issues with guilt and anxiety, and was responsible for most of the plot (it was an accident, though). What's rather interesting is that while her running away did have some good consequences (Elsa learned to accept her powers rather than be afraid of them), her 'liberation' also came with a lot of bad consequences. For starters, there's the eternal winter that she inadvertently sets off. Then she accidentally hurts her sister- again. Not to mention the fact that she's traded one prison for another. I don't know if this was intentional, but the way everything played out it sort of felt like one of the films messages was that not everything that makes you immediately happy is going to keep you happy, or be what's best. Did I phrase that in a way that makes sense?
Anna is also pretty interesting, even though she has the typical Disney princess traits. Perky, fun-loving, bright eyed and independent. However, there are a few things that keep her from being what's been seen before. Anna has grown up literally shut out of her sister's life. She lost her parents three years before the main part of the story happened, too. So naturally, she's a little desperate for love of any kind and is willing and ready to marry the first guy that pays attention to her. I don't think there is another princess who's vulnerable like that. Of course, she grows a little bit over the story, and gains better judgment. Anna also likes to stuff chocolate into her face. I just found that funny.
I haven't really talked about the supporting characters, but they're also pretty good. Kristoff, Anna's other love interest is funny, and I like the way him and Anna grow closer as things go on. I liked how he talked for his reindeer, Sven, by the way. That was funny.
Then there's Hans. There's practically nobody who doesn't know the big twist regarding Hans, but just in case you don't, skip this paragraph. You have been warned.
It's fine with me if the pretty boy turns out to be evil. But leave some hints for cryin' out loud! When you go back and think about it, yeah, he was a little creepy and well, hasty when it came to Anna and their marriage. But aside from that, you'd practically have to use your imagination to find any hints. Watch a movie with a really well set up plot twist, like The Sixth Sense and compare. A badly handled twist undermines previous character development, whereas a well handled one will support and make previous shows of character make sense. Hans being evil totally came out of left field, and it would have been a more satisfying twist if there had been better set up.
And at the risk of being labeled a sourpuss, I feel like the Anna-Elsa relationship didn't really develop at all. The movie was less about their relationship than it was about how they got back together. It doesn't bug me too much, but there was something that felt 'off' about the movie, and I think that was it.
A final word before the verdict, even though they were tragically misguided, Anna and Elsa's parents are portrayed as genuinely caring for their daughters and doing what they thought was best for them. Even if their mistakes did kind of set up the entire plot. But so long as we're dishing out blame, why weren't the trolls more specific in their advice regarding Elsa's powers anyway? But I'm going off on a tangent.

The Verdict: B+ (Might change it to an A- later, objections?)
Frozen has beautiful animation and music, and has a solid plot. Special mention goes to the cinematography (especially in Let It Go!) and costume design. Oh, so pretty... The relationships left a little to desire though, seeing as they didn't really develop and were just suddenly 'there' at the end. But I liked it more than I expected to, and I'm always going to be a little biased in it's favor because my sister and I had such a great time watching it!

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