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The kingdom of Arendelle has two princesses,
Elsa and Anna. The former distresses
Her parents with powers she cannot control,
Which conjure up ice from the depths of her soul.
When Elsa hurts Anna, they visit a troll.
The lead troll heals Anna but fools with her mind
To leave memories of ice powers behind.
The monarchs shut Elsa up, locking each door
And don’t give her access to sis anymore,
While Anna’s confused why things aren’t as before.
The two girls grow up, and the king and queen die,
Leaving Elsa alone to conceal her cold lie.
The day when Queen Elsa is due to be crowned,
A whole flood of royals and guests is inbound.
Unlike Elsa, Anna is thrilled they’re around.
When she meets Prince Hans, it is love at first sight.
No, literally, they seek marriage that night,
But Elsa is skeptical and won’t permit
A marriage so rushed; Anna’s flustered a bit.
In front of a crowd, she makes Elsa lose it.
Her powers revealed, Elsa heads for the hills,
Building castles and singing a song that gives chills.
The people are fearful for snow’s falling fast…
In summer and who knows how long it will last?
So Anna rides off through the wintry blast.
She meets smelly Kristoff, a man who sells ice.
He becomes Anna’s guide, though she has to ask twice.
Encountering wolves and a living snowman
Named Olaf, who craves summer days and a tan,
They head up the mount with not much of a plan.
When Anna begs Elsa to stop the storm now,
Her sister freaks out, for she doesn’t know how.
By accident, Anna is struck in the heart,
So Elsa, still fearful, makes Anna depart.
In Anna, Kristoff sees a chilly change start.
They go to the trolls, who raised Kristoff with pride.
They say Anna’s heart will soon freeze from inside.
She needs some true love, which means Hans (so they think);
She just needs a kiss to come back from the brink,
But Hans then comes out as a liar and fink.
Although he brought Elsa back home in a chain,
He wants them both dead so that he can now reign.
Leaving Anna to die, Hans tries killing her sister,
But Anna steps in, knowing Kristoff’s her mister,
And freezes rock solid since nobody kissed her.
Her own sacrificial love brings Anna back
And helps Elsa see love is what she may lack.
This aids her control so that people don’t fear,
And Anna loves Kristoff, who’s rough but sincere.
The doors are now open, and skies are all clear.

Last year’s Frozen was an unforeseen megahit that eventually surpassed Toy Story 3 as the highest grossing animated film, and it just recently dropped out of the global box office top 10. A welcome return to the musical princess genre for which Disney is famous, Frozen perhaps fed the hunger that family audiences had for new but familiar quality. It’s certainly a great fairy tale with gorgeous animation, catchy music, and (mostly) likable characters.

All that being said, I can’t help but point out some issues that detract from it and make its gargantuan success a tad puzzling. The actual storyline is innovative in its inclusion of two princesses, but Anna is a much better realized character than Elsa. I can sympathize with Elsa’s fear of herself, but that’s about it. All the characterization is given to Anna, while Elsa seems pretty directionless. What was she doing in that castle she constructed, just wringing her hands in worry? And the ultimate resolution is too rushed: just “love” and boom, she has perfect control over the powers she spent a lifetime repressing.

I also take issue with the character of Hans. The filmmakers tried so hard to make him seem like a nice guy that his sudden reversal was too out-of-nowhere. I mean, if he wanted to kill Elsa anyway, why didn’t he just let the Duke’s guards shoot her instead of valiantly rescuing her for no reason? I like the story, but I was expecting some different directions. Perhaps Hans could have been left as a good guy and paired with Elsa. I would have preferred that kind of reversal. I liked Anna’s sacrifice at the end, but it did remind me somewhat of the finale of Pokémon: The First Movie. I also thought that Anna may have hidden warming powers to offset Elsa’s, but no. Oh, well, maybe in the sequel.

After the previous two paragraphs, it might sound as if I dislike the film overall, but that’s not true. It’s a flawed tale but one I still very much enjoy viewing. Anna and Kristoff make a good pair, and though I was prepared to be annoyed by Olaf the snowman, I actually liked him more than I’d expected. The CGI animation is absolutely gorgeous, setting a new high for non-Pixar films.

Plus, the music is first-rate, even if it’s not from Alan Menken. The first song about ice is rather forgettable, but “Love Is an Open Door” and “For the First Time in Forever” are both excellent starting numbers. When I first heard the Oscar-winning song “Let It Go” on YouTube, I knew I had to see this movie. It’s Disney’s best song in years, and I’m sure most have seen at least one of the hundreds of parody videos out there for it. My VC also very much liked the “Fixer Upper” song by the trolls, even if they seem like an afterthought as characters.

Frozen may not be up there with Disney’s Renaissance classics of the ‘90s, but it’s not the worst (The Princess and the Frog didn’t make my list). It’s memorable, quality family entertainment. Let’s hope Disney will take the hint and not let the princess genre die.

Best line: (Olaf, singing) “Winter’s a good time to stay in and cuddle / But put me in summer and I’ll be a… [pauses in front of a puddle] …happy snowman!”

Artistry: 7
Characters/Actors: 7
Entertainment: 9
Visual Effects: 10
Originality: 6
Watchability: 8
Other (aforementioned issues): -4
TOTAL: 43 out of 60

Next: #186 – The Way

© 2014 S. G. Liput

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