Friday, January 3, 2014

Frozen Review

I saw this movie a couple days ago and thought I'd post a review on it!

     Princess Elsa has wonderful, mysterious ice powers... that she can't control. After hurting her little sister Anna she cuts herself off from most human contact. Anna grows up lonely and sad that she and her sister are not as close as they once were. Eventually Else becomes the Queen of Arendelle , but her amazing powers soon get the better of her and cause trouble for everyone. Anna has to step up to save both her people and her sister. 

Spiritual Content: 10/10
     There wasn't much in the way of spiritual content, just some typical Disney magic. There was a Bishop that presided over Queen Elsa's coronation.

Violence: 10/10
     There wasn't really much in the way of violence. Some cartoony stuff. Nothing disturbing though.

Sexual Content: 10/10
     None. *SPOILER WARNING* Anna and Kristoff kiss at the end *SPOILER WARNING* 

Plot: 8.5/10
     I loved the story. It was a great re-imagining of Han's Christian Anderson's original story. It played a bit with the traditional fairy tale themes of true love and the role of fair tail heroines, but it was blissfully free of the trend to re-interpret fairy tails in a feminist light. Anna and Elsa were strong female characters without losing their own femininity or emasculating the men around them. I really appreciated that on the storyteller's part. It showed that they actually cared about the story more than any modern ideology. In the end, it was a fairy tail, and true love won (I don't think that counts as a spoiler... this is Disney after all), but not in the way you would normally expect (and it worked in terms of the narrative as well). *SPOILER WARING* The only part of the narrative I didn't think worked well was that whole think with the trolls and the ice in Anna's head. Why did changing her memories fix anything? That whole thing was too important to the rising action of the story to be left unexplained *SPOILER WARNING* Other than that I thought that the story elements of Frozen were expertly executed. 

Character: 9/10
     The character of Anna was very well developed. I thought she was great. She was the Disney princess that I've been wanting my whole life. If I were a princess I would be a less bubly version of Anna. 'Oh look how cool and beautiful I am' *Trips and falls* Yeah, she's pretty much perfect. Elsa wasn't developed so much in dialogue as she was in song, but you still got a pretty good sense of her character too. Olaf was adorable. Kristoff and Sven were great, but I wish they'd been give more of a back story (it's implied and described a little bit, but there was more that could have been done, plus also I loved them. Could this movie have just been about them please?). Han's was pretty well developed. Also, the trolls, I have no idea what was going on with those Trolls.  

Theme: 10/10
     Frozen carried the classic fairy tail there - true love conquers all. I love this theme. It's wonderful and true in the most beautiful biblical sense. The love of God conquered death on a cross, and an act of true love save the day in Frozen as well. *SPOILERS* However, Frozen's saving act is unlike your typical fairy tail. This story is not so much about eros as is is about philos, or however that word translates when applied to sisters. There is romantic love in the story, but that love is not central. This story isn't so much about saving the kingdom of Arendelle as it is about saving it's Queen. Anna and Elsa love one another, and it is a familial act of true love that saves the day. Romantic love is important too. Kristoff certainly loved Anna, and it's implied that his kiss would have saved her, but in the end it is Anna's act of self-sacrifice for Elsa that breaks the spell. It's a different take on the power of true love, but one which I think is desperately needed in this world where familial relationships are just as shattered as romantic ones.*SPOILERS* I loved the direction that this movie took; it kept the old tried and true fairy tail theme, but reinterpreted it in a different, but just as important way. There was also a kind of sub-theme that explored the importance of duty and obligation both to family and to country that was really well executed (as it turns out, you can't just drop all obligations to everyone. There is no such thing as an unattached individual. Everyone owes something to others).

Overall Conclusion: 9/10
    This was a wonderful movie, one of the best I've seen all year. The music was stunning (the fact that Idina Menzell played Elsa probably played a part in that). The story was wonderful. There was a bit of a gap in the narrative, and some strangeness in some of the characters, but it didn't detract too terribly from the overall story and message. I recommend this movie for everyone. Even my brother who hates musicals on principle and has outgrown Disney (I mean really, how do you outgrow Disney?) enjoyed this movie. I've been singing the songs non-stop. This, this is what I want from a movie - something beautiful, entertaining, with a good story, and a timeless message. Frozen delivers on all accounts.  

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