Cinema-Maniac: Frozen (2013) Review

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it is the mindset I applied to Disney Studio filmmaking. For decades the studio essentially been telling similar stories with similar messages in their animated films. Containing a formula for the most part if done correctly can create an easily accessible film without the sacrifice of what makes a quality film. Frozen is not one of those films suffering from an identity crisis between breaking the norm or following it leaving an entire film that’s tacked on.

Frozen follows Anna journey to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter. “Frozen” simply amounts to being an easily avoidable overblown temper tantrum. Conflict in the story is very forced. Occurring within minutes of the film starting we get adult characters doing something illogical even by Disney standards. Simply put if it wasn’t for the trolls (oh my god!) none of the events in the film would have happened. These trolls never explain why Anna memories need to be change, poorly explain crucial life saving information, suffer from memory lost, and the advice these trolls give while good is misinterpreted by the parents. So these trolls advice basically says to embrace Esla power something which the parents can’t comprehend thus you got “Frozen” in a nutshell. This one scene, one single scene breaks the whole narrative of the film within minutes of starting making it unable to recover from it. Yes that’s alot of vague analyzation into a single scene, but the other essentials of the film are just as tacked on.

Suffering from identity crisis “Frozen” is confused in what to be. One half panders to expectations of the Disney formula (always got to have dead parents and a villain) and another that wants to breakaway from the formula (love at first sight is done twice). With this uneven course set the film never aspires to much in the long run taking its toll on the way the story is told. Scenes at times are conflicted between what to should be spoken dialogue and what should be a musical number. In the few scenes it’s confident we get solid working scenes, but they’re a rarity within the film. Characters simply go through the motions of events never once taking time to act like real people. There’s no sense of progression as every piece of character developments is expository for the antagonist or a superficial songs that doesn’t build upon what’s already established for the central characters. The quality of the songs depends on the listener. Sure I personally didn’t like the music because the songs didn’t build upon what was established by spoken dialogue. However, the songs themselve have personality more so than the character even in if in context they don’t add much to the story. So in the end tacked on conflict, cardboard characters that go through the motion of events, and superficial song amounts to an superficial film.

Character animation is smooth and fluid, though the visuals leave something to be desire. In the film Elsa character has the power to summon ice, snow, basically anything cold her power can harness at will. Whenever Elsa uses her powers the visuals become interesting because of the large amount of particles effects on screen. Sadly the whole environment despite being covered in snow is only a novelty to look nice with little being done with its setting. Losing it’s magic the more we see of the underwhelming setting. Music composition is solid even if the weak lyrics aren’t equal in power to its instrumental. The voice acting is superb with a stellar Broadway cast who breath pure heart and soul into this masterpiece. Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel are flawless. The wonderful innocence, naivety of Anna was portrayed so well by Kristen Bell. When she spoke there was a sweet charm about her and her singing felt more angelic, light. This was a great contrast with the powerful, belting vocals of Idina Menzel as Elsa. Her role as the conflicted queen was perfect for her (also her background with roles like this in “Wicked” made her the perfect choice). She brought a certain maturity to conflict Anna’s innocence. Supporting cast is good, though for certain it’s both Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel film.

Frozen is superficial as a film and a musical. All the elements that form the plot are tacked on artificially assembling a plot with little to no heart. The whole package gives viewer the cold shoulder unable to determine what it wants to be in the end resulting in production values that either do nothing for the film or add little to the overall experience.


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