December 20th, 2013


Picoreview: Frozen

Picoreview: Frozen: conflicting.

There are a lot of things I didn’t like about this movie. The music is possibly the worst I’ve ever heard in a Disney film. Usually their songs tend to fit into the narrative pretty well; this really felt like the songs were being forced to fit into spaces unnaturally, and that these characters would prefer to be speaking.

There were any number of times that I found myself thinking how much I would like to have seen it done in hand-drawn animation. There were moments where the characters just looked so plastic and uninspiring. And I thought, y’know, I don’t know, the ice and snow animation was so incredible and I dunno if they could have rendered it so beautifully in hand animation, but then I thought of the utterly mind-blowing opening of The Lion King and yeah, they coulda done it.

Further on the animation front, I am sick unto the very death of these weird-headed Disney princesses whose entire forehead slopes down into the teeniest, bridgeless, ski-jump nose with a bizarrely foreshortened lower face. The wasp waists have always been absurd, but just come *on* now. And this is as an ElfQuest fan who didn’t develop a bridge to her nose until her late twenties: it’s not like I inherently disapprove of impossible physiques in cartooning. But I’ve had more than enough.

All this kind of thing really left a bad taste in my mouth, which is incredibly unfortunate, because the movie’s story is actually shockingly good. And yes, I do mean shockingly, because, like Brave, it goes somewhere you don’t expect a Disney Princess movie to go, and I’m a long way out from that ceasing to surprise me.

I’d really like to get to the day where I’m *not* surprised by it, but for now, I am surprised.

First off, this is not, by anybody’s stretch of the imagination, The Snow Queen. In the end, the only reason to say “inspired by” is because they’d mentioned beforehand that they were doing a movie based on The Snow Queen and they probably would’ve caught endless shit for un-saying it. Its resemblence to the Hans Christian Anderson story begins and ends with there being snow and a queen in it. If this is likely to disappoint you beyond measure, don’t go see it.

Now I’m going to put a cut, behind which I will tell you all the reasons why you *should* go see it. It will be chock full of spoilers.

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(x-posted from The Essential Kit)