This is the fourth time that I have seen Frozen, but the first time for about 3-4 years. Since then, the massive cultural storm has died down and I feel like I am finally able to watch it without any of the surrounding noise. Surprisingly enough, this watch may be the most I have enjoyed the film and I am wondering if the lack of cultural pressure could be why.
Let’s get the obvious thing out of the way first – the ‘Let It Go’ sequence is one of the best three minutes that were on the big screen in 2013. Idina Menzel’s vocal performance is out of this world, the staging on the snowy mountain top and (in context) it is such an emotional high. The whole thing really was just a lightning in a bottle case where everything just worked and, as the song was such an empowerment anthem, quickly spread through the zeitgeist. It doesn’t move me in the same was as Tangled’s ‘I Saw The Light’, but it’s damned impressive.
Outside these three minutes, the time that you spend in the Frozen world really flies by. Like with Tangled, it really feels like they have finally rediscovered the groove that means they’re able to move the story on at a great pace whilst also doing a lot of good character development for the majority of main characters.
Now, there is one notable exception of this and that is Hans, the prince who ends up being one of the villains and whose personality seems to turn on a time. There is literally no way you can see this coming, but given how this film subverted expectations by having the ‘act of true love’ being about sisters and lovers I think it’s a bold choice. In older Disney films, like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, a marriage happens just after where both the female protagonist and the audience have an incredibly limited understanding of the potential groom. So, really, it makes a really interesting cautionary tale about moving too quickly before getting to know someone.
What I think I love most about this film is that, for a musical, Frozen is really written like a musical. With a main cast who originally shot to fame on Broadway (except for Kristen Bell whose singing talents I would have never guessed at during my watch of Veronica Mars) the performances are all incredible and they’ve made a soundtrack with proper reprises and interlude songs that make references to prior songs – just as you would have in a Broadway musical. In terms of voice-acting, you have to give props to Josh Gad in his role of Olaf the Snowman – in lesser hands this could have been one of the irritating Disney sidekicks, but his timing and his sincerity really elevates him to one of the greater non-human supporting characters.
So, did this film need a sequel? By the time this post goes up I will have seen Frozen 2 in the cinema and have a post going up at some point in May. Based on how I feel right now having recently seen Frozen I have a lot of reservations about doing this. The teaser trailers are looking beautiful, which means I’m hopeful, but I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
My post will be the next Disney film – the underappreciated Big Hero 6. It’s going to be the first time since starting this particular challenge that I will not be watching the film in the comfort of my own home. Instead, the gods of coincidence have smiled on me and have decreed that the next film will be featured in the in-flight entertainment on my flight to Seoul. Exciting times!