Sunday, June 8, 2014

Bechtloff Movie Night: Frozen (2014)

I missed this when it came out in the theater, but I've heard so many people rave about it I just went out and bought it the a while ago. I mean I even heard a lot of people call this the best Disney animated movie ever. People just seem to love this movie. It make tons of money and the one song from it is even lighting up the charts. I gotta tell you, I'm just not seeing it.

Alright, before I get into dissecting this mess, I suppose I gotta get the obligatory plot synopsis out of the way. Elsa and Anna are sisters and the two princesses of Arendelle. Elsa was, for reasons never explained, born with magical ice powers. One night while playing though Elsa hits her sister in the head with an ice blast and the King and Queen rush the two girls to the Troll King to heal her. A young Kristoff and his reindeer Sven accidentally witness this, and we will come to find out later the Trolls ended up becoming a surrogate family to Sven through this. The Troll King heals Anna and removes memory of Elsa's powers from her. The King and Queen decide to keep the girls isolated until Elsa can control her powers, and Elsa distances herself from her sister for fear of hurting her. Well, the King and Queen both die at sea leaving Elsa to assume the throne. So we cut to the coronation ceremony for which Elsa must come out of her solitude and fears she will lose control once more. Her sister Anna, excited to simply be allowed out of the castle ends up meets and falls for Prince Hans who is one of the visiting dignitaries for the ceremony. The two decide to get married and when Anna tells Elsa of this rash decision she loses control and exposes her powers. Fearing she will be considered a monster she flees to the mountains and builds herself an ice castle. This outburst has inadvertently trapped Arendelle in an eternal winter and even frozen the harbor so no one can leave. Anna heads out to get her sister and the Duke of Weselton, top trading partner with Arendelle sends some men up as well telling them to be prepared to kill Elsa if need be to undo the spell. Anna makes her way up the mountain, along the way meeting up with the now adult Kristoff and Sven. They make their war up to confront Elsa and tell her she needs to fix this mess she's caused. Elsa refuses saying she doesn't know how and accidentally hits Anna in the heart with an ice blast. Kristoff takes Anna to the Troll King to heal her but he tells her only an act of true love can do that, so Kristoff takes her to her fiancee Prince Hans. But it turns out Hans doesn't love her and only wanted the throne. He leaves her in her room to die then tells everyone they said their marriage vows just before she passed and he is King now and he orders Elsa to be found and executed. Kristoff returns to see how Anna is doing and finds her barely alive. Eventually Anna succumbs to the ice spell and is frozen solid and Elsa cries over it which is an act of true love and reverses it.  Elsa manages to reverse the spell on the Kingdom, and Hans is arrested for his treachery and Elsa orders all trade with Weselton stopped, because I guess the Duke didn't take Elsa's bullshit with a smile so that makes him a jerk.

OK, where to begin? Well let's talk about the good first I guess. The animation and character designs are all absolutely gorgeous. And the voice acting is all top notch too. Also there is a goofy comic relief snowman character who could have been really annoying but is actually really funny. And Let It Go is a damn good song. But there is a whole lot wrong with this movie. Aside from Let It Go all the songs feel really tacked on. Disney songs should be big huge spectacles that really help define the characters. These just felt like afterthoughts. But the biggest problem is this movie suffers from that Fireproof problem where I am suppose to feel sympathy for a character who is extremely unsympathetic. The moment Elsa refused to come down and fix the mess she made, I had zero sympathy for her. At that point I agree with the people who say let's cut her head off. Also, what exactly did the Duke of Weselton do? Other than get upset over what Elsa did and order her killed, which is really just self defense at this point. I mean, let's not gloss over things, what Elsa did, trapping all those dignitaries in an frozen wasteland, with the docks frozen so there was no escape, that's technically an act of war on those nations. But Elsa never once takes the least bit of responsibility for her actions. People complain that The Little Mermaid had no moral center, that Ariel learns nothing in that movie. But Ariel is an absolute perfect role model compared to Elsa. I mean I feel really bad for the people of this kingdom. Your Princess is an irresponsible twat, and your Queen apparently doesn't really care if you all live or die.

I talked about this a bit in my 6th Podcast episode, but I thought a written review was in order too. I really don't get why people like this movie so much. Mind you, it has some good parts, and I can see if you like it as a guilty pleasure, but the amount of praise it gets boggles my mind.

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