Spoiler alert: I’m not a fan of Frozen.
Maybe my expectations were so high they couldn’t possibly be met.
Or maybe it’s just not a great film.
On paper it should be awesome: Sisterhood! Adventure! Show-stopping music!
Everyone I saw talking about Frozen praised it for being a Disney movie that didn’t revolve around romance but was instead about sisters. Girl Power! Yeah!
These people apparently forgot about Mulan and Lilo & Stitch.
There’s more romance in Frozen than most other Disney flicks. Anna “falls in love” not once, but twice. First she meets, falls for, and gets engaged to Hans (in the early part of the movie), then she meets and falls for Kristoff.
My biggest issue is the representation of Anna and Elsa’s relationship. Elsa has ignored Anna for almost a decade with no explanation, yet Anna is devoted to Elsa. How is that a healthier relationship than, say Belle and Beast? While I appreciate the concepts of family loyalty and doing the right thing, Elsa hasn’t done anything to earn that level of dedication.
I was let down by the musical numbers too. Since I haven’t been living under a rock for the last few years, I’d already heard Let It Go and seen that part of the movie. Imagine my surprise when it happened so early in the film. While we knew Elsa had been told to hide her powers, and has supposedly done so for the last decade, we’re not privy to her frustration and fear until the moments before her coronation. Idina Menzel does an acceptable job with the song, but it’s written in a key which doesn’t favor her range and abilities. Demi Lovato performs a stronger version (played over the end credits).
Kristen Bell’s songs are solid – her voice was a nice surprise – but I was left wondering why Jonathan Groff didn’t have more than a short clip. As a fan of Spring Awakening, Glee, and Hamilton, I had looked forward to hearing more of Groff’s voice.
There’s poetry in Anna’s self-sacrifice saving both her sister and herself, but the lack of character development diminished the power of the moment.
See also: Criteria of a Good Show