I’m trying to think of a way Disney’s animated movie Frozen could have not disappointed me, and I’m not coming up with one. It’s cool for what it is – a Disney movie about a princess whose sister has magical powers, and thus is kept as a shut-in until they’re inevitably discovered. If you’ve seen one movie about a Disney princess, you’ve still seen them all. Frozen does nothing original.
I don’t like pulp. In any of its forms. When people were raving about The Avengers, Iron Man, Transformers, I was fighting not to yawn in their faces. I understand why people enjoy watching fictional creatures punch each other (sort of, in camera angles that hint at violence instead of actually showing it), but it doesn’t appeal to me.
I think a movie needs to either make a statement, or be very original for me to enjoy it. I enjoyed Shoot Em Up for what it was – a weird action movie. I like Crank for being so over the top as to be impossible to take seriously. It’s possible for me to enjoy something without anything deeper behind it. Frozen didn’t succeed in that regard, for me.
I went and saw The Avengers in the theater, as I succumbed to the praise being heaped upon it. Something similar happened here, in which I felt I would be better informed by seeing this movie. I suppose I am.
There are those that berate me for denigrating “blockbusters” – repeatedly, I might add – but, well, if you’re going to waste two hours of my life, at least do it for a reason. The best I can usually muster is “it was okay”, when what I really mean is “it was conservative, traditional bullshit espousing beliefs I fundamentally don’t agree with, and I wish I could make it not exist”, but I don’t say that.
This is me, except the ice is social anxiety and depression.
Some vague metaphors for mental illness and a ending where all the good guys are happy and the villains are attacked and discarded aren’t enough to pull Frozen above similar pablum. There is very little chance in this movie that anything truly bad is going to happen, and when it does – the early death of both princesses’ parents, in a sailing accident in a storm – they are not mourned. In fact, Anna only cares that they’re dead because it means her life has to change.
Frozen is executed well, with excellent performances by Kristen Bell and, well, the other people in it who I can’t name. There are moments where the Uncanny Valley reared its head and made me cringe a bit – particularly in identifying moments of motion capture where Bell’s real performance shone through a little too well. But for the most part, it’s forgivable.
If you have children, they’ll probably enjoy Frozen and watch it again and again. Which is what Disney aims for. It’s a beautiful movie with likeable but safe characters, easily dislikable villains (of whom few actually exist here), a straightforward plot that has no chance of going off the Script of Americana, a couple of wacky sidekicks in Olaf the talking snowman and Sven the Reindeer, and the moral is decent enough – accept people with differences (as long as they’re pretty white girls. There are no other characters in this movie who dare to stick above the crowd, outside of the trolls who don’t interact with non-main character humans. Maybe the trolls are a stand in for people of color, who do not appear in this movie otherwise.)
A 30-something single man isn’t Disney’s market here, and I can confirm there’s no reason for me to have watched it absent curiosity about the public’s love for it, or wanting to be in-the-know. If you’re similar in age and constitution, don’t bother. If you’re a 7 year old, why are you reading this website? Go to bed. Then watch Frozen tomorrow, if you’re so inclined.
Just make sure, young one, that you remember that, in the real world, there are people who aren’t white. And most people don’t accept mental illness as readily as they would if all you did was freeze a pond sometimes.