4 Reasons Why Disney's Frozen Is Not Worth the Hype
Although the film was a box office hit as well as the highest-grossing original animated movie of all time($398.4M), Disney's Frozen, has unforgiveable pitfalls that children of this generation cannot truly appreciate.
I could not help but notice all of the shortcomings of the film, and those shortcomings seemed to outshine the positives. Am I too grown up for Disney movies? Or did Frozen simply fall too short for the standards and expectations of those accustomed to the classics?
Of course I cannot help but be biased, considering I grew up in the '90s when Disney was in its prime; however, I am not difficult to please when it comes to anything Walt Disney, but Frozen was the first one that I was content with seeing only once.
The 4 Pivotal Shortcomings of Frozen:
#1: Lack of Background Information
Every Disney movie has a strong introduction that foreshadows the premise of the main plot. It foretells possible obstacles the protagonists might endure, who the protagonist is and why he/she is important, and gives us a summary of who the characters ultimately are (or going to become).
Beauty and the Beast's introduction introduces the prince who is turned into a beast because of his selfishness while also foreshadowing the premise that the spell must be broken by true love before the last petal falls.
The Lion King introduces the concept of the "circle of life" while Mufasa later goes on to tell Simba the ways of the kingdom, and how one day he will be king, too. This concept comes full circle in the end when Simba overcomes his deceitful uncle, Scar, while proceeding to majestically climb Pride Rock. Tangled efficiently ties together 18 years of details within the introduction: how Rapunzel was a princess, how she was stolen and why, and the importance of her hair. Frozen on the other hand, had an introduction that fell extremely short. Although we get some details, they are vague, choppy, and irrelevant for the most part. It fails to answer the most critical aspects that the audience needs answered.
Why is Elsa cursed? Did her parents sell their souls to the devil? Will she go on some crazy journey to find an explanation and perhaps, a cure? Who is Elsa besides being the main character? What makes her so important? Why should we care about her?
Before seeing the film, I thought that Elsa was the main character throughout the whole film, but the film is more about Anna and her juvenile fantasies as opposed to anything relevant and unique.
People seem to care more about recreating the "Elsa" braid, singing songs that don't fit the plot, and Olaf the snowman, than truly remembering (let alone, understanding) what the story was about.
Which one is supposed to be the primary antagonist?Click thumbnail to view full-size
#2. It Lacks Character Development
What hurts the credibility of Frozen the most is probably the sheer lack of character development (or relevance for that matter). The trailer is extremely misleading to that fact as well. The title and the trailer adds to the assumption that Elsa is the main character and almost as if she is the antagonist. Whether she is the protagonist or antagonist, the audience is led to believe she will be more epic and involved in the film than it actually turns out.
Who is the protagonist? By making Elsa and Anna somewhat as of equal importance, it fails to provide a primary protagonist from the two. I understand the creators interest in trying to place the importance of sisterhood above romantic relationships, but that idea is not necessarily achieved. The only time that sisterhood seems to be the front-runner in the story line is when Elsa and Anna were children, Anna's quest to bring Elsa home, and the very end when, once again, Anna is sacrificing herself to save Elsa. Although it is clear that Elsa doesn't need or want a "prince charming," we see Anna consistently falling in love at the worst possible times. There really is no ideal notion of "sisterhood" besides the beginning and the end of the film.
- Elsa: Here we thought she was going to be some strong, independent, female character when in reality, she spends most of the film locked in her living quarters or sulking alone in her ice-castle. She proves to be just a depressing, cynical, and ultimately, a weak woman who has spent the majority of her youth sulking in her bedroom out of fear to harm the kingdom or Anna. Why didn't she use that time to get her powers under control? Why did the creators not utilize Elsa's potential to be a phenomenal character by using her perseverance in order to go on a quest to find a solution to the curse? Elsa had huge potential to make Frozen an unforgettable tale.
- Anna: She appears to be the protagonist. Although naïve and hungry for her "one true love," Anna is the one who ultimately saves the day. It isn't that I don't appreciate Anna's childlike innocence, her sincere actions, and the unconditional love she has for her sister. My problem is that by making her the shining center, she is less appealing to older audiences.
- Olaf (see: #4)
- Kristoff: Although he is a loveable character, there are just so many gaps in his own storyline to the point where he is almost expendable from the movie completely! Questions as to what happened to his parents, why him and the moose are best buds, why was he raised by trolls--- are all left unanswered.
- The Trolls: Why? Why? Why? More pointless than Olaf, the trolls should have never even been included in the plot. Yes, they were important in understanding the curse, but they did nothing but serve as an extra (or dare I say comedic relief) in the movie. Not to mention that the song they sing is the worst of them all.
Aside from who the protagonist should be, another sloppy mishap is that there is absolutely no true villain or antagonist.There are ultimately three different "antagonists" in Frozen: Prince Hans, the Duke of Weselton, and the pack of wolves. Not even all three combined could measure up to the iconic Disney villains such as Scar from the Lion King, Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, or Jafar from Aladdin (just to name a few).
#3. The Soundtrack
One of the most important aspects to the major success of Disney movies is the soundtrack. Whether catchy or dark, upbeat or slower, the best Disney soundtracks are those that fit with the mood and purpose to the plot. The soundtracks are the 'means to an end' in that they flow with the storyline. For instance, The Lion King opens with "The Circle of Life" which is hands down just am amazing song.
- Other songs include "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" (foreshadowing future events), "Be Prepared" (again, foreshadowing future events/moving the plot along), etc.
The songs in Frozen are catchy, yes, but they were inconsistent.
- The majority of the music fails to provide any plot movement.
- The first half of the film included many songs that lacked a purpose, while the second half of the film was completely lacking in any music up until the finale.
To sum things up, the author of Dr. Bok's Evil Movie Blog stated things perfectly:
- "Some songs in Frozen are too poppy; definitely at odds with the opening chant in the film. While the chant does give an interesting sound, the succeeding pop tunes tend to diminish it, which is why when we finally hear that chant again when Elsa finally thaws Arendelle, one can’t help but feel that the motif was underdeveloped."
- "Frozen’s musical numbers are distracting in the sense that it distracts you from the problematic script, and the storyline."
#4: Olaf the Insufferable Snowman
Since when was Olaf dubbed the shining star of Frozen? Not only is he just a pointless come-and-go character in the film, he's only a pointless character in order to be reproduced as a plush toy sold in stores all year round. I thought winter was over, but the franchise cannot seem to "let it go."
Ultimately, Olaf serves no purpose to the plot of the film. Although the trailer seemed to highlight him as a major character, Olaf was simply just an Elsa creation from her childhood. His character completely hinders any chance of depth that the plot truly needs. When things seem to get too touchy or too serious, there he is, providing a snappy phrase that is supposed to be funny but fails miserably. What about that solo song of his? Also pointless, and the whining that he's going to end up in the Disney graveyard only makes me wish he would melt and never come back.
Don't get me wrong, Olaf is a loveable character in his own right; but he did not belong in nor truly fit in Frozen like people think he did.