Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Let it go, let it snow

Frozen
Directors: Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
Voice Talent: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana
Released: November 27, 2013

Oscar nominations:
Best Animated Movie (won)
Best Original Song - "Let it Go" by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (won)



When I announced as my Facebook status that I was watching Frozen with Kristen Bell and Adele Dazeem, I thought I was being clever, but only six of my 150+ friends liked it. Perhaps not everybody saw my status or maybe not everybody saw the Oscars and didn't get the John Travolta screwing up Idina Menzel's name joke. Oh, well, I thought it was funny and that's what counts, right?

I really enjoyed this movie....except for one tiny, little, miniscule thing that bothered me. Elsa and Anna are sisters born into a royal family and live in a huge palace. One morning, Anna (the younger sister) wakes up Elsa and pleads for her to do her thing. In one huge room that is completely empty, we discover Elsa has the power to create ice and snow. She makes the entire floor an ice skating rink, she makes it snow, she builds large snow hills for Elsa to slide over, snowmen, if it can be made out of snow or ice, she can build it! As I was watching this, I was thinking how cool that was and how I couldn't wait to see the scene where we discover how Elsa got her power....except we never do! They never explain to us WHY she has this unusual power. Nobody else in her family has this ability either. At least that would explain it's a generation thing passed down to each family member.

While Elsa is performing her magic, she accidently points at her sister and the magic hits her in the head, rendering her unconscious. Her parents rush her to a colony of magic trolls who heal her, but also make her forget that Elsa has these powers so she won't be tempted to make Elsa build her her own personal winter wonderland. The trolls warn Elsa that her powers can be good, but can also be dangerous if she isn't careful. This has Elsa wearing gloves (because everything she touches with her bare hands turns to ice) and pushing her sister away. She is worried if she plays with Anna again, her magic will come out and she will hurt her.

Being a Disney movie, the music was a large component and was heavily promoted. A lot of people have complained that "Let it Go" is overplayed, but I don't hear it on the radio that much. Not, like, say, "Happy".  I don't think "Let it Go" is as good as or will be a classic like "Beauty and the Beast", but it's the movie's big epic song and the only one sung by Idina Menzel. A lot of the songs are just the characters singing what they would normally just say in a dialogue so I find that highly amusing. It would be like if I were to read this review and just start singing it. In the song, "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" (the title is as straight forward as it sounds), we see a montage of Anna as a kid, teen, and young woman (or maybe as a kid, pre-teen, and teen? I'm not really sure how old our two main characters are) trying to persuade her older sister to come out and play with her. I do enjoy the song Olaf the snowman sings about loving summer and he sings, "Winter's a good time to stay in and cuddle, but put me in summer and I'll be a.....HAPPY SNOWMAN!"

As expected, Elsa's powers get out of hand and to protect herself and everybody else, she runs away to live in isolation in a huge ice castle and an abominable snowman to keep people away, not knowing that she has left her own village in an eternal snowstorm. When Anna goes to confront her, Elsa's magic hits her in the heart which is the worst place for someone to be struck. Her friends are told that is she receives an act of true love, then she will be revived. Her new companion, Kristoff, who has been helping her get to Elsa's ice castle thinks this means she needs to be rushed back to the man she's only known for one day and got engaged to (because he was gorgeous!) but I (and I assume everyone else!) thought this meant that Kristoff was going to save her life, but Disney went another direction and had it as the sisters saving each other's lives which I thought was a nice touch.

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