So, we purchased a copy of the Disney film Frozen. Meh.
Okay, in addition to the above concise and thoroughly accurate review, I feel I should add that the songs were bland and/or annoying, the “plot twist” was predictable from the first scene, the stock villains were unbelievable, and the comic relief was mediocre. Two things especially bothered me. Number one was a missed opportunity to make the bad guy complex. Spoilers follow, of course. Hans, the prince, pretends to be in love with Anna so that he can become king of Arandelle. When he does his Face-Heel turn, it feels really forced and awkward. It would have been much better, in my opinion, to have him sort of sanguine about Elsa until she accidentally hurts Anna, and subsequently conceive of the idea that Elsa needs to die. In other words, he didn’t have to be a secret jerk with an evil plan to be horribly wrong and villainous. It was too unbelievable a change. An alternative explanation for his turning into a bad guy could have been that Elsa shot him in the heart with an ice beam, and it made his heart go cold. Too obvious? Well, at least it would have made sense.
The other thing that bugged me was the treatment of the Duke of Weseltown. He’s concerned with trade and business and money, so he’s automatically a ridiculous figure and something of a bad guy, amirite? In the end, Queen Elsa declares that all trade with Weseltown is henceforth cut off. For no reason, other than that he was a ridiculous figure who reached the absolutely correct conclusion that Elsa was dangerous, and that something should be done about her–even, perhaps, something drastic. But we’re supposed to sympathise with Elsa, because she’s pretty, and scorn the Duke because he’s ridiculous, and only cares about money, I guess. The thing that really bothers me about this aspect of the film is that Elsa hasn’t really punished the Duke at all; he can just get new trading partners, or secretly trade with Arendelle through some intermediary country, or commence to smuggling. It is Elsa’s people who really suffer because of her capriciousness. They have been cut off from a country that offered goods and services that they presumably found valuable. Even if they could switch trading partners, the limitation of competition means that the Arandellians must endure higher prices and lower quality. Their lives will be worse off going forward, with lower real incomes and a generally lower standard of living. Seriously, even left-wing economists see the value of trade. Thanks a lot, Elsa, you ninny.
One other thing; Kristoff is declared the “Royal Deliverer of Ice” as some sort of reward or something. Is this a cruel joke? The queen freaking shoots ice out her hands.
Is there anything good about the film? Yes. The overall story arc is sort of an analogy of someone escaping Legalism into the equally oppressive state of Licentiousness, only to discover grace by the sacrifice of someone else–someone else to whom the protagonist had caused severe harm. Kind of surprising, really. One of the reasons some other reviewer declared that this might be the most Christian of the Disney films.
Also, Hans didn’t die by falling off a cliff. No one died, except the parents, now that I think about it. The animation was pretty good–the effects of Elsa shooting ice beams was cool and stuff.
But getting back to the trade, thing…what’s that? Oh, all right; I’ll let it go…