Frozen picture image


Back in August 2013, I did a post mainly centered on Frozen and its lack of style when compared to the 2-D drawn movies. Frozen hit theaters on Thanksgiving 2013 to a lot of praise. But is that praise deserving or are people just blinded by the snow?

The answer, is yes, it is deserving of praise. Frozen despite its first trailer, which was bad, is a very an entertaining and engaging movie.


Anna Frozen picture image


Let’s just get the style and the look of the movie out of the way. Yes, it looks like Tangled, hell Rapunzel and Flynn had cameos and Anna and Elsa look like Rapunzel. While it is annoying that the 3-D Disney movies have little variation in the female looks and not the men, I can justify this. Perhaps their royal families married and they are cousins or something, I would buy that. But please Disney try some new female looks the same face with freckles are getting old. Maybe go different place in this 3-D world, like Spain that would be fun.


Elsa Frozen picture image


The characters, are all great especially Elsa. Elsa is no doubt the most complex character Disney has come with. I read that she started at the antagonist  but the song Let it go forced them to rework her character and gave us the sister angle. She is so complex that she great to watch. The other characters are all good. I was surprised by Olaf. After that trailer I wanted to hate him but the voice actor, Josh Gad, made him work in a charming way. I adored Sven. Anna is a bit annoying at time but she didn’t bother me.


Anna and Olaf Frozen picture image

Anna,  Olaf and Kristoff

If you read my other Frozen post  you would get the impression that I’m down on 3-D Disney movies in favor of 2-D animation ones. That is a little true, Tangled was not enhanced by being in 3-D it could have been in 2-D easy by not Frozen. The snow and the ice looked beautiful in the 3-D rendering and that was the point. There should  be some reason for the medium. It seemed like Tangled was the experiment and Frozen was the pay-off.


 Elsa and Anna frozen picture image

Elsa and Anna

I like how Disney is playing with their own tropes, Elsa telling Anna she can’t marry some she just met, Hans being the bad guy (he’s a bit like Gaston in that way) and true love being between sisters.  It’s really refreshing and playful.  Fun question, because Hans is the villain, does that make the romance song, Love is an open door, the villain song?  Talk about playing with  your tropes!


Trolls Frozen picture image

The Trolls

The movie is not without it’s problems, Hans was weak and dumb about political maneuvers, but the reveal was great, the deus ex machina ship at the end, the flow of the plot is clunky in places, it has a little bit of pan-scandinavian confusion  and I found the troll weak. The clunky parts are forgivable and Disney has never been one for 100%  cultural authenticity so that is forgivable too. The design of the Trolls were boring and franky they don’t look look like they belong to this movie. They could have more fun with the designs. The only good thing about them was Olaf’s reaction. It would have been amazing if they had been inspired by the Moomins but then again I love the Moomins, so bias. The trolls are small issue it just wish there was more too them then moss cover rocks.


Elsa, Frozen


All in all Frozen was a great Disney movie. It had all the facets that make a Disney movie,  memorable songs, characters and animation, and Let it Go had all these things. All the things Disney has been lacking recently . Could Frozen mark the next Golden Age? Only the next few movie will tell and hopefully they will be just as good as Frozen.

Walt Disney Characters  picture image

Walt Disney Characters

I grew up Disney, hell most of us have. But few of us remember when Disney wasn’t not the huge power house it was in the 1990s. Prior 1990 Disney was going through a slump, The Black Caldron was a major failure and lead animator, Don Bluth left to form a rival animation company that made such great animated films as The Secret of NiMH, An American Tale, and my personal favorite The Land Before Time . And then everything changed with the success of Roger Rabbit. From then, Disney went into a Golden Age making such gems as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. After The Lion King, Disney slipped a little. The films after Lion King did not do as well. And then Pixar walked into Disney’s life and pretty much saved Disney. Since Pixar’s success, Disney’s focus has shifted from the 2-d hand-drawn animated movies to 3-D animated movies. Disney in addition to producing Pixar movies also have made a few 3-D movies on their own. The only recent 2-d animated movie they did was the 2009 The Princess and the Frog which returned to the princess formula. It wasn’t a bad movie, though why they got Randy Newman and not Alan Menken is beyond me. They also made in 2011, Winnie the Pooh. However, neither The Princess and Frog or 2011’s Winnie the Pooh were a huge commercial success and Disney has no plans to make any more hand-drawn movies at present.

Sven and Olaf from Frozen picture image

Sven and Olaf from Frozen

Disney is still going on the princess angle though with its 3-D movies. In 2010 Disney made Tangled which was based on the Fairy Tale Rapunzel. Tangled was meh-ish at best. It had a nice story, some decent songs but the character never captured me except the horse and the lizard. Now Disney is set to release Frozen. Frozen is very very very loosely based off the Hans Christian Andersen story “The Snow Queen.”

The Swing  by Jean-Honore Fragonard picture image

The Swing by Jean-Honore Fragonard

Here is my point, when I saw concept art for Tangled and Frozen I thought “Wow cool.” Tangled was said to take an art style from the Rocco painting “The Swing.” I kind of imagined the film would emulate that painting more. But Nope, Tangled looks fairly genetic 3-D movie. I really only seen the influence in the leaves.

Frozen Concept Art picture image

Frozen Concept Art

And now that feeling of genericness is justified in Frozen. The concept art I saw was really cool, it has an unearthly look to the Snow Queen. Now she just looks more like the blue fairy.

Anna (Frozen) & Rapunzel (Tangled)) picture image

Anna (Frozen) & Rapunzel (Tangled))

But the main thing is Rapunzel and Anna (Frozen’s Heroine ) look alike. The animators can the changes colors all they want, the viewing public is not that stupid. They have the same eye shape, lips, nose, cheeks, hell they even both have freckles. Really, they could be characters in the same movie. Lush leaves and snow do not constitute a distinct style and feel for a movie. But then again made they are meant to take place in the same world. However if Disney continues with this style it going to get boring. Oh Wait, it’s already boring!


A Side-by-Side Comaparsion of teh styles of Hunchback of Notre Dame and Beauty and the Beast  picture image Belle Esmeralda

A Side-by-Side Comaparsion of teh styles of Hunchback of Notre Dame and Beauty and the Beast

The great thing about Disney’s hand-drawn films is that they had different styles to complement the story. The Little Mermaid doesn’t look like Mulan. Even Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame which take place in the same Country and were done by the same directors look stylistically different. (Fun Fact – when Frozen was being development, at one point Hunchback and Beauty and Beast Directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale were recruited to direct the film but the project was put on hold.)

Walt Disney drawing Steamboat Willie picture image

Walt Disney drawing Steamboat Willie

You have to wonder is the ease of computers robbing Disney of its style when it comes to the look and feel of its films? Given Tangled and Frozen, I would say yes. Most of the 3-D fair movie look plastic and devoid of personality. But perhaps Disney can pioneer the 3-D art to have give it a whole new look. Or better yet GO BACK TO THE HAND-DRAWN FILMS!!!!!!!!!!

Frollo singing Hellfire Hunchback of Notre Dame Hellfire Disney picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Hunchback of Notre Dame Hellfire Disney

As I end discussing the music I want to say ONE thing, in Hunchback of Notre Dame, when the songs differ from the standard Disney format of song-type, the songs were great and when the songs was very formulaic it was bad. I think Disney needs to  pull away from the ridgely formulaic movies and be a little more experimental. I realize the Hunchback wasn’t a great success for them but that’s because they took a book that a) is a piece of literature with a bittersweet ending and b) they muttled the plot so it both be “dark” but also for kids.


Tangled Promotion Poster Disney picture image

Tangled Promotion Poster Disney

Snow Queen Concept Art Disney picture image

Snow Queen Concept Art Disney







I know Disney recently has been trying new things, Tangled was CG and more like a Dreamwork movie but it was still a princess movie and I was going to mention Snow Queen but that’s in development limbo right now. But maybe Disney should take what was so great about the Hunchback of Notre Dame (the dark elements) and make a dark animated movie. Let’s what would be good, mmm how about Faust:, everyone loves Faust. Or the The Monk , no that’s too dark, lots of sex and satan (but then again the main character is like a Frollo prototype). I think there was talk about doing Disney doing The Ramayana which isn’t dark but Ravana is demon king and I think it would make a great Disney movie especially if they did really cool animation. I guess either Faust alter to scew younger or the Ramayana which would need very little altering would be great.

Night on Bald Mountain Disney Fantasia  picture image

Night on Bald Mountain Disney Fantasia

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame







In conclusion Disney, you love Night on Bald Mountain, you love Hellfire, just make a dark movie and don’t market it for kids who know maybe that’s the shot in the arm your company needs; making a good film that people want to watch, and the people like Dark.

Next Time – It’s Fan Art Friday  Can I get a Yay?