09 8 / 2014
Let me begin by saying that I am a Disney fan. I am. No, really. After reading the title of this article, you probably think I’m a cartoon-hating, princess-abhorring, cold, heartless person. (Ha, irony.) But I really do love Disney movies. I grew up watching Cinderella and Pocahontas and I quote Mulan almost daily. Now you’re thinking, “Ok, so she only likes the older Disney movies,” but I’m a fan of Tangled and The Princess and the Frog too. Besides, this isn’t about what you think, this is my opinion, and no, you didn’t ask for it, but you clicked on this note, didn’t you?
Being a Disney fan, I saw the teaser-trailer for Frozen and was immediately excited. Who doesn’t love a hilarious, talking snowman? Further research revealed that it was a film based off of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale “Snow Queen.” So far, so good. I mean, The Little Mermaid, although straying from the original story, was another one of Andersen’s fairytales and it’s fantastic! Last, but not least, I learned that “Wicked’s” Idina Menzel played the voice of one of the main characters which seemed to be good news due to the fact that I’m also a “Wicked” fan. So, what went wrong?
I saw the movie by myself in a theatre jam-packed with little kids and their parents. I got the last remaining seat. Honestly, it astounds me how hallowed and commercialized this movie has become, surrounding us in every store, on the radio, and all over the internet. It’s been nine months since Frozen, two years since the last Disney princess in Brave, and four years since the last Disney princess-musical Tangled. Yet neither of those films received the adoration that Frozen has or the commercialized attention. What is this? Well, if you work for Disney, you’ll say it’s good marketing and a heck of a good movie to maintain this long a popularity streak. If you’re me, you’ll say it’s annoying.
If I were a fan, I’d say “too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing,” but since I’m not, let me express why I don’t like the movie the rest of the world adores.
Firstly, the plot-holes or lack of explanation. If you’re a little kid, this wouldn’t really bother you, but if you’re me, sitting in a packed theatre, watching the movie you’ve heard so much about, you’re a little disappointed at the valleys and unexpected drops on the ride. I kept expecting the storyline to cover them later in the movie or a flash-back of some sort that would ease my curiosity, but was eventually left at the end with a lot of questions that hadn’t been answered. These were: What kind of place is Arendelle? Is it Norwegian or is it not, ‘cause it’s kinda throwing out both vibes? Where did Elsa get her powers? Why are they and their magic “bad”, yet her parents take her to magical trolls for help? Who ARE these magical trolls? What happened to Kristoff’s family? How did HE meet the trolls? Oh, and, apparently Elsa can make LIFE? Where did that come from? All of these left me on the edge of my seat, but not with excitement.
Secondly, the lack of a good villain. In today’s society, you’re not born evil, you become it over a period of time due to past events. Apparently, Disney decided to follow that trend by making Elsa a “villain” that could turn back into a good guy at the end. I know what you’re saying, “But what about the evil merchant and Hans?” Yes, they were both villains, but they were more sidekicks to the main event and they didn’t have songs. (Well, except Hans in “Love is an Open Door” and, seriously, how easy is it for you to sing that now, knowing that he turns out to be a creep in the end?) My point is, everyone loves a good villain. In the past, Disney’s given them to us along with their cutthroat, loud, angry anthems. We revel in “Poor, Unfortunate Souls”, “Be Prepared”, and “Friends on the Other Side” all the while knowing the bad-guy’s gonna get his due. Elsa and “Let it Go” aren’t like that. Like the HonestTrailer for the movie says, “Let it Go” is more of a YOLO song and Elsa doesn’t end up a real villain in the end. Both I and a few of my friends agree that this results in something the movie lacks.
Thirdly, the music. If you haven’t stopped reading by this point, at least stay for this next paragraph. I’ll agree, the music is very catchy. (Especially, “Do you wanna build a Snowman?” I- ah- no! It’s stuck in my head already!) Although this is true, the music sounds much too much like it came straight off of Broadway and “Let it Go,” the anthem of the movie, lacks a key quality that other great Disney songs have. I’m not the greatest singer in the world, but I have taken six years of voice lessons and can lay claim to singing decently. I’ve enjoyed singing “So This is Love,” “Part of Your World,” and “Colors of the Wind” for years, so when I heard Idina Menzel was playing the voice of a character, I knew what to expect. Menzel can hit notes not many people on this earth can hit. (If you doubt that, find the articles that state that the composers were scared if Menzel didn’t take the role of Elsa, they would be doomed.) She made her Broadway career out of piercing, belted highs. If you’ve listened to “Let it Go,” you’ve heard this. The problem is that this song’s popularity is so great that every little girl today is going to walk around her house belting “Let it Go” at the top of her voice. Belting, in any case, is always hard on your voice. (If you doubt it, listen to Menzel’s “Let it Go” performance at the Oscars and you’ll know what I’m talking about.) It’s my fear that girls everywhere are going to strain and damage their vocal chords thanks to Disney’s production of a song that’s very prominent and very hard to sing.
Finally, the money-making machine Frozen was produced to be. Look, I get it. Movies are made for money. No two ways about it, but Frozen, as has been confirmed by Disney and the composers, was written and produced so that it can be the fastest Disney musical to make the leap from film to Broadway stage in history. Personally, I believe that if something’s good enough, it will make a lot of money. If something’s good enough, it will become a Broadway show and vice versa. A book will become a movie, a comic strip will become a franchise, and an individual’s life-story will be shown on film because they are all exceptional. I don’t believe that things should be made solely for profit because it diminishes the quality of the work and throws us all into a repetitive spiral of sequels and spinoffs. So while Frozen may have made tons of money and received lots of awards, I’m sick of it being called “the greatest thing since The Lion King.”
I don’t hate Frozen. While there are other things that bother me, like Elsa’s voice not fitting her character and the subtle hint at homosexuality, which I don’t support, I will say that Olaf is hilarious, the sisterly bond is sweet, and, again, the songs are catchy. To the rest of the world I would say, “too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing,” but since I’m not a fan of Frozen, for now I’ll write this article and add that I am so sick of hearing “Let it Go” on the radio.
02 8 / 2014