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“Frozen” left me cold


I watched “Frozen” (2013), a Disney animated film, the other day. I was disappointed. So what if it has an 89% rating on Clearly today’s audiences expect less from a Disney movie than they used to.

  • The story was paint-by-numbers, lifted from “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen. That was one of the few pluses, sadly.
  • It’s a Broadway-style musical, made by people who have no familiarity with traditional Broadway musicals, created for an audience which has no familiarity with traditional Broadway musicals. The singers’ voices are thin and unpolished, the songs are shoehorned into the storyline without finesse, and the lyrics are completely unmemorable. I was reminded of “Wicked” (2003), a similar musical featuring sisters, and that’s not particularly a good thing. It seems that Disney has been invaded by unemployed writers and singers from Broadway. They’re unemployed on Broadway for a reason.
  • Some of the characters were unusually creepy, for Disney. Olaf the living snowman was creepy, even though he was supposed to be a main character designed to sell toys. Marshmallow the guardian snow giant was too creepy and violent for Disney, I think. 
  • The computer animation was high-quality, which seemed out of place for what felt like a direct-to-video script. There were many chase scenes and sliding-down-a-mountain sequences which seem calculated to lay the groundwork for the inevitable rides to be built at Disney theme parks. 

Overall, the movie was barely tolerable. I fast-forwarded through some of the songs because they were so tedious and shrill. The message of two sisters learning to get along was a good one, but in a 102-minute film, it took about 92 minutes longer than necessary to make the point. And the ten songs in the film may make it the #1-selling album of 2014 so far, but that is more a reflection of the sad state of the music industry (nobody’s buying music except effete urbanites trying to keep their brats quiet in the back seat of their SUV) than a reflection of the quality of the soundtrack. 

In short, “Frozen” is a waste of time, and a disgraceful entry in Disney’s long line of mostly-successful animated films. 

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