My daughter loves Frozen.
So much so that we bought it for her. And considering she is only 12 months old, this is quite a big thing! Her first Disney film! It’s likely to have a place in her heart for ever!
And a film in which the “act of true love” which acts as a deus ex machina is familial rather than romantic isn’t a bad role model … especially as her father has banned her dating until she’s 35!
But there is so much just wrong with this film! I’m not sure where to start! Idina Menzel’s singing voice as Queen Elsa is very high-pitched and shrieky to my old arthritic ears… but I can forgive that. Olaf the talking snowman is on a par with Jar Jar Binks in the annoying sidekick stakes. I’m worried that these trolls appear to be child-snatchers: why did Kristof never return home? Is there some Norweigan Sweatshop racket going on?
The biggest problems I have, however, are these:
1. The Queen has damned Arendelle to an eternal winter, it is declared… And yet it appear that the film takes place over the space of perhaps 24 hours (excluding the backstory montage). Yes, granted, the winter has struck in mid-July or August which doesn’t bode well… but eternal? Really? Inconvenient. Unexpected. Sudden. Unseasonal. I’d have accepted all those and many other adjectives. But one thing the winter patently is not is eternal!
2. Hans. The transition from simpering mooncalf to either hero or villain is utterly unconvincing. The scene I particularly object to is this one
It is an unguarded moment; no one is watching him; he’s hidden by the boat. To prepare us for the eventual villainy, to introduce an element of cohesion and pre-figuration a mocking sneer was needed. Instead, we get that simpering smile.
The reason for these discrepancies appears to be on account of a song. According to IMDB
Originally, Queen Elsa was intended to be the villain of the story. However, when the character’s major song, “Let it Go,” was played for the producers, they concluded that the song was not only very appealing, but its themes of personal empowerment and self-acceptance were too positive for a villain to express. Thus, the story was rewritten to have Elsa as an isolated innocent who is alarmed upon learning that her powers are inadvertently causing harm and struggles to control her powers with Anna’s help.
I’m imagining the Disney think tank as they decided to make Elsa scared rather than malicious and the need to have some form of antagonist… Whereupon Hans was shoehorned into the role somewhat uncomfortably.
Would it not have been better to re-write the song and give it to Elsa?
No. I’m sorry, Disney. But if you want a good intelligent reworking of The Snow Queen, you need to read The Girl With The Glass Feet by Ali Shaw, my review of which is here.