Frozen: Parent Review

Frozen | PG | 1 hour 42 minutes | Adventure, Comedy, Animation, Musical, Family | November 27, 2013

Maybe this won’t be funny eventually. Or maybe it never really was funny.

Almost exactly 6 years later, Frozen is getting its sequel. What better time for fans of Frozen to start gearing up their singing voices to belt out the next Adele Dazeem (Idina Menzel) song? And its time for a new generation of parents to wish they could burn their ear drums out of their heads as their young children scream the song at the top of their little lungs.

But first, let’s take a moment to thank John Travolta for 5 years of laughs with his butchering of Idina Menzel’s name. Well, OK, maybe it was funny for about one night at the Oscars and a few days subsequent. And I bring it up from time to time. But yeah, it’s been about 5 years since his blunder.

Anyway, Frozen marks the fourth Disney princess movie to come out in the second decade of 21st century. Because I can, I’m counting The Princess and the Frog which came out in 2009. And mainly because The Princess and the Frog marked the end of the decade of several sequels like Pocahontas, Mulan, Cinderella, and the Little Mermaid.

And in case you care, both Cinderella and the Little Mermaid both got a trilogy. Yup, two straight to DVD movies for each. Can we say cash grab?

So the second decade of the 21 century marked the start of original Disney princess movies starting up again. I mean, they’re not actually original, since all are based (loosely) on other tales. And maybe the streak is over with Frozen II almost here and Moana II is in the works.

But sometimes, sequels can be better than the original. Not always of course. Some crash and burn hard. Still, if they feel it can make it in the theater, it can’t be that bad. Right?

Frozen Synopsis

When socially isolated, emotionally abused, and mentally unstable Elsa is crowned queen, she accidentally sets off an eternal winter. Her naive, love starved sister teams up with a ice salesman with no business sense (they live in some Norwegian country, why the hell is he selling ice?), his goofy reindeer, and magical, walking, and talking snowman (no, not Frosty) to find a way to save their kingdom and her sister.

Frozen Worsts

Frozen introduced families to some of the worsts or near worsts in family movies. The two worsts categories: parents and douche bags.

Frozen – (Second) Worst Parents

Home Alone still holds the title for the worst parents in a children or family movies history. The McCallisters literally left their 8/9 year old son home alone when they went to Paris and lost him on their way to Florida the next year. But the parents, aka the king and queen, in Frozen are pretty damn close seconds.

When their daughter with amazing powers has an accident, they seek help from trolls that can help undo the damage. That’s good. The trolls give cryptic advice to them that though their is great beauty in her power, there is danger there and fear will be her enemy. That’s sort of good (more on the trolls later).

What was the parents’ takeaway? Let’s isolate Elsa and teach her to fear her powers. Conceal don’t feel. And make Anna think her sister doesn’t like her anymore.

Seriously? That’s what you idiots took away from this? The old troll literally says fear will be her enemy. And you people teach her to fear herself and her powers?

Nice one, dicks.

Frozen Worst: Douche Bag

Most Disney movies have villains. Some are down right evil, like the aptly named Evil Queen from Snow White or Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. And some are power hungry like Hades from Hercules, Scar from The Lion King, or Ursala from The Little Mermaid. And tons of other villains that have various, evil motives and desires.

Then there is Frozen.

Frozen doesn’t have a villain. Frozen has the biggest douche bag to ever grace the Disney movies with their depiction of Prince Hans of the Southern Isles.

Prince Hans of the Southern Isles - biggest douche bag in Disney

What kind of douche bag convinces a vulnerable young lady that he loves her in order to gain access to the throne? He could at least have had the dignity to pretend to be a prince to her to get in her pants like Aladdin did…

But instead, his play is for the throne and he is just going to let her die. Low blow man. Low blow.

Frozen Fan Theory

So there’s a messed up theory about the trolls and Hans floating around the Internet. The theory goes something like this:

When Kristoff brings Anna back to meet his family so Grand Pabbie can remove the ice from her heart, they immediately assume that Kristoff has brought home a girl he was serious about. So of course, in true musical fashion, they sing a song about her hesitations about marrying their adopted (kidnapped?) son.

During the song, they find out she is engaged to another man. And when they huddle up, they talk about how they need to get the fiancee out of the way and the whole thing will be fixed.

Think about that part of the song. Now think about the timing. Up until this point in the movie, Hans has been nothing but caring, quirky, and a good leader for Arendelle. And then suddenly, after that song, he’s a power and throne hungry douche bag?

We know the trolls can manipulate people’s minds. Or at least Grand Pabbie can. What if he cast a spell to manipulate Hans’ mind and caused him to become a royal douche bag? If he did this, then a heartbroken Anna would likely turn to Kristoff for comfort.

Now, I’m not saying that was the intent of the Frozen writers, but it is an interesting fan theory. But given that Disney doesn’t give a crap about what fans theorize, it is not likely this plot will actually be explored if it was not their original intention.

It probably will turn out to be that Hans is, well, just a douche bag.

Frozen: Parent Review
frozen-movie-poster

Movie title: Frozen

Movie description: When socially isolated, emotionally abused, and mentally unstable Elsa is crowned queen, she accidentally sets off an eternal winter. Her naive, love starved sister teams up with a ice salesman with no business sense (they live in some Norwegian country, why the hell is he selling ice?), his goofy reindeer, and magical, walking, and talking snowman (no, not Frosty) to find a way to save their kingdom and her sister.

Date published: 2013-11-27

Director(s): Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Actor(s): Kristen Bell - Anna (voice), Idina Menzel - Elsa (voice), Jonathan Groff - Kristoff (voice), Josh Gad - Olaf (voice), Santino Fontana - Hans (voice), Alan Tudyk - Duke (voice), Ciarán Hinds - Pabbie / Grandpa (voice)

Genre: Family, Adventure, Musical, Animated, Comedy

Overall
4.3
  • Plot
    (4.5)
  • Characters
    (4.5)
  • Watchability
    (4)
  • Songs
    (4)

Dad's Take

When I first saw Frozen in theaters, I remember literally sitting there every scene change thinking “this is it, this is where the blonde one goes psycho and becomes the villain.” Oddly, I was disappointed when this didn’t happen. Because let’s face it, they set it up nicely for her to turn evil.

Let’s talk about the emotional abuse the king (in particular) and queen inflicted on their daughter. To paraphrase a bit: “I know just what to do. We’ll lock her in her room and have her avoid all human contact and compassion. Teach her to fear herself and her power. Treat her like a freak. Alienate her from her sister and convince her sister that Elsa is just a bitch. That’ll help her control her fear and powers.”

Great plan. It’s probably just lazy writing that Elsa didn’t turn to evil.

Instead, she had to go all soft and realize that “love” is the answer to her problems. Maybe, just maybe, the answer was make all the people of Arendelle suffer for years in an eternal winter because they think Elsa was a freak. Then revenge could have been hers.

In fact, the parents’ abuse was so bad that, when they died,  did anyone actually give a sh*t? I mean, you almost cheer for the storm during the “Do you want to build a snowman” montage. Since Elsa didn’t exact revenge, at least the storm did.

But aside from Elsa not fulfilling my desire to watch a vengeful person’s character arch and exact her wrath on a deserving kingdom, Frozen really wasn’t  a terrible movie. In fact, it was actually pretty good overall. It has some decent humor, including some adult jokes about size not mattering, and other funny lines provided by Josh Gad. 

It also has a stone cold twist with how Hans turns out to be the real villain. What kind of dick pretends to love a woman just to get something from her? Almost makes Aladdin’s catfishing scheme seem benign by comparison. And I’m pretty sure Hans may be the most hated Disney villain of all time.

And then there is the moment that could have ended a lot differently, albeit not unheard of for Disney. You remember the one. The one where Sven is shown going under the icy water. Damn Disney, way to make the whole theater gasp. Dick move, Disney. Dick. Move.

Still, it worked. The scene was memorable. And Sven lived to be a part of another Frozen tale six years later.

Olaf provided some decent moments in Frozen. Some people didn’t care for his antics, thinking the character was annoying. But people with taste realize that Olaf actually steals the show and is one of the best parts of Frozen. Josh Gad gave a great performance to a character that could have been as annoying as Jar Jar Binks or when the chipmunk from Enchanted could still talk in the beginning of the movie with his over the top New York accent (best decision of Enchanted to make the chipmunk mute for most of it).

And of course, my daughter has loved Frozen since she first saw it a couple of years ago. For a long while, her movie of choice was to watch the DVR version we grabbed off of Freeform. Many times while watching Frozen, she’d hop on her bouncing horse and tell us that “I leave Prince Hans in charge” and proceed to bounce in place on the stationary horse. 

From time to time, she pretends to have “frozen” powers. In fact, when she has played Captain Marvel in the past year, she has pretended to have the ability to freeze things with blasts from her hands. And though she does not watch it every day, she does still enjoy Frozen and will gladly watch it when it is on TV or playing at a special engagement.

She has also looked up to both Ana and Elsa from time to time. She seems to relate some to them, which is good because they are some of the stronger female role models as Disney princesses go.

I may never sit and watch Frozen on my own, but when it comes to movies that may be put on repeat in the house, Frozen is not an awful choice. But if you are not aware, your child, or you, may constantly sing Let It Go. You have been warned.

Pros

good music particularly from Idina Menzel

princess and queen portray strong female characters, not damsels in distress

good character development

funny at times

adult humor and other characteristics that make it easier to re-watch frequently

Cons

music is too good, gets stuck in the head and kids tend to sing it or demand it get played

some negative stereotypes such as the Duke of Weselton is portrayed as a money loving “Jew”

Nathan

Nathan is not a published author, professional movie critic, or avid fan of most children shows. He is a caring father (when he's not banging his head against the wall), a movie connoisseur of sorts literally able to have full conversations in movie and TV quotes, and dedicated to helping other parents avoid starting a show with their small children that they will soon regret. In his free time, he does nothing. He has two small children. Free time does not exist.

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