Believe it or not, you may not know all there is to know about the Outlaw. For starters, I’m fairly certain that no one – outside of myself and the kind lady who delivered me into this world – has a clue that I have an odd craving for tuna fish mixed with Chef Boyardee canned spaghetti. In addition, on a pop cultur- based level, not many people out there realize I have a legitimate love for almost all things Disney. That’s right, the Outlaw has a soft spot, or seven.
I’m not sure I can peg it on any one element, but Disney just seems to have that knack of entertainment. With a solid mix of both adult and children’s humor along with memorable voice performances, stellar animation and endearing story-telling, there isn’t much the mouse-eared company does horribly wrong. Plus, Disney movies tend to leave you smiling as the credits are rolling; what can I say, I’m a sucker for a happy ending. I mean in the movie sense of course (not that there’s anything wrong with the other kind, mind you).
Now that I’ve sufficiently veered into content unbecoming of the Disney brand in general, it’s about time I discuss the matters at hand, the latest animated film from the happiest studio on earth, Frozen. Oddly enough, it’s one of the few Disney films I didn’t see on the big screen, and one that took me quite a while to catch up with even after debuting on home video. It’s a bit surprising too, seeing as how I’ve heard nothing but overwhelming praise for the flick in addition to seeing an unholy amount of comic convention goers don the costumes of their favorite Frozen characters over the past year.
So what did the Outlaw think of Disney’s new musical on ice? Read on for the cold hard facts.
What’s Cool about Frozen:
– Nixing the Formula
There is no doubt Disney movies tend to lean on the formulaic idea of a male and female character finding true love, whether they are human, cars, animals, or fish. While the central theme of true love remains, Disney offers up its own M. Night Shyamalan-like twist in the end. Despite not having quite the same oomph emotionally (see below), it was a welcome change of pace that I truly enjoyed.
– Animation Domination
As with their prior hit Tangled, Frozen was developed using a hybrid of computer and hand-drawn animation. Whatever the percentages may be, there is no denying it’s one visually pleasing film to watch.
– Humor from Non-Humans
One theme which Disney thankfully didn’t change up for Frozen was the utilization of non-human characters to derive much of the humor. In my humble but often maligned opinion, both Olaf the snowman (Josh Gad) and Sven the moose stole the majority of laughs.
What makes Frozen a bit too Chilly:
– Ice in its Veins
Call me a stickler, but I felt as if the writers tried to condense several years of a relationship into just one song. For a film focusing heavily on the relationship between two sisters, not enough time was spent on the siblings while their relationship was in good standing. As a result, I just didn’t connect or care enough about the events that followed as much as I feel I should have. Or maybe it’s because I’m an only child who only had cousins to beat up on. I guess the world will never know.
– Chopped Ice
Blame it on my sophisticated expectations, but I felt Frozen dropped the viewer off at a secondary stage of the story, and then headed off to the races without explaining one very important element: How in the hell did Elsa get her icy super powers? Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t need an entire Peter Jackson trilogy to explain her origin story, but spending at least a few minutes on how (or why) Elsa harbored such a curse would have generated more sympathy for the ice queen in my eyes.
– The Tunes are Okay
Even though this doesn’t seem like a negative, when it comes to Disney and music, my expectations are naturally higher (hovering somewhere around the moon’s orbit). Much of this is perception, but having been spoiled with past Disney animated soundtracks composed and produced by the genius that is Alan Menken, my ear drums wanted better from Frozen. This is just one of those rare times when okay just didn’t cut it.
As a whole, the 53rd animated film in Walt Disney’s vault is an entertaining take on Hans Christian Andersen‘s fairy tale, The Snow Queen. Unfortunately, for the Outlaw, entertaining is about all Frozen manages to reach, and only on occasion. Based on Disney’s animated archive, this just feels like one of those rare Disney missteps where it seems style was chosen over substance (or content for that matter). I also am willing to venture that my “meh-” like thoughts on this movie stem from almost everyone I know describing this as the second coming. I have no doubt I’m going to get some heat for this review, but again, just because it didn’t turn my world upside down, doesn’t mean I found it a waste of time either. Ironically, if the writers would have taken the time to flesh out the story a bit more, Frozen may have had the added warmth to make it a winter classic.