Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Movie Write-Up: Frozen

We watched Frozen last night.  I actually watched it twice.  Frozen is a 2013 Walt Disney movie about a queen named Elsa who goes off into solitude after people learn about her magical powers—-powers of making ice and snow.  Elsa inadvertently causes a snow storm in her land, so her sister Anna, accompanied by Kristoff, his reindeer Sven, and Olaf the little snowman, go in search of her.  But Anna is not just looking for her sister to stop the snow storm.  She loves her sister, and she is saddened that her sister has shut her out for most of their life.  The reason that Elsa has been doing so, however, is that Elsa as a child accidentally injured Anna with her ice-powers, and Elsa does not want to hurt Anna (or anyone else) ever again.  While Anna and Elsa have such a rapport on the rare occasions that they do get to spend time together, Elsa consigns herself to isolation.

I thought that it would be a good idea for us to watch this movie right now because the TV series Once Upon a Time is focusing on Frozen this season.  I have been familiar with most of the characters in Once Upon a Time on account of Disney movies or Grimm’s fairy tales.  Consequently, when they have been introduced into the series, my reaction was, “Hey, it’s that character!”  I did not have as much familiarity with Frozen, though.  Although I had read the wikipedia summary of what the movie is about, reading about a movie and actually watching and experiencing it are two different things.  Doing the latter, I get to know the characters better.

I enjoyed Frozen.  I liked all of the characters, including Olaf, whom I thought would annoy me.  A major disappointment to me, however, is that Prince Hans—-a prince from another country who was engaged to Princess Anna—-turned out to be a bad guy.  Of course, having read the wikipedia entry, and having seen the reference to Hans and his twelve angry brothers in Once Upon a Time, I knew before watching the movie that he would turn out to be bad.  But the problem was that I really liked him throughout much of the movie.  He seemed so good—-he was a bit socially awkward, he cared for his horse, he served the inhabitants of Arendelle when Anna was off looking for Elsa, and he ordered his men not to harm Elsa when they came to her ice-palace.  Who would have suspected that this was all an act—-that he had designs on the throne of Arendelle and had plans to kill Elsa?

Except for “Let It Go,” the music at first was a turn-off to me, but I appreciated it a lot more the second time that I watched the movie.  “Do You Want to Build a Snowman,” which Anna sang outside of Elsa’s door in asking Elsa to come out and play, was so sad because it captured Anna’s loneliness and desire to be with her sister Elsa.  There was also a beautiful song about how Elsa did not have to figure things out alone because her sister was there for her.  And the song that the rock-trolls sang when they were trying to get Kristoff (whom they took in and raised) and Anna married—-“He’s a fixer-upper”—-was cool because it was about how Kristoff had rough edges (i.e., he was socially awkward, a loner who liked his reindeer more than people, and had a smell), yet love could bring out the best in him, and anyone.

I’m glad I watched this movie, both because it will provide me context for this season’s Once Upon a Time, and also because it had a sweet story.

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