Disney’s Frozen is Garbage
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Disney’s latest princess adventure movie, Frozen, is being hailed as a revolutionary tale of sisterhood and “girl-power,” while still maintaining the classic Disney feel. The score of the movie is being downloaded thousands of times each day, claimed the spot of #1 album on iTunes, and it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t know the chorus to ‘Let It Go.’
It has been one of Disney’s most successful movies ever, and the studio says that a sequel is in the works. Yet with all the success and buzz around this movie, the actual picture itself is a mediocre, drab, confusing tale based on racist and lazy character designs and stereotypes. The protagonists, being a pair of sisters, share the exact same 3D model compared to the male characters who have their own unique model and can’t seem to act like normal human beings. Its general format is even worse than Pixar’s “Cars,” and its plot seems like it was written in a few weeks. Frozen has so many faults, it’s honestly hard to find a place to begin.
In the beginning of the movie, the two sisters are introduced and the audience is shown that the eldest, Elsa, has ice powers; which are never explained at all in the movie. Not once. Anyway, Anna, the youngest, is hit in the head with some sort of magical ice bolt and the audience is led to the most confusing and unnecessary plot device known to man: the trolls. These creatures have no place in this story, their origins are never explained, and they magically know the answer to every character’s problem.
Fast forward, God knows how many years, and the sister’s parents are dead for some reason and Elsa is being crowned queen. Who apparently was running the kingdom this whole time? Did they have a puppet monarch? How is Elsa going to handle being queen when she literally has not left her room in 10 years? How did the sisters never see each other once during all this time? All of these questions, amongst many others, are left completely unanswered.
Throughout the rest of the story, the audience meets other major characters, such as Hans and Kristoff. Along with the completely irrelevant characters such as Olaf and Sven. But for now, let’s just focus on the important characters. Hans was hansdown (Get it?) the worst villain ever. Even worse than Mr. Freeze from Joel Schumacher’s “Batman & Robin.” At least Mr. Freeze knew he was a villain before the final arc of the story. Hans was a nobleman coming to Arendelle to steal the throne by any means necessary, but he is revealed to be the antagonist with maybe 30 minutes left in the film. It comes out of nowhere. It’s as if the writers threw it in last minute for something to shake this movie out of it’s bland plot line because of how kind he acted throughout the entire movie. It was meant for shock value but after the first time it’s revealed, it gets very stale very fast. Overall, his entire character arc made no sense, but then again, when did anything make sense in this movie?
Another part that didn’t make sense: Elsa and Anna. They refused to talk about their problems like normal human beings, they isolated themselves from one another when they needed each other the most, and for some unknown reason Elsa has ice powers. Anna didn’t even feel like a real character, even by Disney’s standards, and falls into the classic “meant to be a feminist character but misses the mark by so much it’s laughable” trope. Kristoff could have been completely disregarded and the movie would have been exactly the same. As for Olaf and Sven, they were just for comic relief.
From a technical standpoint, Frozen misses the mark as well. The ice effects fall flat compared to 2012’s Rise of the Guardians, and the animation itself is subpar. There are multiple clipping issues which would have never made it past a normal animated movie’s standard, but it’s the character designs that really could use the help. Elsa, Anna, and their mother share the exact same model, the same face and the same mannerisms.
In animation (and character design in general), the power of the silhouette is something that cannot be overlooked. Frozen’s development team didn’t just overlook it, they threw it out the goddamn window. While every male in the movie had a unique body type to match their personalities (even Hans’s bodyguards who don’t have a single spoken line), producers made Elsa and Anna’s facial expressions and movements restricted just so they would be “pretty.”
The clothing designs are not even close to what a woman in 1400’s Norway would wear, and it’s meant more to emphasize their “romanticism” than to be practical winter gear. Clothing and character designs are where the racist elements of the movie come in as well. Kristoff’s design is based off of a group of people indigenous to where Frozen takes place, and boy did they desecrate what they hold dear.
These people, the Saami, are represented in Frozen by Kristoff wearing traditional garments such as the gapta, the beaska, and the muadta. But he’s not actually wearing any of it. I think the writers and character designers took important religious and significant elements of Saami culture, threw it in a blender, and westernized it to get the abomination that is Kristoff’s character design. The clothing looks like a bad version of what these people were forbidden to wear and still don’t wear because of a long tradition of racism and discrimination toward people who openly identify as being Saami. They put a costume of traditional clothing, worn by indigenous people of color, into a two dimensional character with no connections to the history of the culture.
In the Snow Queen movie, based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, there are multiple people of color in important roles. In this movie, the cast was so white it’s a miracle they didn’t lose each other in the snow.
There’s also a lot of misrepresentation in this movie, since there were only two black women seen in the background of Elsa’s coronation party. Representation is an extremely vital thing to children, especially in major motion pictures such as Frozen. Little girls need to see that just because they have dark skin, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be queens or superheroes or adventurers. Also, for those who claim that is not “historically accurate” to have brown people in 1400’s Norway, I would like to point out the historical accuracy of a reindeer you can ride, a woman with magical ice powers, stone trolls, and a goddamn talking snowman.
Frozen is a movie made in bad taste with a misguided plot and characters. There is almost no worldbuilding or actual substance to any of the characters, and the plot is all over the place and mundane for almost all of the runtime. The graphics are nothing to write home about compared to some of it’s contemporaries, and there are so many issues in character design. If you are one of the small minority of people who have not yet seen Frozen, take some advice and don’t. That’s one hour and 50 minutes you’ll never get back.