Frozen review

Disney’s winter movie, Frozen, appears to be another in its long line of harsh fairy tales turned family-friendly. Why Disney claimed that Frozen was based on the fairy tale The Snow Queen when the two stories have virtually nothing in common is a mystery, and the lack of developed characters, racial diversity and compelling plot doesn’t do anything good for its recent, overly similar stock of films.
The Snow Queen is the tale of friends, children Kay and Gerda. After getting pieces of a mirror that distorts reality to its most wicked in his eye and heart, Kay becomes impish and is tricked by the Snow Queen to stay in her castle. After his disappearance, Gerda sets off to find her friend and, after traveling through the European world, eventually saves him from the Snow Queen’s clutches. It’s hard to even describe what the similarities are between Frozen and The Snow Queen. Theoretically, Gerda is now Anna, but instead of being a regular little girl, she is now a princess whose sister Elsa can make snow with her mind. And that’s pretty much where the similarities end, if that even is considered a similarity. Before her coronation to become queen, Elsa has a “meltdown” and creates an eternal winter in their kingdom of Arendelle. Anna must save the kingdom from this winter as a few, underwhelming plot twists get in her way. To say that Disney based Frozen on The Snow Queen would be like saying that Disney’s The Little Mermaid was just the same as the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.
This is not to say that Frozen is a wholly bad movie; it’s very cute and it has funny moments, but these good aspects cannot outweigh the bad. The cute animation is overly so and actually begins to annoy. The most atrocious example of this is the trolls. The trolls look exactly like Smurfs, to the point where the only real difference between them is that the trolls weren’t blue, but looked vaguely like cartoon rocks. Along with that, there is almost no character development or backstory, and any that is present is rushed to the point where the audience doesn’t care at all. The death of Anna and Elsa’s parents at the beginning has almost no emotional effect, and the plot twist in the last quarter is predictable and ineffectual.

Another problem is the repetition within Disney. It feels like virtually every Disney movie has a ridiculously skinny, white princess as the protagonist. Why isn’t Disney including more diversity in its films? Yes, Pocahontas, The Princess and the Frog and Mulan all have women of color as main characters, but in The Princess and the Frog, the characters spend the majority of the movie as frogs. And the number of movies that don’t have any people of color as main (or even supporting) characters (Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Toy Story) is gigantic compared to these three. These movies are still great, but as time goes by and the number of racially diverse Disney movies has yet to really grow, my disappointment in Disney has risen.
Overall, I was disappointed in Frozen. I had heard such good things, but in reality it was a cookie cutter Disney film without any of the depth of its classics and with almost no diversity.  Disney needs to work on a lot of things for its next film, because, while Frozen was cute, it doesn’t hit home the way a true Disney movie does.