Dec 2 2013 1:00pm

Big Broadway Numbers and Sensible Morals: Disney’s Frozen

Before I discuss Frozen, I feel it only fair to start this review with a disclaimer: Hello, my name is Leah Withers and I am a Disney Fan Girl. Yes, yes, I am one of those. Those 20-something people that re-watch The Rescuers Down Under on a Saturday night, totally sober, and live tweet commentary to absolutely no one. One of those people who falls gleefully down the Tumblr rabbit holes of Disney fanart (ermahgerd have you guys seen Pocket Princesses??) and who may or may not have a dedicated Disney board on her Pinterest… So hop on board good folks, see me after the jump, and let the squeeing commence!

Some spoilers ahead!

“OMG love!”—those were the first words out of my mouth as the credits began to run on Frozen. From the magic to the music, I think we have a winner here and good heavens did Disney need one.

Frozen is vaguely inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale “The Snow Queen” and follows a few days in the lives of royals Elsa and her little sister Anna and their lovely, quaint, and Norwegian-ish kingdom of Arendelle. Elsa was born with magic ice powers but not much ability to control them. Despite being close in their early years, the girls become estranged as Elsa isolates herself out of fear of hurting others with her “curse.” On Elsa’s coronation day, Anna triggers her sister into exposing her secret and Elsa runs off into the wilderness, distraught and believing she is not fit to be in society. Sadly, her emotional departure throws Arendelle into a deep winter so Anna takes off to bring her sister back. Ensue hijinks, cute sidekicks, moral lessons, and all that jazz.

Now, Disney can be depended on to do many things well, such as beautiful and creative animation which I won’t waste breath on reassuring you is present in this film. But what they have struggled with in the post golden 90s era has been their music. Granted, classics like The Little Mermaid and The Lion King set the bar exceedingly high but that doesn’t mean Tangled and Princess and the Frog should be forgiven for having bad soundtracks. Blame bad song-writers, blame too high-expectations, blame whomever you like, but the decline in Disney musical magic has been apparent and tragic.

All this is to say that I was zip-a-dee-doo-dah excited by the gust of refreshing wind that was the music of Frozen! What changed? They stopped trying to be what they were and embraced something new—theater nerds, hold on to your hats: Disney has gone Broadway. That’s right, finally abandoning their sad and awkward attempts to recreate the auditory gold of nineties Disney, twenty-teens Disney has admitted they might never write another “A Whole New World,” dropped the pretense, and instead gone the stage musical route. The music of Frozen is reminiscent of Wicked and its ilk: fast, layered duets and smart, complicated arrangements. My favorite of the nine original tracks, “Let it Go,” is a personal manifesto akin to “Defying Gravity” and just as exciting to experience. Other notable songs are “Do You Want to Build a Snowman,” which is sweet and heart-wrenching and “In Summer,” a delightfully funny tune.

So with great music on lock, Frozen frees up to be enjoyed for its other smaller elements. Cute and quirky sidekicks are always a fan favorite and Frozen delivers with an adorable (and very funny) reindeer and magically animated snowman. I’ll admit I was sold on this movie from the early teaser short where the reindeer and snowman fight over a carrot (did I watch that more than ten times back to back? Maybe…), but the pair of them continued to be heartwarming comic relief throughout.

The moral lessons of Frozen are strong with both new and commonplace truisms represented. [Spoiler] The movie does hang on that old chestnut: “An Act of Selfless Love” but does that ever really get old? No! Unless you are heartless, in which case you could probably use An Act of Selfless Love. But also present is something new and different for Disney: “love at first sight is pretty dumb and getting to know a person is what reasonable people do before hitching their life wagons together.” Yay, rational thinking! There’s also loyalty, with sisters who actually love one another without a shred of cattiness in sight. Miraculous! And the management of expectations: “Fixer Upper” is a fun song reminiscent of “Be Our Guest” and explores the issue of loving a person, including their faults.

So all in all: this Disney fan gives two big thumbs up to Frozen with its fantastic soundtrack, hearty and heartwarming story line, beautiful animation, and very funny characters. Squeeeeeeeee.

Oh, before I go—I do have one critique of Frozen, though it’s more for Disney in general. I get that this is set in vaguely-Norway or some such place, but does everyone have to be white? It’s animated! There’s ice magic! Can’t there be some diversity of skin color for no rational reason? I would love to see Disney charge into a racially-unconscious world like what we saw in the brilliant 1997 made-for-TV production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella starring the incomparable Ms. Brandy. Black, White, Yellow, Purple: fairy tales are the perfect place to shake and stir races together with no thought or logic and I’d love to see Disney take that approach rather than having to base the occasional entire movie around a particular race (Mulan, Princess and the Frog) just to tick off their “we swear we’re not racist” box. Fin!

Leah Withers is an Associate Publicist at Tor Books who hails from Northern Virginia, by way of Texas.

Loved it!
1. Loved it!
Everything but the last paragraph in your review was great. The last paragraph was entirely unnecessary. I did not even notice the lack of racial diversity nor did I care one bit. It is a cartoon, not a public service announcement! Just enjoy the wonderful movie. There is no negative message sent by having an all-white cast unless you are looking for one.

Otherwise, loved the review. I thought there was something missing in the cartoons since the 90's and something different but better with Frozen and you nailed it. It was not the sweepingly epic music of The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast but it was definitely better than more recent fare and quite enjoyable.

The animated short before the movie was also exceptional. It was the most clever animation I have ever seen.
Mary Gaughan
2. RiverVox
We saw it with my two girls (8 & 12) this weekend and they are now obsessed and have been playing the soundtrack nonstop. We quickly realized that it was Wicked Lite, particularly in the focus on the sisters' relationship. I was pleasantly surprised when true love saved the day in a new way and pleased that the sidekicks were actually charming. I wonder how the film will play to the younger set 3-7 who are the main princess demographic. It might be a bit too emotionally complex for younger children to enjoy. Although the background & effect animation was beautiful, I'm not a fan of the hard 3D modeling of the characters that we seem to have inherited from Pixar.
Jenny Thrash
3. Sihaya
Of course Tangled shouldn't be forgiven for having a bad soundtrack - Tangled doesn't have a bad soundtrack. I happily sing along with "I've Got a Dream."
Loved it!
4. wandering-dreamer
@1: As a white viewer even I noticed the lack of diversity in the film and the fact that you implied that you don't need to have diverse casts in entertainment, just ultilitarian, public service annoucnment type films is rather distrubing. It does send a message, a message that "we don't think of you" or "you don't belong here", especially when there was no reason that they couldn't have at least had some non-white characters as background characters through-out.
Loved it!
5. naupathia
My idea of a "racially-unconscious" world is one where people can watch a movie and NOT think "Why aren't there any black people here?"

Because if we didn't care about race... then it wouldn't matter. Let a good movie be a good movie without puking up racial issues all over it.
Jenny Creed
6. JennyCreed

Here's the problem with not caring about race in your entertainment: You're only thinking about yourself. Think about what it's like for that girl who gets seven peanuts while the other girl gets more than she can count, and maybe you can see there is a problem.

Also, you can "let a good movie be a good movie" while still admitting it makes up part of the problems of our society. It's okay to like things that aren't perfect! You're even allowed to have complex, conflicted emotions about them, like "It had fantastic songs but they made a mistake by not realizing there was no reason the cast needed to be white as snow".
Loved it!
7. Loved it!
@wandering-dreamer As I said, there is only a negative message if you look for it. @naupathia nailed it much more succinctly and poignantly than I did.
Ciel F.
8. Shadaras
The problem is that people do care about race -- specifically those people who are not white, and who want to see themselves in more movies than those created specifically to be about people of color, such as The Princess and the Frog and Mulan.


On a completely different topic! I loved how Frozen was a Disney movie that wasn't about romance. It was about love, yes, but it was about sisters who love each other and care about each other, and parents who really were trying to do their best even if they didn't understand. It wasn't Yet Another White Heterosexual Romance Story; it had the trappings of one but then subverted and reversed the tropes to create both a cautionary tale about love and a heartwarming moral about loving your family. So I appreciated that. (though, as a queer person, I do wish that we could have a queer Disney heroine as well...)
Loved it!
9. HelenS
Because if we didn't care about race... then it wouldn't matter.

What good effect do you thinking people shutting up about the need for diverse representation would have? How would it further your stated goal?
Loved it!
10. Colin R
Srsly, if we just stopped acknowledging peoples' differences, and if those people who were different just shut up and kept their heads down, racism and bigotry would totally not exist. Problems do not exist if you refuse to talk about them!

... yeah right.

Anyway I don't think there's any contradiction in observing that 1) it's not bad or wrong depicting mostly white people in Norway, that 2) it wouldn't be bad if it was otherwise either, or that 3) there is an overwhelmingly prevalent trend of white people being over-represented as protagonists in mass media films in general or Disney in particular.
James Nicoll
11. JamesDavisNicoll
(though, as a queer person, I do wish that we could have a queer Disney heroine as well...)

(looks at Mulan's potential in this matter speculatively)

Although really, who among us has not thought "I wonder what Disney would do with a cartoon starring
Julie D'Aubigny as the protagonist?"
Constance Sublette
12. Zorra
Totes obvs those who are outraged by the comment about lack of color because "I didn't even notice!" are white people who can't / won't / don't want to see the lack. People of color notice, you know. As we all know too, there are large numbers of people from Africa and the Afro Latin Caribbean (and other places too) living in Scandinavia these days. Before these days, there are Laps and so on -- Asians would not be out of place there, at the top of the world.
Loved it!
13. HelenS
Just a heads-up: "The Sámi are often known in other languages by the exonyms Lap, Lapp, or Laplanders, but many Sami regard these as pejorative terms."
Loved it!
14. Rancho Unicorno
I take some issue with the review as well. I believe it was an Act of True Love, not Selfless Love. I was surprised to see no reference to Enchanted, which also addressed the idea of putting the cart of love before the horse of getting to know the person. That both reference True Love doesn't feel like a coincidence.

As far as the remainder of the movie, it was beginning to end fun. Hard to pick a favorite moment, but I might say that enjoyed that the plot took a momentary turn towards setting up Elsa as the villian during her big number, building the snow monster, and then having the red light of fear surround her when she got angry.

Regarding the 3-7 princess-loving crowd, my 6-going-on-7 year old who adores all things princess and/or fairy (she was a fairy princess for Halloween) was a huge fan. She isn't clamoring to be a Snow Queen or as immediately hooked as she was with Tangled, but we did spend a few hours Friday watching and rewatching YouTube clips. I don't think the dynamic confused her, but I think she just couldn't digest it all since we sprung it as a surprise on the kids on Wed and she can't rewatch it a thousand times at her leisure (we skipped Tangled in the theaters).

Finally, regarding the last paragraph, I'm pretty indifferent. Yeah, I may not want to hold my breath in the hope that my skin tone shows up in the a general audience major motion picture. Right now, I'd just settle with it not showing up solely on negative news stories in the real world. I just want my girl to find things that make her happy - stories where she can feel capable of doing anything she sets her mind to, but doesn't have to give up the things she loves. Surprisingly enough, that means that we're the target market for the pink legos and telescopes that everybody else makes fun of.

As a meaningless aside, I have noticed that the kids in her cohort work around "I don't see my race" more easily than adults. When she gets together with friends, although we're far from pasty white, she slides in to playing Snow White or Rapunzel and one of her friends can't decide if she should be the genetically correct Tiana or her preferred Cinderella. The only one that gets profiled is the red-head who is always stuck as Ariel or Merida.
Chris Nelly
15. Aeryl
@12, I was talking to someone elsewhere today about the "Ulfbrecht" a Viking sword reknowned in it's time for it's strength and durability. Interesting thing about it was that it was made from Damascus steel, which the Vikings of the time didn't know how to make.

Turkish people from Damascus did though, so it stands to reason that amongst the Vikings there were people of color who emigrated to them, bringing their foreign technology with them(the usage of Damascus steel didn't come widespread until later, so it doesn't seem like it was pillaged technology).

So knowing that, those silly "but black people weren't there" arguments hold even less water.

@11, I'm there!!!
Loved it!
17. ad
I get that this is set in vaguely-Norway or some such place, but does everyone have to be white?
It would be pretty disconcerting if they weren't. They can base films on stories set outside medieval europe eg Aladdin, Mulan, Princess and the Frog...
Loved it!
18. Tesh
There's a startling lack of happily married (and still both alive) parents in Disney movies. Can we get a checkbox for that on the socially conscious checklist they have to cater to?

Worth noting - the snow tech they used is really impressive:
Janice Boyd
19. scaredicat
I saw Frozen this weekend and it really is a cute movie. It's got a good message about love and courage and sacrifice, and some very funny bits. I guess I am not a huge fan of the Broadway musical-style music, however -- it all seemed to disrupt the flow of the movie. I was watching Tangled last night on TV, and I found the music there to be much more integral to the story.

The other interesting thing I noticed in Frozen was how multi-dimensional the villains were.

spoilers ahead]

The prince had multitudes of mean older brothers and poor prospects, and was quite charming until he was revealed to be a heel. As a main villain, he was important for some plot tension and some good action - but he wasn't terribly scary. Well, at least to me -- maybe the under-10 crowd should weigh in on this...

Elsa went through a more legitimately frightening transformation. She was dangerous and seemed to be reveling in her power at one point. But underneath was the scared and loving sister, and the trying-to-be responsible queen.

Compare this to the dripping with evil badness of the queen in Snow White, or of Scar in Lion King.
Loved it!
20. Difficat
When my daughter was 5, another mom told me her own 5-year-old was sad that she couldn't be a princess, because she was biracial. Princesses all had long, straight hair, and white skin. This little kid got the message loud and clear. If that isn't the message we want to send, maybe we shouldn't send it.

This isn't a case of looking for negativity (it is true, you find it if you look for it) but rather failing to ignore something obvious. Especially when it is making a nice kid subtly feel like there is something wrong with her.
Loved it!
21. Loved it!
At the end of the day, Disney is a company with shareholders that only care about the bottom line. They have to appeal to the widest group. The U.S. is the largest market and the majority of movie-goers are caucasian. It is a reality of the industry. If I was a shareholder of Disney, I would want them to do whatever maximized profits. If that meant an all-white cast, an all-black cast, an all-Asian cast, or a mixture thereof would not matter to me or to most shareholders.
Loved it!
22. Tesh
@20 I'd say that people commenting about race and making a big fuss about it are more pervasive in society than any "message" that Disney is broadcasting, intended or otherwise.
Loved it!
23. HelenS
If I was a shareholder of Disney, I would want them to do whatever maximized profits.

I can see the headlines now: Disney Designer Drugs Deploy...

"He gives the kids free samples, because he knows full well, that today's young innocent faces will be tomorrow's clientele..."

--Tom Lehrer, "The Old Dope Peddler"
Loved it!
24. DarkeSword
but that doesn’t mean Tangled ... should be forgiven for having bad soundtracks
Excuse me but WHAT?! Princess and the Frog I'd grant you but Tangled did NOT have a bad soundtrack. Those songs from Tangled are excellent and Menken recaptures that classic fairy tale sound of his 90s work.

When Rapunzel finally leaves the tower and sings her When Will My Life Begin reprise ("Just smell the grass, the dirt! Just like I dreamed they'd be!"), it's a wonderfully moving musical moment.

And Donna Murphy's performance on both versions of Mother Knows Best are incredible (and the subtext of the reprise where it's a mother warning her daughter about giving up her virginity is incredibly clever).

I See the Light may not be on the level of A Whole New World or Beauty and the Beast, but it's still a wonderfully sweet little love song with great performances; and honestly, nostalgia goggles could be coloring how we remember and revere those old classics.

I'm an unabashed Disney fanboy who loves those old classic 90s Disney songs, and let me tell you, Tangled is right up there with them.
Leah Withers
25. PhaeTo
@24 Friend, I got nothing but respect for your clear true love for the Disney. I'll give Tangled another shot. Nerd hug it out?
Jenny Thrash
26. Sihaya
@24: Good show, Old Boy! Smashing!
Loved it!
27. lilalbatross
It's easy to say "Who cares if there's other races or not?" when you're a white person. Growing up with a black best friend who had little sisters, it was obvious that it's hard for them not seeing anyone that looks like them on screen. I completely agree that it would be great just to throw a bunch of races in a hat and pick diversify every Disney movie. That's how real life is after all. So, I love this review 100% and OMG do I love that you love that 90's Cinderella - I thought I was the only one! Thanks for this...I've been very cautious about paying to see Disney films, but this one sounds like it's going to be worth it!
Loved it!
28. Dr Cox
I've always been the "my brain needs to be entertained and let's find out about these characters, this person, this world" type of reader, whether I was reading My Book House Books, Philip Hall Likes Me I Reckon Maybe, Where the Lilies Bloom, A Raisin in the Sun, Macbeth, Betsy and the Great World, All-of-A-Kind Family, The Egypt Game, The Joy Luck Club, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Long Winter, Jane Eyre, or The Ring and the Book . . . or biographies of W. C. Handy, Molly Pitcher, J.R.R. Tolkien, Irving Berlin . . . or works by Hannah Arendt, Louis Althusser . . . . I didn't think about whether I would or wouldn't relate, tho' sometimes I did. But the main thing was experiencing the characters' world, finding out about people, etc.
"The Snow Queen" is in My Book House Books, along w/ a lot of other great stories and poems from around the world.
Shelly wb
29. shellywb
Who in God's name would want their son or daughter to relate to a Disney princess/prince? They're flat, shallow, unrealistic characters in completely impossible scenarios that have nothing to do with real life. When I was little I sure didn't identify with Cinderella or Snow White or Sleeping Beauty. It's not just that people with darker skin don't look like that. *No one* looks or acts like that. I identified with Bambi and Dumbo and Tramp more than I did with any of those princesses including the modern ones, because the animals were in situations of heartfelt emotion that made me feel along with them. The princesses- they fell asleep and had to have a man wake them up after he had all the fun.

I wish Disney would forget the princesses stories, and stick to animating more non-princess films with hearts like Disney has always done so well, from Pinocchio through the Lion King through the great Pixar films (and heck I'll give them the Ghibli movies too).
Loved it!
30. Rancho Unicorno
I'd like to thank those of you who have clarified that the only people who don't care about race, and whose sisters and daughters easily slipped into role playing as one of the princess pantheon, are white. I'll be sure to correct my census form in 2020. Although, my doctor will have something to say about my apparent tanning addiction, it's worth it to be able to please your stereotype. Just please don't tell my company's diversity committee, it's nice to be treated a little nicer because of the color of my skin.
31. Ryamano
@15 Aeryl

Vikings were traders, not only raiders, so many of them actually went to far away places to trade. There was a trade route linking Scandinavia to Byzantium (the Varangian Guard were Vikings serving the Byzantine Emperor) and they also traded with the Arabs.
Just saying that maybe the sword came to Scandinavia in a viking cargo ship, after it had sailed a long way to the south or through the Russian inland route. Of course, it could've also come from an Arab trader, like a more merchantile version of the exiled Ahmad ibn Fadlan, poking around Scandinavia at the time.
Loved it!
32. Colin R
@17: Very silly; Disney has already adapted a Hans Christian Anderson tale to a different culture (The Emperor's New Groove). I hope people weren't confused that the Little Mermaid featured a jamaican crab.

Most of the stories that Disney have told have been pretty broad and have analogues in many cultures. The ones that are firmly embedded in some sort of history or culture (Aladdin, Pochahontas, Mulan) have often been of... questionable taste.
Chris Nelly
33. Aeryl
@31, The Vikings are the only people to have ever manufactured this sword, so it wouldn't be an item traded, it's been found NOWHERE else. It was TOO proprietary to Viking culture for it to have been an imported item. But the technology used to make it was DEFINITELY imported.

There's a PBS special about it, you should check it out, it talked about the trade routes and stuff.
Ellen Cheeseman-Meyer
34. EllenMCM
Leah, I agree about the unnecessary whiteness. There are people of color living in Scandinavia AND it's a fantasy movie. It would have been nice to see more diversity.

I saw it with my kids. My 12yo denies that it made an impression, but she seemed to be enjoying herself at the time. My 6yo liked the reindeer. A decent, post-Thanksgiving time was had by all. I was over the moon about the act of true love, and I could watch Olaf all day.
Pamela Adams
35. PamAdams
I too loved the movie, loved the twists both in the prince's behavior and in the definition of true love, and definitely noticed the lack of people of color. (and yes, I am white myself) It's a fantasy world- people can make magic snow monsters and talk to animals, but we have to keep to cultural stereotypes?
Ellen Cheeseman-Meyer
36. EllenMCM
I'm having more thoughts on the lack of diversity:

1. It's traditional for Christmas entertainments for children to include some sort of references to a variety of cultures and races. This isn't always done well - it can descend into stereotypes and exoticism - but a trip around the world is a traditional part of British pantomime, and the second act of the Nutcracker traditionally consists of a series of national dances from around the world. It is actually traditional for children's popular culture to present racially and culturally diverse characters (again, even if it is, regretably, not as traditional for this to be done well). I think it says something significant that it is now considered "normal" for the cultural and racial diversity represented in a children's movie to be limited to white Scandinavian and Troll.

2. The crisis in Frozen is trigerred by the stress of Elsa's coronation, when people from all around the world come to see the gates of the palace opened for the first time in years, and to see the new queen. And they were still all white. It didn't stand out for me at the time (my moviegoing experiences are marked by concerns about whether or not everyone can see the screen, and efforts to implement practive strategies for popcorn and beverage management) but in hindsight, the lack of cultural diversity there was a significant omission.

I still loved the movie. I'll buy the DVD when it comes out. I will love Disney movies more when diverse casting becomes the norm.
Alana Abbott
39. alanajoli
Hrm. My post did not post, perhaps because it had links. Trying again:

When I found out that the songwriters were from Avenue Q, I did a little dance. I'm now totally convinced I need to see this film in theaters.

@3 I also loved the soundtrack from Tangled. But I loved the soundtrack for P&tF, too (I sing "Almost There" to myself pretty much whenever I'm getting close to finishing work for a deadline). I know I am in the minority of music lovers.

@11 I read a review that posited that *Elsa* is queer, in that "we're not talking about it but we're hinting it" kind of way.

People are weighing in on the race issue more profoundly than I could contribute, but I'll just say that I've been following the complaints about the all-white cast since before the movie aired, and there's a great tumblr that shows People of Color in Medieval/Renaissance Europe. So having only white people in a film like this is actually historically *inaccurate.* Just sayin.
Loved it!
40. wkwillis
I thought there were some people of color in the background, which is strange since you would expect only the sailors to have some wholly or partially colored members.
Loved it!
41. DarkeSword
@25 and @26: Thanks. I've been a fan of Disney animated musicals since The Little Mermaid. Menken's work is so emblematic of that amazing early-90s era; that, to me, is the quintessential Disney sound. His return with Enchanted and Tangled really elevated those movies. Randy Newman's work on The Princess and the Frog felt like such a misstep; I had other issues with that movie but the music didn't help.

That's not to say that Frozen needed Menken; Anderson-Lopez and Lopez really nailed it. "Let It Go" is obviously the best number in the movie (and it totally makes up for the injustice that Idina Menzel was in the movie Enchanted but didn't get a song), but I feel like they managed really capture that classic Disney sound with "For the First Time in Forever," which is such a Disney Princess song in the very best way. The weakest song is probably "Fixer-Upper," which is catchy, but feels like it's checking off the Fun-Group-Song box; it's no "Under the Sea" or "Prince Ali," but it gets the job done.

In any case, if you liked the soundtrack for Frozen, check out the deluxe soundtrack, which not only features the songs and score, but has an entire second CD filled with demos of the songs sung by the songwriters as well as demos of UNUSED songs from earlier in the development of the film. These songs provide a great insight to earlier ideas about the story we might have gotten and are pretty catchy in their own right (if a bit rough).
John C. Bunnell
47. JohnCBunnell
As a main villain, he was important for some plot tension and some good action - but he wasn't terribly scary.

@19 scaredicat:Now that's interesting, because I found Hans creepy as H*ll. One reason for this is that -- unlike the vast majority of Disney villains -- he's really, really good at being deceptive. Contrast him with Gaston in Beauty & the Beast, for instance; where Gaston telegraphs his nastiness almost instantly, Hans starts out giving off a pure "Flynn Rider" vibe in his dockside meeting with Anna -- and does not break that character even after Anna runs off and his horse dumps him in the fjord. That's important, because it lets us sympathize with Anna when Elsa (quite properly, as it turns out) denies permission for their marriage. Then we see Hans play the sympathy card again as he hands out blankets to the cityfolk; again, it's not him we're worried about when the expedition to find/"rescue" Anna sets out.

Only after Anna's return, and Hans' sudden heel-turn in its wake, does he show his true colors...and he does so only to her, in a sequence that shows him as downright sadistic. I can't think of another Disney villain, save perhaps Frollo in Hunchback of Notre Dame, who's this overtly and knowingly cruel. We also see him telling outright lies to several other characters after this point, another rarity among Disney villains.

And what punishment does he get for all this creepiness? Almost none; he's simply sent home in what's presumed to be disgrace. I don't trust all those brothers to be any nicer or nobler than Hans, especially to the degree that their abusiveness may have helped make Hans the sociopath he is. Creepy, creepy, creepy.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
49. Lisamarie
Saw the movie, a little late, and I was going to say the exact same thing 47 did - Hans is scary because he is a perfect sociopath. Also, remember that he admits he specifically targeted Anna because of his analysis of her. FREAKY. (Although I admit, I probably would have preferred the 'don't marry somebody you just met' message if they could have gotten it across without it being because they guy is actually EVIL)

Anyway, I'll admit, you totally lost me at 'Tangled has a bad soundtrack'. HUH???? I am a child of the 90s, love all of those movies, was sad when Disney left the musical scene, and to me Tangled was a fantastic return to that - and I See the Light is probably my favorite Disney song ever. I think Frozen has a great soundtrack too (I do also love Broadway), although I am not as enamoured of Let it Go as most people seem to be, for a few reasons:

1)Personal preference, but it was just a tad too modern/pop-diva sounding.
2)I actually see it as a villain song. I LOVE that the movie is about two sisters, that Elsa is able to remain strong and unattached (and a queen!), that it shows that there is more to love than romantic love, that the 'true love' that saves Anna is HER action. And I think Let it Go has its moments of Elsa embracing her gifts, throwing off insecurities and expectations and not being afraid to be exceptional and test her limits, which is sadly something some women face. BUT...I also found some of the lyrics a bit unsettling, especially when she sings about there being 'no right, no wrong, no rules' and basically turning her back on everybody and forsaking society, and kind of glorying in power for power's sake, whereas I am more of a 'with great power comes great responsibility' type of person. In fact, her building her ice palace actually immediately reminded me of Dr. Manhattan building his abode on Mars, haha. I actually thought the movie was going to make her a villain (I'm glad they didn't) - but to me she doesn't really become an admirable character until she learns how to balance her powers with love and letting people in and all that (and I love that she gets to KEEP her powers, and be queen and generally be awesome).
Loved it!
50. L R B
I noticed a review for a new live-action version of Cinderella the other day, and came to thinking "I wonder if I'll ever find that interracial version of Cinderella I watched on TV as a kid again (1997 would have been the year I turned eight)...too bad I don't know how to begin looking it up." All I remembered was a black Cinderella and a Chinese (?) prince. Thank-you so much for identifying it when you mentioned it in passing at the end of your article! I thought I was the only one who remembered it. I'm going to go look it up now!

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment