Frozen | Jennifer Lee & Chris Buck
I’ve been severely slacking in my animated features over the past few years, I’m still stuck in the Golden Age (the 90’s). I’ve only seen two of the animated features up for this year’s award. As far as I can tell, the two I’ve seen, Frozen (Lee & Buck) and Despicable Me 2 (Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud) seem to be the fan favorites. The Croods seemed like another undistinguished animated film. My judgement is completely unfounded but no one was urging me to go see The Croods in the way they were for Frozen. Ernest & Celestine and The Wind Rises seem to me to be those two really well made artsy animations that have a decent shot at winning but the ones practically no one knows anything about. They seem worthwhile if you’re into animation but they’re not my cup of tea.
Dealing with the two animated movies I saw this year, one really impressed me, the other disappointed. I was super excited to see Despicable Me 2 because of how much I enjoyed the first movie but I left the theater underwhelmed. The jokes felt recycled and while the sequel retained some of its endearing elements from the first, it was definitely a downgrade.
I think all but the contrarian and militant hipster crowd is in agreement on this one, Frozen is the best animated feature of the year. Sure, you have all your quintessential Disney cliches but as a society I think we’ve come to love and accept them. The visuals were stunning and took advantage of animation’s unlimited possibilities. When Elsa puts up her walls, you feel the chill of isolation close you off from the rest of the characters. One of the two changes I think would have made the movie better would be to have more time devoted to Elsa’s character and her quandary. I realize the story is predominantly Anna’s but I think there are a lot of interesting aspects of Elsa’s self-imposed isolation and self-sacrifice to explore. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the fun scenes spent with Kristoff and Sven, but the introvert in me really connected with Elsa. The second change (SPOILER ALERT) would have been to end the movie when Anna sacrifices herself to protect Elsa. Leaving Anna frozen would have been a shrine to sisterly love and the sacrifices made for family. Plus, the “true love’s first kiss” spiel is so 1930’s. My two ideas notwithstanding, the movie is phenomenal. The music is great. The characters are lovable. And the movie is relatable to everyone from a preschooler to a college student.
Is it bad how attractive I find them?