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Old 10-30-2013, 01:00 AM   #1
EverestSherpa
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Saw Disney's "Frozen" last night. Wow.

Since I am one of the few people who has seen "Frozen" that isn't embargoed, here are my thoughts. Initially, I wasn't expecting much from songwriters Kristen and Bobby Lopez. I'm a huge fan of Bobby's "adult" work ("Book of Mormon", "Avenue Q"), but his collaborations with his wife on "children's work" (Finding Nemo the Musical, Winnie The Pooh) have been underwhelming. Since music is such a central part to any modern Disney Princess movie, it was key for Bobby and Kristen to strike gold - and they did. Channeling their inner Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, this husband/wife duo churned out 6 Broadway-style numbers that make it very easy to imagine a future life for this Disney movie on the Great White Way. John Lasseter may not be the powerhouse Director he once was, but he sure knows how to turn around a failing animation studio. The Disney Brain Trust has been more effective and creative than it's Emeryville-based PIXAR counterparts for the past three years (Cars 2 vs. Winnie the Pooh, Brave vs. Wreck-It Ralph and now Monsters U vs. Frozen). Is it the best Disney Animated Feature since Beauty and the Beast? Quite possibly. It's a twist on the Hans Christian Anderson tale that will undoubtedly upset many "purists" who think Disney ruins stories - but that's not at all true, they reinvent them. It's the same lot that think you can't omit big plots from the Harry Potter novels when adapted on screen. Screenwriting as a creative medium of it's own and purely adopting something straight is boring and tiring. Will you see the twists coming? Probably. But that doesn't mean it isn't one hell of a sleigh ride (see what I did there?). Speaking of Broadway style music, what's up with this cast? Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad and Santino Fontana? All Broadway veterans in their own right, this film has some top notch voice talent. And it's funny. Funnier than it should be for a kid's movie, really. Much of that is due to the incredible comedic sensibility of Josh Gad. His delivery makes regular lines hysterical. Frozen doesn't go for the typical gags you'll get in your DreamWorks films. No pop culture references, no random dancing, everything seems normal (well as normal as a Disney princess musical can be). It's a timeless tale that will be remembered in 100 years with the likes of Ariel, Cinderella and Belle. And while Disney may be afraid of the title: "The Snow Queen" (scares off boys, apparently), we should all hail the Snow Queen for ringing in a new era of Disney Animation, and once again waking Sleeping Beauty.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:02 AM   #2
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I still feel this could/would/should have been a far better film by omitting the snowman. And since I'm not one to hunt down trailers and spoiler and the like, I honestly have no idea. But in true Disney style, I'm nearly 100% positive that there is going to be a horse or horse-like animal in this one, who makes all sorts of goofy faces and probably sits on someone. At one point, horses were horses. Then came Pegasus. And the Maximus. And I'm sure I'm leaving a few others out. I hope Disney doesn't disappoint and includes another useless character like that in this film, too. If so, there goes the "no DreamWorks gags here" theory. As if the talking snowman couldn't be pulled right out of The Croods, or some other piece of awful animation offering from any other studio. To me, from the pictures I saw on posters of the princesses/princess, they actually look JUST like DreamWorks characters. Very blah, bland, and not much different from, say, Tangled. Which easily could have been a DreamWorks picture, too. Gotta love frying pan as a weapon humor.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supernova View Post
I still feel this could/would/should have been a far better film by omitting the snowman. And since I'm not one to hunt down trailers and spoiler and the like, I honestly have no idea. But in true Disney style, I'm nearly 100% positive that there is going to be a horse or horse-like animal in this one, who makes all sorts of goofy faces and probably sits on someone. At one point, horses were horses. Then came Pegasus. And the Maximus. And I'm sure I'm leaving a few others out. I hope Disney doesn't disappoint and includes another useless character like that in this film, too. If so, there goes the "no DreamWorks gags here" theory. As if the talking snowman couldn't be pulled right out of The Croods, or some other piece of awful animation offering from any other studio. To me, from the pictures I saw on posters of the princesses/princess, they actually look JUST like DreamWorks characters. Very blah, bland, and not much different from, say, Tangled. Which easily could have been a DreamWorks picture, too. Gotta love frying pan as a weapon humor.
I haven't seen the movie either, but I agree about the snowman. From seeing the trailer with the snowman, we didn't even know that the story had princesses in it until I heard that there was a character meet and greet at the parks. Our family watched Monsters University last night and one of the previews was the one with the snowman. I told my kids about the princesses and our oldest said, "Wait? It's not about the snowman?"
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:56 AM   #4
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Cinderella would've been better without those pesky talking mice.
Beauty and the Beast would've been better without all of those talking dishes and pieces of furniture.
The Little Mermaid would've been better without the talking crab.
Alladin would've been better without the anthropomorphic flying carpet.

Who did I miss? I'm sure there are tons, because every movie Disney has made has characters like this.

I haven't seen the movie yet, obviously, but I'm sure the snowman character will be in a similar vein to those above.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:58 AM   #5
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I haven't seen the movie either, but I agree about the snowman. From seeing the trailer with the snowman, we didn't even know that the story had princesses in it until I heard that there was a character meet and greet at the parks. Our family watched Monsters University last night and one of the previews was the one with the snowman. I told my kids about the princesses and our oldest said, "Wait? It's not about the snowman?"
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by WebmasterLeah View Post
I haven't seen the movie either, but I agree about the snowman. From seeing the trailer with the snowman, we didn't even know that the story had princesses in it until I heard that there was a character meet and greet at the parks. Our family watched Monsters University last night and one of the previews was the one with the snowman. I told my kids about the princesses and our oldest said, "Wait? It's not about the snowman?"
I'd love to shed some light on the reason for this. Or what my theory is. The film was originally called "The Snow Queen", just as Tangled was called "Rapunzel". Both these names were eventually changed because they were too.... girly. There's no need selling girls on a Princess film, they're in. It's the boys you need in the door. That's why the Snowman is so heavily advertised. His role is MUCH smaller than the trailers and TV spots suggest, and honestly - after you see it - you may wish it was a larger role. Olaf is hysterical. Every. Single. Line. It's completely out of context, of course, until you see the film, but you'll fall in love with the little guy.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supernova View Post
I still feel this could/would/should have been a far better film by omitting the snowman. And since I'm not one to hunt down trailers and spoiler and the like, I honestly have no idea. But in true Disney style, I'm nearly 100% positive that there is going to be a horse or horse-like animal in this one, who makes all sorts of goofy faces and probably sits on someone. At one point, horses were horses. Then came Pegasus. And the Maximus. And I'm sure I'm leaving a few others out. I hope Disney doesn't disappoint and includes another useless character like that in this film, too. If so, there goes the "no DreamWorks gags here" theory. As if the talking snowman couldn't be pulled right out of The Croods, or some other piece of awful animation offering from any other studio. To me, from the pictures I saw on posters of the princesses/princess, they actually look JUST like DreamWorks characters. Very blah, bland, and not much different from, say, Tangled. Which easily could have been a DreamWorks picture, too. Gotta love frying pan as a weapon humor.
Trust me, Olaf, was a great part of the film. Josh Gad is a terrific voice actor, and the trailers just don't do the little guy justice. Yes, they're is a horse-like character (it's a Reindeer named Sven, I think). I wouldn't call that a gag, and the Snowman certainly isn't. The Croods, to be sure, wasn't a bad movie. It was one of DreamWorks better films. But the Snowman (Olaf) has a lot of heart and spunk. Those are characters. Gags are pianos falling on people's heads. Gags are stupid break dancing out the end of a movie that doesn't make sense. From the sound of your post, you probably won't like this movie if you thought Tangled was "DreamWorks" quality. I thought Tangled was absolutely fantastic (Frozen was better, though). I'm a firm believer that society takes waaaaaay too much into account from Posters, TV spots and trailers. Wait till the reviews come out - they will be glowing for this film. But reviews have become hidden in the mess that is Marketing.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mvk View Post
Cinderella would've been better without those pesky talking mice.
Beauty and the Beast would've been better without all of those talking dishes and pieces of furniture.
The Little Mermaid would've been better without the talking crab.
Alladin would've been better without the anthropomorphic flying carpet.

Who did I miss? I'm sure there are tons, because every movie Disney has made has characters like this.

I haven't seen the movie yet, obviously, but I'm sure the snowman character will be in a similar vein to those above.
You are so spot-on.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:48 PM   #9
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Glad to hear it! We'll be seeing it, so I'll keep an open mind!
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:45 AM   #10
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Is it the best Disney Animated Feature since Beauty and the Beast? Quite possibly.
Awesome! Thank you for your review.

I was really hoping to get a more comprehensive trailer for Frozen on the Monsters University DVD, but it was the same old Olaf/Sven short that's been circulating for a while now.

Less than a month to go!
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:05 AM   #11
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Cinderella would've been better without those pesky talking mice.
I know I've seen Cinderella, but I don't much remember it. If the mice talked to Cinderella, then that's silly. If the mice talked only to each other, then it makes more sense. They do communicate, but audiences are not going to sit through squeeking. Better to give them voices so we know what's going on without subtitles.

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Beauty and the Beast would've been better without all of those talking dishes and pieces of furniture.
Wasn't the whole story there that this was an enchanted castle, where people were turned into living objects? Go back and watch the movie. Perhaps you missed that key plot point.

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The Little Mermaid would've been better without the talking crab.
Here again, creatures living in the ocean communicating with each other. The crab wasn't talking to the chef while he was trying to run away from the kitchen. All a matter of perspective.

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Alladin would've been better without the anthropomorphic flying carpet.
Wholeheartedly agree. The 'living' carpet did nothing as a character to move the story along. As a flying carpet, yes. Key to the story... remember Disney did not create the concept of the flying carpet. Did we need it walking around on two feet? No, of course not. How does that help tell the story? Aladdin would have been much better without the anthropomorphic carpet. First valid statement you've made so far.

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Who did I miss? I'm sure there are tons, because every movie Disney has made has characters like this.
Yes. Of course they do. They're kid movies. Children also believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.

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I haven't seen the movie yet, obviously, but I'm sure the snowman character will be in a similar vein to those above.
Doubtful. Actually, no. Perhaps highly doubtful is a better statement? In your point above, you mentioned living creatures. A snowman, last I checked... not living.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:10 AM   #12
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I'd love to shed some light on the reason for this. Or what my theory is. The film was originally called "The Snow Queen", just as Tangled was called "Rapunzel". Both these names were eventually changed because they were too.... girly. There's no need selling girls on a Princess film, they're in. It's the boys you need in the door. That's why the Snowman is so heavily advertised. His role is MUCH smaller than the trailers and TV spots suggest, and honestly - after you see it - you may wish it was a larger role. Olaf is hysterical. Every. Single. Line. It's completely out of context, of course, until you see the film, but you'll fall in love with the little guy.
The trend is to use androgynous adjectives. Enchanted, Tangled, Brave, Frozen. If we renamed the classics, they would be Poisoned, Fitted (for a shoe), Sedated, and Kidnapped.
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:53 PM   #13
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The trend is to use androgynous adjectives. Enchanted, Tangled, Brave, Frozen. If we renamed the classics, they would be Poisoned, Fitted (for a shoe), Sedated, and Kidnapped.
I was shocked that Disney went with 'Princess & the Frog'. Although that might explain why the film tanked. More egg on Iger's face.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:16 PM   #14
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at "Poisoned."

I like Olaf! All I've seen are the trailers, and I'm already laughing at him. And I think the point of the "Cinderella's mice" post was that Disney movies always have cute/funny sidekick characters (realistic or not).

I almost didn't read this post because I've already read one "Frozen" spoiler I really wish I didn't know going in, and I'm trying not to read too much, but I can tell already that's a losing battle.

I remember when "Princess and the Frog" came out, Moms on the Dis were asking, "Is it OK for boys?" "Will boys sit through it?" So yeah, they have to plug the funny sidekicks and action elements to make it "ok for boys."
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:42 AM   #15
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This one needs to be called Tangled in the Snow. These characters are nearly identical to Tangled.
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