For all the hyperbolic praise lavished on it and all the interpretive controversy surrounding it, here’s what I took away from finally seeing Disney’s Frozen last week: it’s very good, and decently thought provoking, but it is neither one to the degree that everyone says it is.
The animation and music are excellent, though not unusually so–Frozen is great in those ways, but it is not a masterpiece. For example, the symbolism of Elsa’s power is muted in vagueness–the simplest explanation of Elsa’s power is that she’s merely an introvert.
And this is where the characterization in the film went off track. (Warning: spoilers ahead; on the off-chance that you’re even more out-of-the-loop than I and still haven’t seen it, the following may not make much sense, anyway.)
The whole concept of the film is that Elsa is different. Hardly revolutionary stuff in storytelling, but the plot makes it clear that Elsa doesn’t have anything against people, but her nature makes it hard to be around them. Her sister, on the other hand, is a social butterfly.
A 1929 Disney short, with music by the great Carl Stalling. Lots of fun here!
It breaks every rule of modern teaching, but…
Disney’s new movie John Carter is based on the first book in a classic series by Edgard Rice Burroughs, who also created Tarzan. The movie must have at least enough similarity to the book that their official novelization of the film also includes the text of the book, called A Princess of Mars. I read this book just a few years ago so, in case it helps in anyone’s estimation of the movie or if you like the movie and want to get more, here’s my review from 2008. A quote:
A Princess of Mars impresses me, first, for the boyish audacity of its plot. What is it about? Well, it’s just another bland little story about a Civil War veteran who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he spends years battling giant green monsters using his newly developed superhuman strength so he can save a jaw-droppingly gorgeous princess. Yeah! Yes, kids, this largely overlooked treasure is Indiana Jones, Buck Rogers, and Flash Gordon combined. No, it’s cooler than that. I can’t wait to read the other ten volumes in the epic saga of John Carter, (wait for it)… Warlord of Mars!
Here’s some inspiration for you, a classic 80’s song set to clips from Disney movies: