So I am back from seeing Frozen and, well, I'm kind of two minds about it. I liked a lot of the individuals elements in it - I liked the twists they did on "love at first sight" and "true love kiss" trope, I liked the villain's reveal, I like how the snow was animated, I liked the relationships between the two sisters, etc. But on the whole, I feel like is lacked a certain something to really great. As it is, it is good, but not as good as Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph, and it is a far cry from Disney masterpieces like Lion King or Beauty and the Beast. I attribute it to to two things:
The songs lack pizzazz. As huge a fan of musicals as I am, I have nothing against non-singing Disney movie - Wreck-It Ralph and Atlantis: The Lost Empire are among my favorite Disney movie, and they are both singing-free. But if you are going to do it as a musical, do it right. In Disney movies, the songs are often set pieces - you see them coming, and the movie kinda stops so you can enjoy the show. In this one, characters start singing mid sentence, mingle spoken and sung lines, and some songs kinda blur with others - there is about three songs in the fifteen minutes of the movie, and two of them are already blurred together.
And there is no showstopper here, barring maybe Let It go, the big single which has a pop reprise in the credits by Demi Lovato, but even it is nothing next to "Tale as Old as Time," or "Circle of Life" or even "Son of Man". My favorite song was the opening song, which reminded me a lot of "Look Down" from Les Miserables, but I still can't tell what the point of it was. And actually, that's the problem with the songs of this movie - they are fillers, not main attractions.
There is no conflict: There is a villain in this movie, but only in the last 20 minutes, and he/she/it doesn't do much. I didn't see the reveal coming though, so that is a plus. But lack of villain is not necessarily a bad thing: How to Train your Dragon, one of my favorite animated movie, didn't really have a villain until the third part, and it was more a force of nature than a natural villain. But there was conflict, something the main character quested for and never got until the very end. Here, the quest change so many time, and every time a conflict seems to emerge, it gets wrapped up and something else take its place. Which left me feeling like there was nothing at stake. Sure, I wanna see Anna reconnect with her sister, but since it never seems to be such a impossible task, I'm not seeing any challenge here. Yes, the threatening, power-crazy villain with a last-minute ultimate form is a cliché, but it is a cliché because it works. I also thought the only weakness in Tangled was that Ma Gottel was not very menacing a figure, so to see it done even less well in this movie really dampens my enjoyment of it.
As a final remark, I really wish CGI animation character designs were less uniform. I feel like a lot of CGI movies characters are build on the same frame. Wreck-It Ralph was fun because it played with the proportions and the "blockyness" of the different characters. I really wish there were a little bit more variety. But that's more a wish for the industry as a whole, and not a particular fault of this movie.
So, as always, I am open to discuss any aspect of my review, and will reveal spoilers only if asked. The mic yours!