‘Frozen’ Has a Warm Heart

“Frozen” is as solid as the ice it stands upon. Disney Animation Studios’ newest 3D animated film isn’t anything too far from their typical format (kingdom is in trouble, a brave hero/heroine rises up to the challenge, makes friends with the most unlikely cast of characters, etc.), and yet it still feels like a fresh set of snowfall when you watch it.

Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures Animation

Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures Animation

Where the film fails to succeed however is the musical numbers. While half the numbers that are performed sound amazing and are very memorable, it’s the other half of the soundtrack that struggles to impress and astound. As the film is a Disney princess film, you would expect to be blown away by the songs, or at least have a begrudging respect toward most of the songs. But when half of the songs in the film make you wonder, “why did they decide to sing this,” then there’s a problem.

One duet between the leads, for example, sounded like someone had been told to add another song somewhere and they had picked the wrong spot, making the confrontation between the two characters rather cacophonous instead of harmonious. From an artistic standpoint this may actually make sense, but on a surface level it just wasn’t pleasurable and felt like it detracted more than it helped.

Don’t get me wrong, not all the songs are like this (just half), and the rest of the film is filled with fun and laughs, especially laughs you wouldn’t expect. When I first saw commercials for “Frozen,” I wrote it off as common animated fodder trying to bring a “family experience” to theaters, full with lame jokes, “relatable” characters, and a flimsy family lesson stuck somewhere at the end, but boy did it end up throwing me for a loop.

The film not only delivers on the funny and engaging characters, but it also surprised me by taking some powerful and decisive steps into female empowerment, which it used to engage and slightly subvert the princess genre. It isn’t a complete overhaul of the traditional format, but if you watch it, you may be pleasantly surprised by a few of the events that occur in the film and how things are portrayed differently from normal.

 

RECOMMENDED: The comedy and characters in “Frozen” thankfully overshadow the slightly inconsistent quality of its songs.