Frozen vs. Brave

Back at Christmas time, Justin's family was planning on going to the theatre to see a movie. The choices were Frozen, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, or Saving Mr. Banks. I held off until very recently seeing Frozen. Disney movies were sub-par up until Pixar and even then I am incredibly particular about movies. I finally gave in when I kept hearing good things about it. Commentary has died down about The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Saving Mr. Banks, and The Lego Movie, but people were still highly anticipating the release of Frozen to DVD and cd. At that point I knew I had to see it.

Not to give away too much, but the story isn't quite what the trailer implies. Elsa was born with a magic power; depending on her mood, she can create snow and ice (including ice castles and snow people). When she was very young, her and her younger sister Anna were playing in snow created by this magic power when Anna gets hurt. Elsa feels guilty and spends the rest of her childhood separated from her sister trying to learn to control her powers. Years and years later, with the girls' parents dead, Elsa comes of age to take over the kingdom of Aerendale as queen. Anna is excited about getting to see people and no longer being shut up in the castle; she hopes to meet the man of her dreams. Elsa is worried about accidentally losing control of her powers. When Anna becomes engaged to a man after only a couple of hours and asks Elsa for permission to marry him, Elsa gets angry and her emotions cover all of Aerendale in snow as she runs off to the mountains to hide. Anna spends the rest of the movie trying to find her sister and bring summer back to Aerendale meeting a mountain man and a few snow men along the way. Can Anna bring back summer?

My first critique was with the plot; I truly felt the full story was not told in a complete way. How did Elsa get her powers? How was she able to hide her powers from other people for all of those years? Who were these trolls that saved young Anna from death? Why are the trolls to be trusted? Why does Olaf come to life the second time he is created but not the first? Why does young Anna slip on ice but older Anna doesn't? And the most basic question of all – does Anna really not feel love at any other point in the story?

I think the writers could have skipped out on Olaf's summer song and the trolls' song; I skipped both while watching the movie. Overall the music was fantastic and if this movie were a broadway show, I think it would be a hit. The music was phenomenal and the female singers really held their own. I was a little put off by the use of words like "gassy" in the middle of the song "For the First Time in Forever", but otherwise the music is what held this movie together.

Justin had problems with the characters being lit differently from the background. I was willing to let a few things go given this was a Disney movie pandering to children. There were definitely a few scenes I would have taken out if the story was written for adults. I specifically did not like the huge eyes on the characters or the tiny waists. (I was especially interested in the waist size after the whole debacle regarding Barbie in Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition. A friend recommended I watch Brave if I wanted to see larger waist sizes, which as you'll see, I did.) The only other thing that bothered me is why they made Elsa look evil during the song "Let It Go" as well as taking her from a nice conservative dress to putting her in heels and allowing her to show some leg. Was her character suppose to be sexy? Evil? The songwriters said in an interview that they wrote the song for a character that was not evil. (see 3:40)

As for the good things? I already mentioned the music. The dresses – I'd love to have Anna's green dress or Elsa's blue dress! :) The relationship between Kristoff and his reindeer – too funny. It's almost like the reindeer is a dog. Olaf's introduction for himself: "Hi! I'm Olaf, and I like warm hugs!" :) Adorable. And my favorite scene ever:

Okay - minus the fall.

Seriously, you should see this movie if only for the music. Hopefully this is a sign that Disney is improving and it will only get better from here. Only time will tell…

Moving on to Brave

I have to admit I hadn't seen a trailer for this movie in years; I went into this movie blindly not that the trailer would have done me much good.

Merida is a princess and she has come of age to marry. Her family has men come to compete for the honor or marrying Merida, but Merida is uninterested. She runs off into the woods, stumbles upon a witch, obtains a spell, and attempts to change her fate so she can have her freedom, whatever that means.

With no music, the characters lacking character, and the story being silly I do not recommend the movie at all. What "freedom" was Merida seeking? The freedom to live with her parents forever? How old is she anyway?

I feel like I have given you more to go off of for Frozen, but Brave was just not a great movie. It was a waste of time, both in the making of it and in the watching of it. I definitely had things I disliked in Frozen, but at least there was a story worth seeing (or hearing via music).

Have you seen either Brave or Frozen? What are your thoughts on these movies?

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