Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Can I say something crazy?

Unfortunately, I live in the real world. I'm just a regular guy doing regular things, fairly regularly. But sometimes, sometimes...I want more. Sometimes I think I'd like my life to be like a Disney movie. I want...
  1. People to break out into song and dance simply because that's what people do.
  2. Fantastic adventures! Filled with strong, handsome men. And magical, gorgeously doe-eyed younger women, sassy and innocent at the same time.
  3. To live in a place where the season's never change. Oh, can you imagine it being...
...cold. Every day. FOREVER?

Hmm...about that last one.

Since the day my wife took our son to see Frozen back in November, to the day last week when it arrived from Amazon, it seems as if those of us on the east coast of the United States have been living in a perpetual winter storm. Unfortunately, instead of princesses, talking snowmen and overly-cautious ice queens, we've been dealing with bitter a-holes, broken snow shovels and overly-cautious school districts. A Disney movie, it ain't.

As we trudged through this winter wasteland, I felt as if I was the only person alive who hadn't seen Frozen. Yeah, I had caught The Nut Job [review], which was lame, and the God-awful Walking with Dinosaurs [review], but my wife took the reigns with Disney's latest. In fact, I had somehow managed to not hear Let it Go till I saw it performed on the Oscars. Well, I wasn't the only one that didn't know what the Hell was going on. Apparently, John Travolta was right there with me.

Anyway, after sitting down and watching it with my son (who insists he doesn't like it), I have to admit, I was a bit underwhelmed. Being that it's the highest grossing animated film of all time and has been showered with damn near unanimous praise, I was expecting some sort of life-changing event. Yes, it was cute and the songs very well done, but I didn't enjoy it any more than anything else Disney has released lately. In fact, I actually liked Tangled more (in terms of 'girl' Disney films). But, as so often is the case with family films, however I feel about it after watching it once is completely irrelevant. It's the 900th time that really matters.

Just in case the rock you've been living under is somehow larger than my own, here's the all you need to know about Frozen: A young princess must save her village from the never-ending winter her sister, the queen has created. Sounds simple enough, right? It is. Except this time, instead of rescuing the village, reconciling with her sister and meeting the man of her dreams, Anna fails miserably and everybody ends up worse off than before. Wait, what's today?

I completely realize that my own (inflated) expectations, as they often do, worked against my overall enjoyment of the film. Had I seen it theatrically five months ago with my son, perhaps I would have been singing Do You to Build a Snowman? to the neighborhood kids (and subsequently, been arrested and barred from playgrounds) this winter. That's not to say it's a bad film, because it isn't at all (I enjoyed it). It's the fact that the hype was simply too much.

Completely void of hype and therefore being unable to disappoint, are the Yays and Boos. These two have been hounding me that we didn't see Noah this past weekend. Guys, let it go. For the first time in forever we went to the movies this weekend, but we saw something else. Maybe we'll catch Noah in summer. I mean, this summer.

I'm gonna tell him.

  • The songs did not disappoint. I'm not the biggest Disney-song Guy (do they even exist?), but I'll admit they were catchy and well done. Let it Go is not only a beautiful song, but the accompanying scene is why animated films are so great.
  • My God the two little sisters were adorable in the beginning. The sky is awake, so I'm awake!
  • Though I was crushed when I thought he was the villain, the Duke of Weaseltown was pretty awesome. His dance moves were the best, too. Like an agile peacock!
  • Snow. It had to be snow. This line isn't even that cool, but it reminded of Indiana Jones, so it's actually beyond cool.
  • Man, how about that Oaken guy? Dude's cheerfully hardcore, if that's a term.
  • Even though Sven (the reindeer) is essentially a lamer Maximus (the horse from Tangled), I still kind of liked him. Especially his voice.
  • That wolf chase scene was intense! Same with giant Ice Monster.
  • The term unmanly blondeness. I like this.
  • Olaf, the snowman. Even though he's entirely unnecessary, I did like how totally honest he was. Oh, look at that. I've been impaled.
  • Okay, sometimes even I think the violence is overdone in these family flicks, but I fully support any time someone gets punched straight in their damn face. 
  • And finally, put your hands together for Sarah Marshall. Seriously. Kristen Bell is perfectly cast as Anna, the slightly awkward but insanely likable younger sister. She's kind of clueless, but not at all helpless. You gotta love her.
You know, maybe if she just told her sister about her powers...
  • I know I said that the music was good, which it is, but...sometimes it felt a bit overwhelming. Look, Frozen, we need to talk.
  • The Trolls. Not only do these guys kind of suck (hard), but apparently they've seen Spider-Man too many times as well. Elsa, with great power comes... Just shut up before I throw all of you in a lake.
  • I need all cartoon creators to huddle up with me. C'mon. Bring it in. Okay, listening? Good. Can we please, pretty please, NOT HAVE THE PARENTS DIE? I know it's basically a rule, but I wouldn't mind if we could somehow find another way to emotionally devastate small children. Maybe kill some adorable animals in slo-motion, perhaps? That might do it.
  • We have a ballroom with no balls! [indistinct snickering]
  • I don't care if they finish each other's sandwiches, you can't just get married to the first guy you talk to, right? Right. But it's totally okay to leave him in charge. Of the entire kingdom. Yep. Logical.
  • Totally unrelated, but the main villain is lame. Give me Scar or that sea-wench Ursula any day. This guy? He ain't nothing.
  • Not for nothing, but I'm pretty sure Sven is the one who saves the day. Just saying...
  • And finally, according to the poster, this film is from the creators of Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph. In my mind, Frozen isn't any better than either of those two. It's not even close.

I'm finishing this post late Monday night, but I started it Sunday afternoon. Guess what it was doing outside, on flippin' March thirtieth? Yep. It was snowing.

And nobody broke into song.


  1. You finally saw this! LOL, your review is amazing, even if I think this movie is like the greatest Disney movie in forever, but I also have two daughters who cry when they watch this and pretend to be Elsa and Anna all day long and sing every song and act out every scene and watch it every day and I've seen it about 20 times, and that's not including the times they watch it and I'm not paying attention...so I live in a different world.

    So apparently my eyes want this to be EVERYTHING! Ha, I gushed all over this in my review back in November.

    1. Dude, you are the perfect person to adore this movie. If I had two girls running around the house obsessed with this movie, you can bet your ass I'd love it too. I've got a four and half year old boy who thinks he's too good for this and an eight month old too busy devouring her fingers, so this one was bound to be a little 'meh' all things considered.

      Hmm...not sure my Madonna reference worked out for me. (I'll check out your review asap)

  2. Great review! I haven't seen it yet either. I think I'll check it out if it ever streams on Netflix. My kid saw it at daycare, but currently he's obsessed with Cinderella, so that's the only Disney movie I get to watch in my house at the moment.

    1. Cinderella? That's impressive. We just watched Lady and the Tramp and my son had the whole BOR-ING look plastered on his face the entire time. To hear about a kid so young watching the classics? Nuts!

      Definitely worth checking out though...

  3. I just realized I don't even remember who the villain is. And the trolls were pretty lame yeah... but overall I loved the movie. It's just such a nice conventional Disney film with some unconventional additions (have you heard of the Elsa Is Gay theory?)

    1. You know, there is nothing wrong with convention, and I agree this movie was typical Disney (that's not a bad thing). The hype (top ten grossing of all-time?) undermined my ability to simply take it for what it was. Oh well, I suppose.

      And yeah...those trolls were super lame.

      (Elsa is gay? Hmm... I guess it's possible...)

  4. I enjoyed this a lot, but yeah Tangled was much better. Plus Mandy Moore and Donna Murphy's singing was better than Sarah Marshall and Adelle Dezeem.

    That's the thing with expectations and hype... we're usually left disappointed. That's why I like to see movies as early as possible. Less spoilers and less hype.

    p/s: Disney-song Guys do exist!!

    1. Hell, yeah. glad someone's with me on the Tangled front! I lost that battle on Twitter...and also, even though the soundtrack is incredible, I do prefer me some Mandy Moore. I'm missing her like candy.

      You, my friend, are partly responsible for the hype machine. Yeah, that's right. I'm blaming you.

      Of course they do...(really? they do?)

  5. Yep, still haven't seen it. But this never ending winter shit is like from Thrones so I bet I'll like it. I just have no strength to see Disney movies or any other animated flicks. I get too emotional.At least during Nymphomaniac I was merely disgusted.

    1. I get emotional too, but I can handle that more than the ol' wiener parade any day.

  6. Wiener parade!!! That's why I come here!

    I haven't seen it, mostly because I heard the songs are catchy and my singing is lethal to puppies and babies and everything else. But I'll keep in mind not to believe the hype, then. Actually, it seems pretty shitty.

    Expectation lowering, am I doing it right, or what??

    1. If your showing up for a wiener parade...let me just apologize now. I've failed as a website.

      That is some fine expectation lowering, Elina. Well done. Buuuuut, since I wrote this post, I've since seen the movie again...and...it got better. It's still not the best thing ever...but it's pretty good.

      Wow. A voice that's lethal to puppies and babies? You're pretty much an X-Men. X-Man. Er, Ex-Person? That doesn't sound right either.

  7. Unmanly blondeness?? You like the term? I wonder if people would like the term unmanly dark hair. . or unmanly curly hair. I doubt it would be well received. Everyone from Al Sharpton to Adam Sandler would be boycotting Disney due to racial slander or something of the like. But because it is only those evil and unmanly blonde folks its no big deal. The last time I checked, every form requiring racial identification includes Caucasian as an option, and due to the fact that blonde hair is a predominantly Caucasian trait, we can clearly prove that as a racist comment. That you enjoy that is disturbing. Or is racism OK when the victim doesn't speak out against it?