I was walking through mall and happened to overhear a mother and toddler singing Disney’s “Frozen’s” “Let it Go.” They knew all the words, but clearly the melody and overall tune of the song eluded them.
This appears a lot, whether it is on Facebook, Reddit or Tumblr, everyone is obsessing over how perfect and amazing Disney’s latest dive into the CG animated film genre previously dominated by Pixar. The songs are perfect, the characters are perfect, the story is perfect, the message is perfect and empowering.
Only it isn’t.
“Frozen” does do some things very well. It set itself up for a broadway adaptation by casting several big name broadway stars such as Jonathan Groff, Idina Menzel and Josh Gad. The composers are also fairly well known for the score of popular Tony Award winning musicals “Avenue Q” and “The Book of Mormon.”
Unfortunately, like a Sondheim musical, the songs don’t really sing-a-long well. Some of the best Disney songs come from movies like “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “Mulan,” “Pocahontas” and “The Lion King.” These are good in part because of their singability, you can start singing songs from these classic movies in public and people will join in with you. Try it.
But it has that great power ballad about breaking free from authority and exploring your full potential without being oppressed or having anyone try to bring you down, “Let it Go” sung by Idina Menzel. You may remember her from the musical “Wicked” where she has a great power ballad about breaking free from authority and exploring her full potential without being oppressed or having anyone try to bring her down, “Defying Gravity.”
I like both songs and I think “Let it Go” is really clever lyrically at the bridge, but it doesn’t come close to generating the same emotional response as “Defying Gravity.”
“Frozen” isn’t terrible, it’s pretty good despite having some issues holding together the plot. The most flagrant being the implication that in fifteen years of parenting, nor the eighteen years of sisterhood, none of the main characters’ family expressed any love toward one another. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
The problem with the fans building up the movie as some magnificent work is the perception it gives to people who haven’t seen it. When they do have an opportunity to view Disney’s most recent entry, it might melt right in front of them.