So, apparently a pleasantly cool Summer evening + a Friday night before Christmas + school holidays + a new computer animated children’s movie (in Australia anyway) = a really crowded night at the open-air screening of Frozen in the city park last night. So even though it was being projected on a big screen, we were so far away that it was roughly the equivalent of watching a 34 cm TV sitting at about 3 metres away (estimating, of course).
Still, it was an enjoyable time. Or it turned out to be. I wasn’t sure at first. I didn’t enjoy Frozen for the first 20 minutes or so. It wasn’t funny, and I didn’t like the heroine, with her precociousness and her life-doesn’t-get-me-down attitude and her dreams of finding the perfect man (along with her childishly immature engagement). It contained other elements that are run-of-the-mill for a Disney flick, such as the manipulative death of a parent-figure, suffering children, songs that are a bit too catchy and polished, and arbitrary and unexplained magic that seems to be floating around.
[Regarding that unexplained magic: It seems like Elsa is just born with an ability to control ice and snow, and by extension the weather. This power manifests fairly randomly at a certain age and continues to increase in intensity as she gets older. Basically, Elsa is an X-Men-style Mutant.]
Fortunately, the movie picked up immensely after the conflict between sisters Anna and Elsa got going, and the story’s focus turned to Anna’s efforts to find and save Elsa. We are introduced in quick succession to the non-royal, roguishly good looking, take-life-as-it-comes Mr. Real-Love-Interest, his amusing pet reindeer Sven, and the movie’s breakout character, Olaf the plucky enchanted snowman who dreams of seeing the Summer and finding out what frozen things do to relax in the heat (“Somebody’s got to tell him,” one character says.) From here on, the movie is quite a bit of fun. There are lots of laughs, and my kids were really enjoying it (not surprising, since the tone had turned from depressing to adventurous.)
I had also felt slightly disturbed at the idea the film was going to turn Elsa flat-out evil (as I’d had the impression from the trailer) because her relationship with her sister was so close and loving at the start. Pleasantly the story took a different approach. Anna’s absurd engagement even becomes a plot point, and the film acknowledges that the key relationship in the life of this young girl isn’t to do with romance, but rather to do with family. So I appreciated that. Even the arbitrary and plot-motivating trolls have some decent things to say about relationships (eg. generally,people don’t fundamentally change, and everybody is a bit of a fixer-upper.)
So not a perfect film, by any means, but a fun one for both me and my girls, after a slow start.