I love this movie for a couple of reasons; great songs, charming characters, unexpected twist of plot towards the end, and of course a lesson to learn, in a lighthearted way.
I heard the song “Let It Go” before watching the movie and I am conscious of the overdose of marketing efforts on this movie. I had witnessed one boy exclaiming “Frozen again?!” in exasperation, followed by “I hate this song I hate song!” while the movie was replaying itself on the screen at Popular book store. This reminds me of the song “My heart will go on” from more than a decade ago. My friends and I loved that song, but were sick of it because it was almost everywhere. Too much of anything is never a good thing. Still far from the repulsive state, I find “Let It Go” an emotionally charged song, from despair to acceptance, and finally freedom. This is definitely a song meant for stage performance. I shall learn to shut my ears at appropriate times from now on, so as to sustain the liking for this song.
Another song that caught my attention is “Do you want to build a snowman”. This song, though lighthearted, details out Anna’s lonely childhood and her longing for her sister’s companionship. The title is very apt and realistic, as some things never change with time, and sometimes all we want is to play a game with our loved ones, just as we used to, when we were young.
“Reindeer are better than people” is a song that is actually acknowledged by Anna, and this is amusing in a musical movie as characters simply tend to sing, instead of talk, their way through. This would be a tiny moment of self-reflexivity in a musical movie. The song by Olaf is very cute and “minion-like”. His innocence (naivety) is magnified and this is likely to set anyone worrying about summer effects on Olaf. As for the rest of the songs, I find them very ordinary and not much to mention about.
There are a number of charming characters in the movie but my favourite is Sven the reindeer! He has the loyal heart of a husky, the strong body of a reindeer and the curiosity of a child. I cannot forget the scene in which he tangles the strands of ice drops in his antlers and jumps about in delight to make music. It is just so cute! Another cute antic of his would be the attempts to lick the snowflakes as they are floating up. I can still remember that gleeful expression. Although he does not really speak, Kristoff’s animated voice for Sven fits in with his overall silly adorable image. This is certainly better than a reindeer that never speaks.
The next character I have in mind is Olaf the snowman. Though somewhat naïve, Olaf has a spirit of self-sacrifice, and this is what makes him so endearing. This is especially at the scene where he says that this is the happiest day of his life, but probably the last. I think the cinema would be flooded with tears, if he really did melt away there and then.
The other characters are quite typical roles in the plot; Anna as the heroine (usually clumsy and not at all feminine), Kristoff as the helper (usually gets the heroine out of trouble at all expense) and Hans as the hypocrite (usually exposed before any real damage is done). The character that has conflicting attributes is Elsa. There is a moment where I suspect she has turned evil, but all she does is to look different. She is still the guilty sister at heart, very afraid to harm anyone. Both sisters have the role of the protagonist and it is hard to decide who is more important than the other. Elsa, being the one wielding the supernatural power to change the world, resolves her inner conflict and reconciles with the society at the end. Anna, on the other hand, remains the same throughout. Although there is no change in her attributes, she is the one leading the audience on the journey in search of something.
From the look of the poster, it would be easy to assume a happy ending with two couples in marriage but as the story goes, the two men are after the same sister and there is none for the other. The unexpected twist comes in the end, where it appears that the great sacrifice has to be done, but of course, it ends happily as tragedies can hardly find any place in Disney’s shows.
The lesson to learn is of course, kinship and love. Romantic love is downplayed in this movie, to make room for sisterly love and that is something wonderful. Very often, movies are highly romanticized to the level of fantasy and I think we can do without another addition. It is refreshing to be reminded that “an act of true love” does not necessarily limit itself to the bond of romantic love.