Thursday, 28 November 2013

Frozen's Out Now in the US: What Did You Think?

After months of hype and waiting, Walt Disney Animation Studios' 53rd animated feature film finally hit North American cinemas yesterday! We really liked the film, our friends at Rotoscopers really liked the film, most of Rotten Tomatoes really liked the film; so now we want to know, did you? If you've seen Frozen, what did you think of it? Is it as good as the hype suggests? Or not? Let us know below! If you've not seen the film, beware of probable spoilers in the comments section.

The film opened very strong (particularly considering the fierce competition from Lionsgate's second Hunger Games film, Catching Fire, which has already made over $200 million domestically, and over $300 million worldwide), with a Wednesday debut of $15.2 million. The film is on course for an impressive $80 million five-day opening across the Thanksgiving weekend. Tangled took $68.7 million over the same period in 2010, and went on to gross almost $592 million, so things are looking very positive for Frozen! (Box Office stats via THR.)

The general consensus is positive, Rotten Tomatoes calls it "beautifully animated, smartly written, and stocked with singalong songs, Frozen adds another worthy entry to the Disney canon." Check out a smattering of reviews from the web below.

DrewTaylor, IndieWire: "'Frozen' feels like classic Disney animation. If someone had announced "Frozen" as the studio's follow-up to 'Beauty & the Beast,' no one would blink. It's that good."

Claudia Ping, USA Today: "A thoroughly involving story — both modern and timeless — Frozen embraces the classic Disney tradition, while avoiding stock conventions and formulaic elements."

Stephen Holden, The New York Times"Allegorically, “Frozen” lacks the purity and elemental power of a classic myth like “Beauty and the Beast,” but at least its storytelling is fairly coherent, and its gleaming dream world of snow and ice is one of the most visually captivating environments to be found in a Disney animated film." (But avoid this review like the plague if you've not seen the film. The first sentence has a major spoiler.)

Meanwhile, a slightly snarky Todd McCarthy cynically calls it "shrewdly calculated." Adding "the most consistently annoying aspect of Frozen is the screenwriter's insistence upon putting banal and commonplace teen Americanisms in the mouth of Anna in a clear sop to that major component of the film's intended audience. Anna's dialogue is full of “you know” and “freaked out” and many other phrases her parents and sister never use; where did she pick them up? More than do the other characters, the two sisters have a plastic, big-cheeked, tiny-upturned-nose cherub appearance that looks fake and inexpressive and requires getting accustomed to." Ignore the grouching, very little of that is likely to annoy you. And McCarthy does at least concede that the film is "energetic, humorous and not too cloying... this tuneful toon upgrades what has been a lackluster year for big studio animated fare." (Again, beware of spoilers in this review.)

And should you need reminding, we (that's the royal we, for the moment) really liked the film. "Frozen is a triumph," said I, in my review. "A musically thrilling, narratively gripping, gleefully enthralling feat of animated excellence. It’s the best Disney film since The Lion King and, yes, it is the best animated film of the year."

Anyway, I'm rambling. What did you think of Frozen? And the Mickey Mouse short, Get a Horse!, that preceded it? Good? Bad? Great? Awful? Or, worst of all, mediocre? Tell us in the comments below!

Frozen hits UK cinemas on 6th December.


  1. Bad. It makes most other animated films of the year look mediocre, awful or bad. Frozen is beyond good, it's great.

    My first comment here, and I've used all the choices you listed.

    Anyway, the bigger question here is not whether Frozen is good or great (it can't possibly be anything else), but whether Disney is going through another one of its golden period. If this continues will we give this period a name, say 10, 20 years down the road?

    The House of Mouse tried picking up bit of a momentum with Tarzan and Lilo & Stitch, but then lost it all with subsequent efforts. But starting with The Princess & The Frog, and hits like Tangled, Winnie The Pooh and Wreck-It Ralph, Disney is red hot right now.

    I just hope it translates to an Oscar this year. Walt Disney Animation Studios was robbed of one when Pixar undeservedly won it for Brave. Highway robbery!

  2. I'm sure you'll have a great time!

  3. Good, very entertaining, had excellent parts, had two awesome songs - but I felt it wasn't great or phenomenal as a whole. I had some problems with it, particularly the overuse of modern slang dialogue, the comedy and drama not being very well-balanced in the middle of the film and some rushed elements. I also could've done without the over-the-top "Fixer Upper", did not like that song personally. That being said, it's an engaging film with beautiful animation, some pretty good writing and it's not a rehash of what we've seen in the past 5-6 Disney films - which is one of its greatest strengths. In fact, I liked how it went to great lengths to slap some tropes and cliches that seem like they're coming, but don't. I also particularly loved how the story wasn't much of a good guy-vs-bad guy deal, it does what it wants to do and tries new things. That's what Disney animation should be, not repeating themselves. The 90s films happened, now it's time to try something different.

    Anyways, I don't really do letter grades or anything of the sort that much anymore, but I think it's a very good film. Its shortcomings aren't enough to detract it from being good; the story is damn strong and the two leads are excellent characters. The supporting cast is also great, Olaf is surprisingly funny at times and the other characters are good too. Its better songs fit the scenes perfectly, and the heart - like any good Disney film - is right there on the surface.

    As for the Oscar… I bet I'm the only one here who thought "Monsters University" was better overall as a film. Both stories are equally good, but I felt MU was much more consistent and balanced humor a lot better - since it was mostly a comedy at its core. This film was both a drama and a comedy (much like "The Lion King"), and I think those two elements could've been balanced better. I know I'm probably totally alone on this though, haha.

    "Get A Horse!" on the other hand was pure brilliance. It's what a Mickey Mouse cartoon should be like, but yeah, it was hilarious, inventive and hey! Traditional animation!

    Ralph should've won last year, and Pixar could've won this year instead with MU (though that may change once I get around to seeing "The Wind Rises"). But I understand many will vehemently disagree… Ah well, it was still a good film though.

    (Whoa, that was long… I apologize!)

  4. I'd most certainly say WDAS are in a golden age right now! Bolt and Winnie the Pooh were really good, The Princess and the Frog and Tangled were great, Wreck-It Ralph was excellent, and Frozen... That's just the icing on a very tasty cake!

    I'm not quite sure I'd call the Brave win undeserved (I absolutely loved the film!), but I do definitely agree Ralph deserved the win. But yeah, unless The Wind Rises snags it, I'd say Frozen's a lock to win the Oscar.

  5. Really? Well, I suppose everyone has different takes on their film!

    The use of teen-talk bothered me a bit in Tangled, but I genuinely didn't notice it with Frozen. And I adored "Fixer Upper"! And, as you said, I really appreciated that Disney didn't just try to repeat what they've done before.

    Yep, I'm afraid I do disagree there too, haha! I really liked Monsters U, but definitely thought Frozen was better. Plus, it's about time WDAS won the Best Animated Feature Oscar!

    (Don't worry, rambling's the mark of a good blogger! ;))

  6. True, it's a three way between The Windows Rises, Frozen and Monsters University. :D No DreamWorks this year, though arguably The Croods was good.

    As for Brave, oh, I totally get where you are coming from. For me it's an A for effort, they had a movie based on a female lead character, that's rather brave in this day and age. But the last third of the film is just okay, if not downright pedestrian. They should have tried something different there.

    Where as Wreck-It Ralph was pixel perfect from the first frame to the last. While I was looking forward to it from right from the announcement, I never thought it would be this good. So yeah, Ralph may have rightly nabbed the Annie, it was hard done with the Golden Globes and the Oscar.

  7. In a perfect world, yeah, Monsters could have won this year, and Ralph last year. Not to mention Mike and Sulley got bamboozled by Shrek all those years back. These guys deserve a break!

    Maybe third time's the charm, eh? Though a third Monsters film is at least 5-7 years away, I reckon, if not more.

  8. I agree. I enjoyed Frozen a lot (and am guilty of contributing to its hype), but I thought it was fantastic. It's not without its faults, but that's ok. Like Kyle above said, it's shortcomings don't take away from its greatness. I really hope that this is WDAS's year to win the Oscar. I really think it deserves it not only because this is the best animated film this year (that I've seen at least), but like you said, it needs to make up for last year!

  9. I saw it! It was fantastic <3 Everything, to me, was perfect. Especially the was so beautiful! <3 Everything was very well done, so a great job done by Disney yet again. <3 :D

  10. I loved it. While it wasn't perfect, it was a very enjoyable experience. The animation was gorgeous, and the music was great. I loved "Let It Go", "Let's Build A Snowman" and "For the First Time in Forever". Really the only song I didn't care for was the goofy love song between Hans and Anna... I don't even remember the name, but it felt rather long and out-of-place in the film. As for the story, I thought it was a little rushed at some points, (particularly when Elsa runs away and builds her castle, and at the very end of the movie) but overall the story-telling was very engaging. I loved the opening scenes of the film where we see interaction between young Elsa and Anna. I also enjoyed the twist involving Hans; by that point I was afraid I had the whole movie figured out, but they really surprised me! And as for the characters... I really fell in love with them. The blend and balance of personalities worked very well, and I found most of the principal characters to be very relatable, which was pretty surprising. For example, it's not very often we get to see a female protagonist that's optimistic, headstrong and slightly socially awkward-- and Anna delightfully encompasses all of these things. While I don't think Frozen was the best since the Lion King, as I recall one advertisement proclaiming, it is certainly a real gem that I think people will enjoy for decades to come.

  11. Yeah, "Love Is an Open Door" was slightly cheesier than drowning in a vat of Gorgonzola... But it's grown and me. And, I'm pretty sure it was intentionally out of place with the quite progressive, self-referential film as a whole, to hammer home the fact they're poking fun at the old Disney tradition of falling in love on first sight.

    Well, this review proclaims that as well, haha! But yes, not being the best since The Lion King is still hardly an insult. Glad you enjoyed the film!

  12. I really didn't like frozen i hated the songs and the story was okay,