(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Frozen)
Doug (vo): It’s Disney’s runaway hit, Frozen. Just a little over a year since it came out and people still won't shut up about this movie. It’s a cultural phenomenon. I have not seen an animated film from Disney get this much attention since Lion King. Everybody’s still singing the songs, everybody’s still quoting the lines, everybody’s still selling the merchandise. It’s just a monster. Like probably most of you, I kind of agree it’s all over the place and most likely overplayed. But, I’m not gonna lie, I’m one of those people that loves it just as much as anyone else.
Doug (vo): The story is about two princesses named Elsa and Anna. Elsa has a curse where she can control the cold. She can make it snow, shoot ice beams, create snowmen, all sorts of craziness. But one night, as a little kid, she accidentally almost kills her sister. Her mom and dad take them to a group of rock gnomes* who say that they can save her, but they have to keep the power a secret. So they erase Anna’s memory and decide that it’s best to keep them as far apart as possible, in hopes that her power won’t hurt her anymore. Years go by, and after the parents tragically die, the two of them grow up into polar opposites. Elsa, not surprisingly, is an awkward introvert, and Anna is a social butterfly, ready to open up to anybody. On the day of Elsa’s coronation as queen, Anna accidentally reveals Elsa’s powers to everybody, causing Elsa to run away and leave the entire kingdom in ice. So it’s up to Anna to find her sister and convince her to come back and stop all this winter. Along her way, she comes across a climber named Kristoff, a magical snowman named Olaf, and all sorts of crazy adventures trying to not only save the kingdom, but her sister as well.
- They're trolls, not gnomes
Doug (vo): There are so many things to talk about with this movie, it’s hard to know where to even start. Probably the thing I’m impressed with most is their ability to break certain clichés while still holding true to others that make Disney so popular. But they do it in a way that’s not so obvious, it feels very natural in the way they set up these characters. I thought back to films like Enchanted where they just hammer the lesson in, that they’re going against these Disney clichés, and here, it just felt like it was part of a story they would tell even if it wasn’t Disney-related, because it ties into what’s going on nowadays and will continue to happen in the future. For example, there is still a romance that blooms in only a few days, but they also mock the fact that she’s going to marry somebody that she just met, which, of course, is a big criticism of female leads in the past. But this also makes sense for the character. She has been shut away for so long that she would just give herself to anybody. It’s a new experience, and she would be excited. But this movie is showing the dangers of it. In fact, originally, I was kind of against the idea that there was sort of a last-minute villain thrown in, but without giving it away too much, this once again shows a really good lesson. The surprise reveal shows the danger of being too trusting to anybody, which is not only a good lesson for kids, but a really good lesson for kids nowadays.
[Anna and Elsa are shown through the majority of the various clips showing]
Doug (vo): With the social media and everybody on it so often, both Anna and Elsa are perfect extremes to learn something from. Elsa is an introvert who wants to stay away from people, much like how some people can just be glued to their computers and phones and not go outside that much. People need to know how to socially interact if they’re going to survive. But Anna has the opposite problem. If you reveal too much about yourself and will just give your heart to anybody, again, like a lot of people on the social media do, there can be a downside to that as well.
[Various other characters are shown]
Doug (vo): The characters are all so likeable. Not only do we have two princesses in this, but one of them moves on to queen, isn’t evil, is actually really respectable and smart, and the other isn’t so dainty and basic. She’s really, really funny. They don’t mind if they make her a little bit of a ditz here or there, because it’s totally explained why. The situation totally backs up why she would be this way, but at the same time, she’s very likeable. You love her passion. And there is something so nice knowing that the majority of the humor that comes from this movie comes from the main characters and not all just in comic relief. The main characters can be funny and goofy. But with that said, even the obvious comic relief they do bring in isn’t really that bad. I don’t think Olaf is a hilarious character, but I got a laugh out of him once in a while, and he wasn’t annoying. Where most Disney sidekicks get a lot of their humor from yelling and being loud, this one actually whispers a lot of his jokes. I haven’t really seen that in a Disney fairy tale, and it’s actually really effective and funny.
[The song sequences are shown]
Doug (vo): The music? What can I say? You’re all still humming these tunes. "Let it Go", "(Do) You Wanna Build a Snowman?", "For the First Time in Forever". I remember when I was first talking about these songwriters [Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez] in the Winnie the Pooh movie, and I said I so wanted them to go onto something, because these are such great songs. Holy shit, did they get rewarded for their talents. People are still singing these songs, they’re releasing it in theatres with little sing-along lyrics at the bottom, it’s just insane how popular they are. And what I love about them, too, is that the songs help the movie and tell the story. That’s what the Disney musicals did. They didn’t just say let’s get a pop star like Elton John to write five songs that, honestly, if you took them out, you wouldn’t miss that much in terms of story, or someone like Phil Collins, who just sort of sings in the background that you could’ve just replaced with orchestral music and nothing would change whatsoever. These are songs that actually explain what the characters are going through and move the story forward, and they’re done fantastically. I know I did a Nostalgia Critic video criticizing the fact that it’s played all over the place, and, yeah, it is. I’m not gonna act like it isn’t. We are overplaying it, I’m sure it’s driving most people insane. But the sad truth is, I’m one of those obnoxious people who plays it over and over. That doesn’t mean I won’t make fun of it, but, yeah, I’m one of those morons who does it. But to be fair, I only listen to it in my car, without any...kids to play it for. Actually, this is sounding really pathetic, but I don’t care. I love the music that much!
[Several clips showing off the film's landscapes are shown]
Doug (vo): The film is also gorgeous-looking. I could almost see people whipping this out around every Christmas. Look at the way they shoot winter, look at the colors, look at the angles, look at the landscapes. I could get lost in this winter, I want to live in this winter, which... [A photo of a Chicago street filled with snow is briefly shown] I know I kind of do, but this one looks nicer.
[Several scenes showing the film's backstory are shown]
Doug (vo): If I did have a problem with anything, I would say that the backstory is really rushed. I know for some people, those elements can really turn them off as I’ve heard they’re major criticisms, like, why they did do this to the two little girls and shouldn’t have grown them up this way, and so on, so forth. And I get it. It is kind of a plot hole, and in the development of our main characters, that sort of causes all this. But personally, I give it a little bit of a leeway, because I say that’s kind of the fairy tale element, sort of like how is Luke Skywalker firing one torpedo gonna blow up the entire Death Star, or how is it the Joker took down the Batplane with one bullet from his gun. It’s one of those creative liberties that, for me, is worth going through to get to the best parts of the story.
Doug (vo): With that said, Frozen is one of my Top 10 favorite Disney films, hell, maybe even Top 5. It brought me right back into that feeling that I was seeing something big and grand and Disney. And on top of that, it was a fairy tale. When was the last time you saw a traditional fairy tale take the world by storm? I don’t mean something like Tangled, that was a hit, or Once Upon a Time, that’s doing well, I mean, like, take over the world. It’s been a while, but it’s great to see again. And, yeah, like I said, it is probably being exploited a little too much and all over the place, but, hell, I’d much rather have kids and adults re-watch this than, say, Transformers or Twilight. This one has so much more creativity and intelligence to it, and music and visuals and characters and, just...I’m just gushing all over it again. It’s one of the few films I can just proclaim as an instant classic, a film you can guarantee years from now, millions of people are still gonna be watching and sharing with their kids, hell, with other adults. I’d say go check it out, but... [Scoffs] who the hell hasn’t? Just go watch it again. I know I’m going to, and have a hell of a lot of fun doing it.
[The scene where Elsa creates her ice castle is shown, but without the famous song playing]