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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thinking About Movies, Part 3: Let's talk about Disney's FROZEN!

Hello my wonderful readers!

Yes, I've been MIA for a while. I've had a lot of out-of-towners visit for extended periods of time (they arrived just before I went to D23, which made things even more complicated), plus a few others things have popped up here and there. Then there's work, some new and some gone. I no longer work for Examiner, so at least I don't have to send you guys over to another website. I'd rather write for myself and make nothing than write for someone else and make next to nothing ;) Anyhow, all of this shifting around has prevented me from writing all that I've wanted to. I'll eventually do a write-up on the D23 Expo from this year. It will have lots of pictures. And I really want to write about the Imagineering Pavillion, as it was, in a word, amazing - and I want to stick up for MyMagic, as the Imagineers there were very helpful, and seriously, they've thought of everything to make things more convenient for guest while keeping them safe.

But what I've really wanted to talk to you all about is this November's upcoming Disney film Frozen. I've been talking about this movie a lot here, and it's easy to understand why - this is a "Disney Princess" blog. But this will be an exciting film to see because 1) the film has been an on-again off-again production at the studio, 2) the people working on this production have bucketloads of talent, and 3) the film looks to be in the same vein as Tangled in that it is a fairy tale, but it is also fun, action-packed and has a bit more of a contemporary feel.

Since the new trailer has premiered today, I felt that this would be the perfect time to talk about this film a bit more, bringing in some things that I found out at D23 (I went to both the big Animation panel on Friday and then the special Frozen presentation on Saturday) and also bringing in some speculations that I have after seeing this new trailer. With that, let me include the video of that first.

I am so excited for this movie. Any concerns that I had with it before are gone - everyone at Disney says they feel that they have something really special, and that's something that they only say when they have a film like Beauty and the Beast. You're going to instantly love Olaf. He's going to be the new "it" character. Girls and women are going to love both Anna and Elsa, and it is going to be truly refreshing and amazing to see Disney tell a story about the power of sisterly love. The music is fantastic. The team behind it was sitting in the audience at several D23 events (they're just as big of fans as the rest of us!) and they are truly proud of their work. They should be. The type of lyricism is going to be something that really knocks your socks off. They've brought in the witty humor from Book of Mormon but kept things tasteful for a Disney audience and story.

If you've seen any of the D23 press from the major Animation presentation, you've more than likely heard that Idina Menzel sang live, "Let It Go." Going into the presentation, I didn't expect to see Idina there - but as the presentation progressed, it was clear that any big stars that were available to attend were there, and as Frozen continued to get built up, the audience was hoping for Idina to make an appearance...then John Lasseter came out, picked up the microphone to move it to the center of the stage, and the audience was screaming. I've never had such a fan girl moment in my life. I love Broadway and Disney - never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would have the pleasure to see Idina Menzel sing live on stage, let alone a Disney song! I will never, ever forget that experience. The song is beautiful and moving, You're going to love Elsa (John certainly does - apparently he listens to it over and over again.)

One more thing I wanted to point out. The love triangle is really intriguing to me, and I'm happy to see that we have a beefier Disney love interest for once (Jennifer Lee, one of the directors, couldn't contain her excitement about the "mountain man" either at D23) - Kristoff's design reminds me of Bastion, who was a potential significant other for Rapunzel in that film's earlier stages.

Oh-kay. With that, I'm going to give you a nice summary of this film, which will include spoilers!!! If you do not want anything from the movie spoiled for yourself, do not continue reading on! Also, anything that I share here has been openly shared - anything that the creators requested to keep secret, stays a secret. In any case, this is going to be an amazing film. We'll start after the break.

Once upon a time, in the land of Arendelle, there lived two princesses that were also sisters, Elsa (the eldest) and Anna. Elsa and Anna were best friends and incredibly close. In their happier times, they built a snow man together, and they named him Olaf. The two girls loved each other very much, but one of them had a secret - Elsa had unique and mystical powers in which she could control ice and snow. Being very young, she had difficulty controlling these powers, and was also afraid of anyone finding out, for there was a prophecy that had been told that someone would put their kingdom into eternal winter.

One day, while Anna and Elsa were playing, Anna made Elsa laugh. Unfortunately, whenever Elsa would laugh or lose her temper, her ice powers would reveal themselves - and poor Anna got hit with them by accident. Anna then became very cold, and nearly lost her life. She was saved and her memory of the incident disappeared, but as a result, she gained a streak of white in her hair, and Anna and Elsa's parents decided it was best to separate the two sisters for their own safety. Elsa was forced to shut out her sister - and the rest of the world - and constantly wear gloves to keep her powers in check. As long as Elsa kept her emotions at bay, her powers would not reveal themselves. She grew up living mostly in solitude, and became a very proper, elegant and controlled princess that the kingdom grew to admire and respect. Anna, on the other hand, never understanding why her sister shut her out, grew up lonely as well, but very awkward and always needing to insert her foot into her mouth.

Time went by, and eventually the day of Elsa's coronation arrived. Many important dignitaries came to Arendelle for the occasion, including a handsome prince that Anna met the day of. They are smitten with each other, and that same day, the prince Hans asked Anna for her hand in marriage. Elsa's coronation went off without a hitch, and during the celebration, Anna asked for Elsa's permission to marry Hans. Elsa was, obviously, shocked that her sister would accept a proposal from a man she'd only known for a day, and told her that she would not allow Anna to make such a rash decision. Anna got upset and confronted her sister, and unfortunately, Elsa couldn't hold back her feelings any longer - her powers were revealed in front of everyone. Elsa fled the kingdom, found a place far away and was finally able to "let it go" and let her abilities thrive and create a beautiful castle made of snow and ice, where she could hide herself from the world.

Time went by, but the kingdom's temperatures didn't change. Anna, determined to bring back warm weather and re-connect with her sister, decided to go off an adventure and save her kingdom. However, the environments were treacherous, so she enlisted the help of a man that knows everything about ice - Kristoff. Kristoff was a guy who preferred to keep to himself (save for hanging out with his pet reindeer Sven), but considering that his business was doing poorly due to the amount of plentiful ice available, he knew he needed to help Anna end eternal winter. On the way, they ran into Olaf - who, as it turns out, Elsa created soon after she created her ice kingdom. What Elsa really wanted was a more intimidating snowman to protect her from the outside world, so Olaf went out and Marshmallow (the very scary-looking snowman) was born). Olaf dreams of what summer is like - he obviously had never experienced summer, but wished to help aid Anna and Kristoff in their quest.

Anna and her friends fought through the harsh winter environment and Elsa's powers to keep them at bay, but finally Anna reaches her sister's new home. Elsa is now very different - she is free to be herself and is a new woman.

What happened next? Well, if the creators revealed all of that, then they'd be revealing too much. But from what I've seen, here's what I think happens.

Anna tries to convince Elsa that she needs to come back home and work with her to figure out how to end eternal winter and resume her rightful place on the throne. Elsa and Anna start to bond again, but something terrible happens - Elsa's powers hit Anna again, and instead of just one white streak of hair, her entire head of hair turns to ice white. She is getting too cold again. Elsa is horrified and begs Kristoff to get Anna away from her and save her. Olaf makes a great sacrifice to save Anna. Hans is not who he appears to be. Anna realizes that she is really in love with Kristoff, and Kristoff isn't interested in being so alone anymore. And because of the power of the love of two sisters, everyone in the kingdom is saved and they all live happily ever after.

That's all I have to say on Frozen for now. I'm sure I'll be writing even more about it before it's released, but until then, see you guys next time!

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