I realize disliking Frozen in the wake of its Oscar-winning-financial-juggernaut-do-you-wanna-build-a-snowman existence to many is akin to hating puppies and Disneyland. I do not hate puppies or Disneyland. But, I have grown weary of a film that still feels more manufactured than created, more a triumph of marketing than of storytelling. It was a movie that was first teased by showcasing two comical sidekicks without once mentioning that there were (gasp!) princesses involved (Disney took a similar approach when it first advertised Tangled). This hesitance to embrace Frozen’s fairy tale roots always struck me as disingenuous, as if Disney didn't have the confidence to stick by the story it created, a story strongly in keeping with Disney’s animation legacy. For me, everything went downhill from there when the story did prove to be clunky and the songs mediocre. The only highlight was a slow but spunky snowman gifted with the best lines in the film (thank you, Josh Gad, for nailing Olaf’s character with your charming voice work). And yes, I’ll concede that the animation is quite lovely, so I guess that leaves me with no option but to watch Frozen with the sound turned down so I don’t have to hear that song.
To its credit, the Frozen Blu-ray does have the Oscar-nominated Mickey Mouse short Get a Horse, which is both a delightful tribute to Mickey’s black and white origins and a playful tweak of modern CG animation. Also good fun is the Blu-ray’s musical “Making of Frozen” production number with Gad, Kristen Bell and Jonathan Groff—make sure you watch that one all the way to the end. Disney history buffs will find “D’Frosted: Disney’s Journey From Hans Christian Andersen to Frozen” a pleasure as well for Alice Davis’s wonderful recollections of her late husband, Disney animator and Imagineer Marc Davis (by the way, Happy Birthday this week, Alice!).
Best among the Blu-ray bonus features is “The Walt Disney Studios: From Poppins to the Present,” a stroll through the studio lot with Saving Mr. Banks director John Lee Hancock and songwriter Richard Sherman waxing sentimental about the Mary Poppins era at Disney.
Related: Reviewing 'Mr. Banks'
'Frozen' is Hard to Warm Up To