Thursday, September 26, 2013

New Movie Trailer for Disney's Frozen

The Snow Queen? No.

This new trailer for Frozen is more entertaining and gives hope for some general entertainment. But it has no resemblance whatsoever to HCA's The Snow Queen. I'm grateful they changed the title on this one. So unless more news shows a greater relationship to the fairy tale, I won't be covering the movie here on the blog.

Tangled, at least, resembled the fairy tale and had recognizable elements. I'm not seeing that here.

Forbes has a great article about the movie by Scott Mendelson:

As you may recall, Disney infamously changed the title of 2010′s Rapunzel to Tangled and also altered the marketing campaign to highlight not its lead female would-be princess character but the wise-cracking male lead who would be her love interest and would-be rescuer. And, having successfully marketed Tangled as the merry adventure of rogue Flynn with Rapunzel seemingly playing a supporting role in her own story, Disney then went and announced that Tangled would be the last such fairy tale adaptation they would be producing. Because obviously The Princess and the Frog “only” made $267 million worldwide in 2009 primarily because it had the word “princess” in the title.

$600 million in worldwide box office later (more than any other non-Pixar cartoon outside of The Lion King), they secretly changed their tune, which brings us this loose adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson‘s The Snow Queen. So yes, however small the victory, let us celebrate that Disney is boasting, rather than hiding, the fact that they have made another female-centric animated fable. It is a telling sign of how far gender parity has fallen in the last decade when something like this or Brave is considered noteworthy, especially as the female-driven animated features like Mulan or Anastasia used to come and go without comment in the mid-to-late 1990′s.

But for the moment, kudos to Disney for not only bringing us another animated film co-directed and co-written by a female (Jennifer Lee, who co-wrote Disney’s Wreck It Ralph), but producing one starring a female hero and villain (Idina Menzel). And most importantly, kudos for not being afraid to hide the film’s female-centric bent in the marketing campaign, thus bucking the “girls will see boy movies but boys won’t see girl movies” conventional wisdom. One can only hope that the successes of The Twilight Saga, Tangled, Brave, and The Hunger Games is helping to dispel that myth.
And I still contend that Princess and the Frog just wasn't very entertaining. The Princess title may not have helped but the film itself wasn't making people go back to see it. And it released later than usual that year, too, after Thanksgiving. Voodoo and characters that are animals longer than they are humans isn't appealing to as large an audience. Fine if we have animal characters, but when we know they are enchanted humans, well, frogs aren't that interesting. I'm usually entertained by Disney movies on some levels but I remember sitting with my sister to watch it and we were both thoroughly bored. It was boring. And I didn't want to be bored and I was rooting for a non-white princess, too.


  1. Good article

    thus bucking the “girls will see boy movies but boys won’t see girl movies” conventional wisdom.

    It's only a " wisdom " because the guys making the movies want to make guys movies regardless ..But Looks like someone decided it was time to make money again

    Sure girls will see a boy moive....But they will see go a girl movie over and over and over and over . Boys won't

    You don't want a one time see it movie audience ...the big dollars are when viewers come back and back
    That's what girls do...that's what they did to see Leo over and over in " Titanic" Lord

    I think they made P and the F expressly dull in order to sink the concept as best they could

    I really like your blog

  2. I see nothing that really links Frozen to the Snow Queen with the exception of a snow queen and a reindeer--and a girl on a quest.

    I don't know--the movie still isn't giving me that "I want to go see it." vibe that "The Princess and the Frog" gave to me due to its lovely 2d animation (something I've greatly missed) and a really awesome but sadly underused villain. (The main reason I wanted to see that movie.) I still have not seen Tangled--just didn't have much interest.

  3. Lovely to read your thoughts Heidi. Always great when you weigh in. :)

    Frozen. Yeah - no sign of the fairy tale anywhere in there any more, but then, the directors did expressly admit that when the first photos were released. I'm most saddened by the fact they didn't know what to make of a VERY female story and that they're very proud of using sisters as the main characters. I mean, come on - all those women in all the seasons? All the growth that an independent and spirited girl managed, and the scary-huge adventure Gerda went on out of friendship? And how could they miss the power of the Little Robber Girl story and that particular friendship? They could have made a movie just about that... sigh.

    I'm possibly most bothered that there seems to be a need to point out the fact of female leads and a female director. Why is this still a big deal? Until it isn't newsworthy, all it tells me is that there's a huge lack of equality there they're trying to make up for. You can't be proud of something if it's the norm/usual/accepted. Same with princesses of color - any color. It's troubling.

    Hopefully Frozen will make for an OK fantasy movie with a sister focus instead of a romance (although that will be in there too) but the trailer has me cringing. Did you count the "whoa!"s? Seriously - you could have a contest to see who could spot the most. (And it's going to date itself very quickly.) :(

    PS Re P&tF - I agree. Sadly very yawn-worthy.

  4. I can't say I'm disappointed that Frozen doesn't resemble "The Snow Queen". I've never been a fan of H.C. Andersen. However, on the subject of boy movies vs girl movies. I wonder if they ever considered just adapting a fairy tale that actually had a male protagonist. Like "Jack and the Bean Stalk" or "The Boy Who Went to Learn what Fear Is" or "How Six Comrades Got On in the World". Heck, even "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" has the soldier as the lead, despite the abundance of princesses. The uninitiated seem to have this strange idea that male-focused fairy tales don't exist.

  5. @AdamYJ "Giants"(working title) is in the early stages of development at Disney right now - a reworking of Jack and te Beanstalk. At the moment the story and concept has more to do with the fairy tale than Frozen ever did with The Snow Queen. Projected release is 2016. I'm curious too see what they will do with it. Details here:

  6. Somehow I missed the fact that this movie is coming out, though my twelve year old daughter knew about it, and is looking forward to it.

    I'm getting the White Queen of Narnia with a hint of Frosty the Snowman. HCA's The Snow Queen still haunts me. As a child reading it, it gave me a dangerous thrill that I had to go back for every so often. I hope the movie captures some of that, but I'm not holding my breath.

  7. Its a story about the fairy tale....which we all love to listen about her life ,how she lives and get grow up in her life...I must say, you should must watch and have a enjoyable time ahead.

  8. This movie is going to be really good. Not judged by this trailer, but by this one.
    Even though it's not going to be similar to the original story, which was beautiful.