So Disney released the first full trailer for Frozen this week. If you didn’t know, it’s the latest princess movie loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s Snow Queen. And from the looks of the trailer, it’s very loosely based. I want to like this movie. I’ll probably try to see this in theater and give it a chance, but I like the story of The Snow Queen, and this … makes me stop and wonder if you can call it an adaption?
First thing, I’m not going to hate on Olaf the Snowman. So far the only thing I’ve truly hated about him is the teaser trailer that looked like a fairy tale Ice Age. He serves his purpose of spunky non-humanoid sidekick. These of the characters often end up be our favorites (or at least mine.) Now I can see him being annoying; I imagine most adults hated Chip in Beauty and the Beast but as a kid I loved him and I still do. Because above all things, Frozen is a children’s movie, not a Pixar film meant to be enjoyed by all ages on different levels. Olaf is probably going to reinforce the moral message of the film and provide comic relief. From some of his dialogue in the trailer, I can actually see inappropriate reinterpreting of his story (aka what is he smoking?) So I’m willing to give Olaf a chance.
No, my real issue is how far the film seems to distance itself from the source material. From the trailer, the only things I see in common are a woman who has power over winter and a reindeer. The original story isn’t about saving the world from eternal winter. It’s not a quest between two friends to save the world. It’s ostensibly about seeing the world and growing up, but also about a girl striving to rescue her friend. Yeah, that’s right, the hero in the original story is a young girl who leaves home to rescue her male friend. I think that can send an awesome message to the main target audience (young girls) and they can add a storyline that won’t alienate the boys who are too caught up in the differences between the two genders. (The miniseries/movie put out by Hallmark in 2002 managed this. Admittedly, execution wasn’t the best, but I loved the visuals of it.)
But it doesn’t end there with the changes that bother me. The boy and girl in the story have names. And they’re not Anna and Kristoff. I don’t see why Disney had to change the names from Gerda and Kai. Even in Tangled, which is not at all like the original story, Rapunzel got to keep her name (and Disney got a break from few people remembering that rapunzel is a name for a salad green.) The only other Disney names I can think of are Ariel and Tiana, whose counterparts don’t actually have names. So this bugs me a little, because it reinforces (to me) the idea that this is an adaptation in name only.
I think Frozen suffers too much from trying to be Tangled. Of course Tangled still kept some main elements of the story: girl trapped in tower with extremely long hair, evil witch mother figure, girl escapes, defeats evil witch, and cuts her hair – though not necessarily in that order. And Frozen has this save the world (or village) story for the buddy journey (and I know nothing about the other guy from the trailer.) But these are just my impressions from the first trailer, which may be corrected upon actually viewing the film.
What did you think about Frozen’s first trailer?