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Mixed Impressions - Generally positive, with a few caveats
(No overt spoilers below, but a few allusions to the developments at the end of the movie.)
There are many things I like about this film, and several things I didn't.
I loved the Nordic setting and the historically accurate European ambiance. The truth is, fairy-tale films work best when they're set in the land that gave birth to them (Europe) and when they're recognizably historic looking, in terms of architecture, settings, and demographics, as is this one.
The visuals are spectacular. It's one of the most beautiful films to look at that I've ever seen. The characters are likewise very attractive, with Elsa in particular being one of Disney's most beautiful princesses ever.
Elsa is an excellent character, extremely fascinating and original -- so much so that she should have been the main protagonist. Disney has made princess movies around much less interesting characters in the past, so this time, when they finally came up with a character who is so incredibly complex and sympathetic, the film should definitely have focused on her. And after her years of solitude, it should certainly have given her a love story, like a gender-flipped version of Beauty and the Beast, with Elsa in the role of the quasi-Beast who is redeemed by the love of a warm-hearted man. It should have saved the sister story for a different project. Giving Anna a love story instead of Elsa seems painfully unbalanced, especially given that Elsa suffers years of tragic isolation and has to inhibit her emotions, while Anna is merely lonely.
I didn't like Anna, who is yet another example of the feisty, aggressive tomboys who lately seem to be the leads in nearly every movie in this genre (Rapunzel somewhat excepted). Characters like her are becoming terribly clichéd, which makes it hard to empathize with Anna. Also, I didn't really see her problem as being that acute, relatively speaking: so she's been alone a lot in her life. So what? She can't read books? Sneak out of the castle? Get some fresh air? There are worse problems to have -- like her sister's plight, for example, which rivals that of the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera in making Elsa a truly tragic figure.
Kristoff could have been a much more interesting character, if there had been more of an edge to his personality. Most of the time, he just seems like a tag-along to Anna with little purpose in the story. He is too easygoing to be a craggy loner type and too light-hearted to be a rogue. Just seems like an ordinary nice guy.
Too much of the film constitutes yet another road-trip movie, with Kristoff and Anna being a far less interesting and far less likable pair than Flynn and Rapunzel.
Instead of this, more of the film should have taken place in the ice palace that Elsa creates, which is a spectacular creation, easily as interesting as the Beast's castle in Beauty and the Beast, and more of the storyline should have involved Elsa and her plight.
Hans could have been a great character, and even as the movie stands, he has some terrific moments in the middle of the film, but the storyline ultimately ruins him.
Marshmallow is a thrilling and powerful film presence. Olaf is tolerable. The trolls are excruciatingly unfunny and out of place.
The movie has its share of twists, one of which the big one seems painfully contrived and unpersuasive.
The ending is kind of weak and lacks the joy that you usually feel in Disney films, when a romantic couple gets together.
The songs are likewise a mixed bag, ranging from the excellent (Let It Go, Frozen Heart, For the First Time in Forever) to the mundane (Fixer Upper, In Summer, Love is an Open Door) There's a lot to love in this movie, no doubt about it, and it's worth seeing for Elsa alone, as well a for Marshmallow, Arendelle, the culture, the landscapes, the visuals, and at least in the middle part, for the character of Hans.
All in all, it's probably a bit better than Tangled, and both this and Tangled are indeed Disney's best movies since The Lion King. But it could have been an even more powerful and timeless movie if it had been blemished by fewer of its grating, modern touches and if it had devoted more of its storyline to its finest character, Elsa.