(Seen twice: once in theaters, once on Blu-Ray)
Whoever writes liner notes for Disney must be illiterate. “Walt Disney Studios presents a chilly twist on one of the most humorous and heartwarming stories ever told.” Hans Christian Andersen’s “Snow Queen”? I don’t think so. The original Snow Queen was more like the White Witch in C. S. Lewis‘ Narnia than the older sister of this adaptation. In fact, this entire story is pretty much cut from whole cloth. (Not that that’s a bad thing, and not that Disney hasn’t turned fairy tales inside out before–often to good effect.)
Making the protagonists sisters was genius. The result, cynicism about merchandise more princess trash aside, was the promised heartwarming tale. I liked the reindeer and the snow man best. The men were mostly cardboard cutouts: disposable. (see below) Thank you, Disney, also for presenting the princesses–well, princess and queen–as attractive girls, not Barbie-esque babes. The snow monster was unnecessarily scary.
The production values (computer art) are stunning. (I didn’t see the 3-D; they give me headaches.) The texture work–cloth, wood, stone–is amazing. I saw things on Blu-Ray I’d missed in the theater. Liked the fjords, clothes, stave church and rosemaling nods to Norway, and the music and decorations inspired by the Sámi culture.
Quibble (and spoiler): Prince Hans’ betrayal came straight out of left field. No foreshadowing; nothing. And therefore, while it may have been necessary to the plot, it didn’t ring true. Boo.
Speaking of men: Disney continues the current trend of making men at best adjuncts to the real story, whatever it may be, and usually doofuses or evil to boot. The sisters’ father makes an incredibly bad decision in trying to hide and suppress Elsa’s talent: splitting the family and setting the whole kingdom up for a cataclysm. Instead he should have nurtured and trained Elsa to use her ability wisely. (That last wisdom from my older son. Makes a dad proud.)
The only “extra” worth anything was the trailer featuring Olaf and Sven on ice. Too bad it couldn’t have found its way into the movie. The “Making of …” special was so stupid I turned it off halfway through. Barf.
Fun for most of the family.