Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"The Snow Queen Cometh" (!)

"The Snow Queen Cometh" (gawd)
With a trailer coming out today (stay tuned for that) and official images released just yesterday (Monday) Disney's Frozen is officially counting down the days to the Thanksgiving release.

Here are the five new images:
Action shot - I really want to be impressed but I'm distracted by the prominent boxer-flattened schnozes of the character designs. And how they look a LOT like certain moose Disney have used before...
Going to give this one the benefit of the doubt since it's probably from a very nice looking sequence (though why release this still then...?).
I'm seeing a goofy (and very familiar looking) reindeer (not the majestic, iconic animal companion all Snow Queen fans adore)...
... and a talking snowman sidekick (What. The. What?)...
... and not very distinctive looking characters at all. (Who are these people? They look like CG stock!) Except for the goofballs, that is. Well, some of the goofballs. Which is... not what we want. :/
First official image from Disney's Frozen
My impression continues to jive with the "Tangled in the snow" quip I've seen thrown around since they changed Anna's hair color from an eye-catching white-blonde...
... to a much-closer-to-Rapunzel-colored strawberry-blonde (not to mention changing her eyes and face to be much more Rapunzel-round).

Overall it just looks... like-Alpha and Omega-met-Brother Bear-as-Tangled-went-on-a-ski-trip.  :(

I really don't understand why they're releasing these sorts of images. Presumably (hopefully?) I'm way off the mark with all the parallels but if this all we have to go from what else are we supposed to think?
This is appearing everywhere as Disney concept art but it's not. More is the pity. This is everyone's favorite go-to, "look at the pretty" Disney is doing image but it's actually by Laura Csajagi.
Even if these impressions are not what the movie is like (oh please say it isn't!!) there's a world of potential in HCA's The Snow Queen that I'm barely seeing signs of being tapped. It's as if someone said "we're doing a fantasy in the snow, with a girl and a snow queen" and that's all they gave the artists to work with. :( :( (Yes, that's a double-sad face.)

Jennifer Lee - Disney's 1st female director
I wish I could be excited about Frozen having the first female director (EVER! Sheesh! Although she's actually sharing a Co-director credit with Chris Buck, but still...) but I'm guessing Jennifer Lee had a lot on her plate just holding on to juggling her job (notes from up to 150 people?? OMG). She did display good writing chops on Wreck It Ralph however so I'm holding out some hope...

Unfortunately, it's pretty clear Frozen's plot isn't based on Andersen's fairy tale. At most, it's "inspired by" the beloved story but first looks tell us it's barely that either. Right now, the most I'm looking forward to from this movie is the "Art Of" book, especially if it includes anything like the images above, because that could  be from a classic tale.

[Little side note: no matter what negative things people have to say about the look of Frozen, how the new Anna looks like Rapunzel or that the new villain is looking a little too delicate, EVERYONE seems to love that image by French artist Laura Csajagi above and is hoping this is what they end up seeing... Too bad.]

But here's something more positive from USA today, which gives me hope for a beautiful film, even if there's no reference to the classic fairy tale:
The animators traveled to Norway to scope out the winter world firsthand and incorporated the look into Frozen's 3-D-enhanced scenery. (Co-Director, Chris) Buck says his team had "a blast" re-creating the beauty on-screen.
"The light is amazing, the way it refracts and dances off the snow and ice," Buck says. "We're still working on the film, but what we have seen is stunning."
Here are a few screen grabs, presumably from todays' trailer (not yet seen as of this writing), from a behind-the-scenes YouTube news source I found a while back.

 It will also be the first time Disney has had a beautiful evil princess...
... with powers! (Which you can see a glimpse of above.)

And I particularly like the concept of the snowflake bridge and use of animation to have the sun shine through the snow and cause rainbow reflections as it drifts down.

Fan-made posters - they look similar to final designs though

But will Elsa stay evil and be a unique addition to the Disney villain canon?

Chances seem slim with a "girl sets out to save sister" premise. Does Anna fail? Does Anna turn to the dark side?

Mehinks... no.

From Collider yesterday:
The story will focus more on the relationship between Anna and Elsa.  “That’s such an important part of this,” co-director Jennifer Lee tells USA Today.  “Two sisters torn apart by a big family secret.”  (Kristen) Bell (who is the voice of Anna) adds that Anna is “not a good fighter, she doesn’t have good posture, she’s not very elegant, and she’s constantly putting her foot in her mouth.  But, Bell  adds, “she’s a good person and she’s utterly determined.” 
Sounds just like.. never mind.

I'm afraid it must be said: so far, Frozen is leaving me cold.

Fairy tale bonus of the day: A gallery full of Frozen art - some legit, some not but all exploring the Disney movie-to-be based on The Snow Queen.  Some very pretty pics here (and a few wishes too). Click HERE to go see the shiny.


  1. Wow, yeah. That does look sort of... awful. I guess we'll wait and see, but it seems like, with so many resources and so much money, Disney should be able to put together something better than this. Also, Disney, please kill all the annoying animal-ish sidekicks in scene 1! Pretty please.

  2. Ugh. I totally agree. I saw a few images leaked online a while back and SUPER unimpressed. They go from Wreck it Ralph, which I loved, to this? Boring. Same old same old, and the story sounds a little to 'Wicked' for me. Hell, they even have Idina Menzel as the voice! I loved the book as a kid, and this looks like more a CG Tinkerbell-ified version of it. Gross. Also, the snow man? Seriously? Why not a polar bear, or penquin, even a snow bunny would have been a better choice, or an bird made out of icicles or something. Lame.

  3. So many people love to complain about Disney's decisions for this film. For me, it is nothing short of spectacular. The "annoying snowman's" name is Olaf, and he is very cute, unique, and seems hysterical. Disney didn't want a penguin or polar bear because that would be sooo original! Every Disney princess has an animal sidekick - duh! Rupunzel=Pascal, Ariel=Sebastian, Merida=Angus, Mulan=Mushu and obviously, here, Anna=Olaf. Of course it is "Disney-fied", it's a children's movie! Don't be so quick to judge. They haven't even released the full trailer.

    1. Care to explain Snow White, Aurora, Kida, Belle? We don't need side kicks, many films did not include them,,,