2009 waved goodbye to the 2 dimensional Disney Princess films with ‘The Princess and the Frog’ and in 2010, we welcomed the new animation style with ‘Tangled’, an adaptation of the fairy tale of Rapunzel. Three years later, we got ‘Frozen’, a loose adaptation of The Snow Queen, which exploded onto our screens and into our shops. It seems like you can’t go anywhere without some sort of ‘Frozen’ merch being shoved down our throats; from rucksacks to lunchboxes, from hoodies to…toilet seats? No really! This kind of hype was never shown for the previous film, ‘Tangled’ and I think its a damned shame because…I think that ‘Tangled’ is better than ‘Frozen’.
First of all, ‘Frozen’ is not the progressive film we all thought. Some have said that its the first film to show the relationship between sisters, but there’s ‘Lilo and Stitch’, a beautiful film about a young woman taking care of her younger sister after the death of their parents. Also, people like to claim that it show a woman doesn’t need a man to save her, but have you seen ‘Mulan’. That bitch saves the whole of China by embracing her femininity. I think ‘Frozen’ gets a bit too much credit for this.
However, I will give ‘Frozen’ some credit. It definitely isn’t a bad film, that isn’t what I’m saying. In fact, I think its a very good film, I just think ‘Tangled’ is better. The music in ‘Frozen’ is stunning and incredibly catchy in a way that the music in ‘Tangled’ perhaps isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the songs in ‘Tangled’ but I think the ‘Frozen’ soundtrack is far stronger. Tunes like; ‘Do you wanna build a snowman’, ‘Love is an open door’ and ‘Fixer upper’ are so catchy and memorable. ‘Let it Go’ is probably one of the most well known Disney songs in history now. The songs in ‘Tangled’ are good; ‘Mother Knows Best’ is one of my all time favourite Disney villain songs ever and ‘I See the Light’ is such a beautiful duet, but other than that, there aren’t really any memorable songs, not on the scale of ‘Frozen’ at least.
Music is one thing however, story is another. ‘Frozen’ is a bit of a mess, in terms of story. At first, the film makes you believe that Elsa is the protagonist. She has the powerhouse song and the first third of the film is dedicated to her. So why is it that we follow Anna most of the time? This split makes it difficult for us to follow the arc, the progression of the characters. If we followed Elsa, then we might have been able to see more of her development into loving herself and accepting who she is but we follow Anna, who’s only real progression, it seems to me, is that she’s falling for Kristoff. I can’t really figure out what her struggle is. And if they wanted to focus on Anna, then maybe they should have made Elsa the villain like originally planned. I understand why they didn’t, of course. They wanted to show that she was scared and misunderstood and that isolation is not the best way to deal with your problems but the stuff with Anna doesn’t really progress this.
‘Tangled’ has a clear progression of the main character, Rapunzel. It shows her life in this tower, shut away from the world. It shows that she’s been manipulated by Mother Gothel and that she feels awful about leaving the tower due to this. It then shows us her journey of independence and growth as she discovers who she really is and the film is able to focus on that journey. We also see the growth of Flynn/Eugene. While is arc is that he changed because of love and that isn’t the most progressive story, he does go through a change. This isn’t something we see with the male character’s of ‘Frozen’. Sure, Kristoff is maybe less cynical and grumpy but its not really a progression. And Hans was just stupid. It was not set up at all. There’s even a moment after Anna leaves where he looks at her lovingly. Why would he do that if he was really trying to steal the throne? Really, Disney, I thought you could do better than that. Mother Gothel is a much better villain than Hans, so much more depth and much better motivations. Its a great example of abusive parental relationship.
I also much prefer the horse side-kick to Olaf. He’s so funny and its amazing how expressive they made him. As much as I like Josh Gad, I just like a horse that’s trying to take down a thief is a much funnier idea than a talking snowman.
I do love both ‘Frozen’ and ‘Tangled’, I just think that ‘Frozen’ is given far more credit than it deserves. ‘Tangled’ has a better characters, which better progression and a better sidekick while ‘Frozen’ has better music.
Disagree? Let me know which film you prefer and why. I have also created a Facebook Page for this blog where I will be posting updates, polls and easy access to my posts so give that a like, if you like, link is here (https://www.facebook.com/tashholmeses/?view_public_for=1728452607445964)
As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the next post.
(Pictures are not my own so here at the links to the originals starting from the banner)