A Disney-fied version of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid kicked off the studio’s animation renaissance back in the late 1980s; and now, just short of 25 years later, the Mouse House is re-imagining another one of the author’s fairy tales, with the 3D animated feature, Frozen (based on “The Snow Queen”). Is third time the charm for this film’s marketing, after two trailers that mostly sold the Disney feature as a cute, yet unremarkable, assortment of cartoon slapstick and feisty-heroine-on-an-adventure tropes?
Well, although it remains to be seen if Frozen will reach the bar set by the newest trailer’s promise of it being “The Greatest Disney Animated Event Since The Lion King,” the latest theatrical preview does the best out of the trio, when it comes to selling the movie as a promising mixture of Disney original songs (written by Winnie the Pooh husband-wife lyricist team Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez), humor and a story that breathes new life into a centuries-old yarn.
Interestingly, Frozen (like Wreck-It Ralph last year) looks to continue moving the studio into the future, as this new trailer suggests the film’s narrative splits its focus between the troubled “Snow Queen,” a.k.a. Elsa, and her seemingly ordinary sister, Anna. The last two Disney animated films boasting female leads – the 2D animated The Princess and the Frog and the (very loose) 3D Rapunzel fairy tale retelling, Tangled – broke new ground, so as to make the Disney princess formula resonate with audiences in the 21st century; yet, as it were, Frozen appears to move even further in that direction.
For reference, here is the official synopsis for Frozen:
Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey—teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven—to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.
Frozen was co-written by Jennifer Lee (Wreck-It Ralph), who co-directed the film alongside her fellow animation vet Chris Buck (Disney’s 2D animated Tarzan movie). The trailer footage and synopsis make it apparent that Lee’s feature won’t skimp on the family-friendly adventure elements, but the heart of the film appears to lie with the relationship between Elsa and Anna. Moreover, since Frozen didn’t abruptly change directors mid-development, it should offer a fairly cohesive mix of fantasy adventure and female perspective (something Pixar’s Brave struggled with, due to its director-swapping during production).
Josh Gad (Thanks for Sharing), Santino Fontana (Submissions Only), Patricia Lentz (The Bling Ring) and fan-favorite Alan Tudyk (Wreck-It Ralph) round out the supporting voice cast for Frozen. The Disney flick won’t have much competition for the family crowd during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday frame, especially since the big releases that weekend are meant to attract the adult audience – lest any parents decide that Spike Lee’s Oldboy is proper viewing material for the kiddies, that is.
Let us know in the comments section if you’re now more, less or equally interested (or, alternatively, not interested) in checking out Frozen in theaters, thanks to the newest trailer.
Frozen opens in U.S. theaters on November 27th, 2013.