I just saw Disney's Frozen and came out with mixed feelings. This was a film I looked forward to: classic story, gorgeous art and Idina Menzel! Yet, the film feels like an early draft of any Pixar film – before they smooth out the characterizations and add those clever plot twists that are the hallmark of most Pixar films.
One friend (I forget who) pegged it when they described the film as feeling like it was designed like a Broadway musical first, with the story and characterizations coming second. The scripting has the feel of someone's first time writing the book for a musical – so strong was the vibe of, "Okay, now we have to have -this- kind of song right here, now!"
Unlike recent Disney animated features, the songs stopped the pacing dead. Way too much time was spent establishing background for the meat of the story: what should have been accomplished in ten minutes took nearly an hour. I started looking at my watch wondering, "Uh...aren't we getting kind of close to the end? When is the adventure going to begin?"
There comes a point where something happens that is so out of left field that it pretty much spoiled the experience for me. The set-up had -no- foreshadowing and was completely contrived. When you see the film, you'll know -exactly- what I'm referring to.
Still, even Pixar's worst day is better than most other's best effort, so I generally enjoyed myself. I am baffled by the 4 and 5 star reviews, though. It's like most reviewers rubber stamped this one. The exception that I found was, of course, Roger Ebert , who is ever the pro and, while he generally has good things to say about the film, did indeed notice the flaws.