Okay, I love Frozen. Truly, I do. I saw it twice in the theater, pre-ordered the blue-ray, and bought the soundtrack. I still catch myself singing "Let It Go" while doing laundry and washing the dishes. My sister and I forced our parents to watch it, even though we knew our dad would fall asleep midway through. I'm there - I'm on the Frozen fan train.
This should come as no surprise - I'm known as a huge Disney fan. With that said, I'm pretty much over the hype. Frozen is great and all, but I believe Disney has done better before. So why the unrelenting excitement for this one particular film? Maybe people just really, really like snow?
If you love Frozen for the same reasons I do, then you should do yourself a favor and watch the below films. All Disney (not Disney Pixar, they're at another level of greatness), but in my opinion, done much better.
Better story: Wreck-It Ralph
A Disney original at that! Disney has long relied on old folk stories and fairy tales for their animated films (Disney Pixar tends to do original stories, which is another reason why they are so great). Wreck-It Ralph brings a fun new world that caters to the whole family. It's charming, heart-breaking, and you are left wanting more. I have yet to watch it without tearing up at the end. I'm not one to ask for sequels very often, but this has huge potential to become a franchise, much like Disney Pixar's Toy Story.
Better soundtrack(s): Almost every film from the Disney Renaissance
My grade school years were during the Disney Renaissance (1989-1999), and I would have to admit, this is probably why I majored in theatre. The Frozen soundtrack is great, but is quite a short track list. If we're talking amazing soundtracks, please consider the following:
The Little Mermaid (1989)
This was the flick that started it all again! With music by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, you know you were belting these songs. "Part of Your World" was the "Let It Go" of 1989.
I'm still bitter that Ariel outfits weren't made until I was WAY too old for them to wear to Disneyland. :(
Beauty & the Beast (1991)
Hello, first (and still only) Disney animated film that has been nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards! It lost to Silence of the Lambs - eek. Now a Broadway show, this is one hell of a musical. It was written as such once again by Menken and Ashman, so these two knew what they were doing.
"Beauty & the Beast" is the big favorite. I still remember hearing it play on the radio. Still, when you add tracks like "Belle", "Be Our Guest", and "Gaston", it is clearly a strong contender for the best Disney soundtrack of all time.
Holy crap - Disney is on a roll! This is one of the more fun soundtracks, especially with Robin Williams as Genie, singing "A Friend Like Me" and "Prince Ali". With the help of Tim Rice, Menken and Ashman once again teamed up for the fantastic soundtrack. "One Jump" is still my personal favorite, but "A Whole New World" is the classic title track that still makes women swoon.
The Lion King (1994)
Confession time: I totally went to see this because Jonathan Taylor Thomas was the voice of Simba. Luckily, IT WAS AWESOME. By far, one of the best Disney animated films of all time. This time, songs were written by composer Elton John and lyricist Tim Rice. "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" is still my pick for karaoke. Also on Broadway, this musical has charmed audiences of all ages. This isn't just a love story; It's about family.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Not quite the Disney film you would expect. Actually, it's a bit too dark for kids. Still, if we're talking about amazing soundtracks, this is on the list. Songs composed by Menken and written by Stephen Schwartz, they truly capture the feel of Notre Dame and the characters that live there. That's not to say Frozen didn't do that too, but this film's songs were deeper than most Disney soundtracks. The songs reflect the true pain of this story, which was perhaps too much for their intended audience. I still say this should be a stage musical, but when the name Disney is attached to a project, these particular undertones are not exactly family-friendly.
BLESS MY SOUL! Oh my garsh, I love this movie. Those muses get you MOVING, I tell ya! This is one of the most underrated Disney animated films, which is still upsetting to me. This time around, composer Alan Menken partnered up with lyricist David Zippel for a dance-worthy soundtrack. "Go the Distance" is perfect to add to the Disney inspirational list, but the unexpectedly charming "I Won't Say I'm In Love" is the main reason I added Hercules to the list.
Note: I would have added Mulan (1998) and Tarzan (1999), but their soundtracks are just as short as Frozen, and are pretty much equal to it.
BETTER VILLAIN: Too many to list
Hans was an "eh" villain at best. The Duke? Practically non-existent. Disney has done WAY better in this department. I understand Frozen wasn't about good vs. evil, and it was truly about sisterhood, so why add a flimsy villain? I guess they needed something to add to the conflict, but when it comes to real villains, I'm just going to summarize my top five. There are so many others that would make Hans poop in his pants, but ain't nobody got time for that.
1. Scar: Kill your brother, try to kill your nephew, and practically have your subjects starve. Plus, a killer song "Be Prepared".
2. Ursula: Biggest hater in the sea. Hella jelly of King Tritan. "Poor Unfortunate Souls" is so catchy, my mom sings it absent-mindedly (she's not a Disney freak, like me).
3. Cruella De Vil: Terrible driver. Kills puppies. Covered in cigarette ash. Has a theme song so good that helped Roger and Anita get rich.
4. Gaston: Vain. Sexist. Animal Killer for décor. How is it possible that he's so charming when singing about himself in "Gaston"? Now THAT'S talent.
5. Maleficent: She still gives me the creeps, especially with that sultry voice. Oh, she uses the powers of hell to become a dragon? Run away! And she hates the kingdom for no reason. Why? Who hurt her?
Better Female Lead: Mulan
Yes, Anna is freakin' adorable. True, Elsa has some kick-ass powers. Still, by far, Mulan wins. As the ultimate underdog, Mulan just wanted to save her father from fighting in a war. She already wins points with her selfless act. Then she goes on to learn how to fight men three times her size? Saves China? WHAT?! Come on. No Disney female lead has been able to touch Mulan. Normal girl turned hero. We all wish we could be Mulan!
What are your thoughts? Agree/Disagree?
Did I miss any films that could have been on this list?
I draw, make, and occasionally tell a story.