Last week, I took two grandsons to see The LEGO Movie and two granddaughters to see Frozen. (In retrospect, I wish it had been the other way around.) While I enjoyed both movies (and both got great reviews), I liked Frozen far more than I did LEGO. While the former is more of a traditional animated feature (complete with show tunes), the latter has a very modern feel and pace.
Both movies have surprise endings. Frozen has an interesting plot twist and LEGO a reorientation of the movie’s theme. The latter involves Will Ferrell who I can’t stand. So, for me, even though the redirected theme is an important one, the “new” ending was little more than a distraction.
I’m not a big show-tune fan, but I enjoyed the music in Frozen. The songs were written and composed by Robert Lopez (who did the songs for The Book of Mormon musical) and his wife, Kristen-Anderson-Lopez. The most prominent of the songs is “Let It Go” which is sung by the self-exiled queen:
It’s funny how some distance/Makes everything seem small/And the fears that once controlled me/Can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do/To test the limits and break through/No right, no wrong, no rules for me/I’m free!
According to Time magazine (24 Feb 2014):
Disney has already announced plans to bring a musical version to Broadway, and theme-park incarnations have been hinted at. Two weeks ago, the movie was released in a sing-along version.
So Frozen is going to be around for a very long time.
I found the characters in Frozen to be enjoyable and it was great to see strong female lead roles. But I didn’t understand the need for Olaf, the snowman, or Marshmallow, the ice-monster bodyguard. They seemed unnecessarily distracting. The movie is based on a story by Hans Christian Anderson.
LEGO was just too frenetic for me. The moviegoer is on sensory overload for almost the full length of the movie . . . until the very end. The script has inside jokes, literary allusions, and many of the characters have quirky names. All to keep the adults in the audience entertained. But since I’m hard-of-hearing and too vain to get hearing aids, I missed most of them. I was just left with the movie’s mind-numbing and colorful graphics. LEGO was just not meant for moviegoers my age. For those who love the movie, I’m sure there will be at least one sequel.
A more positive spin of LEGO was provided by Sean Means, the reviewer for the Salt Lake Tribune:
It’s a sharply funny takedown of Hollywood’s usual toy-driven formula movies, and it also delivers a heartfelt message about the power of imagination that’s true to the spirit of LEGO building.
Since both LEGO and Frozen have been wildly successful at the box office, some reviewers and assorted nut-jobs have tried to gin up controversy. LEGO is alleged to be anti-business (according to Charles Payne of Fox Business Network). Which it is not. (How can a movie that promotes a product be anti-business?) It’s main message revolves around individuality and creativity. It is also supposed to have religious overtones (according to Jeffrey Weiss of the Religious News Service). Yawn. I guess this reviewer had to write about something.
A California grandmother thinks Frozen promotes an LGBT agenda. It does not. It has nothing to do with LGBT issues. But it is a wonderful and enjoyable movie, even for an old rock-and-roller like myself.