REVIEW: Frozen Fever [2015]

Score: 5/10 | ★ ★


Rating: G | Runtime: 7 minutes | Release Date: March 13th, 2015 (USA)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Director(s): Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee

“Dry Banana Hippy Hat”

I liked Frozen as much as the next person for telling a familiar story in a new way with emotion, surprises, and a cute little snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad). However, I can’t imagine even the staunchest supporter of its legacy doesn’t possess some fatigue. Elsa and Anna are everywhere, “Let It Go” is seared into my eardrums, and the whole fight for title of platonic true love originator against Maleficent proved just how rabid fandom can become—and how annoying. Despite the overkill, kids across the world cannot get enough so it shocks no one that Disney would jump at the chance of keeping the gang in its audience’s consciousness. We’re releasing a new princess film? Slap on some Frozen and watch the money roll in.

That is all Frozen Fever is: a seven-minute short of pure fan service revolving around a new song by Oscar winners Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. This fact in itself should tell you my enjoyment level considering I thought the music was Frozen‘s weakest link. The lyrics were silly and overly expository, the melodies aimless when they weren’t obnoxiously catchy, and “Making Today a Perfect Day” is no exception. It’s more spoken word than bombastic pop anthem and its main thrust deals with Elsa’s (Idina Menzel) case of the sniffles and apparent loopiness despite refusing to take any medication that may cause such a state. Thankfully her sneezes provide a joyous treat to keep us entertained.

Elsa hopes to throw Anna (Kristen Bell) her first ever “real” birthday party and she wants to make it perfect. So she grins and bears the fact Olaf is too flaky to be trusted and Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) too clumsy. The hope is for Sven the reindeer to keep an eye out while the queen gathers her sister from slumber. Leading her around the castle on a present tour, the first of a never-ending procession of sneezes arrives. Each time one happens a few little mini snowmen pop out with broad smiles and ambling demeanors in search of mischief. They of course find it downstairs amongst the ice sculptures and cake, making Kristoff work for a semblance of order and giving Olaf a reason to be extra cute.

Fans of Frozen will absolutely adore this music video spin-off whether it adds anything to the equation or not. For me it’s a slight romp with a couple laughs and an air of rushed production. The story hinges on Elsa’s guilt to give Anna the pleasures she kept locked away for so many years before. In other words its moral is exactly the same as their feature length debut. This isn’t a bad thing per se; I just hate the idea that everyone’s going to pretend it’s somehow more than a DVD extra. Sadder still is the reality that we may see it up for an Animated Short Oscar come 2016 solely on brand recognition. I cannot willfully laud an advertisement for an inevitable sequel as more than a smile.


photography:
courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

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