What’s this? Another fairytale adaptation? Well, why not?
When I first heard that Disney was going to give the magic treatment to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, I was delighted. However, once I started to research it in earnest, my enthusiasm began to wane; the brief plot sketch Disney’s provided seems less than promising. In fact, it’s pretty much unrecognizable as the original story.
Frozen is set to hit theatres in November 2013 and, according to the Wiki page, “In order to stop the spell which has trapped the kingdom in eternal winter, Anna teams up with Kristoff, a mountain man, and goes on a journey to find the Snow Queen, all while encountering Everest-like extremes, mystical creatures and magic.”
Excuse me? Where are Gerda and Kai, the children with puppy crushes on each other, whose friendship is thrown into chaos when a shard of demon-glass enters Kai’s heart and turns him cruel and aggressive? Don’t tell me that the Snow Queen, who kidnaps Kai and causes him to forget Gerda and his family, has been downgraded to a Jadis* rip-off? And Gerda, the heroine who quests through sorceresses, robbers, and wild animals to save Kai, is now just some random person who decides to stop the Snow Queen?
Oh wait, the Snow Queen is apparently Elsa, Anna’s estranged sister. Less Narnia, more Wicked. Wikipedia expands:
Joined by a rugged, thrill-seeking outdoorsman, his one-antlered reindeer and a hapless snowman, Anna must race against time, conquer the elements and battle an army of menacing snowmen if she ever hopes to melt her frozen heart.
That snowman will be the Jar Jar Binks of this movie, mark my words.
Also, whose heart are we talking about? Anna’s? Why does she even care, if her heart is frozen (metaphorically, I imagine, since if it was literally there wouldn’t be a movie)? In the original, Gerda triumphs against evil and cruelty by showing compassion for everyone she meets, and ultimately refusing to stop caring about Kai. Maybe this “frozen heart” business is Disney’s attempt to work that in? Nbd, just the whole point of the story but you know, feel free to just tack that on at the end.
The concept art** that’s been floating around is, at least, pretty gorgeous. Also severely outdated and, if the internet tells me correctly, it will be rendered null since Disney will be CGI-ing this à la Tangled. I’m looking forward to some good landscape scenes; Andersen set the story in his native Denmark in 1895, and Disney excels at building worlds around their characters—Paris in Hunchback of Notre Dame and the scenery in Mulan are nearly as enjoyable to watch as the antics of the actual characters.
Frozen looks like it could go either way at this point, but with a premise so far removed from the original Snow Queen story, I’m not sure it’s honest of the House of Mouse to claim inspiration from Andersen’s tale. And if the movie turns out to be horrible, it’ll be downright insulting.