Like the rest of the internet, I took my big kids to see Frozen over the holidays. They loved it, I loved it, and it will occupy a special place as The First Movie They Liked That All The Other Kids Liked Too. Other people's kids have gone mad for other princess movies or Cars or Toy Story or whatever, but not mine! Not even Finding Nemo, people. What kids do not like Finding Nemo? Not that they don't like to watch things on screens - I have it on record somewhere that they watched 987 episodes of Busytown Mysteries back to back while I was pregnant and miserable with Emma, but sit through a MOVIE? No, thank you.
Mary Poppins - that was the exception. I have no idea why. But we rented it on Amazon one night and now we've purchased it and seen it a billion times and now whenever Emma sees anyone in remotely old fashioned clothing OR hears any sort of old timey music (like Christmas music) she chirps, "Mawy Poppins?"
Oh, so Phillip and I went to see Saving Mr. Banks a while back. Loved it. Emma Thompson is just the BEST. The flashback scenes went a little overboard for me, but every bit with ET was brilliant and the fact that we are so up on our Mary Poppins knowledge made it just a little more special. So it was super fun the other night when we were driving home from Victoria and listening to the Mary Poppins soundtrack on Spotify and at the end there were little bits of interviews with the songwriters and original versions of songs. We felt like we KNEW them! It was so great!
SO GUESS WHAT. The Frozen soundtrack has the same thing! At the end of the soundtrack on Spotify, past all the instrumentals, there are a handful of OUTTAKE songs sung by the composers (a husband wife team, SO CUTE.) And it is SO! INTERESTING! For example, you learn that they TOO think it's a travesty that Jonathan Groff doesn't have a big song!
But the best thing was that I learned there WAS a little bit more to that movie. I sat through and I enjoyed it just as much as everyone else, but I thought the story was pretty lame. So Elsa just has this power? And no one knew? Where did it come from? What's it about? Who the heck are these TROLLS? Where is the CONTEXT?! I saw a preview and assumed there was some big deal about it always being sunny in the kingdom and then suddenly it's WINTER, but that wasn't exactly addressed in the movie, and then out of nowhere there's a Comedic Relief Snowman.
HOWEVER. If you listen to the composers you find out that there was supposed to be this whole PROPHECY! A TROLL prophecy! That one day someone would bring winter! I feel like that was important information that should not have been cut from the movie, Disney Empire! I mean, wouldn't that have tied so many things together? And given it some underlying tension it didn't have? ANYWAY. There are also a couple more songs that develop the two princess characters, and I sort of wish they hadn't cut one of those too. The composers say that song is "more aggressive"... so, I don't know.
ANYWAY. I am now more annoyed because the movie COULD have made more sense, and relieved because WHEW I wasn't just being a fussypants about a movie everybody loves.
ALSO (one more thing, I'm SORRY) the sisters-in-conflict/friendship/true love theme reminded me a LOT of Wicked (it wasn't just Idina Menzel!) and I found myself hoping for a MUSICAL version, because what's better than a movie musical? A STAGE MUSICAL. And I hope those extra and cut songs find their way into the stage production. They're good songs and they make the story make SENSE.
AND NOW I AM DONE!
See Frozen! Listen to the music 24/7 with your children! And go see Saving Mr. Banks! Emma Thompson is amazing! And maybe pass on American Hustle, which has 70's style and marvelous acting, but not much in the way of an interesting STORY. (Until the very end.) (But the acting - it's worth it for the acting I suppose.)