Hi, it's Tim. In the past couple of days, Disney has released the first full North American trailer for their upcoming animated musical Frozen, giving us the first look at the actual movie beyond that silly, vaguely aggravating gag reel with the snowman that accompanied Monsters University into theaters. Though "first" requires that we ignore the existence of a pretty fantastic Japanese trailer that doesn't resemble the new American one much at all.
Which means, among other things, that this new ad tells us exactly what the Disney marketing people think of their target audiences in different countries, namely... well, let's not give away the ending.
Here's the trailer in case you haven't had the chance to see it yet and the Yes No Maybe So breakdown after the jump
So let's have at it! Yes, No, Maybe So time!
- Okay, so we can all agree that it's freaking gorgeous, right?
- I like the way that they're dribbling out the main antagonist in such a tiny number of dramatic key images. Disney's female villains are always the best, and seeing just enough of the Snow Queen Elsa to make the scope of her actions and powers clear is a terrific way to whet the appetite to see how great she ends up.
- Disney's "girl" movies are almost always more fun than their "boy" movies. Sorry, Wreck-It Ralph fans, I'm glad they're back to princess-style fairy tales.
- Kristin Bell's super-modern vocal performance and the quippy dialogue she's been given are leaving me with horrible flashbacks to the Tangled trailer. That monologue about being awkard is everything I don't want from my animated kids' movies.
- The title cards, which do nothing but underline how schematic and formulaic all this looks right now. "See? Every one of our characters fills a pre-determined niche!"
- Speaking of the title cards, "no man?" I get that they're going for a (bad) play on words, but we've had a noun for human beings who are not gendered male for centures now. It also suggests that they're ashamed of having a female lead.
- Compared to the Japanese trailer, the scale of the movie seems so tiny and trivially comic. For whatever reason, the marketing people think that Americans want that, but it certainly doesn't scream "epic winter movie event".
- So far, the ads haven't featured Idina Menzel at all, and knowing that this is going to be a musical (also not featured), that's obviously a big question mark. If it works out, she's almost certainly going to be the highlight of the cast. Check out her preview of the song "Let It Go" from the D23 expo last month.
- Like I said, flashbaks to the Tangled trailer. And we all remember how that turned out, right? One of the most pleasantly old-school animated films of the last 10 years was advertised as something snotty and anachronistic just because... because. They struck gold with that, so maybe they're playing the exact same game.
Based on this ad, I'm a Maybe leaning No. I mean, it's a Disney musical, so I'm a giant, opening-night "YES!" in reality, but everything about this seems uninteresting, visually and narratively derivative of Tangled. But maybe there's something to be hopeful about, that we're not seeing yet. How about you? Excited to get Frozen? Yes, No, or Maybe So?