Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tangled vs Frozen

It was November of 2013 and the United States was in the middle of one of the coldest winters in recent history. Ice and snow covered the continent like a Bizarro-world blanket and pundits were competing to see who could use the word 'Snowpocalypse' the most often and with the least irony. Meanwhile, a growing number of Millenials were coming of age, bringing with them concerns about gender equality, misogyny, and a certain level of cynicism towards tradition. Lastly, the success of Glee, Pitch Perfect, Wicked, and the Book of Mormon musical joined stars like Neil Patrick Harris in bringing Broadway musicals into the pop culture consciousness like never before.

It was the perfect snowstorm. America didn't stand a chance.

Frozen dominated the winter of my discontent. On March 2, 2014, its 101st day of release, it surpassed the $1 billion mark. It was lauded by critics as the best Disney film since Beauty and the Beast. The show-stopping "Let it Go" went viral, with adorable children and talented voice actors making covers that easily surpassed 25,000,000 views on Youtube. Statistically, it is almost certain that merely reading the preceding sentence has gotten Idina Menzel's voice belting those three words in your head for the rest of the day.

Soon, it will be a year since Frozen debuted and the praise has begun to cool. It currently has a respectable 89% freshness rating on meta-criticism site Rotten Tomatoes, with 87% approval by the audience. By strange coincidence, this is exactly the same two scores the movie Tangled received. However, Tangled suffered from a botched Dreamworks-eque marketing campaign and received nowhere near the initial media frenzy and pop culture penetration. Now that we can step back and look at Frozen with a little critical distance, it is time to compare these two films and decide which is the greater piece of art.

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