Second Time Around

It is hard to avoid the feeling that Frozen II could have been better than it is. If stripped to its more basic elements, the movie shows good intentions and solid direction, for when its turns and reveals are paired up with its songs and heart, any viewer can see that the framework for a worthy sequel was right there. The final product, sadly, misses the mark when it strives for a scope that is just too big and when it tries to fill up that space with plot points that fail to come together, falling apart into a convoluted mess instead. In the end, it is impossible not to feel touched, happy, excited, and amused by a good portion of what Frozen II offers. However, when it is all said and done, the movie simply disappoints: not because it is unable to match its prequel, as that possibility was never really on the table; but because its missteps are likely to make audiences wonder if its existence is more corporate than creative. And that is just not an environment in which Disney magic can flourish.

Full Post

Partners In Life

The heavy focus on Ralph and Vanellope may cause new characters to become mere accessories to the central plot, and the movie’s dedication to the creation of gags that gravitate around signature elements of the Internet may lead its story to be blatantly inferior to that of the original film. Still, Ralph Breaks the Internet is an enormously enjoyable work that cements the link between its protagonists as one of the greatest partnerships Disney has ever put on a screen, a fact that makes the movie’s emotional highs be remarkably touching. And with that, once more, the studio proves it is perfectly capable of balancing its adherence to contemporary trends with its classic dosage of laughter, tears, and magic.

Full Post

Magic In The South Pacific

Consequently, the key to Moana’s greatness as a movie does not lie in its general format. Its excellence is actually found in the construction of its setting and in how it uses the hearts of two characters, with all their beautiful qualities and weaknesses, as the main roadblocks that separate total doom from the coveted goal. It is, therefore, the Disney fairy-tale with which it is the easiest to connect, because although it does deal with the supernatural in many occasions, the ultimate problems that need to be solved are those that exist within ourselves, and no amount of magic can help us overcome them. In the end, then, Moana’s journey and growth may be a tad cliched, but the way in which it is rolled out is absolutely fantastic, and transforms the movie into yet another great entry in the hall of Disney animation.

Full Post

When Worlds Collide

Big Hero 6 is, ultimately, able to capture all traditional elements found in the superhero universe and use them in the building of something rather unique. All pieces are here: a tragic origin story, an unlikely source of power, a weapon of infinite destructive potential, a masked villain of unknown identity and hidden purpose, and plenty of otherworldly action. The added dash given by Disney’s firm grip on everything that is touching and emotional is the extra push that makes that structure soar high enough to make Big Hero 6 yet another gem on the company’s unbelievable string of stellar filmaking. If Big Hero 6 is representative of the Marvel and Disney collaborations we are set to see in the future, then – at least as far as fans are concerned – the Mouse’s investment will pay off quite nicely.

Full Post

Ice Cold Ice

We can appreciate and be in awe at the sheer magic that is Frozen and, in turn, we can praise it and preserve it for years to come so that – like all timeless classics – new audiences can discover it even decades after its original release. It is an extremely valuable and entertaining heritage; one that teaches lessons about sisterhood and life without being pedantic, and keeps the wheels of a growing legacy turning. Walt would be proud.

Full Post