TL;DR – Honestly this is stock standard children’s entertainment, it is shallow, with no stakes, has no character progression, and tries to distract you with as many songs as possible, I expected better.
Score – 2 out of 5 stars
Ok, I might be one of the few dozens of people left on this planet that has not seen Frozen, but from my understanding, it is a more or less a charming story about the bonds of sisterhood overcoming all opposition. So when I was in watching Coco (see review) and it opened instead with a Frozen short I was like ‘sure whatever’ you know sometimes these can be really good like Lou (see review) that was on before Cars 3 earlier this year … unfortunately, this was not one of the good ones.
So the story is that the sisters Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) discover they have no holiday traditions so Olaf (Josh Gad) takes it on himself to discover new traditions for the sisters. So straight from the start, you can see that this is not the most groundbreaking story you have ever heard of, mostly because there are no stakes. This is likely because nothing will happen to the characters due to the fact that Frozen 2 is on its way, and this is not going to mess up that. This is before we even go into the fact that basing your film on the wacky sidekick is almost universally a bad idea. On top of this, the fact that the spinoff of such an important film for young girls shoehorns the main female characters into the background and makes the male side character the lead feels more than a little bit off.
Still, this could have been fine but it almost feels like they took the lazy or unsure way out in every situation. They do this by trying to cram in as many of the characters of the first film as they can in the short runtime. Also by hoping that humour will hide the lack of a plot (in my session there was only one joke that actually got a laugh out of the audience). Also was Kristoff that stupid in the main film, because that guy is really dense. Indeed, maybe the only saving grace was the reindeer, and well Disney does know how to do their anthropomorphised animals.
As well as this, they try to cover for the lack of plot by shoehorning in as many songs as they can manage. Indeed, looking at my notes, there is a slow descent into madness as each new musical number appears. There were probably more songs in this 22 minute short as there are in most normal full-length Disney films, and they are not even good ones, which is probably good for parents because there is no juggernaut Let It Go for them waiting here for them to suffer through on repeat for the rest of the year.
In the end, do we recommend Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, no, while it might be visually impressive, that is the only real thing it has going for it. Indeed, if it is showing attached to Coco you can probably show up a bit late for it and you would not miss much.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
Directed by – Kevin Deters & Stevie Wermers
Screenplay by – Jac Schaeffer
Based on – Characters created by Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee & Shane Morris
Music/Songs by – Christophe Beck, Jeff Morrow, Elyssa Samsel & Kate Anderson
Edited by – Jeremy Milton & Jesse Averna
Starring – Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel & Jonathan Groff
Rating – Australia: PG; Canada: G; Germany: 0; New Zealand: PG; United Kingdom: na; United States: PG