Tangled vs Frozen
February 2, 2016
(The shortened opening)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. (Leans in close to the camera as dramatic music starts to play) There has been a war going on for years.
(Several images of battles and fights between various people are shown)
NC (vo): It's caused bloodshed, anarchy, chaos. It's torn this world apart. When you meet somebody for the first time, an immediate screening is needed that can be summed up in one question...
(Images and footage of both movies are shown)
NC (vo): Strange to think, but there's a kind of rivalry among movie fans about which one is better, Disney's version of Rapunzel or Disney's version of The Snow Queen? It's similar to the rivalries you'll see among (Images of Superman and Batman are shown) geeks, (An image of a sports promo is shown) sports fans, (An image of Edward and Jacob from Twilight is shown) or girls doomed to disappointment, but I was kind of shocked to discover the more and more I talk to people, the more they seemed to really want to pick a side. If you say you like Frozen, there's always someone that says, "Oh, but Tangled is so much better!" If you say you like Tangled, there's always someone to say, "Oh, what's the point when you have Frozen?"
NC: So, why on Earth is there such a debate? I mean, nobody is comparing (Images of...) Lion King to Aladdin, or Little Mermaid against Beauty and the Beast. Well, maybe one of the reasons is there does seem to be a lot of similarities.
NC (vo): Both films focus on CGI princesses, who already look pretty similar, who are optimistically perky, have an issue with a magical problem, come across a chizziled man who teaches them the ways of the outside world, stumble across a comedic sidekick, and go back and forth in saving each other while trying to resolve their problem.
NC: Why would there even be an issue with these differences when they seem so much alike?
NC (vo): Well, like anything, there's gonna be some elements that are done better than others. One that most people can agree with is the story. Even people who love Frozen acknowledge the story is not the strongest part, especially the backstory. There's curses and trolls and wiping out memories and parents making downright psychotic decisions. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Tangled, most people agree, has a very flowing narrative. It's a good update of the classic fairy tale that's easy to follow and easy to relate to.
(The main comic relief characters in either film are shown)
NC (vo): I make the argument the comic relief is a little better, too. Not that either film rely on just one element for their comedy, thank God. (An image of Jar Jar Binks is shown) But there certainly are characters created mostly to get a laugh. Where the one in Frozen (Olaf) is fine but kind of typical, the one in Tangled (Maximus) stands out much, much more. How many times have you seen a horse act like Tommy Lee Jones from The Fugitive? It's such a bizarre idea, but their conviction to it completely sells us on it, resulting in a ton of laughs.
(The villains in either film are shown; Frozen's villain shown only briefly just not to give away the twist revealed in the film)
NC (vo): But Tangled has some weaknesses, too. The villain, for example, seems to go back and forth between trying to be menacing and trying to be a silly obstacle. (Images of Captain Hook, Cruella De Vill, Hades, Dr. Facilier and Gaston are shown) Where other Disney Villains balance comical and threatening very well, this one seems to be half the energy of both, which makes it a little harder to get invested in her. Not to say the villain in Frozen was perfect, but it was meant to be a surprise which helped further the message of the film. And when the reveal was shown, he was surprisingly kind of intimidating.
(The song sequences in either film are shown)
NC (vo): Also, the music, while good, is still not as hummable as Frozen. Even with a similar sound, the music to Frozen is a monster, taking basic establishing songs we've heard variations of for years and using it to once again tell the story and explain how a person feels.
NC: But on top of that, they're just more memorable. Hell, even too memorable.
(Various images and promotions related to Frozen's music are shown)
NC (vo): There's sing-alongs that are still all over the place, and there's still kids everywhere that will not stop humming these songs. So, yeah, both seem to have strengths, both seem to have weaknesses. But why do so many people demand that they choose which one they like better?
NC: Perhaps a big part of it is that they do such a good job at the parts that people like to compare.
NC (vo): I mean, okay. There's details we can contrast, like environment, timing, style and so forth. But the parts people usually like most in a movie are the characters and the ideas. As mentioned before, these characters and ideas are so similar, it's almost impossible not to naturally want to compare them. Anna has been sheltered most of her life just like Rapunzel, resulting in a naive but giddly cheerful protagonist. Flynn and Kristoff have spent most of their lives in the wild, growing cynical but still a charmingly offbeat personality. And both of them seem to make fun of Disney tropes that have been popular for years while also continuing others to still make it profitable. For example, Flynn asks why the heck everybody suddenly bursts into song. I don't know if a Disney character has ever done that before. Rapunzel is also physically more active than most Disney Princesses. And I know a lot of you may think of (Images of...) Mulan, seeing how she was not a princess, so, yeah, don't believe their lies. Next issue.
(An image of Disney Princesses is shown, with dozen copies of the word "Lies!" shown all around the image)
NC (vo): Frozen is even more obvious with their dig at the Disney tropes, hammering in that you can't just marry a guy you just met. Now...I think most people grow up figuring this out for their own, (An image of the kissing scene in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, an an image of Aladdin and Jasmine, are shown) but Disney still gets a lot of blame for instilling this mindset in people. Even though I've...yet to meet a person who actually has this mindset.
(An image of Hyper Fangirl is shown next to an annoyed NC)
NC: I said person! That's a nuisance.
NC (vo): But it's still a Disney product, and they obviously are not going to abandon all their cash cows. So the people are still gorgeous with the traditional big-eyed look. There's still elegant outfits and hairstyles we can parade into toys to sell. And there's still the message of following your dreams and things will turn out how you want. We can mock these all we want, but there's no debating that this is what most kids like to see and thus, most adults inner childs want to see. So it has both the adult interest for something new and the childhood interest with something familiar and nostalgic.
NC: However, popularity-wise, there's no contest. Frozen is still everywhere.
NC (vo): Tangled, while a hit at the box office, is nowhere near the numbers that Frozen pulled in.
NC: Which leads to the last and most likely reason why there's a rivalry: when one gets more attention than the other.
NC (vo): Everyone seems to be praising Frozen as a masterpiece. But when a film which looks and acts very similar comes out first, it doesn't seem very fair. If one film did these elements first, and in some people's eyes, better, why isn't this everywhere as much as the other one? Again, Tangled is definitely known, but nowhere near as big as Frozen. There's even been a backlash that's been forming around it, of people saying it's a downright terrible movie.
NC: I've done an editorial about this before about whether or not hype can kill a film.
(An image of that episode is shown)
NC (vo): And in some ways, the popularity of Frozen has drawn many people away from it, calling it a bad movie.
(Footage of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is briefly shown)
NC (vo): These are all movies that most people would like fine if they saw them on their own, but when combined with everyone saying "It's amazing! It's one of the greatest things ever!", can easily arose someone the wrong way. It's hard to say Frozen is a terrible movie with so many actual terrible movies out there. (Posters of Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Fantastic Four (2015) are shown) But it's not hard to see someone not liking it. People like and dislike things for various reasons.
NC: But in situations like this, it's much more appealing to root for the underdog.
(Images of various people wearing glasses are shown)
NC (vo): The hipster argument. "I like the original blank before the new blank. I saw what was perfect before society went and screwed it all up." Not that this argument can be true sometimes, heck, a lot of times... (A poster of Jem and the Holograms (2015) is shown) But it seems to be one we like to fall back on a little too easily.
(Images and footage of Frozen and Tangled are shown once again)
NC (vo): There are a lots of times where a predecessor is better, but people's acceptance or non-acceptance of it shouldn't make a difference. Whether you like a newer film or an older film doesn't automatically place you in a certain category. The reason someone likes Tangled over Frozen could be entirely different from why you like Tangled over Frozen. It's fun to share likes and what you have in common, but acting like that suddenly makes you one of them or one of us is just plain silly.
NC: It's not what you like and what you don't like that makes you interesting, it's why you like or don't like those things, and there's no right or wrong answer.
NC (vo): Comparing thoughts and opinions isn't done to judge or separate, at least, it shouldn't be, it's done to understand and connect. Both Frozen and Tangled can be good films, and if you like one better than the other, awesome. Share why. Maybe we'll find out something about you we never knew before. There'll be similar arguments with similar franchises, and they'll no doubt be a lot of fun to talk about. But just remember, it is for fun. We can learn a lot from it, but don't ever take it too seriously, because whether it be comparing ourselves or CGI princesses, chances are, there's a lot more in common than you think.
NC: (smiles) And besides, Frozen is better. (An audience boos) I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to.
(He gets up and leaves, flipping the double bird at the booing audience. The credits roll)