A Tale Of Two Snow Queens

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Frozen_4It was the best of ani­ma­tion, it was the worst of ani­ma­tion. Over the next cou­ple months, you will be able to choose for your­self which is the true Queen, and which will be the also ran. One is from Dis­ney, and one is pro­duced in the frozen land of Rus­sia; both are based on the clas­sic tale The Snow Queen By Hans Chris­t­ian Ander­sen… and both, inter­est­ingly enough, have just released new trail­ers in antic­i­pa­tion of their pend­ing releases.

First let’s look at the Inlay Film Com­pany and Wiz­art Ani­ma­tion pro­duc­tion of Snezh­naya Korol­eva (The Snow Queen). This released the end of last year in it’s native Rus­sia, and will finally see US release on Octo­ber 11. Clos­est to the orig­i­nal in story, it is also the least known of the two. Small bud­get (7 mil­lion US) and an unknown cast, this David is tak­ing on the mighty Goliath of Disney’s Frozen.

It prob­a­bly will not make much, but it does not need to. After watch­ing the trailer, the act­ing seems to be lack­ing, and the ani­ma­tion is not always top rate.… but it sur­prised me how much bet­ter it is than I would have thought (espe­cially after view­ing Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adven­ture). So here is the trailer:

It’s hard to say exactly what’s wrong with the newest trailer for Disney’s “Frozen” — but some­thing seems a bit “off” about the whole thing. The ani­ma­tion and design look fine (if unin­spired), and the voice act­ing seems to fit the char­ac­ters. Per­haps it’s just that the trailer doesn’t really give us much of an idea of what the film is about — as it is, it strikes one as a series of mostly unfunny comedic moments that never really fully cohere or make you want to watch the movie.

The dull nar­ra­tion that begins the trailer, along with the com­pletely inex­plic­a­ble title cards that explain the char­ac­ters’ rela­tion­ships and ask incom­pre­hen­si­ble rhetor­i­cal (?) ques­tions, don’t help matters.

There’s an art to mak­ing trail­ers — in the best cases, a trailer is like a great short film in and of itself. It tells a coher­ent and excit­ing story, with­out giv­ing the movie’s best moments away. This trailer, on the other hand, sort of falls apart on the “remain­ing coher­ent” front.

But Dis­ney afi­ciona­dos shouldn’t give up hope — those who recall the pro­mo­tional cam­paign for “Tan­gled” may remem­ber how many of the trail­ers for the film failed to accu­rately rep­re­sent the final prod­uct. It may well be that Dis­ney sim­ply isn’t sure how to sell “Frozen,” and this is sim­ply another “Tan­gled” sit­u­a­tion where the final prod­uct ends up a lot bet­ter than the under­whelm­ing trailers.

Here is the Frozen trailer:

So there you go, two ani­mated Frozen Snow Queens for your view­ing plea­sure this fall. What, that’s not enough? OK, you are right, there is a third Snow Queen, due out in Novem­ber. It is live-action, though…

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