Why start from villain? Well, it's the number one flaw that I dislikes from Frozen. Hans just appears once, with a love song, and then randomly reveals that he never loved Anna, with like, zero hints. The fact that he was a good Samaritan with delivering blankets
and trapped Elsa instead of downright killing
her with excuse of self-defense goes to prove how absurd his villainy is. Mother Gothel is a far, far superior character, even though the audience knows she is the villain, she cleverly shuts the daughter in the tower and uses lies to scare Rapunzel into staying. The fact that she sings "mother knows best
" highlights her ruthless and cunning nature much better than Hans' random planning that seemed to come from nowhere and relied on being the very first person to interact with the princess who had never met another man.Like, that is such, such chance based planning. Gothel took far less chances with her hard-to-find remote tower and her warnings against Rapunzel, even tracking her town and tricking her to thinking Flynn had stole the crown and left her for good.
That's right, she knew Flynn
well enough to think ahead and prepare the trap, especially since Flynn was usually a cautious and careful man.
2) Side characters
It's apparent to me that the side characters are much more charming than Frozen. Olaf was innocent and a fine comedy play, but other than his musical number I felt like he didn't contribute much. Flynn's good old horse rival was actually key to solving the problem
(the evidence is only at the beginning of the video, but it's clear Flynn is riding the horse), as it had a much clearer personality, snooping around to find his scent, actually having a slightly annoyed personality.
Not to mention fighting with a sword, trying to "talk" to Rapunzel,
so on and so forth. But he realized that Flynn was set up in the end and helped him out. Rapunzel's charming chameleon is equally important. The way it teases Flynn when things go awry
or how it seems more than just a pet, a helper to Rapunzel to give signals when needed makes it feel more convincing than Olaf. The scene at 1:50 here where the chameleon knowingly motions towards his hand
is the cherry on top of the cake when Flynn is surprised by Rapunzel's magical powers, and all the other scenes work together to show his sass and humanization. Svenn is comparable to Maximus as animals, but other than "reindeer are better than people", it didn't really feel like Svenn had a pivotal role or moment within the movie. Not to mention the tragic sense of Frozen's death was quickly washed away by "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman", while Tangled lingered on the power of the daughter's lost and disappearance, especially with this touching scene between king and queen
. There is basically no moment like that in Frozen. Frozen tries too hard to put so many gags and songs that it doesn't have time for the silence. That's why Tangled is better than Frozen.
3) The songs
Let's face it, Frozen only has the two main memorable songs, Snowman which shows off the childlike nature of the two kids, growing into loneliness, and Let it Go
, which shows off Elsa's freedom and independence. However, the former reveals a crucial plot hole that makes you think twice, as a simple conversation could've solved all the problem
. Tell her you have ice problems man! But no, Elsa was too scared, and the trolls were not helpful at all. Instead of helping solve the actual problem with the ice powers being used for good (as seen in the end of the film), the parents interpreted it as to keep her isolated and help make her more... depressed and bad at situations. Which is exactly how Anna got into her Hans problem, yada yada. The absurdity of the characters' actions destroy the contradictory
ideas presented in Snowman.
Now, Let it Go is a powerful song, I will not deny that, it has excellent animation. However, I argue that Tangled songs combined are far better than just this one power moment. As mentioned, Mother Knows Best is fantastic characterization, and I've Got a Dream is much more memorable than Olaf's song, as Rapunzel managed to sway over an entire bar of rowdy men by appealing to their hopes and dreams. Finally, At Last I See the Light
is incredibly touching with visuals that give Let it Go a run for its money. The touching intimacy of the two and the warmness of colors both combine together to stress Flynn's character development and add together for a much better arc than... whatever happened to Anna and Elsa over the course of Frozen. The fact that Olaf's song is hugely for comedic effect
(and the blissful emptiness bringing nothing to the table) greatly helps my 2nd argument.
4) Main characters
Over the entire course of the movie, it felt like unfortunately Kristoff barely had any development. He did sing to his reindeer, and had some comedic parts, but... it felt mostly on Anna and Elsa's adventures. Anna felt... kind of empty to be honest. Did she really have any other moment than her child song (Snowman) that displayed her energy? Sure, she had innocence enough to fall for a villain, but she didn't seem... unique. In Tangled, Rapunzel had many adventurous moments with swinging with her hair
, fighting with a frying pan
, and her unique hair gimmick
(flower bloom and grow). I think she's very comparable to Anna because both were shut in, lonely, and wanted to have activities. But while Rapunzel broke out of her shell and used her joy (remember I had a Dream? yeah.) to spread happiness and showed off her adventurous side, Anna just went along with the ride
. She just decided to keep going after her sister, which barely shows any development. I mean, she's been doing that since childhood. And in the end she sacrifices herself, which is... not that big of a surprise, to be honest. Her character was kind of built up for that. Anna was too predictable. And Elsa as well. She just kept trying to establish that she could survive on her own and didn't need anyone else. It was only when the final sacrifice occurred very late into the movie that she changed her mind. But compared to the other protagonist, Flynn Ryder, her development was too sudden.
Flynn gradually had fun with Anna and the aforementioned See the Light is the definitive turning point that we convincingly see Flynn fall for Rapunzel. And though he retained his sneaky nature, he began to value love more, making the main two protagonists far more convincing characters than Anna and Elsa.
Conclusion: Mother Gothel is far more convincing and creates a tense situation for the entire movie, establishing a strong mood and a good villain, while Hans was a surprise factor and could only dominate the scene up to his defeat, which was short. The side characters are not as good, as Svenn was hardly developed as well as Maximus and even a chameleon had more characterization than Olaf the snowman. While Let it Go is a fantastic piece of work, "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman" along with "In Summer" are self contradictory and brings up questions about the plot. In contrast, every single song from Tangled develops the characters or shows something important. Even the main characters are more shallow in Frozen than in Tangled. As such, my definitive conclusion is that Tangled is a better movie than Frozen.