1 The Mickey Mindset: Frozen vs. Tangled

Monday, April 28, 2014

Frozen vs. Tangled

Mitchell Stein- Amidst the continuing success of Disney’s latest animated flick, Frozen (at the moment I type this, the film is officially the sixth highest grossing film of all time, ticket price unadjusted) there were many discussions comparing the new movie to Disney’s last animated fairy-tale film, Tangled. While many argued that one film is far better than the other, I absolutely love both films, and I decided to lay out a list of differences between the two films and what could make the other film far superior than the other in my opinion. We’ll take a look at both films by looking at them both in various different categories.

(Includes spoilers from both films)

·                The Pacing 
      While Tangled is a great film, it does feel rather slow-paced. Only around the thirty-minute mark is when the unlikely duo of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, er- Eugene Fitz-Herbert, actually leave Rapunzel’s tower. Things start picking up after the “I Had a Dream” musical number, and that scene at the water-bank was ingenious, not to mention hilarious and has yet to be outdone by any other Disney movie.
Things pick up eventually, but it feels like it takes too long to get there. In Frozen, the entire back-story has been established and the current story has already started to begin fifteen minutes into the film and manages to stick in three different musical numbers, when Tangled only fit one song in (“When Will My Life Begin?”).

         Animal Sidekicks
It has become a Disney tradition to cast wacky and silly animal sidekicks to the princesses throughout the years, and they’ve had their good and bad ones, and up against Olaf in Frozen, Pascal doesn’t stand a chance. He is not necessarily a bad character, but the entire time, I was kept thinking: “What’s the point?” Pascal is obviously not there to provide comic relief, as he doesn't speak.

Pascal may have been written into the story just for Rapunzel to have someone to talk to during her lonely days in the tower, but beyond that, I don’t really see why it was even necessary. In Pocahontas, Meeko and Flit don’t speak a word either, but provide silly slapstick humor (still not the biggest fan of those two, but they play a role in the humor of the movie) Olaf was obviously added for the humor, but Pascal is lacking something entirely.

In terms of story, as well as establishing the back-story and making the most sense, Tangled easily wins this category. In Frozen, it goes un-explained how Elsa was born with the ice-powers that she possesses, and it was almost beyond me why her parents would lock her up for her whole life due to this fact (I know who’s going to be winning the “worst parents of the year” award).
Not only just that, but Elsa’s powers are beyond confusing. They establish the fact that Elsa can create ice and snow, but she later brings life to two snowmen, changes her dress with her powers, and builds a pair of skates. How she contains her powers from “true-love” is quite confusing as well.

In the world of Tangled, things make more sense when it comes to the logic of the film. The backstory of the magic flower has been explained, and how Rapunzel’s hair now carries the same powers the flower once possessed. Rapunzel was also kept locked up by her so called “Mother”, but I felt that was explained well, as Mother Gother only wanted to use Rapunzel’s powers for herself. Elsa’s parents were trying to keep Anna safe (and maybe possibly their reputation as King and Queen) but they could have explained the situation to Anna when she got older, and Elsa had those gloves that could conceal, so I really don’t get why she couldn’t leave the tower.

But I will have to say I enjoyed the plot twist in Frozen far more than the one in Tangled. Anna sacrifices herself for her sister (which turns out to be the “true love” element in this film), and in Tangled, Flynn sacrifices himself, and Rapunzel sacrifices herself as well, agreeing to go wherever Gothel forced her to go, as long as she could help Flynn (er, Eugene). It’s a nice story, but I enjoy that Frozen went the other way than the traditional Disney fairy-tale movies do. 
        The Music
I really love both soundtracks a lot, although out of the two, Frozen probably wins over Tangled in this category. I’d probably have to say I enjoyed Kristen-Anderson Lopez and Robert Lopez’s music to Frozen over Alan Menken’s music from Tangled.
Frozen’s “For the First Time in Forever” feels very much like the equivalent of Tangled’s “When Will My Life Begin?” and both work quite well. Both films were nominated for an Oscar for best original song, for “I See the Light” (didn’t win) and for “Let It Go” (did win).
“I See the Light” works as a fantastic Disney duet love song, something that Frozen doesn’t have, but wasn’t necessary due to the story. Overall, I feel the music to Frozen works much better than the music to Tangled, and I enjoy every song in Frozen where in Tangled, I always find myself annoyed having to sit through “Mother Knows Best”.
But, it should be known that “I Had a Dream” is probably one of my favorite Disney songs, if not my favorite. It’s upbeat, fast and funny, and everything a Disney song should be. But overall, I have to say Frozen wins the music category.

The Humor:
      Now this is a tough one. The humor is so rich in both films, it’s just impossible to pick everything a favorite. I think the real showdown is between Flynn Rider vs. Olaf, who both provide the real comedy of either film. They’re both so funny and make it so enjoyable, I can’t possibly pick a favorite in this category, so I’m going to have to call it a tie. 

Character Design and Cinematography:

So much work went into the design of both films, but in terms of cinematography, I’d have to admit that Frozen soars in this section. Some of the frames looks stunning with the CGI snow and ice, with some moments that had me wondering “is that real?” and “that can’t possibly be in CGI” but yet, the entire movie was computer-generated.
Character design would also have to be a tie.

 The characters are made so lifelike and they develop character in the movie so well. You actually find yourself caring for these fictional characters to reach their goal by the end of the movie. For these reasons I applaud Disney for the great casting of characters, and the way they develop throughout the film.

After looking at all these specific categories, I can’t come to a conclusion which film is better than the other. I enjoy Frozen more in specific categories, and Tangled in others. I love both films so much, so in conclusion I have to call it a tie. It’s incomparable in some sections of discussion, so each films has it’s pros and cons, but they’re both wonderful Disney classics.

That being said, I still don’t understand how Tangled didn’t make the same amount of financial success and awards that Frozen made. It’s possible it was overshadowed by Toy Story 3 of that year, but being snubbed from the Oscars (which becomes more pointless each year) was completely shocking. It should have at least won for Best Song which it was nominated for “I See the Light”. The loss is quite shocking and surprising.

Overall, both films are equally fantastic. I’d have to call it a tie. 

Which film do you feel is superior than the other and why? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Mickey Mindset: mickeymindset@gmail.com


  1. Tangled was better than Frozen. Made more sense.

  2. Frozen music was good, but Tangled was better.

  3. i think pascal was really funny i don't understand why anyone would't like him

    the ending of frozen made a lot of sense, it was true love and made the same much sense as any other Disney movie

    Olaf was a lot funnier than Eugene.

    frozen made more money than tangled because a lot of kids did't like tangled because they were scared of mother gothel. in frozen there was nothing scary

  4. frozen was the best movie, i disagree on everything you said against frozen. my daughters also love frozen and sing let it go all the time and they didn't like tangled that much.

  5. i like tangled better than frozen because it was scarier and i like scary movies