Based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale and coming from the same people who brought you Tangled and a bunch of other classic princess stories, Frozen ought to be a gorgeously animated heartfelt holiday-season musical with enough depth that adults can enjoy it. I'm guessing that's still true even though this new trailer, which debuted at Yahoo!, and seems determined to smooth out any rough edges the film might have in favor of snowman gags, broad adventure and as much table-setting plot development as possible.
On one level, sure, the primary audience that any animated film wants to draw in is kids, and not every animated movie trailer can be a silent movie and tribute to Terry Gilliam's Brazil. Many of the best recent animated movies in recent years, including last year's lovely Wreck-It Ralph, looked completely broad on the surface before revealing depth in the actual film. At the same time… I really wish Frozen looked better even on the surface. The character animation is fine, sure, but the rendering of this world that's been plunged into eternal winter isn't nearly as evocative and spooky as early concept art suggested. And the constant emphasis on the sidekick snowman voiced by Josh Gad-- who was also the center of an early teaser trailer-- makes it feel like straight-up pandering to kid tastes. A little bit of Gad tends to go a long way, even in the transcendent Broadway musical Book of Mormon, and Frozen is already throwing way too much Gad at us.
After a year full of animated sequels (Despicable Me 2), prequels (Monsters University) and overall disappointments, Frozen will hopefully end the year on a high note, and still has plenty of potential to do so-- especially since it's a musical, with a cast hired for their musical talents. So why not show off some of those songs in the actual trailer? It's not like musicals are popular these days or anything.
Frozen comes to theaters on November 27, with Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Alan Tudyk and Ciaran Hinds all lending their voices. Let us know what you think of the new trailer in the comments, and check out the latest poster below: