As I mentioned yesterday, this week we went to Disneyland, yes I'll say it, to see the new Frozen stage show. "Hey!" you're all wondering, "I thought you hated Frozen! So why would you go out of your way to see it?" Because it's the new thing at Disneyland, that's why. And in all honesty, we were planning to go see it even if Gaston hadn't called...but that's mostly because Gaston has a habit of singing along with all the stage shows, and he was bound to want to see it next time he came to Disneyland anyway and we figured if we had to see it anyway, we might as well see it in a context that doesn't involve people in the audience singing along. And actually, maybe it's because it was the first time he saw it, but he didn't sing along this time...but there was someone in the audience behind me who couldn't help singing along and sometimes even reciting lines occasionally. You never can win with that, can you? I just sit back and question their taste.
So the plan was, since Gaston didn't have a whole lot of time to spare, he would start the long drive south on Tuesday morning, and we would head on over to California Adventure to get in line for the show. Little did we know (although we really, really should have), they have fastpasses for this show. Our lack of foresight caused us to leave late enough that the fastpasses for every show were all gone by the time we got there at ten-thirty (two hours before the first showing). Fortunately(?), there was a standby line, and it hadn't opened yet, so we staked out the area until it did open. But before we could get in line, there was a cast member who made an announcement along the lines of "if you don't have everyone in your party enter the line right now, the rest of your party WILL be shut out of the show." I only bring this up because I'm actually a big fan of this policy. As someone who has spent hours upon hours saving seats for party members while they go on Pirates of the Caribbean, come back, realize there's still time before the show, go on Haunted Mansion, etc., I really like this idea of, "If you're not physically present, you don't get a seat." I would like it even better if they would start letting people in the theater more than five minutes before the show is supposed to start.
On the other hand, it was rather inconvenient for us that day, when the last member of our party had a legitimate reason for not being there. Nevertheless, he did manage to make it in, and despite not having fastpasses, we ended up with some pretty great seats.
As for the show itself, it was okay, I guess. If you like Frozen, it was great. Well, mostly great. Gaston agreed with us that the physical effects were great but the digital effects were pretty lackluster. As for us, we were reminded that yeah, we really do hate Frozen. As the show went on and on and on, I started thinking, "Gosh, this thing has been going on for a while. Just how long is it?" I succumbed to the temptation to check the time, I think about right after the stupid fixer-upper song, and factoring in that the show started about fifteen minutes late, figured it had already been forty-five minutes of play. The whole thing was about an hour long. This is one of many reasons I don't want to sit through it again.
But anyway, the costumes were great. Loved the costumes. They even had a transforming dress for Elsa, and it didn't have the slit in the skirt that gave us such dangerous views of Elsa's inner thighs when they did the Frozen sing-along thing. The troll marriage capes were so sparkly and pretty.
The sets were kind of fun. They had doors come down from the ceiling as some sort of artsy way to do the whole prologue...I don't remember them being used for "Love Is an Open Door", but I spent most of that number trying to figure out what I was supposed to watch and reflecting on how that song doesn't really work as an ensemble number. That's when I made the realization that maybe one of the reasons I don't like the songs in Frozen is that there isn't a really good ensemble number. On further consideration, it might also have to do with songs being kind of like a look at the singers' pure emotions (in the case of a solo or duet), and since I don't like any of the characters, I don't care about their emotions so I don't care about their songs. I don't know, I'm just full of dislike for the whole story.
They also had a revolving platform on the stage, which allowed for some interesting stagework.
The casting was pretty good in general, but having the same actress play young and adult Anna may not have been the best choice. Her young Anna voice really grated on my nerves, but as adult Anna she was fine. That reminds me, they did have the ensemble doing stuff for "For the First Time in Forever," which really only emphasized the fact that Anna really should have had people to talk to all along. As she sings "for the first time in forever, I won't be alone", she grabs the wrists of two servants really tightly to emphasize just how desperate she is, and sings, "I won't be alone!" and I turn to Gaston and voice the servants' inner thoughts, "What are we, chopped liver?" Gaston turned to me and said, "Servants aren't people
!" So that's Anna for you.
Most of the backgrounds were represented by computer generated projections on a screen, and this time, instead of going nuts with visual effects like in Mickey and the Magical Map, they kept it subdued and only did special effects when necessary for Elsa's ice powers, like in Tiger & Bunny: The Live. We would have liked that, but the computer graphics were pretty not good. Like, I think the CGI was better in A Bug's Life. And, because the screen was there the whole time, constantly creating this feeling of unreality, the ice powers didn't really stand out that much. Maybe they needed to be more exaggerated or something, but it just wasn't that impressive. You could tell they were going for impressive, especially with "Let It Go", but...
I confess there were some jokes about, "You can't make me, you're not my real dad!" in regard to the casting of Anna's father.
And I think that about covers our review. Still hate the story, there were some nice things to look at in the meantime, but not nice enough to want to stare at that stage for an hour.
Oh, but I forgot to mention Olaf! He was played by a puppet and puppeteer, the latter of whom was adorable (I always hated Olaf's character design). It worked really well for the most part, but in the scene where Anna is practically dying and Olaf comes to comfort her and he's all worried and stuff, he still has this big goofy grin on his face, so I kind of wished they could get a little more variety of expression. Sven was also half-man half-puppet, which reminds me, the scene with the wolves was pretty cool. The wolf costumes were awesome. Everybody was on a harness, so when they jumped off the cliff they were able to do this cool slow-motion thing. The problem with it is that it looked like the whole chase scene was in slow motion, but the CGI background was moving at what appeared to be regular speed (maybe it was slow, but it seemed regular because Sven is just that fast), so it didn't really seem to mesh very well. But the fall looked pretty neat.
Okay, I think that really covers all of it this time.
And that was the main thing we did at Disneyland. Everything else was pretty much same-old same-old, except that we headed over to Critter Country and saw just how much of the Rivers of America landscape had been decimated to make way for Star Wars Land and we all felt very sad inside. I think Gaston said part of him died. So here's hoping Star Wars Land is worth it (to people other than the shareholders at Disney who are almost certainly going to make millions).
Today I'm thankful for getting to see the new thing at Disneyland, knowing that we're free to never see it again, getting our YumeTwins box in the mail today, getting a visit from the local black cat (who noticed an open door and took the opportunity for some free food), and getting to sing Beauty and the Beast songs on the way to and from Disneyland.