hortense’s review published on Letterboxd:
What annoys me the most about the Frozen hype is how it's touted as The Feminist Disney Princess Movie when 1. there are definitely other Disney Princess movies with strong, independent female protagonists made prior to Frozen and 2. there shouldn't have been any issue with the feminist-ness of the original story, and it even ends happily. Gerda, the little girl, saving her friend Kai, the little boy, from succumbing to anger and hatred could easily be made into commentary on how aggressive boys are encouraged to be, and throughout the story Gerda is helped by many women and girls on her way to the Snow Queen's palace. This version retains much of the original story, though I feel making the Snow Queen herself the creator of the mirror and the cause of Kai's hatred removes the randomness of the event, the mirror's attribution to the Devil (to be fair many of the Christian elements are gone in this version, possibly due to unofficial Soviet policy of atheism), and the moral ambiguity of the Snow Queen. Still, Gerda's journey to the palace is beautifully rendered, with my favorite part being with the Little Robber Girl. Her turn to kindness is abrupt, but the animation as she releases all her animals sells it. Gerda's reunion with Kai and her sadness with what he has become is also poignant, as she cries over his body and her tears defrost his heart, and their dance together once he's back to normal. Though, any scene in the Snow Queen's palace is very well done, and the Snow Queen herself is an imposing and intimidating figure, demanding attention every shot she is in. Her movements are subtle, but effective, really making the most of the limited animation this production has. Despite its age, this still feels fresh and timeless.