In my job of handling finances and food distribution at a multi-billion dollar conglomerate (A concessions worker at a Regal movie theatre), I work with several people of varying beliefs and movie tastes, so when Frozen II came out, a debate sparked. Which early 2010s Disney animated film featuring a girl with magical powers (And/or her sister) leaving her confined castle and teaming up with a charming blue collar worker, a horse, and another peculiar sidekick against a villain who pretends to love the hero only to betray them to win power is better, Frozen or Tangled.
This is a question you hear asked a lot, and for the reason of bringing this argument to a close, I opted to rewatch both of these films (because it’s still shorter than watching The Irishman) to finally figure it out. I did have to make one or two changes to the criteria for this installment though, mainly due to the fact that I thought the songs were more important in this comparison than the voice acting was. So, without any more delays, let’s dive right into the third installment of Celluloid Clash.
Round 1: Story
As previously mentioned, the stories here are remarkably similar, with both films featuring royal leads with magical powers who is secluded for years, an adorable small sidekick, a charming rouge, a funny horse-like sidekick, and a villain who the main character thought they could trust. They both tell the story well, but one film manages to edge out the other, and that’s Tangled. Tangled manages to have it’s story flow much better than Frozen, mainly through using its opening to build the narrative, much better than the ice song. Also, Frozen’s use of the very odd rock trolls make it hard to argue for it being the better, along with the magic of Elsa’s ice not being explained (Until maybe the second movie, I still have no clue) while Rapunzel’s is told in a very simple to understand manner, so due to that, I have to give the point to Tangled.
Round 2: Characters
One of the tougher categories to pick as both sides feature one of the best cast of characters in a modern Disney film. There is one clear standout though, and that’s Flynn Rider, frequently regarded as one of the funniest Disney characters in recent memory, Ryder manages to insert a touch more levity to the child kidnapping movie that this is. Zachary Levi starts the trend that continues with Shazam! as he manages to make a movie much better with his charm. There is also the battle between the anthropomorphic sidekicks, as I’ve seen the debate rage on between Pascal, Rapunzel’s pet chameleon, and Olaf, the thing that makes Elsa a god. Between the two, I personally prefer Olaf, but it’s only by the slimmest of margins, as it’s just his song about summer that manages to push him over the hump. I would have to give most of the side characters to Frozen in all honesty though. Sure, Pascall, Maximus, and all those patrons of the Snuggly Duckling are great, but they just can’t really compare to Olaf, Oaken, Sven, and Kristoff. While Tangled does have a marginally superior villain in Mother Gothel, it’s by the narrowest of margins that Frozen manages to win this battle.
Round 3: Music
Rewatching both these movies, I can say without a doubt that they combine to make one of the best Disney film soundtracks there is. I mean, “Let it Go”, “Love is an Open Door”, “For the First Time in Forever”, “Do You Want to Build a Snowman”, and the best one, “Reindeer are Better than People” all combined from these two films to make one of the best Disney soundtracks. Oh, all of those are from Frozen? Huh. Tangled has two songs that people like to point at as a huge reason that it has better music than it’s colder counterpart, “At Last I See the Light” and “I Have A Dream”, and I will agree that “I Have a Dream” is a great song. However, “Let it Go” is just better in every sense, in both terms of how it sounds and how it looks. So while I do enjoy some of the songs from Tangled, it just can’t compete with the juggernaut of a soundtrack that Frozen holds.
Round 4: Visuals
Since this movie is fortunately not called Chicken Little, that means Disney tried on it and gave us some beautifully animated scenes with the musical numbers coming to life, along with fantastic character designs and beautiful backdrops. Surprising even myself, I’m giving this one to Tangled, and that’s because while both films feature breathtaking animation, the visual comedy manages to be the tiebreaker. As many of the side comic relief can’t speak, they have to rely on the visuals to make them hilarious, and boy does it work! It’s the things with Maximus, the greatest horse character in a movie probably ever (Yeah, suck it Seabiscuit) and his endless pursuit of Flynn Rider that is simply hysterical, and gives it the lead in visuals. Frozen does have some great animation though, as Olaf and his song is fantastic when it comes to visual humor. But it just can’t compete with Maximus’s hunt.
Round 5: Enjoyability
We’re all tied up at 2-2, and this is the deciding factor. Which of these movies would I rather watch again, and this was a really tough question to ask. I love the character of Flynn Rider, and the comedy that is seen in Tangled. The music is good, the visuals are nice, and all in all, the movie is great, but I still think Frozen is the better movie. While Flynn Rider and Maximus are cool, Elsa and Anna are also amazing characters. While At Last I see the Light is good, Let it Go blows the rest of Tangled completely out of the water. Combining this with the voice acting and the visuals which are neck and neck with Tangled, I gotta say that the more entertaining animated film of the last decade is Frozen. So with that, the final point goes to Frozen.
Final Score: Frozen 3 – Tangled 2
But this is another one that could honestly go either way, as both Frozen and Tangled are fantastic films. But no matter what you or I think about which of these films is better, we can all agree on one thing, Frozen 2 (excluding the Wheezer song) sucks. And once again, that brings us to the end of another Celluloid Clash. Another fun one, as it’s one of those you need to really question on which is better.
To end then, tell us if there’s any other ideas you have for another round of Celluloid Clash, we take them all seriously!