So last time I did something like this, it was with tPoE against Lion King, and if I remember right, Lion King won that round. Now it’s up against Disney’s Frozen. Let’s see what happens!
1. Which villian is more compelling (Rameses vs. Prince Hans)
For this, I chose Prince Hans, as he’s one of the more prominent antagonists in Frozen. Like last time, I would pick Rameses, as we get to see where the roots of his personality change had taken place, and we are left to wonder how the loss of the only friend he knew (i.e. Moses) had changed him even more. We can’t help but feel for Rameses when he is stranded on that rock screaming Moses’ name to the heavens. So that means when he does turn bad, it’s not out of nowhere, which I’m afraid I can’t say the same for Prince Hans.
Prince Hans’ villainy seems to come out of nowhere, and yes, his villainy becomes a little more obvious on subsequent views, but I think there could have been better hints even for first-time viewers. Sure there’s his twelve nasty older brothers (three of them pretended he was invisible for twenty-four months), and that would definitely have given him some sense of bitterness. I personally felt really bad for him that his twelve older brothers treated him horribly, but it still doesn’t excuse him trying to kill Anna and then Elsa. I personally feel they could have made him more compelling, but I think that’s more Dreamworks’ forte to make the antagonists complex and well-rounded.
Winner: Prince of Egypt!
2. Which pair of siblings has a more compelling story/conflict?
You know how I commented once that I didn’t think any other animated films could come close to the sibling feels I feel in Prince? I was wrong.
Of course we know about how complex Rameses and Moses’ relationship is and the bittersweetness of the film’s end when Moses goes to the Red Sea and says “goodbye brother”. There’s also all the regret on both characters’ parts, and how they didn’t want to be each other’s foes. The way Moses goes about it isn’t completely fair, but he still has good intentions in saving and freeing his people. When we see the end, we feel happy for the Hebrews’ freedom, but part of our heart is still mourning, thinking sadly of what has been lost.
So what about Anna and Elsa? Their story is very tragic, saddening, and not completely a black and white morality issue. In fact, there’s several shades of grey, especially with the isolation, Elsa running away from her problems and creating more in the process, and the parents’ extreme measures in keeping dear Elsa as isolated as possible. Even from her own sister. That’s pretty tough. There is also the fact that the director, Jennifer Lee, had also confirmed that Elsa was supposed to represent depression and social anxiety, and it shows, especially during the reprise of “First Time in Forever”.
So though Disney could have explored the sisters’ relationship in Frozen with more complexity, I still think they managed to make it a tie with Dreamworks’ Prince of Egypt.
Winner: It’s a tie!
3. Catchier Tunes!
Let it goooo, let it gooo! Can’t hold it back anymoooree!
Everyone and their dog knows about “Let It Go” in Frozen, and quite frankly, most of the tunes are pretty catchy. Disney has a knack for creating tunes that won’t get out of your head, even if they end sadly (yes, “Do You Want to Build a Snowman”, I’m looking at you). There are more covers of “Let It Go” than there are stars in this arm of the Milky Way galaxy on YouTube, and though I think “Fixer-Upper” is definitely very jarring and stops the plot in its track, who can deny that it still worms its way into your brain?
As for “Prince of Egypt”, I’d mentioned in the post I linked at the start that the aforementioned film has beautiful songs with catchy tunes and deep messages. “Through Heaven’s Eyes” might trip through my head as I wake up, and “The Plagues” might march its way through my skull as I’m buying groceries.
While Frozen has catchy songs, they took a while to grow on me, longer than it took for “Prince of Egypt“‘s songs to do so. Nonetheless, some have deeper messages as well, including “Let It Go” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” While I could listen to all the songs without skipping any for tPoE, I usually have to skip Fixer-Upper, because I couldn’t care less about the song. Olaf’s song, “In Summer”, took a while to grow on me, but it soon infected my thoughts too.
So I would say that in this round, Prince of Egypt is the winner.
Winner: Prince of Egypt
4. Better exile song (“Let It Go” vs. “Through Heaven’s Eyes”)
It has to be said: Let It Go has become a force all on its own, becoming an anthem of strength and power for many groups of people and individuals. Everyone has a slightly different interpretation of the song and even in the film, there are full of subtle little messages and foreshadowings hidden in the song until you put it under a microscope and scrutinise the living daylights out of it. It definitely helps when Idina Menzel is singing it too! “Let It Go” is definitely a powerful song and its strength both inside and outside the film of Frozen is quite potent.
"Through Heaven’s Eyes" is extremely catchy and full of beautiful messages that will be interpreted slightly different by any individual. You don’t have to be religious to enjoy it and it has strength to stand both in and outside of Prince of Egypt.
I’d give it a tie.
Winner: It’s a tie!
5. Better beginning song (“Frozen Heart” vs. “Deliver Us”)
Frozen Heart is probably one of the weakest links in the score, and sets a completely different tone to the rest of the film. There are subtle links to the film’s plot (“beautiful! Powerful! Cold! Dangerous!” Describing ice or Elsa?), but it still feels out of place musically with the rest of the film.
Whereas in Prince of Egypt, “Deliver Us” paints the film’s tone from the beginning and gives us a lot of background information in a span of seven or so minutes. It is powerful and it reaches in and stuffs your heart full of feels. Even after my umpteenth viewing/listen, it still leaves me floored.
I think we definitely have a clear winner here.
Winner: Prince of Egypt
6. Better villian song (“Let It Go” [I’ll explain!] vs. “Playing with the Big Boys”)
Okay, so “Let It Go” is probably the closest we’ll get to a villian song in Frozen, and incidentally, Elsa was meant to be a villain at first, until they brought in Idina Menzel. Apparently, Idina’s interpretation of the song “Let It Go” brought new layers and complexities to both the tune itself and Elsa’s characters. Incidentally, a similar thing happened when Dreamworks brought on Ralph Fiennes as Rameses; his acting and adding vulnerability to Rameses’ character turned what would have been a regular villian into someone much more complex. So yay for Menzel and Fiennes for adding multiple, deeper layers to their characters-who-would-have-been-villians-until-they-came-along!
As I said before, “Playing with the Big Boys” gets old very quick, and I can’t listen to it anymore (heck, I’d probably listen to “Fixer Upper” more often nowadays!). It is a pretty weak song even without being sung by the villians. So even though it’s technically not a villian song, “Let It Go” definitely pulls ahead in this part.
7. More threatening henchmen (Hotep and Huy vs. Weslton and his guards)
Okay, we don’t see much of Weselto
wn and his guards, but they definitely have some threat, as they clearly try to kill Elsa during that famous battle scene at the ice palace. But other than that, they don’t really threaten very much, or I didn’t find them terribly threatening, except during the ice palace (and even then, I knew that Disney wouldn’t let Elsa die.)
I don’t find the priests very threatening either, more annoying and gimmicky rather than anything. They also looked very out of place (heck, Disney-like is what I’ll say. I keep seeing comparisons of their physiques to Pain and Panic in Hercules (Disney) and they look SO alike!). I am actually writing a fanfic at the moment where I actually make them a bit more of a threat (i.e. conducting Ancient Egyptian voodoo magic against Moses. Yes. Dark, innit?)
But it seems Disney had managed to make the Weselton guards actually threatening toward our protagonist, Elsa, and even make us fear for her life at one point. The priests in Prince of Egypt, on the other hand, don’t appear to threaten anyone at all in a way that makes the viewers worry about Moses’ life. It doesn’t help that they definitely would look more at home in a Disney movie rather than Dreamworks with their more realistic depictions of anatomy.
So it looks like Frozen wins again.
So it looks like a tie between both films in this round, but it was a close one (Prince of Egypt was ahead by about two or three points at one instant).
IT’S A TIE!
Colours held a lot of symbolism and meaning in Ancient Egypt, the primary ones being red, blue, yellow, black, green, and white. So here’s a nice rundown of what each colour meant for the Ancient Egyptians. Also, just for fun, I’m putting lyrics from certain songs as well just under the names of colours. ;)
RedThe blood of angry men! -Les Miserables
For the Ancient Egyptians, red was the colour of blood, the sun, and fire as well as life and destruction. Amulets in the shape of a heart, for example, were often red, as the heart itself is red and, of course, pumps blood. It was the difference between eternal life or a second, permanent death when being judged at the scales in the afterlife. If the heart was too heavy with sin, you were a goner. But if it weighed lighter than the feather of truth, you could enjoy an eternal afterlife.
Oh, and the sky will be blue, and you guys will be there too.. -Frozen
Blue was heavily associated with both water and the sky. Often gods and goddesses associated with the heavens or water would be shown blue (like Hapy, the god of the inundation of the Nile; or Nut, the sky goddess). It also symbolised fertility and was associated with the god Osiris.
The dark of ages past. -Les Miserables
Black was associated with not just the underworld and funerary deities, but also with fertility and life. Fertility gods were sometimes shown with black skin, emphasising their powerful fertility. For example, Osiris was sometimes depicted with black skin, and Min always had black skin. The latter god was particularly associated with fertility and potency, always depicted with an erection.
Your yellow ticket of leave! -Les Miserables
Like red, yellow was also associated with the sun and other solar images including the winged scarab. It was also used to show the golden flesh of the gods, whom the Anicnet Egyptians believed to be made of solid gold.
Every morning you greet me. Small and white, clean and bright.
-Sound of Music
White was considered the colour of purity and several sacred animals were often portrayed in this colour. In rare cases, white was used to reprsent a solar image or symbol. The White Crown of Upper Egypt was the symbol and emblem of Upper Egypt (i.e. southern Egypt).
On every leaf, on every stalk, until there’s nothing left of green! -Prince of Egypt
Green was used to symbolise many things including fertility, vegetation, life, health, vitality, and a few significant animals including the serpent and the baboon. Fertility gods could sometimes be shown with green skin, including Geb and Osiris.