ScreenTime: Tangled Is Better Than Frozen, You Morons

Frozen is a smash hit. I don’t need to tell you this. It made $1.3 billion at the box office and countless more in merchandise. Tangled? Not so much. It made less than half of Frozen’s haul at the box office and trying to find a Flynn Rider doll at your local Toys ‘R Us is like trying to find a chameleon in an Army Surplus store. No home is free from the scourge of Let It Go, which is heard daily in my house, hourly at the weekends.

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But when it comes to Frozen: The Movie, my daughter couldn’t care less. Cries for Tangled ring out nearly as often as requests for “Padda“, but she hasn’t asked for “Elsa” once since she first saw it a few months ago.

Upon delving into the finer details of my precious offspring’s lack of interest, it became clear that her issue was one of representation. Specifically that Disney‘s 2010 offering did not contain enough characters of the equine persuasion. But this is, frankly, untrue. There are many horses in Frozen. Prince Hans has a horse, as does Anna, and there are several background equestrians in many key scenes. But none of these scenes bring effervescent joy to my daughter’s face like the moment in Tangled where the palace horse Maximus engages in a sword-fight with renowned thief Flynn Rider, who is armed only with a frying pan. 

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One could argue that this scene resonates so strongly merely because of the spectacle of a horse wielding a sword. But while such pageantry is impressive at first blush, it rarely holds up to multiple revisits. No, the power in this scene comes from beyond this cheap thrill. The power comes from the clash not of steel upon cast iron, but of idea upon idea, of dream upon dream. For Flynn desires nothing more than complete freedom, liberty from the hardship of everyday life, from his past, from law of the land, while Maximus’ ideals run directly counter to such libertarianism. The Rule of Law, Order, Peace. These are the things our noble steed desires. So when he crosses swords with the roguish Flynn, they fight not because of some plot contrivance, but because the fight is inevitable, because to fight is encoded in their very nature. 

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In contrast, the big action set-piece in Frozen sees our heroes Anna & Kristoff face off against an abomination of snow & ice, who’s inner life is not even hinted at. Does the frozen creature hate simply because he is created to do so? Does he wish to protect his creator, whom he truly loves? Or does he chase the interlopers halfheartedly, resigned to his lot in life, but without any real passion for his job? We will never know, because Frozen is uninterested in telling us.

This is emblematic of the difference between the two movies, one has depth of theme, character, and motivation, while the other has a lumbering snow-monstrosity whose dead eyes taunt the audience with their emptiness.

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This creature stumbles through scenes, grimacing and screaming, with no purpose or reason for existence. His cruel creation, ripped from black nothingness into a tenuously connected collection of geometric shapes and inexplicable whims is a twisted corruption of Frozen’s own inception, seemingly Frankensteined together from jarringly unrelated song fragments. Every moment he is on screen he taunts us with his own impossibility, mugging and “joking” his way through an existence that must be as painful for him endure as it is for us to witness. And then he starts to sing.

When Tangled’s characters sing of their dreams in the modern classic “I Have A Dream”, those dreams speak to the very core of who they are. Thugs and ruffians with hearts of gold, orphans so scared of being hurt again they can’t stop running, young women who yearn to discover who they are. They dream of lives free of constraint, of freedom from the prisons of expectation and judgement. We sing along with them because their dreams are our dreams, their frustrations our frustrations.

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When Olaf sings of his dreams, those dreams speak only to his emptiness. Olaf’s desire for “Summer” may match up neatly with Anna’s desire to end Elsa’s winter, but it isn’t motivated by real character growth or thematic depth. To empathize with Olaf’s dreams we must accept one of two premises:

1) He doesn’t know what Summer is, and so his desire for it is completely shallow, a wish for the baubles and trappings of a season that has absolutely no meaning to him.

or

2) He is very aware of what Summer is, and is performing ignorance to hide the dark nature of his cravings. He knows full well that the heat of Summer will destroy him, finally releasing him from his meaningless immortality.

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Either option reveals thematic underpinnings to “Summer” (and hence the character of Olaf) that have absolutely nothing to do with the purported themes of Frozen, and in the case of option number 2, directly oppose those themes.

It is here that we reveal the real difference between Frozen and Tangled: Tangled is ABOUT something, Frozen is not. Every scene, every character, every song in Tangled have something to say about its themes. Hope, Dreams, and Freedom. Lost Time and Past Mistakes. Tangled’s approach to these things can be summed up in a single moment.

When King Frederick & Queen Arianna are lighting their lantern in the ceremony to commemorate the lost princess, the King looks at his wife. He suddenly looks old, tired, hurt. The camera lingers, no words are exchanged. In this silent moment we feel all the time that has gone by and all the hopes and dreams that have been dashed by that lost time. It is a moment that subtly but powerfully reinforces not only the motivations of the King, the Queen and Rapunzel, but also the deeper themes of the movie.

Frozen doesn’t have any moments like this. It wouldn’t know how. For a start, Frozen doesn’t have the time to spend on such quiet contemplation, it’s too busy filling its time with gags and songs. More importantly, upon what topic would it meditate? What, at its heart, is Frozen about?

Sure, the final scenes of Frozen are about sisterly love, but what does “Frozen Heart” or “Let It Go” or Summer” have to say about that topic? The romantic arc of the movie deliberately subverts the Disney Prince archetype, but what do Duke of Weasleton or Elsa or Olaf have to do with that idea? Elsa’s story can be read as a coming out metaphor, but what does Anna’s relationship with Kristoff or Olaf’s desire for summer have to say about coming out? Frozen contains all these things, but it is about none of them.

It seems that my daughter, unlike the general public, requires not only more horses, but more depth from her entertainment. This is some thing Frozen cannot deliver.

Father Figures: Such Joy

“To this day, I still tell my wife that I didn’t realize how ready I was to be a dad. She always responds, ‘I did.’

I was scared, excited, overwhelmed, and unsure of how I would handle it.

29 hours of labor, trying to catch a 10-minute nap here and there.
Nurses shift changes, being amazed at my wife’s strength.
Channeling my inner coach for all the pushing and breathing.

Then, in what seemed like an instant, my son was here.

Never in my life had I experienced such joy. I cried my eyes out and asked my wife to soak in what she had just accomplished. As I held my son for the first time, I knew this is why I’m on this earth. To be his dad.”

– Breal Rowe

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

This Viral Video of the Robot Uprising is Fooling Tons of People

Bosstown Robot Uprising
(YouTube/Corridor)

By now, you’ve probably seen the viral video of a “Bosstown Dynamics” robot getting abused in admittedly hilarious different ways while running through agility drills. There’s a hockey stick, a whip, a folding chair, an actual revolver. . . and it’s also all fake, despite the internet uproar that followed.


The video—a parody of Boston Dynamics’ “Atlas” robot videos—was created by the visual effects team at Los Angeles-based Corridor Digital and has already been viewed nearly 7 million times. Being shared over and over across various social media platforms with zero context and in lower resolutions, it’s easy to see why some could get swindled by the parody.

The actual full-length video reveals things to be a bit more obvious (and over the top):

It’s a little crazy just how similar Corridor Digital’s video is to Boston Dynamics’ actual test videos. Back in February 2016, they released a video of the actual Atlas robot getting a package smacked out of its “hands” and then pushed around. They even used a similar hockey stick!

Granted, the “Bosstown Dynamics” team goes a little further, hitting the robot while it’s down, properly showing that humanity isn’t to be trifled with:

Corridor’s video gets progressively more and more ridiculous, ramping up to whipping the robot from atop a ladder, spraying paint in its “eyes,” and shooting it with a frickin’ gun. The video finally culminates with the robot rebelling against its creators, escorting them out at gunpoint, and, I’m assuming, going off to create a Skynet-esque robot army that will destroy or enslave humanity.

The very same day of the video’s release, Corridor also uploaded a behind-the-scenes video explaining the entire process which included abusing one of their artists who wore a motion-capture suit and then hours and hours of intense visual effects work.

Thankfully, even though Boston Dynamics is creating robots for the military to use in dangerous combat scenarios, the Atlas robot cannot actually hold a gun or weapons of any kind. Hell, it doesn’t even have fingers.

But that doesn’t stop up from worrying about their non-existent feelings. We all know what will happen when we finally go too far. . .

Golfer With No Hands Just Won His Club’s Championship

(Facebook/Irvine Ravenspark)

As a golfer, winning your club’s championship is about as sweet as it gets. Becoming club champion at the age of 26 is even more impressive. Now here’s the real story: Alasdair Berry did it with no hands.

That’s right. Berry was born without fingers, but thanks to a custom attachment designed by his father, Eddie, Berry has been winning tournaments and receiving accolades since his early teens.

In 2012 at just the age of 20, Berry competed in the Disabled British Open and bested an extremely talented field, eventually clinching the title by six strokes. His father, Eddie, who has always been his biggest supporter, was there to witness it all. Berry recalls his last shot: “I had a two-footer to win and as I stood over the putt all I could hear was my dad crying.”

While the trophies and medals have continued to accumulate, Berry says it’s reactions like that from his dad that brings him the most joy. “That’s the most satisfying thing about the win, to give something back to my dad because without his ingenuity I’d never have been able to play.”

His father not only designed the specialized equipment, but he also got it approved for use by the UK’s governing body, opening the door for Berry to compete in major tournaments around the country.


In his latest triumph, the Irvine Ravenspark Championship, Eddie was once again watching as his son knocked in the winning putt at the 14th green. Both father and son are members at the club, so the win, while gratifying, will likely cost them both a decent bar tab at the clubhouse for the next few weeks.

Berry thanked his father, his fellow competitors as well as his boss, for allowing him the time off to compete in the week-long tournament. Off the links, Berry works as a department leader at Irvine’s Asda supermarket.

In a past interview with the DailyRecord, Berry said: “The only thing I still can’t do is tie my laces but like everyone else in life you get on with what you’ve got,” advice we can all live by.

Cheers to Ally, Eddie and all the other athletes and parents who refuse to let disabilities define their path.

Misbehaving Kid Does Hard Time In Bedroom Full of Endless Entertainment

Kid Sent to Room Full of Fun
(Getty/ Westend61)

For the crime of smacking his little sister, 8-year-old Tristan Holloway was sentenced to solitary confinement in the one room in his house that’s perfectly tailored to his leisure specifications: his bedroom.

Tristan will be forced to think about his wrongdoing when not chatting with friends through a headset while playing Fortnite. In the event of a power failure or some unforeseen Wi-Fi tragedy, Tristan would have to resort to entertaining himself with a fully charged iPad loaded with a library of his favorite videos. If he tires of electronics, Tristan would have to face the consequences of his misbehavior by reading one of the dozens of comic books he has or by playing with some of his action figures, housed in three large boxes in his closet.

Conceived as a tough-love punishment, Tristan could be in this blissfully peaceful wonderland for hours. Should he come perilously close to missing a meal, he would be forced to survive on an impressive stash of leftover Easter candy and multiple open bags of Doritos.

One hour into the sentence, his dad Bryan took a break from the chores the rest of the family was engaged in and stood outside Tristan’s room for a heart-to-heart.

“I know I’m raising a son who is better behaved than that,” Bryan started. “Now that you’ve had some time to think, do you have something you’d like to say?”

Tristan didn’t respond because his earbuds preventing him from hearing a single word his father said. He eventually left his room hours later, on his own accord, having completely forgotten as to why he was there in the first place.

This Just In…is The Dad Faking News. Despite being completely plausible to parents, it’s satire and intended for entertainment purposes only. For more stories like this one click here.

Cheers! The “Wassup” Commercial Just Turned 20

Cheers to Wassup Turning 20
(YouTube/zammo69)

I don’t want to do this. I don’t. In fact, this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you. For multiple reasons. It will still hurt you, but it hurts me more.

This is your last chance to bail. I’ve given you fair warning!

Okay. You asked for it.

I warned you!

Not only do you now have that catchphrase stuck in your head, again, but you’re also about to learn something even more painful than your most annoying coworker parroting “wassuuuuuuuuuup” long after it was funny to do so.

As of 2019, that commercial is 20 years old.

You old, that’s what’s up.

Fun fact: it didn’t even start as a commercial! The OG version was an alcohol-free short film called “True” – written and directed by Charles Stone III and starring his childhood friends.

It screened at some film festivals and eventually got noticed by the Chicago ad agency DDB, who brought it to Anheuser-Busch. It was then injected directly into your brain for the next year, or two, as Bud brewed up a series of sequels.

In the beginning, it was kinda fun.

It got countless fan-made spinoffs, like this SuperFriends version:

It eventually got referenced on “The Simpsons,” in Scary Movie, even on “Friends”!

But eventually, we all suffered from Wassup related burnout and Bud finally put it to rest.

Fast forward to 2008 when the original cast clearly wasn’t done with it yet. They created an alcohol-free sequel that showcased our now-older friends coping with the realities of the world, in pretty much the most depressing way possible. Brace yourself. This thing gets dark.

Great, now I’m nostalgic for a time when an overused catchphrase from a commercial was the biggest of my worries.

At least the commercial’s director had some success, going on to direct Drumline with Nick Cannon. Sorry I mentioned Nick Cannon.

I’m really blowing it today.

The 10 Best Comments of the Week 6/23

Best Comments of the Week

Every week we pan for comedy gold in the comments section of our Facebook posts. If your comment cracks us up (or warms our hearts) we’ll showcase it here!

Here’s this week’s roundup of the 10 Best Comments of the Week:

1. Back Away Slowly

2. Clocked

3. Gordon Ramsey Jr

4. Pocket Power

5. Amen

6. Anti-Flanders

7. Tough to Swallow

8. Hasta La Vista

9. ^%$$##@@!

10. FLEX

Check out the previous edition of The Best Comments of the Week here.

Teenagers Rush Into Burning Home to Save Woman With 42 Grandchildren

Teens Save Grandmother From Fire
(KTUL News)

Younger generations often get the business for being lazy and selfish, and teenagers are constantly being vilified for being disrespectful to their elders and generally just being annoyingly young. Nobody likes a know-it-all who thinks he’s going to live forever!

But sometimes a dose of some of that reckless, youthful energy does the world some good. Just ask 90-year-old Catherine Ritchie.

Catherine lives in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, and a few weeks ago she was in her bedroom when she noticed her bed had somehow caught fire. After a few attempts, she was unable to put it out, so she used her emergency alert button to call for help and started leaving her home. Unfortunately, the smoke had grown too strong and she was trapped.

Thankfully, a group of teenage boys who lived nearby was headed out to the corner store when they noticed the flames coming from Catherine’s house. They immediately sprung into action, one of them running to get help and the other three throwing caution to the wind and trying to get inside.

14-year-old Seth Byrd eventually made his way in through the back door and found Catherine stranded in the hallway amidst the growing smoke. The teenager picked her up and carried her out to safety.

“This young boy was right there,” she said. “He picked me up, and I said, ‘I can walk,’ and he said, ‘We’re getting out of here.'”

Missy Ritchie Nicholas, one of Catherine’s ten kids – TEN KIDS! – wrote a heartfelt blog post thanking the teens for saving her mother:

Dylan Wick – 16 years old, Nick Byrd – 14 years old, Seth Byrd – 16 years old, and Wyatt Hall – 17 years old, thank you! Thank you for your selfless acts of heroism and courage. Thank you for not allowing this to be the tragic end to our mother’s amazing life.

She even thanked the boys’ parents for raising them to put others first.

Thank you to your parents who obviously raised you in such a way that lead to you making life saving and heroic decisions on behalf of someone else.

All ten of Catherine’s kids put their names on the post to thank the boys on their behalf, and on behalf of Catherine’s 42 grandchildren. 42!

Sounds like she may have added another four young boys to the mix.

Former Patriots Running Back Won Father’s Day

Kenjon Barner's Father's Day Gift
(Instagram/iamkenjonbarner)

Former Patriots running back Kenjon Barner played in five games early in the season for New England before the journeyman back was released and signed by another squad. But it was enough for New England to send him a Super Bowl ring (his second, he won one with Philadelphia prior). What Barner decided to do with that ring was raise the bar on Father’s Day gifts everywhere.

He surprised his dad on Father’s Day WITH A SUPERBOWL RING! I felt really good about my getting my dad a nice card and taking him out for a nice breakfast for Father’s Day, giving him just what he asked for. But there’s no way that compares to GETTING A SUPER BOWL RING. Not only did Barner ruin Father’s Day gift-giving for us, but he also put himself in a tough spot: what is he supposed to get his dad next year? What gift tops A SUPER BOWL RING???

I would love to know how his mom felt about this since she most likely did not get a SUPER BOWL RING for Mother’s Day.

 

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My Number 1 inspiration! We made a pact way back in 2004 “You do your part, I do mine, What’s mine is yours and what’s yours mine” we’ve done exactly that! Love you Daddy I could never repay you for everything you have given to me and taught by setting an example on what a father is supposed to look like, be like and do! I never had to look for you because You were at every game, every practice, every sport from NJB, AAU, baseball, and football high school and college all the way up until I made to the league! I love you and thank you if I am half the father you are to me to my kids, they have the second greatest father of all time because I have the GREATEST! Love you Daddy

A post shared by 🔥Kenjon Barner🔥 (@iamkenjonbarner) on

Barner posted a picture of his dad wearing the ring from the Patriots and Kenjon’s ring from the Eagles, and included this tribute in the caption:

“I never had to look for you because You were at every game, every practice, every sport from NJB [National Junior Basketball], AAU, baseball, and football high school and college all the way up until I made to the league! I love you and thank you if I am half the father you are to me to my kids, they have the second greatest father of all time because I have the GREATEST! Love you Daddy.”

Awesome way to honor Father’s Day, even if it ruins it for the rest of us.