I went into this movie expecting to hate it. I mean the back cover characterized the very hot Michelle Trachtenberg as a “brainy high-school misfit.” So I went into this film expecting it to be horrible. Another studio version of someone who is beautiful pretending not to be. Sort of like all those Hilary Duff movies that she keeps to make. So imagine my surprise when I watched Ice Princess and was pleasantly won over. The tale of Casey Carlyle (Trachtenberg), who is very smart but has always wanted to be a graceful figure skater, was actually quite well done. Bolstered by a strong supporting cast featuring Kim Cattrall as her skating coach, and Joan Cusack as her domineering mother, Ice Princess was a feel gooder with a lot of heart.
Alternate Opening, Deleted Scenes and Music Videos
Something tells me that these deleted scenes were taken out of the film more for time reasons then the fact that they didn’t fit. Whether it was “Casey Meets The SnoPlow Sams” or “Casey Asks Tina About Her Past”, the creators of this movie seemed to leave in everything that was necessary in order to get the story of the Ice Princess across. Overall, I don’t think we lose anything by not having these scenes in the film. However, I did like the alternate opening where Casey is having a hard time with her school work, so she relaxes by going skating. As for the music videos they feature a song by Caleigh Peters and Aly & A.J..
Audio Commentary Track
This features Michelle Trachtenberg, Trevor Blumas, Kirsten Olson and Hayden Panettiere. While not the most illuminating DVD commentary I have ever heard, this track certainly has the cozy feel of friends getting together to talk about a movie. They discuss their kissing scenes, what they were trying to do with their characters and of course they gush about working with their costars.
Widescreen (1.85:1) - Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions. This movie is shot and edited like a standard “tween vehicle.” There is nothing about it that deviates from anything we have come to expect from a Disney coming of age tale. Truthfully, those camera tricks and whatnot that could give a film like this an edgier feel, would most likely just get in the way and not really serve the story of a film like Ice Princess. Honestly, it is quite enjoyable to see a film like this which is just classically told, doesn’t get bogged down with too much imagery and simply keeps it’s eyes on the story.
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. French Language track and subtitles. This film didn’t seem to be goofy in in an embarrassing way. Thankfully, they let Michelle Trachtenberg play the role of a brainy beauty in a very cerebral manner. She wasn’t walking around acting like a klutz, and then suddenly she gets on the ice and is full of grace. Too many times we see this in these kinds of films and it doesn’t ring true. The sound in all the scenes that was trying to convey this was used to best underscore Trachtenberg’s emotional state, and it did a very good job of getting me there.
Just seeing Michelle Trachtenberg on the front cover, I was thinking, “How in the world will anyone be able to relate to her?”. She has such an ethereal look and feel, but truthfully, the movie didn’t really play this up (at least at the start). The back cover features a pretty decent sized description of the film, some pictures from the movie (and one that looks really poorly Photoshopped), and an extras listing and some technical specs. Overall, the packaging tells the whole story of the movie, but it is the way the actors infuse themselves into it that makes Ice Princess really stand out.
Okay, so Ice Princess may not be the most original film I have ever watched. I knew what was going to happen pretty much every second of the film, but Michelle Tractenberg and the rest of the cast kept my interested. In a lot of writing classes the central tenet that they teach is “make me care.” Well as far is Ice Princess is concerned, I not only cared, I think other people will care which is why I feel very comfortable recommending this DVD to them.
Another well job from our friends at The Mouse House.
Ice Princess was released March 17, 2005.