Warning: There are spoilers below. In this case, I don’t think I can give an honest review without them.
Frozen is the most recent movie to come from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Sisters Anna and Elsa spent the majority of their lives apart from each other in the same palace. Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) doesn’t understand why all of a sudden, her sister, Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel), cannot be around her anymore. Their parents decide that it’s best to keep them apart for fear that Elsa may lose control of her magical powers and injure Anna. The two sisters barely speak until Elsa’s coronation. At the event, Elsa can no longer restrain herself, and as her emotions escalate, so does her strength. Within minutes, the entire kingdom of Arendelle is winterized, and Elsa retreats into the woods. Anna chases after her sister, trying to restore their relationship and knowing that without Elsa’s help, summer will never return to their kingdom.
So, I’m a diehard Disney fan, and in being a fan, I go into the screening with an “innocent until proven guilty” mentality—I automatically accept any plot holes or inconsistencies throughout the movie and reflect on everything afterward to generate my opinion. That being said, the story was a bit lacking; the plot and characters jumped around quite a bit and some of the “aha” moments were downright shocking and, in my opinion, should have been hinted at earlier in the film. I don’t want to give anything else away, but I think you’ll understand once you see the movie. Further, there’s a whole group of characters that could have been eliminated and made the story flow better.
My other peeve was the music. There were a few, really beautiful songs, but they are overshadowed by some of the other, more thoughtless additions. To my count, there are ten songs in this movie; “Let It Go” is amazing, the two versions of “For the First Time in Forever” are done well, and “In Summer” is silly and cutesy, but very creative. The other six songs really took away from the movie. Shep suggested that maybe Disney was trying to get back to its cartoon musical roots, and when I really thought about it, I was even more irritated. I started thinking of logical examples of beloved Disney cartoons that have extensive soundtracks; I’ll use The Little Mermaid as an example, but I’m pretty sure that this argument can be made for most Disney musicals. In The Little Mermaid, there are eight songs throughout the movie. The highlights, indisputably, are “Part of Your World” (original and reprise), “Kiss the Girl,” “Under the Sea,” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” The silly, fun song was “Les Poissons,” and the other two were for the opening credits and the “Daughters of Triton” bit. The highlighted songs not only added to the story, but by themselves, they stood alone as excellent pieces of music. Further, for the most part, they are still relevant and relatable songs. I didn’t feel this way about the music in Frozen; besides the four I mentioned, the remaining songs almost took away from the movie. Those four, however, are awesome, and I definitely plan on downloading and rocking out to “Let It Go.”
After that rant, it probably sounds like I didn’t like this movie very much, but I promise that’s not true. The highlights definitely outweigh the negatives. The animation was exquisite to say the least. I know that a lot of it is done with computers, but to me, that doesn’t change just how visually stunning everything is, especially all of the parts that are made of or covered in ice. Also, the artists did an excellent job of dressing the characters; that sounds insane, I know, but please watch the movie and tell me you don’t want Elsa’s post-breakdown outfit. You can’t. Further, reminiscent of Cinderella, all of the women at the ball are in pale, uniform colors to help the sisters stand out. There has been some criticism about how Disney cannot animate a unique woman anymore, as Elsa and Anna are both reminiscent of Rapunzel, which has led to people assuming that Frozen will be “Tangled on Ice.” These claims cannot be further from the truth; yes, Elsa and Anna could possibly be distant cousins of Rapunzel, but Disney is just following their big-eyed, tiny-nosed princess formula. Past that, in terms of plot, there really aren’t many similarities between the two films.
The supporting characters are amiable and fun. Josh Gad voices Olaf, a hysterically adorable snowman who doesn’t quite get it, and he loves warm hugs. Jonathan Groff voices Kristoff, a ruggedly handsome mountain man who helps Anna try to find her sister. Kristoff is accompanied by his reindeer, Sven, who also provides a bit of comic relief. Also worth noting: the voice talents of Alan Tudyk who voices the Duke of Weselton (while this is only a minor role, I just want to point out that Wash still lives) and Santino Fontana who voices the seemingly sweet Hans. Further, the singing is quite good, and if you find some parts to be reminiscent of Wicked (as Shep did), it may be because Idina Menzel played the original Elphaba.
I don’t think true love could ever be exemplified better than it was in this movie. Granted, it is slightly confusing until the big reveal, but when it happens, it is beautiful.
Go see it, and if you can, see it in 3D because the animation is just that good. Further, the cartoon shown before the movie is awesome, so make sure you’re on time. Also, there is a clip after the end credits, so stick around for that if you can.
I have never gone into a theatre with so many children, and the movie kept them all silent, so it will definitely keep your kids engaged.