Classic Movie Review: Frozen (2013)

Posted: July 20, 2014 in Animation, Music, Romance

frozen

Elsa (Eva Bella, Idina Menzel) is the future queen of  Arendelle, a fictional Scandinavian kingdom.  Elsa has the power to turn everything into ice.  She freezes her sister Anna’s (Libby Steubenrauch) head as a child, and almost kills her.  Anna is saved by a troll, who also removes all memories of Elsa’s special power.  Elsa’s parents lock Elsa in her room for reasons Anna no longer understands, and Elsa becomes afraid of her powers and feels like she has to hide them, and hide herself, which causes Elsa a lot of stress.  At her coronation, all the doors of the castle are thrown open and Elsa has been made queen, but Anna has news over her own, she is going to marry Prince Hans. (Santino Fortana)  This announcement is too much for Elsa, doesn’t want anyone else to find out her secret, Elsa also feels that Anna is rushing into a marriage, when she doesn’t really understand.  Under duress, Elsa can’t control her powers and turns Arendelle into a place with a perpetual winter.  Unable to cope with the results of her unfettered powers, Elsa runs off to North Mountain and builds a castle from ice.

Anna is convinced that she can bring Elsa back from the North Mountain and stop the perpetual winter plaguing Arendelle.  With the help of a mountaineer named Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and a magical snowman named Olaf, (Josh Gad) who Elsa created as a child, Anna tries to convince Elsa that she belongs in Arendelle.  But when Anna gets to the castle, Elsa freezes her heart, and only an act of true love can save Anna.

Sure, Frozen is a kids movie, there are adorable characters like the trolls (reminiscent of the seven dwarfs) and a snowman called Olaf, but behind the cuteness is a complex story about the meaning of true love, and a pair of self-sufficient princesses, one who uses her powers to defend herself, and one who saves Kristoff from falling down the mountain.  The question of what is true love resolves itself in an unexpected way, which reflects the increased sensitivity of Disney writers to the roles of women in today’s society.  That’s a lot of ground for a kids’ movie to cover, but Frozen deftly adds touches of humor and music to make it entertaining for both kids and adults alike.  The music is outstanding and sets the mood for many scenes as well as propelling the story forward. The animation is amazing, which is the Disney standard, the animation is filled with beauty, the Aurora Borealis is a series of dreamy streaks in the sky, the ice castle is a palace of shimmering beauty.

The acting is superb, Idina Menzel, previously only known as a Broadway star, rocketed to fame as the singer of the Academy Award winning song, “Let It Go.”  She has become a household name because of this movie (to everyone except John Travolta) and her fame is well deserved.  Her voice soars in “Let it Go” and the song is the standout of a very good soundtrack.  Menzel also handles a very tough role adroitly, she is the Ice Princess literally and figuratively, she is emotionally detached from her sister, because she thinks that will protect her.  Kristen Bell deserves a lot of credit for her underappreciated role of Anna, she is carefree and loving, and the emotional center of this movie.  Bell plays her perfectly, and she also has a superb voice.  Jonathan Groff beautifully underplays Kristoff, Josh Gad is full of joy as Olaf, the snowman who ironically loves summer.

The movie is a long one, but the pacing is handled so well that the movie never drags.  Stunning animation makes the movie visually appealing, and a captivating story will leave everyone happy.

Frozen:  It will melt your heart.

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