Movie Review: Frozen
Director(s): Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee
Genre: Animated, Fantasy, Musical
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios
Run Time: 102 Minutes
Featuring the voices of Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, "Frozen" is the coolest comedy-adventure ever to hit the big screen. When a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, Anna, a fearless optimist, teams up with extreme mountain man Kristoff and his sidekick reindeer Sven on an epic journey to find Anna's sister Elsa, the Snow Queen, and put an end to her icy spell. Encountering mystical trolls, a funny snowman named Olaf, Everest-like extremes and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction. (c) Disney
Movie ReviewFrozen is Disney's 53rd Animated feature and is part of its Animated classics series. When reviews started pouring in saying Frozen rivaled Beauty and the Beast & The Lion King I just knew I had to see it and boy am I ever glad that I did.
One of the best parts about Frozen is of course the animation. Not only is the movie filled with classic Disney style but most impressive is the things animators did with the ice and snow. Without giving to much away, at one point in the film the ice is back lit by fire and you can see all these little droplets of water forming on the crystals as it is slowly melting. Yet as the camera pans around the room you can see those same droplets refreezing on the ice as well. Really, it is gorgeous and must be seen to be appreciated.
Another thing I loved was the music. Idina Menzel as Elsa was perfect. Her voice is so unlike your typical Disney character and I must say I found it wonderful. The song Let it go compliments her voice so well and is more Pop than past Disney songs so that was refreshing as well. Most shocking of all was Kristen Bell's voice. I had no idea she could sing and the fact that Disney actually allowed her to without using a voice double shows how much they've grown as a company over the years. Can we build a Snowman is so heartbreaking and had me and half a theater nearly in tears. In fact, I'm pretty sure I heard sniffles coming from the row in front of me.
Lastly, I loved the characters. Elsa and Anna were complete opposites and yet both had redeeming qualities. Anna was the feisty, adventurous younger sister while Elsa was as expected very Frozen in her emotions which is understandable considering her circumstances. However, she had a playful side to her as well and was just as if not more feisty than her sister even if it wasn't seen all that much. I also loved Jonathan Groff's character Kristoff. He was every bit the Mountain Man you'd expect but also had the qualities a proper male Disney lead should have such as kindness, bravery and charm. Let's not forget the snowman Olaf who was the comic relief of the film and had some of the best one liners hands down.
Now even though I loved Frozen I do think it had a few faults that kept me from rating it a full 5 Stars. First off, while I did love all the musical numbers I would've liked a few more from non-main characters. One of the things that made Disney films of the past so memorable were the songs sung by the townspeople (Topsy Turvy from Hunchback, Prince Ali from Aladdin etc..) or in the case of Beauty and the Beast by the silverware during Be Our Guest or Welcome sung by the bears in Brother Bear. I also missed having a traditional Villain song (Be Prepared from the Lion King & Poor, Unfortunate Souls from Little Mermaid spring to mind).
Speaking of which I hated the lack of "evil" in the story. Sure Frozen had a bad guy but I wouldn't call him a villain just an opportunist and jerk. I originally thought Elsa would be the villain being the snow queen and all but nope she's just the misguided and deeply hurt Elder sister whom should be more pitied than feared. The lack of clear cut good vs. evil characters did downgrade the story slightly for me. I believe this was done purposefully by Disney to try and modernize their story telling but I don't think it worked all that well.
Lastly and this might be considered nit picking but I wish the film hadn't just glanced over events that happened in the beginning of the film. It would've been nice for the Sisters to acknowledge the event at the end of the film and make peace with it even if it was just them hugging each other while looking at a photo before resuming activities with the rest of the guests. Without that closure that event felt more superficial than it ought to have been. I mean it literally shaped Elsa's life in the negative since she had nobody but herself to confide in or rely on after it.
While Frozen is a worthy addition to Disney's long line of movie musicals I can't help but be left wanting just a bit more than was given. Should you watch Frozen? Definitely. Is it worth seeing on screen? Yep! With that being said, I'll be rating Frozen ★★★★.
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