Movie Review: Frozen

Movie poster, with, from left to right: Elsa, Christof, Sven, Olaf, Anna, Prince Hans.

If you just want a fast recap: I really liked this movie. I liked it so much I saw it twice in two days. So, there you have that.

Oh, you want more detail. OK.

Frozen, A Disney Animation Studios product, tells the story of Anna and Elsa, two Nordic princesses in the fictional kingdom of Arendelle. Elsa is born with the gift to create snow and ice, and she uses it mostly to entertain herself and her younger sister, until she accidentally hurts Anna with it. Their parents take them to a wise troll healer, who heals Anna, but also erases all the memories she has of Elsa’s powers.

Anna’s parents hide Elsa away, and give her gloves (her power is transmitted through her hands) to wear to hide her ability. Elsa is terrified to get close to anyone, and as a result, never plays with Anna anymore. When their parents die in a shipwreck, Elsa is next in line to be queen when she comes of age.

This is where the story really picks up–the song “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” chronicles the girls’ lives from Elsa’s separation from Anna to the day of their parents’ funeral. Anna, lonely in the palace, can’t wait for Coronation Day, because she’ll get to meet the people of Arendelle (her parents closed the palace’s gates when learning about the power of Elsa’s ability). Elsa is terrified she’ll ruin the coronation ceremony.

At the ball following the ceremony, Elsa accidentally reveals her powers, and, terrified, flees to the mountains. Anna goes after her sister, determined to bring her back. As Anna goes on her journey, she picks up three companions: Christof, an ice seller; Sven, his reindeer, and Olaf, a talking snowman magicked into being by Elsa, who dreams of summer.

Elsa testing her powers

The story is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen, and as the movie goes along, it reveals more similarities to the original story than immediately apparent. The story is about the relationship between sisters, and it’s that sort of love, not romantic love, that drives the story (although Anna does have a romantic relationship in the film).

The animation is breathtaking, as you’d expect from Disney, and the characters are multi-dimensional and well drawn and voiced (Kristen Bell voices Anna, and Idina Menzel voices Elsa). The songs are the strongest in recent memory, probably since The Lion King and included a great ballad for Elsa entitled “Let It Go”, which is perfect for Menzel’s range and strengths. Olaf the snowman has a solo in “Summer”, where he dreams about experiencing summer (but as a snowman…); the sister share an “I Want” duet called “For The First Time In Forever”. There’s also beautifully arranged choral singing throughout the film.

I liked this movie better than Brave, and a tiny bit more than Tangled. To me, this movie is in the Little Mermaid/Aladdin/Lion King mold of Disney quality and shape, so if you liked those films, I believe you’ll like Frozen.

 

 

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One thought on “Movie Review: Frozen

  1. Pingback: Catholic Women’s Almanac No. 43 | Living Adventurously

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