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Frozen

Frozen

What She said:

She

Dare I say, I had been counting down the weeks, days, and minutes until I’d finally be able to rent this movie.  Honestly, I wanted to see it in the theater, but it hit during a time of year when I was just a little too busy.  Anyway, I’m a total sucker for Disney anything, and so I eagerly anticipated this musical animation film.  I know I’ve said it before, and I’ll sound like a broken record once again, but I do miss the days of big budget hand-drawn Disney features.  Movies like The Lion King, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast defined my childhood.  They were amazing in the quality of their story writing, the music, and their voice acting.  But those days have faded to the spectrum of computer animation, and with that has come generic, stale, and commercialized children’s movies.  Even though Frozen is very much a computer animated film, I could tell by the previews that it had that classic Disney edge from yester-year, and I am thrilled to say that I was not disappointed.

So, basic plot here.  Elsa and Anna are princess sisters who live in this beautiful kingdom ruled by their parents.  Early in life, it is discovered that heir to the throne, Elsa, has some very special powers; she’s able to turn things to ice.  As a child, this is merely a novelty.  Anna would wake Elsa up in the middle of the night begging her to turn their palace hall into a snowy dream, and Elsa would oblige.  But as Elsa ages she begins to have trouble controlling her skills.  This culminates with her accidentally injuring Anna.  To reconcile the situation, Anna’s memory of Elsa’s abilities is erased, and Elsa is separated, almost entirely, from the rest of her family while she matures and tries to get a better handle on her magic.  Elsa and Anna become distant as Anna has no idea about Elsa’s burden. 

Unfortunately, Elsa is forced to ascend to the crown before she’s mentally ready when Elsa and Anna’s parents are tragically killed at sea.  At the coronation ceremony, all heck breaks lose when Elsa becomes emotional.  The Kingdom of Arendelle turns on her, as they think of her as a sorceress.  Of course, Anna gives her sister the benefit of the doubt, but it is too late.  Elsa has fled the kingdom to live a life of solitude up in the mountains.  But simply leaving Arendelle has not solved a growing problem—the kingdom is slowly freezing over, and they need Elsa to fix it.  Anna goes on an epic journey to find her sister, and along the way teams up with Kristoff and his reindeer Sven, and a very special snowman named Olaf.  In classic Disney fashion, everyone—Anna, Elsa, and even Kristoff—learn a thing or two about the power of love.  There’s plenty of drama, betrayal, romance, and humor along the way.

Frozen

Frozen has a nice story about the bonds of family and love.  It exudes the ideals of Disney, and I really liked that.  The film is very interesting from start to finish, and brings with it some fresh humor that’ll resonate with the entire family—not just kids under the age of 12.  Little kids will like that we have two, count them TWO, princesses here, and the bigger kids and parents will appreciate the multi-generational story and spot-on comedy.  

The characters are very strong in this film.  Elsa is extremely troubled, but doesn’t go too far in becoming sinister.  She’s simply misunderstood, and while she starts to feel empowered by her ability to manipulate frozen precip, she doesn’t become unlikable.  Anna is your clear heroine here, and she’s a joy from start to finish.  She’s naïve, but also a strong feminine figure who has oodles of self-confidence.  She can go toe-to-toe with any man in this movie.  And that’s what really riles Kristoff’s feathers.  He’s your typical unlikely love interest, by the way.  You’ll see the sparks between Anna and Kristoff coming a mile away, but who cares; this film isn’t meant to be overwhelmingly complex.  I haven’t really mentioned Hans, who is Anna’s sort-of fiancé.  They met and clicked instantly—owing to the fact that they have so much in common.  Of course, Elsa did not give her blessing to the match, as she’s older and does not believe in the power of a relationship that’s only hours old.  Hans plays a bigger role in this movie than I give him credit for, and he’s actually an intriguing character.  One character that I was a little unsure of was the snowman, Olaf.  He could have gone the way of Jar Jar Binks, and that prospect was absolutely terrifying.  But, although a bit goofy, Olaf stopped short of being annoying, and his innocence made him endearing.  Thank goodness.

Visually, the movie is nice.  I wouldn’t say it’s anything too spectacular, as you would see in a Pixar movie, but it’s nicely drawn.  I liked the music.  A few of the songs were better than others, and you can certainly tell what they consider to be their powerhouse numbers.  The film featured the voice talents of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Alan Tudyk, and Stanino Fontana.  I’m not sure if everyone sang for themselves, other than, of course, Idina Menzel, but they were good.

Overall, this film is solid and a crowd pleaser.  Honestly, I cannot wait to watch it again with my mother.  It’s the kind of movie that you can bond with your family over. 

Thumbs up.

Frozen

What He said:

He

Elsa and Anna are sisters and daughters of the king and queen of Arendelle. They are very close and often play together. One of Anna’s (Kristen Bell) favorite things to do is play in the snow. The difference between when these two play in the snow versus other kids is that Elsa (Idina Menzel)is the one making the snow. You see, Elsa was born with magical powers. Elsa’s power enables her to create and control ice and snow.

Frozen

Something happens though that causes a rift between the two sisters. Elsa accidentally hurts her sister with her powers. The strong Elsa gets, the harder her powers have gotten to control. Anna is ok due to the assistance of some friends, but the king and queen are advised to keep Elsa away from everyone so that nothing like this ever happens again. Elsa ends up locking herself in her room for many years and won’t even talk to her sister through the door. This hurts Anna greatly. She doesn’t remember the accident and doesn’t understand why her sister has locked herself in her room and won’t come out.

Many years later, something terrible happens and Elsa is set to be named queen. On the day of her coronation, the palace doors are opened for the first time in years, and people are invited to celebrate. People from Arendelle and many other kingdoms come to pay their respects to the new queen.

One of the people who attends the event is Prince Hans (Santino Fontana) from the Southern Isles. He and Anna hit it off and decide to get married. Elsa forbids it. An argument between the two sisters ensues and Elsa’s powers rear their ugly head.Before you know it, people are panicking, some are accusing her of being am evil sorcerer, and Elsa flees to the mountains. There, she builds her own kingdom where she promises to remain alone – so that she can’t hurt anyone – for the rest of her life.

Anna decides to go on a quest to convince her sister to come home. On her way there she meets a few people. First is Kristoff (Johnathan Groff). He is a mountain man who travels across the land with his trusty reindeer Sven. The other is Olaf – a living snowman. Olaf (Josh Gad) was created as a result of Elsa’s powers, but she is not aware of it.
Meanwhile, the residents of Arendelle have been forced to deal with an eternal winter. It seems Elsa’s powers have created some kind of unnaturally cold and harsh conditions. Prince Hans, who Anna left in charge, decides to form his own party and go confront Elsa to ask her to undo it.

Frozen

In many ways, Frozen has a classic fairy tale feel. It’s got princes, princesses, monsters, magic, and romance. But it’s quite different in a few ways and that works in its favor. I really appreciated the fact that the movie was about two sisters. Most stories like this are about a young couple who fall in love, face some kind of adversity and are forced to deal with it before they can live happily ever after. This movie was not cliché or predictable in that sense. It took a classic fairytale and added some new layers to it. It was very classic in many ways – Hans was a classic hero, Olaf and Sven are your classic sidekicks and comic relief, and there are many other familiar elements to a traditional fairytale – but this different approach really worked in the movie’s favor. It set it apart from other similar type of movies.

Frozen is an entertaining movie that the whole family should love. It’s got a little something for everyone. It’s funny, has adventure, music, and young love. It has all the makings of a modern classic, but also benefits from breaking the predictable approach to the genre.

Diagnosis: Thumbs up.

This movie review was given the He said, She said seal of approval on March 29, 2014.

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