“Frozen” Review

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Well, by late tomorrow night I’ll be back in Canada. I’ve had plenty of options to blog about. I started watching and enjoying Avatar: The Last Airbender. I saw the first two Hunger Games movies, which were pretty enjoyable even though I’ve never touched the books. My fiance and I saw The Book of Mormon musical and enjoyed it. I hate South Park, but the play was a fun time and didn’t offend me. But today, I’m going to talk about the final new movie I’ve viewed while in the sunny land of Florida – Disney’s “Frozen.”

I will start off by admitting that I had no huge urge to see this movie despite being a Disney fan. All of the blame can be placed on the trailers, which don’t do the movie NEARLY enough justice. I don’t usually like to rely on critics’ opinions before I see something new, but I had higher hopes after the good reviews started pouring in. And while I can’t fully agree with some aspects of them, I will definitely say this movie is worth seeing.

As always, I’ll try to keep this spoiler-free. The plot is effectively pulled off. Two sisters, Anna and Elsa, come from royalty and love spending time together as children. Elsa has an unexplained ability to create snow and ice, and they use it to play often. One day, Anna is accidentally injured, causing their parents to seek help that ultimately leads to Anna forgetting about Elsa’s abilities. After their tragic death, the two sisters are forced to grow up together with Elsa becoming distant from her sister due to her abilities and guilt. When Elsa is to be crowned queen, everything goes wrong as her abilities are exposed and she’s forced to flee. She accidentally causes an endless winter to freeze her town and surrounding areas. Through the movie, Anna tries to reconnect with her sister in an effort to bring her home and bring summer back to their town.

That plot doesn’t even include the comic relief, romances and other Disney staples, but what “Frozen” does surprisingly well is alter conventions like true love and even your typical Disney princess. Both Anna and Elsa had distinct personalities (aside from Elsa’s abilities) and felt like real people. All of the characters were well-acted and served a purpose, though I felt the Duke was a bit lackluster as a villain. His motivation was extremely weak. Even Olaf the snowman, who the trailers put focus on and who I was sure I’d despise, wasn’t the worst comic relief I’d seen and had a innocent personality. I was very pleased that the movie tried to keep focus on the two sisters, whether they were together or apart.

The songs were (kinda ironically) done by one of the composers for The Book of Mormon, and while it kinda showed, I didn’t really notice it as they occurred. The movie’s set up a bit like a musical, with songs coming about 5-10 minutes apart from each other. It was a bit much and made the movie feel uneven as the third act has basically no songs. That being said, there were quite a few I liked and a couple that, while decent, kinda felt unnecessary. Still, I felt each song was sung strongly and there was good animation supporting each one, especially during Elsa’s big solo “Let It Go.”

Speaking of animation, this is one of the prettiest Disney movies to date. It borrows the style of “Tangled” for its characters, which I didn’t have a problem with, but the standout here is the ice and snow. It looks realistic and they play around with it to create some very beautiful visuals. Even if they weren’t explained, I loved that Elsa had her powers if only because of the creativity involved with them. Having seen it in 2D, I could spot a few moments that were clearly meant to show off the 3D for 3D screenings, but they didn’t bother me too much.

Going back to them altering conventions, there are a couple twists in the final act that took me and apparently everyone around me by surprise. It was an awesome change from the usual Disney formula and felt like a big step forward for their princess movies. It reminded me a little of “Brave,” but a much bigger step up even from it. I hope it’s a trend that continues, though I hope and pray they don’t fall into Dreamworks territory too often. There were times here (mostly very modern references) that felt a tiny bit out of place. But that’s a minor complaint at best.

Overall, whether you’re a kid or adult, I would highly recommend “Frozen.” I disagree with the critics that claim it’s the best since “The Lion King,” but it harkens back to those old, fun Disney movies despite the animation style. For what it’s worth, I got a very satisfying movie despite initially having extremely low expectations. I only hope Disney will keep up on introducing us to cool princesses or at least female leads in the future.

My rating for “Frozen” is a solid (no pun intended) 9/10.

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