My rating: 4.5 Stars
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some action and mild rude humor
Synopsis: Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna’s sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.
Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana
Frozen is easily the best Disney movie I’ve seen in years. It is so incredibly fun, and definitely harkens back to the days of classics like Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. In my opinion, it’s the Disney movie everyone’s been waiting for.
Certainly there have been other excellent movies since the classics. I loved Wreck-it-Ralph, and Tangled is very cute, not to mention the Pixar greats like Up and all the Toy Story movies. But the great thing about Frozen is that EVERYTHING is good. The music is great (and not just a bunch of pop songs; the opening song is a choral arrangement for men, for example), the singers are FANTASTIC, and the script is sweet, heartwarming, and quite funny.
Disney is obviously trying to put forward some movies that are not simply love stories, and Frozen was far more successful than Brave (in my opinion). The heart of Frozen is the relationship between the two sisters Anna and Elsa; Elsa has convinced herself that she can’t be close to anyone because of her magic, not even her sister. Instead of trying to learn to control, she hides her powers, fearing them instead of using them. This comes back to bite her, and she loses control in front of her subjects on the night of her coronation. She then runs away and creates a giant ice palace. Anna goes after her to try to convince her to come back. She meets some friends on the way who help her on her quest.
Anna is a completely lovable protagonist. She’s silly, naïve, innocent, brave, and adorable. I really enjoyed journeying with her and the gruff Kristoff to find Elsa. Their relationship is predictable, but that doesn’t make it any less sweet.
The secondary characters in this movie are extremely fun. Olaf, the snowman, is hilarious in a very Kronk-like manner; practically everything he says is funny, and he is absolutely endearing, especially his song about summer. He was probably my favorite character, in a movie full of good characters. His jokes are witty rather than crass, and he is innocent and sweet. I adored him and his silly dialogue.
Sven the reindeer joins the ranks of Disney horses like Khan from Mulan, the Major from 101 Dalmatians, Philippe from Sleeping Beauty, and Maximus from Tangled. He sprints between sassy and supportive, all without uttering a word (he is a reindeer after all). He was another very entertaining addition to the cast of characters.
As I said earlier, the music was fantastic. This score lends itself much more to a Broadway type soundtrack, giving it a larger scope than, say, Tangled with it’s mostly pop soundtrack. And they had some Broadway vets heading up the cast, with Idina Menzel taking on Elsa with ease, Kristoff being performed by Jonathan Groff, and Hans being sung by Santino Fontana.
The biggest and perhaps most pleasant surprise was to find out that Kristen Bell both spoke AND sang for Anna. I left the theater wondering who sang for Anna, and after doing some research, I was shocked to discover that Kristen Bell did her own singing, and had actually gone to Tisch and been on Broadway. Not sure how I missed that, seeing as I am a musical theater major, but lets just say Bell’s voice is absolutely BEAUTIFUL in this movie, and I love that she got to share her little known talents (which are now not so little known!)
So Disney cast four leads who had been on Broadway. That’s the way to do it, Disney. Bravo.
A highly entertaining movie that will be finding it’s way into my collection as soon as it comes out on DVD. I feel confident saying that this might very well be the beginning of a revival of the excellence that Disney used to deliver in their animated musicals.
And if all of that wasn’t enough to convince you, check out this fantastic song, sung by Elsa (the incomparable Idina Menzel):