Disney's Frozen review

By Max Maier | Jan 20, 2014

Every now and again, Disney puts out a movie that just captivates you. You watch it, and you wonder "This is Disney, this is pure magic". Well, add Frozen to that list. Yes, I feel that Frozen is right up there with classics like The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, The Nightmare Before Christmas and so on. It blends great characters, enjoyable music and a story unlike anything I've seen in a long time.

The story begins with our 2 main characters, Anna and Elsa, as 2 little princesses. We learn that Elsa has ice powers, but does not have full control over them. One day, when Elsa and Anna are playing, Elsa accidentally hurts Anna severely, and their parents have to heal her. They take her to a forest of magical trolls, who heal Anna, but at the cost of the memories and knowledge of Elsa having ice powers. After she is fixed, the parents tell Elsa she has to learn to control her powers, and no one can be hurt anymore. So, Elsa and Anna grow up separated, because Elsa lives in seclusion. Even the castle is blocked off from the commonfolk of their town. Several more years later, Elsa has inherited the throne. The kingdom will be open for 1 day, for Elsa's coronation. Anna is excited because she will finally get to talk and mingle with many different people. She meets a young prince named Hans, where they fall in love and get married (in 1 day, I know...). After Elsa is sworn in as Queen, Anna and Hans ask Elsa for her blessing. Elsa is afraid of letting anyone into her life and rejects them. Anna gets really upset at Elsa's acts of rejection and accidentally forces Elsa's magical hand. Her magic powers are exposed and she runs away from the kingdom in an upset manner. In her escape, she looses control of her powers, and her entire kingdom is blanketed in snow and ice. Anna takes it upon herself to find Elsa and convince her to fix everything, and asks Hans to keep an eye on the kingdom. Along the way, Anna meets Kristoff, a young ice dealer (yes it is poked fun at), and his pet reindeer, Sven. They also meet a friendly snowman, Olaf, who was created by Elsa. The 4 of them must get to Elsa and save everyone, including Elsa.

First off, the story is very unique. Disney has been putting out a few movies lately with very unique stories in the past several years, like Tangled and Wreck-it Ralph. So I'm very glad to see Frozen follow this trend. The story has many plot twists and turns, and honestly, I wasn't sure how we were going to get to the conclusion. Now, because it is Disney, you knew most of the ending coming, but the path to get there was very unclear. Like I said, there were several pretty good twists along the way, and it caught me by surprise. Sure, there are several elements that are tried and true from the Disney library of plot threads, but they are the good ones, so it can't really be faulted for that. There are also a lot of funny moments, and not just the kiddie moments, but the humor can be appreciated by all age groups. They even poke fun at the fact that Anna fell in love with Hans in 1 day, several times. The story was very unique and surprising, stronger than a lot of big budget adult films that came out in 2013, showing that kid-aimed animated films can compete with the big names out in the cinema world.

The animation in Frozen is absolutely gorgeous. In my review of The Croods, I mentioned the atmosphere it created. In Frozen, this winter wonderland is absolutely breathtaking to look at. The ice effects from Elsa's powers are just beautiful and are some the best animation work I've ever seen Disney put out. The scene where Elsa "let's it out" and creates her ice castle is the animated highlight, the scene is just beautiful and accompanied by a great song (more on that later). All of the animation is great though, the characters are all lively and fun and colorful. And that is saying something for a film that mainly has a white and blue color palette.

The cast is also a delight to watch. Anna and Elsa are great main characters, and you understand both of their viewpoints. Anna seeks adventure and people after being locked up almost all of her life, and Elsa is afraid to be around people and leave the castle after almost killing her sister. Both characters are strongly emotional and you can really feel the struggle between them and the problems they are overcoming. Their love for each other is really great and they are just wonderful characters. They are both flawed human beings, but that makes them even more relatable than previous Disney princesses. They both grow as people, and together as sisters, and it is one of the best "relationships" I've ever seen Disney put out.
The supporting cast is great as well. Kristoff is the fun, misunderstood teddy bear of a man, but you really do like him. Sven is the movie's quirky animal company. It's nothing new, but a fun character. Olaf is hysterical though. He is so adorable and blissful in all that he does, it's tough not to like him. He is so positive and fun, he could sell the movie by himself.

Also, the music in this movie is an absolute delight as well. Leaving the theatre, I heard several kids singing the songs, and I can't blame them. There are several catchy tunes, but some serious songs as well. Rarely does an animated movie's soundtrack stick with you, but Frozen's will. It is just great.

Overall, I am very delighted to have seen Frozen. If you still have the stance that animated movies cannot be quality movies, I challenge you to watch Frozen. It is one of those animated movies, like Kung Fu Panda or Aladdin that prove that animated movies can be just as good, or even better, as adult live action movies. Frozen is one of those movies that really made me feel that Disney magic I felt viewing Lion King as a kid. It was such an enjoyable movie and a lot of fun. Sure, it rehashes a few movie elements from Disney's past, but it creates so many new things and fresh characters that they shrink beneath its brilliance. Frozen is a real treat of a film, and is one of 2013's best movies, right up there with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and others. If you haven't seen Frozen yet and missed it in theatres, be sure to rent it when it comes out on dvd, you will not regret it.|

I give Frozen an ice-solid 4.5 out 5

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