Telling the story of Elsa, a princess turned Queen with unexplained magical snow powers, and her annoying younger sister Anna, the film also includes the standard Disney side characters of: Prince who appears to have good intentions but surprisingly doesn't, lower social class ruffian who initially responds apprehensively to the damsel in distress but soon grows to love her, animal pet who becomes irritated at arrival of non-human sidekick and non-human sidekick who joins established animal pet. With her parent's both dying tragically Elsa must become Queen and also control her magical snow powers, which are still not and never are explained. Unfortunately she loses control of these powers because her sheltered sister decides to marry the Prince and all hell breaks loose...
The plot is pretty standard for a Disney film of this sort, as it should be. It is a kid's film and it's designed for that market. Thus whilst there are no great surprises or twists it doesn't particularly matter. The meat of the film is with the characters, most importantly the two sisters. And surprisingly the acting is not too bad. I wouldn't go as far as to say I was emotionally invested in the character's or their personal outcomes-it was only the reindeer, as an innocent animal, who's welfare I cared for, but both Kristen Bell, who is not exactly one of my favourite actors, and Idina Menzel delivered decent performances, as did Josh Gad as Olaf despite the sickly sweet nature of the role.
Unfortunately what lets 'Frozen' down seems to be where it derives all of its hype from-the songs. In comparison to other Disney animations which have had a range of hits and genuinely touching pieces the 'Frozen' songs were nagging, boring and dull. 'Do you want to build a snowman', was not touching or heartwarming but repetitively irritating and infuriating. The apparent consensus that 'Frozen' has delivered some of the best Disney songs for years is a lie.
To give its dues in beating stereotypes and genre cliches the two 'disney princesses' at least appear independent and free spirited, the traditional role of the prince being relegated to something of a b-story. But that message seems to be wrecked at the end of the film as Anna inevitably gets together with Kristoff. At least Elsa remains a strong Queen ruling alone in a somewhat Elizabethean like way.
Regardless the endless hype for this film does not live up to its actual qualities. It is a good kid's film as far as they go but there are far better on offer both from Disney and from others.
Now, to be honest, I wasn't really interested in seeing this movie at first. I blame the marketing department. I only really ended up kinda wanting to see it because the trailer depicted the reindeer butt-scooting on a frozen lake, which greatly amused me. Turns out that scene wasn't in the movie at all, so when I did see the film, I was disappointed, and actually almost kinda didn't like this one.
My girlfriend at the time had seen it, loved it, and thought that I too had kinda wanted to see it, so she went with me, and she ended up being surprised that I actually kinda didn't want to see it, and that I also kinda didn't like it.
Since then, she and I have amicably broken up, and my feelings on the movie have warmed up some.
Yeah, this is the first of many long overdue reviews from stuff I've seen since just before Thanksgiving until now.
Anyways, Frozen is a very loose adaptation of a Hans Christian Anderson story about two princess sisters, and their tumultuous relationship. I say tumultuous since one of them gained magical powers to control ice and snow, which causes her to isolate herself from the world, leaving her little sister to basically fend for herself following the death of their parents.
When the two grow up, and Elsa (the magical one) inadvertently reveals her powers publically, thus causing all kinds of problems, it's up to little sister Anna to make things right, as well as grow up and get married, and all that kind of stuff.
This is both groundbreaking and run-of-the-mill for Disney in a few ways. It's one of their more progressive and somewhat subversive films, in that, while it does follow the typical princess film formula, it also tweaks it to keep it from being completely "just more of the same".
It's still a cutesy family friendly musical, but it also deals with feminism, sisterly relationships, and only sorta has the typical prince charming stuff. Even when that's there it doesn't completely follow formula.
I wasn't initially into the musical style, as it's very Broadwayesque, but as I said, it's grown on me. I guess at the time I saw it I kinda hated this because I was going through some personal stuff, thus my opinions of things were rather muddied. I like the music now, but I maintain that, while the film does have a great visual style and some great art direction, the character designs are kinda weird, and don't really work for me. The characters look kinda odd, and it's distracting.
Other than that though, this is, as you'd expect, very well done and charming stuff. The annoying comic relief isn't as annoying as I feared, the chemistry between the sisters is good, and, yeah, the fact that Disney tweaks the formula and expectations is both great and quite welcome.
Even though this one has grown on me, I still think it's overrated. I liked it, but no, I don't think it's a masterpiece or the beginning of the Disney Renaissance Pat 2, though I do like how the film is a fun call back to the past. Should you see it? Of course. Sure. Why not?
P.S. Sorry for my rambling and probable incoherence. As I said, I'm out of practice writing for the site, but I hope to change all that and get all caught up.
Very Good Disney Movie! The story is heart melting, filled with the pure feeling and heart that has become a staple with the best Disney movies. It is a moving story that has family at its center. It is unpretentious in what it is trying to portray. The comedy hits right on the mark and the action packed adventure and thrilling journey make this a tale with a little bit of everything in the exact right amounts. A true triumph in story telling that proves exactly what Disney does best and again proving that they are back to producing top quality films. This is an affecting human story, one that is significant. The score and music is perfect. The score is grand. The sound, the texture, the harmony, the melody is in a class of its own. A true fairy tale that i would say could very well be The Little Mermaid or The Beauty and The Beast of this generation.
Anna, a fearless optimist, sets off on an epic journey - teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven - to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. From the outside Anna's sister, Elsa looks poised, regal and reserved, but in reality, she lives in fear as she wrestles with a mighty secret-she was born with the power to create ice and snow. It's a beautiful ability, but also extremely dangerous. Haunted by the moment her magic nearly killed her younger sister Anna, Elsa has isolated herself, spending every waking minute trying to suppress her growing powers. Her mounting emotions trigger the magic, accidentally setting off an eternal winter that she can't stop. She fears she's becoming a monster and that no one, not even her sister, can help her.
It is as though Disney listened to all the complaints I and others like me have been leveling against it since its inception. Gender equality and powerless female characters abound in Disney's oeuvre, but Frozen marks a departure from their normal cliches, and the result is an inoffensive and entertaining film. Disney still has a way to go in racial equality, and it may be said that Elsa is unduly sexualized (though one cannot raise invectives at every animated character's hip sashay), but this film is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.
I found the Snowman's appearance unnecessary and distracting from the plot, but everything else -- the relationship of Anna and Elsa, Anna's attempt at a storybook love affair, Anna's adventures with the dashing Hans -- is compelling and fun. If not for the clout of U2's song, I'd say "Let It Go" is a lock for Best Song, and the film is the clear front-runner for Best Animated Feature.
Overall, I went into the theater looking to hate this film, but I could find very little reason to.
One of Disney's best entries since Pixar started to dominate the animated landscape, "Frozen" is gorgeously animated escapism and top shelf eye candy, grounded by two very different, very likable protagonists in sisters Anna and Elsa (Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel respectively) and an eclectic group of memorable supporting characters. The film playfully derides the conventions that Disney usually roots these stories in, and finds clever ways to avoid them entirely, surpassing our expectations.
A terrific score and some of Disney's best songs in decades only raise the bar for what we should expect from Disney here on out... in a beautiful animated musical that just about everyone should enjoy.
If you'll excuse me, I'm about to memorize the songs so I can sing them nonstop around my coworker tomorrow.