Frozen review

Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Kristen Bell
Idina Menzel
Jonathan Groff
Josh Gad
Santino Fontana
Rated: PG

Disney’s has made another classic in “Frozen.”

The movie is built on two intertwined character arcs, with the story following the sisters Anna (Bell) and Elsa (Menzel). The plot begins by showing that Elsa has the power to create and manipulate ice. Because of the lack of control over her abilities, her parents decide it’s best for her to hide them from the world, including her sister. After the death of their parents, the movie moves forward to the day of Elsa’s coronation as queen.

Everything seems alright at the coronation for a while, that is until Anna, being the more free spirit that she is, makes a bold announcement that doesn’t sit too well with Elsa. The whole ordeal causes Elsa to reveal her power and flee the kingdom. In the process of running away she freezes the entire land in the middle of summer. To end the cold spell, Anna decides to confront her sister and get her to end the winter that now exists. Along the way she is joined by an ice seller named Kristoff (Groff) and his reindeer as well as a living snowman named Olaf (Gad).

“Frozen” is strong right from the start, with an introduction to the characters that’s endearing and heartfelt. It hits an even higher tier, though, when the characters begin their quest and the movie turns into an epic adventure that rivals any Disney classic from years past.

That’s not to say the movie’s story 100 percent flawless. For example, there are a couple predictable moments, and a villain plot that feels just a tad rushed. However, these complaints are minor since the overall picture is so powerful.

What really benefits “Frozen” is the dynamic of the sisters Anna and Elsa. The film gives good character development to both of the sisters and really explores the aspect of family.

There’s a powerful relatability in the sibling relationship portrayed and it’s really the heart of the whole production. The movie is an exciting picture with a good share of entertaining moments, but it also is very meaningful, with the character interactions lending a lot of depth.

The characters are written very well here and have good voice acting to back them up. Elsa, for example, is so well portrayed. The film shows her plight as she struggles to hide and control her powers to preserve her monarch status, but it also showcases how she feels when she’s free and doesn’t have to hide her power. Menzel was a great choice, too, as she really shows off her years of experience on Broadway during the musical moments.

Likewise, Anna is equally good. She isn’t shy, doesn’t hide her feelings and is a bit quirky, and Bell captures all of those aspects very well. She really makes for a likable, fun protagonist.

The character coming along for the ride, Kristoff, was also fun. He is written as a sort of everyman which makes him feel relatable and more real. A lot of his banter with Anna is also well done, being very humorous and showing chemistry between the two characters.

A character who really steals the show, though, is Olaf. Played by Josh Gad, Olaf serves as the movie’s comic relief character and he is really hilarious. Olaf is a bumbling, naive character, however, he never feels like an annoyance like comic relief characters can be in other animated features. What really makes Olaf’s character important, though, is that he’s also written to be a metaphorical representation of Anna and Elsa’s sibling relation ship when they were children.

An absolute highlight of the film is the music, having probably the most memorable soundtrack to a Disney animated film since “Beauty and the Beast.” It’s a damn fine line up of songs and the film is also benefited from each musical segment being very well crafted. The song “Let it Go” for example, sung by Elsa, will most likely be nominated and could win the Academy Award for best song. It sounds great and looked gorgeous.

The animation is also very beautiful. One part in particular where Elsa builds her own castle out of complete ice is stunning and stylized. So many scenes have a vibrancy and life to them, thanks to how the characters themselves or simply the location settings were animated

Any flaw with “Frozen” feel simply like small nitpicks. Overall, the movie works on every level. The characters are interesting and the voice acting really captures their emotions. The humor provides a lot of laughs, the music sounds amazing and plus it’s just plain great to look at.

“The Princess and the Frog,” “Tangled” and “Wreck-It-Ralph” were all good. This movie is great, it’s the best Disney film in years. 5 out of 5.


Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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