Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
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” starts a bit slow but it doesn’t take too long for things to really pick up. When everything gets going, the movie turns into an epic adventure that rivals any Disney classic from years past. The movie’s story itself isn’t without flaws. There are a couple predictable moments and a villain who feels a bit rushed, however, these complaints are minor since the film still is so powerful.
Most Disney animated films in this type of formula just focus on the building of a romantic relationship. What helps “Frozen” become more than that is adding in 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. All together it make for an exciting, fast paced adventure that meaningfully pulls at the heartstrings.
The characters are written very well here and have good voice acting to back them up. For example, Elsa, the snow queen herself, is really well portrayed. The film shows her plight and struggles with the lack of control over her power. She is played by Idina Menzel, who really shows off her years of experience on Broadway during the musical moments.
Likewise, the sister Anna is equally good. Anna 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. Plus, the relationship between sisters feels believable and real. The emotion is on full display.
The character that joins 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. The humor provided is legitimately funny.
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.” Not every single song is perfect, but most of them are really damn good. The song “Let it Go” for example, sung by Elsa, will most likely be nominated and could win the Academy Award for best song.
The animation is also very beautiful. One part in particular where Elsa builds her own castle out of complete ice is stunning and stylized. The winter setting of the movie works well too, showing off very vibrant colors that capture one’s attention.
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. “Frozen” is a 5 out of 5.