$7.99 - $29.99
2 Stores191 Reviews
Pros: Fine performances, songs, animation, as well as a great Mickey Mouse cartoon.
Cons: It has a predictablity factor.
A kingdom has an heir apparent with a unique ability that could adversely affect the kingdom and its subjects in the animated feature Frozen. The story is set in the kingdom or Arendelle and revolves around the relationship between the daughters of their king. Elsa (Eva Bella), the older princess, has an ability to turn anything she touches to ice. Her little sister, Anna (Livvy Stubenrauch), loves that talent her sister has, but usually has to beg Elsa to do this so that they can play together. Elsa knows what her parents does - this ability has an inherent danger. When Anna is badly injured, the king and queen rush Anna to Pabbie (Ciaran Hinds), a troll leader who is able to save Anna. Pabbie also tells the leaders that this injury might be fatal if Elsa ever let a blast of her ice hit Anna's heart. As a result, Elsa is confined to her room, with gloves to keep her hands concealed. Anna does not understand, as Pabbie erasesd her memory of the incident.
Years later, after the king and queen have died, the adult Elsa (Idina Menzel) is crowned queen on a warm summer day. It is the one day where she allows the castle opened to others. Among those who come are a young prince named Hans (Santino Fontana) and the Duke Of Westleton (Alan Tudyk), who have an interest in building a beneficial relationship with Arendelle. At the coronation dance, Hans impresses the now-grown Anna (Kristen Bell) so much, she wants to marry him when he quickly proposes. When they approach her sister for permission to wed, Queen Elsa refuses, in spite of Anna's protests. Elsa cites that Anna has just met Hans for the decision. When Anna continues to plead her case, she accidentally removes Elsa's glove, and her touch brings a sudden winter to Arendelle. Elsa flees the proceedings and heads to the mountains, with Anna in pursuit. Along the way, Anna pays for help from Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), an experienced mountain man and his trusted reindeer Sven. Elsa has now made an ice castle for herself in the mountains and created a couple of snow creatures, including Olaf (Josh Gad), a snowman who's friendly to Anna and her party. Again, Elsa strikes Anna with her powers, and this time hits her heart with a jolt. Kristoff, who also knows Pabbie, takes Anna there, and learns there's only one way to save her. Meanwhile, Hans, with a little help, does bring Elsa back to Arendelle.
Frozen, which is based on Hans Christian Andersen's story The Snow Queen, is an enjoyable musical comedy-drama from Disney which features handsome computer animation. It's a movie about a family's bonds remaining strong, in spite of the problems that Elsa knows she has. She has always had the power to freeze things, and knows her power only grows stronger as she grows older. She keeps to herself not only because of concerns about Anna, but because her actions have accidentally brought winter when the weather is supposed to be warm. Anna only comes to understand what Elsa can do at the coronation, but that power will not stop Anna from wanting a bond with Elsa or being a concerned sister. Anna also wants that her decisions meet with Elsa's approval. Elsa shows in her way that this bond exists, even if that means using a giant snow creature to chase away Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf from her refuge. Most events unfold in a predictale but engaging way as the sisters try to defend their actions. The truths that they discover help them as they try and solve their problems. The adaptation was nicely written by Jennifer Lee, who also shares the directorial duties with animation veteran Chris Buck. The songs from Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez complement the characters, and the score by Christophe Beck is also a delight.
Bell and Menzel are not only fine in their roles as royal sisters, but they possess fine singing voices as well. Menzel, who's done more stage work than screen work, does a marvelous job with the song "Let It Go," where she rushes form Arendelle to create a kingdom of her own choosing. Her touch may be cold, but Elsa has nothing but warmth and affection for Anna and her subjects, in spite of her control issues. Bell is the ever-optimistic Anna, who loves her sister enough to risk death for her. Groff and Fontana are good as men whose interests in royalty vary, while Gad is an engaging Olaf, who wonders what summer is like after all the talk of it from Anna and Kristoff. I also enjoyed Tudyk as the Duke, acting as though his title makes him more special than others. Before Frozen begins, viewers get a special treat in the short Get A Horse!, the first new Mickey Mouse cartoon Disney has unveiled since 1995. Mickey and cast are drawn in an old-fashioned style chosen by director Lauren MacMullan, and she even uses archival vocal tracks of Walt Disney himself as Mickey as he invites Minnie Mouse (archive vocals by Marcellite Garner; new vocals by Russi Taylor) for a hayride. Things go well until Peg Leg Pete (archive vocals by Billy Bletcher; new vocals by Will Ryan) grabs Minnie. Mickey and his other friends, who include Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow, go on a wild chase that might remind some animation fans of some of the works of creative minds such as Max Fleischer and Tex Avery. The short ends in a most satisfactory fashion, and was the highlight of this movie experience for me.
Frozen is another reason why the films of Disney are so endearing. The story appeals to both childrean and adults, the animation is exceptional, and viewers are eager to see how the sisters will overcome their obstacles. Frozen shows how Elsa and Anna look out for one another, even though they don't always appreciate the interference. They have problems in front of them, but they work together to make the best of their family ties and the unchanging season in their kingdom. They are a family who learns they are never really alone as long as they care for each other.
Originally published on Bubblews in December 2013, with changes made to the original piece.