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Review: Frozen

Frozen
11.25.2013by:
9 10

PLOT: After the young Queen of Arendelle is announced, a deep dark secret she has been hiding all her life is accidentally revealed. Fearful that she may hurt others and that she may be persecuted and punished, she flees from her kingdom in order to disappear from all those surrounding her. Unbeknownst to her, through her magic she lets ice and snow fall mercilessly covering the land. With many calling for the Queen to be destroyed, her sister finds herself on a quest to convince the “Snow Queen” to reverse the effects of her magic spell and bring back summer once again.

REVIEW: In an age of remakes and sequels, it is a refreshing change of pace to see modern filmmakers reinterpret a classic tale and do it well. This is especially true when they offer a fresh and compelling spin that is relevant without taking away the charm of the original text. Very loosely based on the fairy tale “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen, Walt Disney Animation has created one of the most exciting and stunningly beautiful films of the year. The themes of true love and the search for acceptance and understanding are brilliantly displayed within this story of two very different Disney princesses.

The story begins with a heartfelt and dare I say tear-inducing opening as we are introduced to the young Princess Anna and Princess Elsa of Arendelle. The older sibling Elsa has a gift, the power to create ice and snow, for which the younger Anna idolizes her for. After a near fatal accident, Elsa is forced to conceal her unique ability from the world around her for fear they would see her as a monster. The more she hides her gift the farther the two sisters drift apart. There is something truly painful watching this once playful and trusting relationship shatter. When Anna is left with no memory of Elsa’s ability to create the beauty she had witnessed, the two grow apart and hardly speak a word in the isolated castle they grow up separated in.

One of the many assets of FROZEN is creating the character of “The Snow Queen” as more than a simple villain. Adult Anna – beautifully voiced by Broadway star Idina Menzel – is a wonderfully rich character who is made queen under tragic circumstances. When the powers she had been told to keep hidden abruptly appear during her coronation, it is a spectacular moment that is visually stunning as well as emotionally potent. Forced to flee into the darkness, she turns her kingdom into a dark and cold winter with her subjects labeling her as a sorceress. The beauty of Elsa is she is never portrayed as something mythical – unlike the previous adaptations. Elsa is a just a girl who is made to feel as though she is unnatural and wrong. One shining moment is her gorgeous musical number “Let it Go” where she finally accepts her powers and presumably her fate.

Kristen Bell takes on the role of younger sibling Anna, and unlike her sister she dreams of expanding her lonely world after feeling abandoned by her own family. Optimistic and full of hope, she is warm and energetic yet still longs for the company of her sister. With no memory of Elsa’s power, only of the wonderful times they had together, she grows accustomed to being alone. Bell brings grace and passion to the part. When it comes to her singing, she injects vitality and charm into it especially with her hopeful yearnings in "For the First Time in Forever" or while making a plea to her sister in the heartfelt “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” she shines brightly. Sadly, in the latter she is saying farewell to her youth as well as her one and only best friend. Both actresses bring their characters to life giving these two vastly different girls equal parts vulnerability and strength to face a brave new world.

Their story is all the more involving simply because we are invested in both of the sisters adventures. Even when it comes to the two leading men - Jonathan Groff as Kristoff and Santino Fontana as Hans – there is a bubbling sense of excitement. One minor complaint I do have is adding a talented singer like Groff and not utilizing him nearly as well as they could have. Kristoff is another lonely soul who sees little value in dealing with people, which makes sense given his only musical moment is the silly yet superfluous “Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People.” Thankfully he shares real chemistry with Bell and makes for an exciting hero of sorts – even if these ladies don’t particularly need anybody to save them. Hans is a far more typical Disney Prince Charming with one hell of a great voice. He completes an unexpectedly complex triangle between Kristoff and Anna.

Co-writers and directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee manage to do something truly magical within the confines of FROZEN. This is a gorgeous film with a better than average use of 3D technology – especially impressive is the short presented before the film, the classic Mickey Mouse cartoon “Get a Horse” which merges modern technology with miraculous results. This short alone makes it worth seeing in 3D. Thankfully, both are terrific, this modern fairy tale features characters who are impressively rich, even the comic relief of a non-speaking reindeer and Olaf (Josh Gad) the snowman magically brought to life by Elsa work better than expected. As well the use of Broadway actors help make up for what is one of the most impressive soundtracks of the year with songs written and composed by husband-and-wife team Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Equally notable is the score by Christophe Beck which encompasses the original songs perfectly.

As far as fairy tales and happy endings go there are twists and turns abound in this Disney creation. While it is just shy of being perfect, there is much to admire in this wonderful mix of modern and classic storytelling. I would have liked to have heard more from both Groff and Fontana musically, who are sadly underutilized. As well, Josh Gad’s sunshine obsessing snowman is a tad overly enthusiastic – which is short to say he can be annoying at times. Even still, this is an extravagant yet profound story for the entire family. FROZEN is one of the finest Disney offerings over the past couple of decades. Given time it may find itself likened among the ranks of classics like BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and THE LION KING.

Source: JoBlo.com

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7:14PM on 03/23/2014

One of Disney's weakest

Thank god for Pixar, cause I seriously miss the old school Disney stories. You know, the ones with the darker side to a story, the ones with an actually antagonist, and the ones that don't rip off Arrested Development. Frozen has no real antagonist, and when an antagonist character finally emerges it's a letdown. Frozen may look pretty, but it's story is thinner than thin ice. And a script that at one point ripped off Arrested Development! "It's like we finish each other's....sandwiches".
I
Thank god for Pixar, cause I seriously miss the old school Disney stories. You know, the ones with the darker side to a story, the ones with an actually antagonist, and the ones that don't rip off Arrested Development. Frozen has no real antagonist, and when an antagonist character finally emerges it's a letdown. Frozen may look pretty, but it's story is thinner than thin ice. And a script that at one point ripped off Arrested Development! "It's like we finish each other's....sandwiches".
I enjoyed the sister side of the story, but that's pretty much it. This film is no where near as good as Beauty and The Beast. Kids will love Frozen, but adults have been casted out by Disney.
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8:12PM on 12/07/2013
9/10 for me too! I could never stand Idina Menzel's voice, but Let It Go will surely win best original song. Josh Gad stole it...maybe the best Disney sidekick since the Genie.
9/10 for me too! I could never stand Idina Menzel's voice, but Let It Go will surely win best original song. Josh Gad stole it...maybe the best Disney sidekick since the Genie.
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12:51PM on 12/01/2013

Personally I think Disney's been out Pixaring Pixar the last 2 years.

This one's great, not Tangled or Wreck-it-Ralph great. My only problem was that it was totally a Broadway musical. And with everyone involved in the making of it, it's not surprising. But seriously, way too many songs. That's my only real problem. I wish the stone trolls were more prevalent, same as the Snow monster. But I'll live. Solid 8.
This one's great, not Tangled or Wreck-it-Ralph great. My only problem was that it was totally a Broadway musical. And with everyone involved in the making of it, it's not surprising. But seriously, way too many songs. That's my only real problem. I wish the stone trolls were more prevalent, same as the Snow monster. But I'll live. Solid 8.
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3:30PM on 11/25/2013
I was already intrigued, as I haven't seen much of anything in the previews. This makes me look forward to it even more . . .
I was already intrigued, as I haven't seen much of anything in the previews. This makes me look forward to it even more . . .
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11:56AM on 11/25/2013

LMAO

no thank you. it's insulting that you would put it up there with The Lion King. The Lion King is the greatest animated movie of all time. Frozen is a cash-grab for the millennial disney princess crowd...and forgive me but i don't buy into their little marketing ploys. that being said, whatever tickles yer pickle! the only real travesty here is that we don't have any actually great animated films to go see this winter. When does The Wind Rises come out in the states? That would be a nice
no thank you. it's insulting that you would put it up there with The Lion King. The Lion King is the greatest animated movie of all time. Frozen is a cash-grab for the millennial disney princess crowd...and forgive me but i don't buy into their little marketing ploys. that being said, whatever tickles yer pickle! the only real travesty here is that we don't have any actually great animated films to go see this winter. When does The Wind Rises come out in the states? That would be a nice reprieve from this Disney bullshit. But oh wait! Disney has distribution rights to Miyazaki films too! And on the topic of the whether the Snow Queen is evil....I don't want some likable blurred lines Snow Queen....I want pure evil, a dark twisted fairy tale. and why couldn't they just call it The Snow Queen? Oh that's right...we're in the adjective age. Tangled, Brave, Frozen, what's next? I'm gonna go with 'Faded'....as in that Disney magic of old that has faded to corporate fuzzy-headed greed. Ya'll go see the movie, be my guest, be my guest, be my guest!
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3:28PM on 11/25/2013
Man I hope there isn't one person like you in the theater when we take the kids to see this.
Man I hope there isn't one person like you in the theater when we take the kids to see this.
11:47PM on 11/27/2013
The only thing insulting is your whiney little rant about 'sell out' Disney and their cash grab. And you act like you not going to see it will have some big impact. Thank god you're in the minority. Would suck to see most people share your view of this gem of a movie in an age when we don't get animation like this anymore.
The only thing insulting is your whiney little rant about 'sell out' Disney and their cash grab. And you act like you not going to see it will have some big impact. Thank god you're in the minority. Would suck to see most people share your view of this gem of a movie in an age when we don't get animation like this anymore.
11:47PM on 11/27/2013
The only thing insulting is your whiney little rant about 'sell out' Disney and their cash grab. And you act like you not going to see it will have some big impact. Thank god you're in the minority. Would suck to see most people share your view of this gem of a movie in an age when we don't get animation like this anymore.
The only thing insulting is your whiney little rant about 'sell out' Disney and their cash grab. And you act like you not going to see it will have some big impact. Thank god you're in the minority. Would suck to see most people share your view of this gem of a movie in an age when we don't get animation like this anymore.
11:47PM on 11/27/2013
The only thing insulting is your whiney little rant about 'sell out' Disney and their cash grab. And you act like you not going to see it will have some big impact. Thank god you're in the minority. Would suck to see most people share your view of this gem of a movie in an age when we don't get animation like this anymore.
The only thing insulting is your whiney little rant about 'sell out' Disney and their cash grab. And you act like you not going to see it will have some big impact. Thank god you're in the minority. Would suck to see most people share your view of this gem of a movie in an age when we don't get animation like this anymore.
11:47PM on 11/27/2013
The only thing insulting is your whiney little rant about 'sell out' Disney and their cash grab. And you act like you not going to see it will have some big impact. Thank god you're in the minority. Would suck to see most people share your view of this gem of a movie in an age when we don't get animation like this anymore.
The only thing insulting is your whiney little rant about 'sell out' Disney and their cash grab. And you act like you not going to see it will have some big impact. Thank god you're in the minority. Would suck to see most people share your view of this gem of a movie in an age when we don't get animation like this anymore.
9:58AM on 11/25/2013

9/10 ?

It was more a 8 for me, mostly because of the number of songs in the first half of the film (especially compared to the later half of it), all of them not being that great. I personally found the minion... Oups, sorry, I meant Olaf, rather amusing. The 3D is, indeed gorgeous (the construction of the ice castle is a real demo reel FOR the 3D). So, this is a great Christmas film, but still not sure I'd give it a 9/10, though.
It was more a 8 for me, mostly because of the number of songs in the first half of the film (especially compared to the later half of it), all of them not being that great. I personally found the minion... Oups, sorry, I meant Olaf, rather amusing. The 3D is, indeed gorgeous (the construction of the ice castle is a real demo reel FOR the 3D). So, this is a great Christmas film, but still not sure I'd give it a 9/10, though.
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8:26AM on 11/25/2013
9/10? Wow, I really have to check this one out.
9/10? Wow, I really have to check this one out.
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8:25AM on 11/25/2013
I had no interest in this movie. Tangled was pretty good, but where everyone loved Wreck-it Ralph, I thought was very boring and a huge waste of a good concept, so I had pretty much written off Disney's CGI movies. But I'm not gonna lie--this review has made me very intrigued by Frozen. Maybe I'll check it out after all.
I had no interest in this movie. Tangled was pretty good, but where everyone loved Wreck-it Ralph, I thought was very boring and a huge waste of a good concept, so I had pretty much written off Disney's CGI movies. But I'm not gonna lie--this review has made me very intrigued by Frozen. Maybe I'll check it out after all.
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8:23AM on 11/25/2013
Very surprised. Great review. I didn't focus my attention to this film, until now. It looks pretty good. Plus, the real reasons. Rhine seeing these movies are the shorts in front of them.
Very surprised. Great review. I didn't focus my attention to this film, until now. It looks pretty good. Plus, the real reasons. Rhine seeing these movies are the shorts in front of them.
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8:25AM on 11/25/2013
Typo correction: Real reason behind seeing these...
Typo correction: Real reason behind seeing these...
3:18AM on 11/25/2013
Okay, so this movie surprised me and I loved it a whole lot more than I expected to. The trailers made it seem really conventional and while it does stick to the old school Disney formula, it does a great job at it. It is reminiscent of Tangled but in some ways seems even more classic Disney animation. I really liked the music; Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez did great work. Robert Lopez is known for not-quite child friendly musicals like Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon, so it was fun hearing
Okay, so this movie surprised me and I loved it a whole lot more than I expected to. The trailers made it seem really conventional and while it does stick to the old school Disney formula, it does a great job at it. It is reminiscent of Tangled but in some ways seems even more classic Disney animation. I really liked the music; Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez did great work. Robert Lopez is known for not-quite child friendly musicals like Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon, so it was fun hearing an animated musical from him. Kristen Bell was perfectly-cast as the adorkable (but not to a fault) Anna and Idina Menzel got many opportunities to homage her role as Elphaba on Wicked. Josh Gad also managed to not be annoying as the comic relief. I totally expected to hate Olaf but ended up loving the silly guy. "In Summer" had me rolling in the aisles.
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2:59AM on 11/25/2013
9/10? That's a alot of big praise right there. Hopefully it holds true when I go see it.
9/10? That's a alot of big praise right there. Hopefully it holds true when I go see it.
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2:10AM on 11/25/2013
I expect this to be 7/10 but I'm intrigued by your review and 9/10 score.
I expect this to be 7/10 but I'm intrigued by your review and 9/10 score.
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