“I use Grammarly for online proofreading because without a chocolate and a coffee, my writing might be a tad naughty.”
- Title: Frozen
- Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
- Stars: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad
- Release date: November 27, 2013
- Based on: The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
In a cup of popcorn (The Movie Buff’s version of a nutshell)
You can never go wrong with a Disney animated movie and this is set to become a classic! A wintery tale that is sure to melt your heart.
It’s been quite awhile since I last watched a Disney animated movie. I believe the last one was Tangled a few years back This time around Disney has combined not one, but two princesses in a wintery theme. Elsa, voiced by Idina Menzel, was born with the gift of winter, (or rather to create snow and ice) often used her powers for playtime with her younger sister Anna (Kristen Bell). As the years went by Elsa struggled with her increasing powers, which almost consumed her. In an act of fear of hurting the ones she loved, she ran away to create a new life for herself, away from everybody else. But unbeknownst to her, she’d left the country worst for wear and only she had the power to undo the curse she had inflicted upon her lands. It’s now up to Anna to bring her sister back to save their country and to unite their small family.
You can almost always predict the endings when it comes to Disney movies. They always stick to the tried-and-true method of ‘simple is best’, ‘happily ever after’, and ‘love will prevail’. But it’s also always the journey, and not the destination with such movies. And this is where Disney works best. FROZEN is a true example of this, entwining the importance of friendship with acts of love, bravery, and adventure in a quest to find your true selves.
As with most Disney movies, there are songs aplenty. This one has more than usual it seems, to the point my partner-in-crime (PIC) said it was similar to a musical. How true! A lot of people underestimate the need for music, but some of the offerings in this movie do not disappoint at all. I’ll admit I didn’t warm up (pun not intended) to a couple of songs, finding them somehow slightly tribal? You’ll understand what I mean when you watch the movie. Those were rather odd I felt, but the good ones are REALLY GOOD!
Look out for songs such as Let It Go, sung by the Great and Powerful Idina Menzel! Kristen Bell (she can sing?) was truly lovely in Do You Want to Build a Snowman as well as a duet with Idina on For the First Time in Forever, a magical song indeed. For someone who generally doesn’t sing much (as far as I can remember), Kristen did a splendid job on her tunes, adding spunk and emotion to the already note-worthy lyrics. Do listen out for another song, simply titled In Summer, sung by (who’d have thought it!) a snowman! Or in this case, Josh Gad (so sorry I didn’t know about you before dude, but you were AWESOME!) Summer + snow-anythings = trouble. I’m sure you’re rubbing your eyes, thinking you just read that last line wrongly. Nope, you did not. I’m willing to bet that children will have a blast listening to this song and will feel like singing along. Psst…Walt Disney already has a sing-along version of the song on Youtube! Check it out here!
When it came to the voice acting, I was rather surprised by several cast members. Kristen was a great choice as the youthful, fun-loving, freedom-searching Anna. Idina was the major surprise to me though. I’m so used to watching her on GLEE and as the amazing Elphaba in the Wicked musical, but she somehow sounded quite matronly in this role. I guess she had to sound that way for the role she had to undertake, but I thought her character was too young to sound that way. It might be that I am slightly biased, expecting the perfection usually delivers with her other roles. Her matured voice can even be heard during her songs. Josh Gad was OMGosh amazing as the summer-obsessed Olaf, yup, the snowman! He gave Olaf such character and pizzazz I won’t be surprised if Disney gives Olaf his own little spin-off TV series. He was THAT GOOD! Kristoff was another shocker to me. Granted I am not very familiar with Jonathan Groff, yet another popular GLEE guest star, but he was pretty suitable for the role I must say. And of course, he can sing, as was already proven during his stint on GLEE so no shocker there. Too bad Sven the reindeer didn’t have his own voice actor, but Jonathan again lent a rather adorable few lines to him. As for Hans, voiced by Santino Fontana, he was alright. As a side character, he didn’t get too many lines anyway. And no, I am not giving away spoilers.
There’s not much to say about the graphics and animation except that they were flawless in this case. Disney did a great job creating all those individual snowflakes that added such a lovely atmosphere to the piece. Also look out for the really cool expressions. Olaf has the best ones. I just had to point that out. Really, he does.
Now, I have not read The Snow Queen, the book by the wonderful Hans Christian Andersen, that this movie was based on, so I can’t tell you how much inspiration was drawn from the actual book itself. Yes, yes, shame on me for not having read a classic like this one. I know. I know. But based on the summary of the book, it seems like the producers just plucked a little here and there.
I have as of now, seen FROZEN exactly twice. The first time being just after Christmas, and the second time, just yesterday. It’s all still fresh in my mind like the best of snow. I can’t stop listening to the songs over and over again, such splendid lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez, I’m listening to them as I type this review. This is a perfect family movie that the kids will love and parents will adore. And I think that this movie will be on playback in my house every Christmas from this year forward.
So if you haven’t seen it, seriously, GET TO IT!
Disclosure: I was not compensated financially or otherwise for this review. Everything mentioned are my own thoughts based on my experience.