Disney’s ‘Frozen’ Leaves You Feeling Anything But Cold

By: Kasey Kelly

As possibly the biggest Disney fan in New Jersey, I admit I went into Frozen expecting to love it. I’ve been following the movie’s progression since it was first announced back in 2011, and once I saw the Broadway star-studded cast I knew it was not to be missed.

What I never could have expected was to be sitting in the movie theatre on Thanksgiving in absolute awe of the magic Disney has managed yet again. Nor did I think that the movie could be so entrancing that I would return 2 days later to see it again, only to laugh and cry even more than I had the first time. ‘Frozen’ has easily won its’ place as a new all-time favorite Disney film; I do not love this movie, I am IN love with it.

‘Frozen’ is inspired (very loosely) by the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale “The Snow Queen”. The story follows two sisters; Elsa and Anna. Elsa (Idina Menzel) has a secret power: She can fill a room with snow and ice with a few shakes of her hand. Only she hasn’t mastered her ability, and one day she accidentally injures Anna (Kristen Bell) with a shot of ice to the head. After that, Elsa mostly hides in her room for fear of hurting people, and the girls become estranged over the years. But on Elsa’s coronation day, the new queen becomes frightened — one of her triggers for spontaneous ice creation — and she accidentally sends Arendelle into an eternal winter. Elsa flees to the mountains, and the majority of the movie is spent with Anna, as she sets out to find the queen, bring her home and get her to end the winter. Along for the ride are the Ice man Kristoff (Johnaten Groff) and his pet reindeer, Sven, plus one of Elsa’s creations, a hilarious talking snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad).

Where Disney’s “Tangled” (another wonderful Disney film) had tried to be a sassy fairy tale update, “Frozen” is the real thing. There’s a childlike delight to it from the first scene, as well as a beautiful message that we all need in our lives despite age.

The movie makes it pretty obvious that we can all expect a ‘Frozen: The Broadway Musical’ sooner rather than later with the Broadway-star studded cast and the songwriting styles of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (famous for their work on “The Book of Mormon” and “Avenue Q”). The songs are some of Disney’s strongest, from the poignant “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”, the charming and unexpectedly deep “Fixer Upper”, or the funny “Summertime,” the songs are some of Disney’s most entertaining and moving show-stoppers. Though nothing compares to the power balled “Let it Go” the song writing pair wrote for Idina Menzel specifically. You will have chills from the first note, and it will take you the rest of the movie to get your breath back and to slow your heart rate. The song (and the animation that goes with it) makes it one of Disney’s greatest movie scenes of all time; it’s truly unbelievable.
Directors Jennifer Lee (The studio’s first female director and the screenplay writer) and Chris Buck know when to veer from tradition. “Frozen” may be another Disney princess movie, but the fate of the world isn’t resting on whether or not the princess gets a kiss. The story is more interested in Anna’s love for her sister and her attempts to bring her back home. Resourceful, awkward, courageous, and wonderfully real, Anna’s a refreshing take on the Disney princess formula. She’s funny and independent, yet also yearns for love and adventure. Kristen Bell has you in love with Anna every moment of the film, bringing a great deal of charisma and wit to the role, and creates a memorable addition to the princess franchise.

Everything the studio did so well in its’ “renaissance period” present again in “Frozen,” such as memorable supporting characters. Kristoff is a sweet, well-meaning hero, not to mention that he looks like real men do; there is something beautifully human to him and all the characters. And Gad finds the right balance of outrageousness and sweetness as Olaf, and had every member of the audience young and old doubled over in laughter.

The feature is preceded by the innovative animated short “Get a Horse!” starring Mickey Mouse voiced by Walt Disney himself. Honestly, the short film alone would have been worth the price of admission, make sure to get to the theatre in time for the previews, this short is not to be missed.

The movie’s flaw? The fact that it ends. As a girl who grew up on Disney, and who basically lives and breathes all things Disney, it was pure joy to see the magic that ‘Little Mermaid’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ had had recaptured again but in a modern way. When the credits were rolling, I wanted one more song, one more gorgeous animated scene, one more shocking twist. Despite having seen it 2 times already, I will be most defiantly returning for a third and who knows how many times after that. ‘Frozen’ is a beautiful reminder of what “Disney magic” once meant.

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Author: amynidds

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