A&E / Reviews

Movie Review: Disney Studios’ Frozen heats hearts of adolescents, old alike

frozen_ver8_xlgAs the weather demands a steaming cup of hot chocolate, the whole family can stay warm with the musical Frozen, which has skated into theatres with a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. The flick draws emotions from the audience through hilarious characters, a cleverly comedic screenplay and relationships that pull heartstrings.

After the beautiful fall of snowflakes convinces the audience of how frigid Frozen’s world is, the story opens to a flashback of two young princesses, Elsa, played by Eva Bella, and Anna, portrayed by Livvy Stubenrauch. These two are obviously claimed to be the closest best friends in the entire kingdom of Arendelle through their constant need for each other’s company. At the time, Anna knows of Elsa’s ability to create ice and snow out of her hands. Anna is energetic and pure, always looking for a moment to play with Elsa, so she whispers to her sleeping sister, “Do you want to build a snowman?”

That very night, the fun stops and an accident tears the relationship between Elsa and Anna. This builds a wall between the sisters as they grow up and the years pass, Elsa hiding herself and her fears away in her room and Anna repeatedly going to the door, asking if Elsa wants to build a snowman.

This very question ends up becoming a powerful symbol of hope throughout the film, making the bond between the sisters all the more impactful for the viewers.

The film slowly arrives to the present day, letting the audience get to know the current Anna, played by Kristen Bell, and Elsa, portrayed by Idina Menzel. Their parents perished at sea, leaving Elsa with the title of Queen of Arendelle. Elsa bottles up her fears and allows them to boil inside her until she breaks out into the song “Let It Go,” causing an eternal winter in Arendelle.

Previous Disney movies are based on more familiar fairy tales, such as The Princess and The Frog. However, Frozen has a more confusing plot point, due to its less-heard of tale The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen. Although the story takes a little bit to process what is happening and when it is happening, the characters make the complexity interesting through their clever humor.

Anna takes it as her responsibility to try to find her sister and reverse the spell, starting the adventure with a mountain man named Kristoff, played by Jonathan Groff, his reindeer, Sven and a magical snowman named Olaf, portrayed by Josh Gad.

Screenwriter and director Jennifer Lee attributed to the witty and sometimes random lines Olaf would spit out throughout the movie, but Gad provided him with a voice that fit the character snuggly. The way Gad would delightfully cackle added a sense of likability to the naive Olaf, encouraging the audience to laugh out loud.

Sarcasm was mixed in with the character of Kristoff as Lee wrote one of Groff’s lines as, “Well, that happened,” while he and Anna almost fall off of a cliff. Not to mention Groff’s tone of voice added uniqueness to Frozen. This piece of comedy offers those who understand sarcasm something to enjoy.

Also, Bell’s natural dorkiness seeped into Anna, making her not only funny, but also charming. Anna’s personality allows teens in the audience to connect with her view of how strange a puzzle life is, searching for true love along with her.

In the end, the music of the film enhances the power of individualism. Elsa’s exclamation of “Let It Go,” Olaf’s hilarious melody of “In Summer” and Anna’s hopeful proclamation of finding love “For The First Time In Forever” touches the hearts of many with catchy, memorable lyrics.

Frozen is the animated musical the fans of Disney’s 2010 film Tangled have waited for. Although it is set in a land of castles and queens, the movie could not have been a more realistic representation of the strong bond that exists between siblings.

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