FROZEN is one of those movies that became a mega hit seemingly from nowhere. No one expected this much acclaim. Everyone loves it, some even calling it the best Disney musical in years. The DVD just saw release and it's selling like McDonald's hotcakes on a Saturday morning. While working the register someone actually asked if we "had the Frozen DVD," at a supermarket. That's how much it's liked by people, that they're willing to overspend at a supermarket instead of taking the trip to Wal-Mart. Anyways, I was very intrigued going into this movie. I was expecting something like Tangled, which was pretty solid in its own right. FROZEN isn't a Disney revolution, but Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee deliver a solid adventure with some unique twists.
A lot of the story is a little different than what we're used to seeing from Disney. Elsa has powers, and that's to freeze things. Sadly she accidentally freezes her sister's mind at a very young age. So, the parents bring them to the trolls for healing. The trolls heal and then warp her memory, making her remember things differently so she wouldn't know about Elsa's powers anymore. What follows is Elsa shutting out her sister, to protect her. Eventually, with their parents dead, responsibility to the kingdom falls on Elsa, and there's a coronation to celebrate her becoming queen. Sadly, she's provoked into using her powers and accidentally freezes all of Arendelle, creating an eternal winter. She escapes into the woods, unknowing of what she did. Anna journeys into the woods for a very intriguing adventure to talk to her sister.
Elsa may me the most marketed character, but it's really Anna who's the star. Both of these girls are great in their own rights. Elsa is a strong willed character afraid of hurting her sister. So she runs off and builds and icy castle for herself, thinking she's a danger to everyone else. Anna too is strong willed, and isn't afraid of danger. The sister relationship is nicely established from the intro until the end. The next major character would be Kristoff. He's not bad. Hans was perhaps the most intriguing character. He appears early on as the man Anna has been dreaming of. The film in this regard is quite brilliant. While we may laugh at the idea of someone getting engaged to someone they met the same day, the writing is smart to make Hans seem ultra genuine to the point where it seems this isn't just generic love at first sight. Then there's the plot twist...
The film didn't really have a villain, until Hans emerged. It was quite the plot twist, no one can see it coming. The generic route would be that their kiss wouldn't have worked with Anna realizing then that Kristoff was actually her true love. Thankfully directors went this route. Olaf is the little comic relief guy always making the audience laugh. He was definitely a highlight, and cemented himself as one of the best Disney creations in recent years. And who can forget the giant snow monster Marshmallow? Thanks to him the film had some much-needed action sequences. There aren't really any other notable characters to speak of. There's the Duke of
The film's subtle scene early on of the parents dying on the ship was amazingly done. Unlike BRAVE, this film knows how to convey emotion on a grand and personal scale. One of the biggest things acclaimed is the soundtrack. This movie is part musical, so if you don't like those things, chances are the abrupt songs within scenes won't be to your liking. With that said, it's hard not to smile at a good majority of the songs. 'Let it Go' is definitely an award-winner. The film isn't that long, and doesn't feel long thanks to the solid pacing. There aren't any real major negatives to be mentioned. Some of Kristoff's lines were remarkably un-fuuny. (I'm still shuddering from his conversation to Elsa about noses...) And this could have really all been avoided if Elsa would have simply confided in Anna about why she wears the gloves. It's one of those plot things people don't understand but accept.
Overall, FROZEN was definitely solid. It's a far better movie than BRAVE ever hoped to be, and ranks with Tangled as one of Disney's modern best. Which is the better movie? It's tough, but I think I'm actually aiming more toward the latter. FROZEN does feature some more memorable characters than the former however. Elsa is a Queen, and actually the only really heroic one from Disney! Anna is much like Rapunzel from Tangled, adventurous, outgoing, and wanting to be in the outside world. It's hard not to smile whenever Olaf is on screen, and the film actually boasts a couple of impressive action sequences with Marshmallow. I don't think it's a perfect movie, but in the future it could be remembered as a Disney classic of the 21st century.