Disney has dealt with hardships as they continue to revamp their animation department. Hopefully, they’re starting another wave of magical stories with visuals that will captivate generations. Frozen successfully brings back the killer combination of fine storytelling, art and vision to make it their best animated feature of the past decade.
- Directors: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck
- Writer: Jennifer Lee
- Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Santino Fontana, Josh Gad, Alan Tudyk
- Original Music by: Christophe Beck
Anna (Bell) and Elsa (Menzel) are sisters, whose relationship becomes strained by the ice powers that Elsa must keep secret. After a nasty argument with Anna, Elsa reveals her dangerous gift and flees the kingdom, encasing it in an indefinite winter. Now it’s up to Anna and her new companion Kristoff (Groff) to save the kingdom and her sister before it’s too late.
- The Songs: Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez had their fair share of success on Broadway, but they’re about to attract a new batch of fans with Frozen. “Let It Go” is clearly the biggest stand-out track, not only because of Menzel’s fantastic voice but the music and lyrics. We wouldn’t be surprised if it won Disney Best Original Song at the 2014Oscars. There’s also “Do You Want To Build A Snowman,” which will have you holding back tears in the first 15 minutes of the film. Other songs like “In Summer” kept us cracking up, because we all know what happens to snowmen when winter ends. Poor Olaf (Gad) has no idea what he’s looking forward to.
- Disney Princess Musical: It’s been a while since we last saw an animated movie that’s nearly a full-blown musical. The songs each have their own meaning and propel the story forward. At times, they have our characters going through big emotional changes while in the middle of a song. A prime example of this is the reprise of “For The First Time In Forever” when Anna is pleading with Elsa to come back home. Unfortunately, not everyone in the world is tolerant of musicals, so this may divide the audience.
- The Winter Environment: The attention to detail in the animation is evident. While Frozen has a similar aesthetic feel to Tangled, minus the color palette, the CG ice work is something studios should take notes on. The animation department did a wonderful job creating this icy landscape, but the film’s overall design isn’t without its flaws.
- Vision: The Hans Christian Andersen story of the Snow Queen was a monstrous story to bring to life. Walt Disney wanted to adapt the story right before he passed away. The combined efforts of co-directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee paid off, because they gave us a cool story from start to finish.
- Voice Cast: It’s refreshing to see a cast that isn’t riddled with A-list actors. Buck and Lee took the time to find worthwhile voice actors who added dimension to the characters. Bell brings the light, cheerful Disney princess-like voice, while giving us an equal dose of relatable emotion. She makes Anna more than just another bright-eyed character. Then there’s Menzel’s interpretation of Elsa. She has the fire, but still shows that she’s vulnerable. Everyone works, especially the surprising but funny performance of Alan Tudyk as the Evil Duke.
- Back Off Princes: One of our favorite things about Frozen is the main story which centers around two sisters. Anna may be swept under love-at-first-bite, but her main objective is to find her sister, and restore the weather of the kingdom. It’s a film about sisterly love, acceptance and not running away from your troubles.
- 3D: The movie begins with a bunch of harvesters cutting through thick ice. The first shot makes the 3D pop, but when Elsa’s powers aren’t blasting at the screen the effect is muted. There’s nothing wrong with the 3D, but it has a tendency of fading out every once in a while.
- Faces: Is it just us or do the characters faces look very un-Disney? They have hard, almost comically big features that make them look like they’re from the Ice Age films. It made us feel as if we were watching something else for a second. To make matters worse, it made the main characters feel like they were an entirely different human race compared to the rest of the kingdom’s.
Frozen could be the start of a new wave at Disney, by bringing the kind of story that made us fall in love with their films years ago.
The Rating: 9/10
Frozen opens in theaters everywhere on November 27th, presented in 3D.
Will you be seeing Frozen this weekend?