Skip to main content

Movie Review: Frozen (2013)

Walt Disney Animation Studios - Walt Disney Pictures
Runtime: 1 hour, 48 minutes
Rated: PG (for some action and mild rude humor)
Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Writers: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck, Hans Christian Andersen (story)
Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Alan Tudyk, Josh Gad, 
Santino Fontana, Jonathan Groff, Ciarán Hinds
Adventure | Animation | Comedy
Of two sisters in a royal Norwegian family, “Anna” (Kristen Bell, voice) has a nagging problem; “why has my sister been locked away from me for all these years? Things were so good as kids, but from there, no more good memories. Why?” But Anna isn’t the only one with a problem. Her elder sister “Elsa” (Idina Menzel, voice) has a problem that is much more serious; “how can I control my ice woman-like powers of frost and not destroy everything and everyone around me?”

After her parents die and leave Elsa the throne and an accident at her coronation reveals her powers, all the kingdom perceives her as a threat. Her angst throws the land into an eternal winter. Anna must find her and make things right to save everyone, but she’ll need help. The one who has her heart, “Prince Hans” (Santino Fontana, voice) will not be enough. She’ll need the help of a gruff ice salesman (Jonathan Groff, voice) with his trusty sled and moose, some happy trolls, and a snowman named “Olaf” with a wonderfully astute sense of perception (Josh Gad, voice). Now, she has a real shot at success.

Based very lightly on the 19th-century work The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, Frozen is like no other fantasy film you’ve seen (as you could no doubt tell just from reading the description) and certainly like nothing else from Disney. While a smattering of elements from favorite animated movies like Shrek, Tangled, and Snow White are delightfully brought to mind in the viewing, nothing is a rip-off of something else and everything brings in the innocent glee mixed with adventure as in a viewing of Robin Hood or Cinderella growing up.

The time flies right by as this clever adaptation makes its own mark on a genre of often simplistic and silly movies for an ADHD generation where substance is usually found wanting. Not here. This perfectly paced and always engaging film sports some well-spread-out musical numbers that are as expertly put together and energizing as the writing overall.

The original script, which went through many re-writes before being picked up by Disney, takes its own stab at old-time storybook credulity (the way we knew it) while giving into the same soft spots traditionally made to appeal to the young and innocent. What will perhaps be the most to take in will be the perplexing and unusual plot structure that will bend and twist in its frequent tendency toward misdirection. For this reason, audiences may find it an adjustment with older members being drawn in and extremely young members finding it too intense or confusing at scenes of peril. But not to worry—the enchantment is right where it needs to be, cushioning the experience for all.

As is the case with great movies, its characters are as varied in complexity as you could expect and beyond what you would be prepared for in anything animated; in particular, I’m thinking of Josh Gad’s Olaf (seriously, one of the most adorable characters ever and unlike any other) and Alan Tudyk’s “Duke” as outstanding examples—yet another way in which viewers will find the details approaching over-stimulation and the curiosity birthed by the story’s ongoing tendency to surprise us as a good thing. Frozen misses nothing—neither the wit, nor the maturity, nor yet the magic. Hands down, it’s one of the best films of the year.

Popular posts from this blog

When Jesus Turns Down the Glory: 10 Worst Ever Christian Songs

It’s a sad testimony when even the creator of a thing realizes that the product isn’t what it was intended to be. Well, actually it’s a good thing. It just doesn’t happen often enough. The Christian music industry is, shall we say, not up to par with where its admirers (and even creators and ardent well-wishers) would hope it would be. And when even the average believer realizes that their music is not market-cornering stuff, all should know that there is a problem.

Now not all Christian music sucks (you might even find a few rock songs from artists like Petra on Joe Holman’s ipod that he still sometimes listens to and enjoys), but what makes the stuff that does suck suck is that what sucks sucks for a number of different reasons. We begin the countdown going from best of the worst to absolute worst...

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part I of II)

It’s a subject that is rarely tackled in any form outside of random questions on a message board, but here we will devote a sensible examination of it. Who – what – is the most powerful being anywhere in every realm of sci-fi or fantasy ever dreamt up by a finite human being? I’ve been contemplating this subject since I was 8 years old. At 39, it hasn’t left my mind. That means several things; (1) I’m a fucking geek. (2) I’ve invested enough of my life pondering this for it to qualify as an obsession.

As with all “Most” anything lists, we are faced with several problems, one of them being limited source material. A couple of these only made one or two brief appearances somewhere and that is all we have to go by. But sometimes, those situations let our imaginations go into overdrive and give us even more creative fun. The mystery tends to add to the experience of contemplation.

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part II of II)

#1) The Douwds – From Star Trek The Next Generation

Claim to fame: This Douwd went from pacifist to mass murderer of 50 billion in a single moment of anger. He appears to hold the record for most murders in all of sci-fi.
Abilities: Just about unlimited.
Nature: True immortals.

Our winner, debatably edging out number #2, is a mysterious race of beings called the Douwds. We only get to meet one of their kind in a single episode (#51, season 3 - see the condensed version here) called “The Survivors.” It was one of the very best of any season. What little we know of this illusive race “of disguises and false surroundings” only adds to our fascination with them.

When the Enterprise gets an urgent distress call from a federation colony on Delta Rana IV about an attacking alien warship, they head over as fast as they can, but they are days away. By the time they arrive, it is too late. All are dead and the planet has been literally leveled…with the sole exception of one house and the small pa…