Film Review: Frozen


Yesterday, the day after Thanksgiving I took my youngest daughter, Jasmine, to see "Frozen" in the movie theater. This was actually her second viewing, also seeing it on Wednesday with her mom and older sister (poor dad was working from home).

Obviously Jasmine was a fan. Immediately after seeing it with me she asked "Can I see it again?"

So it's got the little one's endorsement. What about dad's?

I liked it a lot. I'm a fan of well-done animation and this is one of Disney's greatest, ranking up there with "The Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast" - indeed I'd view it as superior as many of the Pixar efforts.

The story is set in one of those fairy tale kingdoms in that nebulous pre-modern fairy tale period. It is a tale of two sisters, the eldest, Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell). They are princesses in the kingdom. They are very close but Elsa has a power - the ability to control temperature and generate snow and ice. When playing together Elsa accidentally hurts Anna with her powers. With the help of some nearby trolls Anna is healed but to protect her the trolls strip the memory of Elsa's magic from Anna. Their parents advise Elsa to hide her powers from everyone, including her sister. This adds distance to the sisters, with Anna constantly wanting time with Elsa she never receives. The palace is emptied out of nearly all servants, leaving Anna feeling even more alone. As the story progresses the parents are lost at sea and we move up to Anna's coronation when the palace is again full of people. Of course at this point the entire land becomes aware of Elsa's powers, which she can barely control, plunging the land into winter (in the middle of summer) and running off to be alone. Anna goes on to follow her to bring her home and end the winter.

Going beyond this enters into spoiler territory so from here I'm going to keep more to my impressions. The great strength of the movie is the relationship of the two sisters. There's romance and adventure subplots, but that is all secondary to the relationship between the sisters. Most of the focus is on Anna, who is desperate for love - wanting to meet a man after living in a near-empty castle and in near-complete isolation - but even more she wants the love of her sister, not knowing what she'd done to push them away. The music and singing is well done and Bell and Menzel deliver incredibly well.

As a fan of superheroes, I found myself thinking how much the movie also reminded me of a well-done tale of a character getting powers they can't quite control.

Overall, it's a superb movie and well worth seeing in the theaters. I am however being serenaded by music from the film constantly....


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