Movie Review: 'Frozen' (2013)

Frozen Elsa Anna Disney
Disney's smash-hit animation is a trek back to feminine fantasy with an adult-oriented twist that captures several metaphors in a powerfully playful way. “Frozen” is a rift off of Hans Christian Andersons’ classic “The Snow Queen,” where the only remaining strand resembling Anderson’s original story is the inclusion of magical trolls and of course, an ice-blasting royal.

As an adult, there is a nostalgic beauty that you cannot help gravitate towards in the whimsy of “Frozen.” The royal kingdom, princesses, roguish romantic interests, and, of course, the enchanted sidekick are all present and accounted for.

Therefore, all of the trademarks of Disney are present. “Frozen” does well to stay with what has always made those movies work. It also covers new ground by including two princesses instead of the typical one. All the while leaving out the dastardly cartoonish villain that usually comes in to wreak havoc.

The conflict explored in “Frozen” is a relatable tale that originates from the all too human struggle of embracing what you are, while reconciling the responsibilities of being a sibling.

You do not need to be a magical creature to get what this film is saying, and both young kids and adults can learn something from it. Despite the demo, it is aimed towards there are morals in the story that are still applicable throughout all of life’s stages.

Not since “In Her Shoes” has a movie so accurately portrayed the dynamic between sisters. It is a rare venture that actually celebrates the sibling bond and demonstrates the complicated relationship between a pair of equally strong characters.

There is the offbeat and awkward Anna (Kristen Bell), who is determined and devoted to her older sister. That is the broodingly tortured Elsa (Idina Menzel). She feels the pangs of “failing” as an older sister and struggles to forgive herself for a past mishap. Both of these characters are the strongest that Disney has ever created.

Typically the princesses are isolated, dependent on an outside force to save them because they are all alone in the world. Elsa and Anna have each other, and the significance of their bond is movingly accurate, and I say that through the lens of being a sister.

The romantic angle of the film is refreshingly approached with the dueling ideologies of love playing out in unexpected fashion. Whether the fabled connection of love-a- first-sight is superior to the stormy bond of strangers giving way to something more is questioned more than your average fairy tale. It is an excellent avenue to take in the soul-mate heavy rhetoric of Disney lore.

The only drawbacks to “Frozen” are that it takes a bit to get into, veering into more off-color humor than is typical with Disney movies especially, the princess franchise. The enchanted creatures (the trolls and snowman) are a tad burdensome. While Olaf is cute, his solo song is a bit much, though it is brief enough that it does not hurt the film’s overall flow.

Accompanying the clever writing is the high-level production values that encompass every aspect of the film, spanning from the graphics to the cast. The vocal performances are all dazzling. Kristen Bell conveys a spunky innocence to the role of Anna and turns in a particularly impressive turn in the musical arena.

Idina Menzel’s glorious rendition of the Oscar-winning original “Let It Go” is sensational. As is the song itself, which begins like an 80’s power ballad reminiscent of golden-era Pat Benatar. Menzel brings a tremendous heart to the vocals of Elsa, imbuing her with an intense ferocity before melting into a sisterly softness when it comes to Anna. Jonathan Groff (Kristoff) and Josh Gad (Olaf) both contribute notable vocal performances.

All of the music is memorable, and the animation is simply stunning as the ice gives way to mystical visuals that fantastically bring a winter wonderland to life. “Frozen” is similar to a snowflake, intricately woven together and remarkably unique. It is one of a kind, as it defies convention, elegantly fluttering towards its destination in a distinct form.

Rating: 8.2/10

[Featured Image by Disney]


  1. Am I the only one who finds the song "Frozen" strident?


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