Holiday 2013 Movie Review: Fall in love with Frozen

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Artwork by Jamie Fung.

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If you thought Frozen was just another animated Disney movie where the prince saves the helpless princess and they fall in love at first glance, then you’re in for delightful surprise.

The film is very loosely based off “The Snow Queen,” a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. It follows the journey of Anna (Kristen Bell, of Veronica Mars fame) and Elsa (Wicked and Glee star Idina Menzel), two sisters, the latter of whom has the power to create snow and ice. Elsa’s gift is exposed on the day of her coronation and, in the chaos, their kingdom, Arendelle, is frozen. When Elsa runs into hiding, Anna sets out to find her in an attempt to make it right. Along the way she meets Kristoff and Olaf, and together the three embark on a hilarious and heart-warming quest.

Frozen boasts production talent from Wreck-it Ralph (co-director and writer Jennifer Lee), Pixar legend John Lasseter and quite a long list of Broadway talent. In addition to Menzel, the movie features Jonathan Groff, Santino Fontana, and Josh Gad, all recognized for their performances on the Great White Way.

Frozen is a sharp, well-written film. Ridiculous situations, such as a troll family’s arrangement of a wedding, will have you laughing from start to finish. Frozen also exceeds expectations, keeping the audience on their toes at every turn and parodying typical rom-com tropes, like “love at first sight.”

While the musical numbers in Frozen are not masterpieces, they are well-performed and catchy. Proving that she is a triple threat, Kristen Bell is a wonderful surprise, holding her own in duets with Menzel. Menzel is in her element, conveying plenty of Elsa’s emotions through song.

The animation  is top-notch. The film captures winter perfectly, from the individual snowflakes to the bright white mountain peaks to images of a kingdom blanketed by snow. The attention to detail gives Frozen a realistic feel, drawing the viewer into this winter wonderland the animators have created. The character designs are extremely similar to those in Tangled, which was also produced by Disney Animation Studios. The 3D effects are nothing special, and can easily be skipped.

While not perfect, Frozen is on par or better than some of Pixar’s recent offerings. It’s one of the best animated films of the year and a must-see this holiday season. It will make you laugh till you can’t breathe and want to hug the person sitting next to you.

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