22 Feb 2014


Frozen is the latest animated film from Disney. Based on the Danish fairy tale the Snow Queen, and with the same creative team that made Tangled,  I took my girls for some summer fun. We have had some really bad luck at the cinema recently, and sadly that trend continued. I had a small child kicking my seat, and my girl sat next to a child who had nauseating body odor. At least the dad behind me got his little girl to stop kicking my seat, sadly all my fiance could do was lean as fay away as possible.

But we were determined to have a fun family treat.

Frozen is the story of  Anna (Kristen Bell) and her older sister Elsa (Indina Menzel). Anna and Elsa are princesses of the kingdom of Arendelle. Elsa has the magical power to create snow and ice, and when she traps Arendelle in a permanent winter Anna is determined to save the kingdom and her sister.  To aid her in her quest she has the ice merchant Kristoff, his clever reindeer Sven, Prince Hans and Adolf the living snowman.  But Anna and her friends not only have to survive Elsa's rage, but they don't have long before the people of Arendelle succumb to the cold. 

Prince Hans and Anna
Like Tangled, Frozen  has an excellent story, full of drama and laughs. For me though  Frozen  had a an almost musical quality about it. Of course most Disney films are full of songs, but the music of Frozen  had a structured narrative feel about it, like a west end musical or Broadway.

Disney has really made an effort to bring something new with this film, but retaining what Disney is famous for. The animation was great, the picture was beautifully rendered and the voice acting was excellent. The artists captured a real northern feel with the characters and the setting, from the clothing to the architecture of the houses.

With the success of Tangled, Disney seems to be heading in a new direction story wise.  In the original story of the Snow Queen, the hero is Gerda, a young Danish girl who is determined to rescue her friend Kai from the wicked Snowqueen. Frozen's story is a complete departure from the Danish fairy tale, but it does keep the focus on the heroine Anna.  Despite being surrounded by handsome prince Hans and Brave Kristoff, it is Anna who is the driving force of the story. Her love for her sister drives her and us on to save the day.

Frozen avoided the trap of trying to create a strong female character by making all the male characters weak. Anna may not be not smartest, or the strongest, but she is the hero and she has the biggest heart. And like the best heroes she over comes adversity with bravery, determination, and a little help from her friends.

Lulu, my 12 year old step daughter to be, loved this film. She loved the music, the humor, the characters, but most of all Anna and her relationship with her sister. She felt that the relationship between the girls at the beginning of the film was great, and echoed her relationship with her little sister.   Frozen  is her favorite film of the year, and I think it is set to be one of Disney's classics.  It has been nominated for 2 Oscars for best animated feature and original song.  I would not be surprised if it picks up both.

8 cold Monkeys from me.

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