By Samimista 85 Comments
The story is very well told, and grabs you right from the beginning. Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) are the royal princesses of Arendelle, but on the day of Elsa's coronation as Queen, a dark secret is revealed to the world: that she can create snow and ice from thin air. As Elsa flees to the North Mountain to start a new life alone, she unknowingly unleashes a potentially harsh winter on the kingdom. Now Princess Anna, teaming up with mountain man Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), his trusty reindeer Sven, and living snowman Olaf (Josh Gad), must track the Snow Queen down if Arendelle is to be restored.
The plot's biggest strength is the chemistry between the two sisters and while. Sure Anna is pinning between two guys (the usual "Prince Charming" Hans and the ice-harvester Kristoff). The genius is that while the movie uses the same old message about true love that you seen a thousand times in everything else, it doesn't necessarily have to be of romantic nature. Its weak link is possibly Elsa's powers - there is precisely zero explanation given anywhere in the movie how she got these powers in the first place, she was simply born with them. Even if it's not a important plot point to the story, it feels strange given how ridiculously overpowered Elsa is (she can create life out of ice for crying out loud and if she can, by accident, set off an eternal winter to her own country, imagine what she can do to the country of her enemies).
Without wishing it to spoil it, there is a twist near the end of the movie which I gotta say caught me completely off-guard and upon closer inspection, it was subtly foreshadowed from the earlier in the movie (which is how a good twist should have being done) instead of being pulled out of nowhere (which is how bad twists are usually done).
I cried so much from the beginning to end. Surprisingly, I enjoyed Frozen far much more than Tangled which I thought would be impossible. Ironically, the ending of Tangled mentioned Arendelle. In the movie, Rapunzel and Eugene are shown there for the honeymoon as an Easter egg.
Frozen is loosely based off of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen. There's even a prince named Hans in Frozen which could be a nod to the author. The central theme regarding the film is the power sisterly love which is quite surprising given Disney's cliché romance.
The kingdom of Arendelle is cursed into eternal winter by the Snow Queen, Elsa (Idina Menzel), who was born with cryokenesis. Unable to control her powers, Elsa decides to isolate herself from humanity to assure that nobody will get hurt. Her younger sister, Anna (Kristen Bell), sets out on a journey to break the curse alongside the mountaineer, Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), his reindeer Sven and the magical snowman, Olaf (Josh Gad).
While I don't find Anna a bad protagonist by any stretch, I felt like the movie would have being better if Elsa was the protagonist instead who is a far more compelling and tragic character than Anna, at top of being very beautiful and possessing cool powers (pun intended). She serves as the antagonist - "villain" is too much of a strong word, as she is hardly any evil - and even then that is pushing it for most of the movie, but the movie focus largely on Anna is trying to help her sister rather than Elsa's inner turmoil. It really is an testament to Idina Menzel's portrayal of that role that even the writers changed their mind when they were originally planning on making Elsa a full-blown villain, but thanks to her actress, she is a much more sympathetic figure which is much better in this case.
Other than sisters, the other characters are great too. Kristoff, the ice harvester that accompanies Anna in her quest is a very likable character, despite coming off as anti-social aloner which in other circumstances, would have wasted the entire movie trying to teach him to connect with people, he helps Anna regardless and isn't afraid to speak his mind about Anna's mistakes in the movie. The little snow golem Olaf, who I was dreading to be the "annoying comic relief" from the trailers turns out to be alright. His comedic timing is very good, I did laugh at some of his jokes and he never comes off as obnoxious. Well, he got some laughter from the audience in my theater, so I suppose he fulfilled his purpose. The said can't unfortunately be said of the trolls that show up half-way through the movie, that while they don't necessarily drag the movie down, they do feel out of place, especially during their musical number. Personally I prefer silent sidekicks any time over the ones that actually talk.
The main reason why I solely saw this movie was for Elsa who outshined Anna in my opinion. Both Elsa and Anna however, balance each other out. Elsa can be as fragile as a snowflake but, sharp as an icicle. I was a bit worried that Disney was going to make her one dimensional somehow though it seems they delivered. Anna is the youngest sister who's very naive. Though, she's the adventurous one. The two sisters balance each other out equally.
It seems many were hesitant on Olaf's character before Frozen's premiere. The character in my opinion provides comedy relief throughout this emotional journey. But even so, he doesn't speak that much. Besides Elsa, I really enjoyed Kristoff who provided logic and seemed to be the most realistic. Given that he's a hard worker from the middle class.
More often than not, ice and cold-based settings generated in computer animation are oft criticized as dull and lifeless in countless cartoons and video games. The artists should be commended in particular for making snow looking so damn realistic and life-like, instead of plastic. And those are just the environments bits, everything else looks breath-taking from Elsa's display of her ice powers and facial expressions from models.
It seems that Disney keeps improving with the CGI. Everything looks very realistic. Especially the scenery. Elsa's castle is absolutely enchanting. The art style is very adorable as well with the eyes and bouncy hair. It reminisces Tangled very much.
The music is hauntingly beautiful. Not just the songs sung by the characters, but the soundtrack behind it fits in, subtly heightening all of the drama and tension. Now the most powerful songs in the movie were Let It Go, the best one of piece as well as the scene of the movie (really that scene alone is worth the entire movie)and the reprise for First Time in Forever representing the hopelessness of Elsa's isolation not being enough to save Arendelle from her contrasting with Anna's hope that Elsa will be able to fix the problem and return to Arendelle really sells the scene.
All the songs from other characters don't come to the same level as Let It Go, and while they aren't bad themselves, some fall flat (the musical numbers from the comic relief characters in particular) just as "Love Is an Open Door" by Elsa and Prince Hans felt a tad forced. But, notoriously so, this is one the few Disney movies I've seen that I didn't miss a genuine villain song. You know the ones like "Be Prepared" or "Hellfire" where the villain establish his truly rotten nature - the film never needed one, which blows me away, since those are always my favorite type of songs in musicals. The voice acting is top notch as well, which should come to no surprise with Kristen Bell, I was really surprised how well she can sing so well.
Let It Go would be the highlight of the film. Demi Lovato did a cover however, I think Idina Menzel's (Elsa) version was far more superior with emotion. For The First Time In Forever is a very energetic upbeat song that speaks about freedom from the castle along with the powerful sisterly bond.
9/10 - While I would have preferred Elsa as the main heroine, whatever negative I may have it only comes off as a nitpick that doesn't detract at all from the amazing experience that was watching Frozen. I completely urge you to go watch this movie. It's really that good - a return to form for Disney, where everyone in the family will enjoy it . It has good humor, great characters, a very touching story, in the end, it's really about family than anything else... What the hell else you want?
10/10 - Overall, this is an absolutely fantastic movie that I'd recommend to anyone of all ages. Frozen shows that Disney still has the magic touch. Never did I expect to enjoy this more than Tangled. It has the perfect balance between humor and emotion.