Movie Review | Frozen
Movie summary: When the newly-crowned Queen Elsa accidentally uses her power to turn things into ice to curse her home in infinite winter, her sister Anna teams up with a mountain man, his playful reindeer, and a snowman to change the weather condition. (IMDb)
While it may have a 'typical' Disney animated movie look, Frozen's story and characters - based loosely on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, The Snow Queen - are what elevates it above similar movies. Oh, yeah - the songs and music are pretty good too.
But the thing that I like most about is the fact that the central characters here are a pair of sisters and their love for each other - and not in a Lannister/Targaryen way either. That alone automatically raises Frozen above its competition pretty handily.
Yes, there may be other interests for Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell), but it's refreshing to see that the central love story in a major Disney release has nothing to do with romance. And again: there are two leads in this film who are both women and their stories aren't centred on romance - more movies like this please Hollywood.
I'm not saying this to try and score points, but more because I love movies, games, TV shows and all other forms of media giving us something new. Sure, there may be independent on foreign language movies that have a similar relationship at their core, but this is a pretty big thing for Disney and Hollywood.
Despite all of that, the movie wouldn't work if the characters and story aren't great, but fortunately both of these things are pretty damn good too. Seriously, before seeing this movie, I thought that Olaf - the little snowman voiced by Josh Gad - was going to be annoying, but he's actually a lot of fun.
And that's really where Frozen shines even more than it's fairly unique leading pair: every time it seems like things are about to become predictable, it pulls the rug from under your feet and usually gives you a genuine surprise or at least a laugh.
Honestly, there will be plenty of guys out there that take one look at Frozen and think that with it's leading ladies, musical numbers and animated snowman, Frozen isn't to be taken seriously. But it's genuinely a fantastic film that I enjoyed watching from start to finish.
I usually try and avoid talking about story in reviews - partly why I put those summaries at the top of each one - because I don't walk to spoil things and there's a lot that can be spoiled in Frozen. There's one moment involving Anna and Hans that is absolutely perfect and anyone who's seen the movie will know exactly what I'm talking about.
But I'm going to move on from the genuinely brilliant story and get back to the characters so I can praise them just as much! Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and Sven - his reindeer - are a great double act, Olaf is surprisingly entertaining and Anna is a character who most might dislike for her more selfish impulses early on in the movie, but love by the time the credits start.
Hans (Santino Fontana) is possibly the best male character in the film though, and when we see who he truly is, his behaviour up to that point takes on a whole new light. The best thing is that if you go back and watch it again, Frozen doesn't cheat - Hans is just that well-written and performed that you completely understand what Anna sees in him when they meet.
Then there's Elsa (Idina Menzel), who's become literally a global icon since this movie released. While it does help that Menzel can really sing, her vocal work is pretty flawless in the non-musical sections too. Again not wanting to spoil anything, Elsa goes through a lot in the course of this movie and Menzel's performance is a perfect fit every step of the way
Frozen is a really great film that surprised me a lot with just how good it was from start to finish. A lot of big live-action films could stand to learn a thing or two from this movie and I honestly can't wait to see what happens to these characters in the sequel. A modern Disney animated classic.