FROZEN: THE REVIEW

The Snow Queen is a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. The tale was first published in 1845, and centers on the struggle between good and evil as experienced by a little boy and girl, Kai and Gerda. I love this tale and as a man in his 40s (damn early 40s I may add) never knew of this story until reviewing what looked a great film for the RUSSIAN RESURRECTION FILM FESTIVAL early this year. This film was titled THE SNOW QUEEN and I loved it – superb animation and a marvelous story. As I was reviewing that one I heard of Hollywood making one, how typical I thought, but the word on the interwebby thing is one of praise for this film, FROZEN. I was unable to attend as had a premiere and name dropping to attend to but Salty Kernel, CLAIRE SMITH, also a huge fan of animation, attended this one. Enjoy her review below. FROZEN is one of the big family films for this holiday season and is releasing on Xmas Day – 25th Dec and is rated PG running for 108mins.

 

Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Frozen, Frozen 2013, Animation, Disney, Claire Smith, Hans Christian Andersen, Jennifer Lee, Shane Morris, Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
FROZEN: THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

Elsa is born with a chilling curse that causes her to unwittingly freeze everything she touches.

Encouraged by her parents to “Conceal and not feel” Elsa flees the city of Arendelle. In doing so and without realising it, Elsa dooms the city to eternal winter and locks herself atop the North Mountain. Bubbly and outgoing younger sister Anna is determined to find her sister and return warmth to the city so she teams up with the scruffy mountain-man Kristoff and his reindeer Sven to try and convince Elsa that she doesn’t have to be The Snow Queen anymore.

It seems for this story that Disney has consciously moved away from the notion of “Some day my prince will come” and have instead embraced the themes of self-assurance, independence and confidence. Honestly, its a delight to see. Plot points in this film which would have previously been groan-worthy (“she can only be saved by true love’s kiss”) have been revitalised and presented anew.

 

Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Frozen, Frozen 2013, Animation, Disney, Claire Smith, Hans Christian Andersen, Jennifer Lee, Shane Morris, Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
FROZEN: THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

The film is mostly voiced by relative Hollywood lightweights (excluding the well-known Kristen Bell as Anna) – no huge names in here solely to draw the crowds, the actors seem very much chosen for their suitability to the character and vocal range, rather than potential box-office takings.

For example, Ice Queen Elsa is voiced by Idina Menzel (Enchanted, Rent) who was brought to fame by bringing Elpheba the wicked witch of the broadway musical Wicked to life (and won a Tony Award in doing so). So naturally, her voice is absolutely outstanding in her songs for this revitalised classic Disney musical.

Gregarious snow-man Olaf is voiced by Josh-Gad (Jobs, Love and Other Drugs) and younger sister Anna is played and voiced beautifully by Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Veronica Mars) but otherwise the film is voiced by relative unknowns. A bold move by Disney as there is no real fan-base to follow this film to the theatres. It’s paid off for them though, as there’s none of that feeling of “Oh, who IS that? I know that voice! Dammit!” and time can be better spent enjoying the light storyline and punny songs.

 

Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Frozen, Frozen 2013, Animation, Disney, Claire Smith, Hans Christian Andersen, Jennifer Lee, Shane Morris, Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
FROZEN: THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

It’s definitely a film for the fairer sex, little girls will go gaga over this story but it’s questionable if there’s much to the tale for the younger boys of the family. There’s a few magic trolls and a slobbering reindeer but its a bit of a girl-power story – even more so than the 2012 Disney/Pixar hit Brave.

Unfortunately there’s not a lot of Adult-jokes in Frozen. It’s defiantly a film for kids, sorry parents, you’ll be dragged along to this one and unless you’re the stoutest of animation fans you will find the story a little droll. However there are some really great morals in this tale – be yourself, its ok to feel feelings, you’re you and that’s all you have to be.

The songs as always are what makes a Disney musical magic and the opening score to this film is absolutely amazing. One of the strongest openings to a Disney musical since Elton John belted out The Circle of Life in 1994’s The Lion King. The rest of the songs are catchy and drive the story along, but its the opening that really astounded and amazed.

 

Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Frozen, Frozen 2013, Animation, Disney, Claire Smith, Hans Christian Andersen, Jennifer Lee, Shane Morris, Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
FROZEN: THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

Make sure to arrive on time, there is a seven minute short film before the feature, titled Get a Horse. It’s a classic Mickey Mouse cartoon, and Mickey is actually voiced by the big man Walt Disney himself. Sound archives were scoured to find recordings of Walt to be used to bust Mickey out of the classic 2D black and white cell animation and welcome him in to 3D projected imagery. It’s a delightful little short, so be sure not to miss it.

Frozen is released on Boxing Day and is a recommended break for families that want some time out from entertaining during the silly season and need some light entertainment to keep the kids happy for a while.

 

3 and a Half Pops