I’ve already teased you with the fact that my family and I saw Disney’s latest animated hit Frozen back in October. By now, hopefully, you’ve had a chance to digest from Thanksgiving and catch the movie yourself in theaters.
Or maybe you’re still stuffing your face with turkey leftovers and seeing Frozen for a second time. Or a third…
Whatever your status, I’m taking this opportunity to share my review of this truly unique Disney film.
My super short review: I loved it. Totally loved it. So did my wife and kids.
My short review: As the credits rolled and the lights came on, I looked at my wife and saw tears streaming down her cheeks. She thought that was the most beautiful ending she’d ever seen. The next day while out shopping, she texted me to say she just thought about the ending again and started crying right there. That’s powerful writing/animating if you ask me.
My detailed review: Okay, so if you haven’t guessed by now, I completely loved this film. I honestly expected to find it just “okay” when we first went to see it. The previews were cute but didn’t really explain the story much. There’s a reindeer and some funny talking snowman. Great.
Forget the previews. They do nothing more than show off the gorgeous animation. Olaf, the talking snowman I previously thought I’d despise, turns out to be the heart of this movie. Pure, unadulterated love. That’s what this little guy is. Rolled up in one hilariously adorable pile of snow.
What really struck me about this movie is that it truly is different than any other Disney movie to come before it. I can’t give too much away, except to say that the story and the characters are rich, deep and will completely captivate you.
The story, as explained on the official Frozen website:
Walt Disney Animation Studios, the studio behind “Tangled” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” presents “ Frozen,” a stunning big-screen comedy adventure. Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey-teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven-to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.
The film is directed by Chris Buck (“Tarzan,” “Surf’s Up”) and Jennifer Lee (screenwriter, “Wreck-It Ralph”), who also wrote the screenplay. It is produced by Peter Del Vecho (“Winnie the Pooh,” “The Princess and the Frog”). Featuring original songs from Tony® winner Robert Lopez (“The Book of Mormon,” “Avenue Q”) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (“In Transit,” “Winnie the Pooh”), and an original score by Christophe Beck (“The Muppets,” Oscar®-winning short “Paperman”), “Frozen” hits theaters in 3D on Nov. 27, 2013.
The main character Anna may be the newest Disney Princess (along with her sister Elsa), but she’s anything but refined. Anna’s more tomboy than debutante and she’s as clumsy as Chevy Chase in… well, pick your movie. That doesn’t mean she isn’t hilarious, adorable, lovable and a downright regular girl. She’s all of that and more. And Kristen Bell does a perfect job of capturing all of those emotions.
Elsa, as the protective older sister is amazingly voiced by Broadway star Idina Menzel, who’s song “Let it Go” is a definite show stopper. Seriously. There’s no stopping my wife from singing it. Allie’s had that tune on eternal replay for the past month or so.
There’s also Hans, the dashing young prince, and Kristoff, the rugged mountain man. These two are so much more than just typical cardboard cutout-type characters that generally fill fairy tales.
The animation is as good as any I’ve ever seen in a Disney film. I’m a sucker for details and just seeing the way Disney’s animators turn a snowflake into pure art is pretty darn amazing. Gorgeous colors throughout too, especially considering half the movie is buried in snow!
And then there’s the songs. From the very first ice-chopping tune to the grand finale, Disney really seems to have gone back to its roots. These aren’t your typical pop tunes to blast on Radio Disney and forget about, nor are they slow, boring yawnfests. To me, they remind me of the classic days of Disney’s resurgence into animation a few decades back. I’m talking soundtracks like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and even The Lion King.
Heck, the very first song in Frozen really had the same sort of feel to me as the opening tune in The Little Mermaid with all the crewman dancing and singing aboard the ship. It’s a great way to ease you into the feel of the movie as the initial story is set.
Putting it all together, I honestly think this is my favorite Disney movie since The Lion King. I loved a bunch after that, but if you just look at straight Disney animation (not the Pixar division), I have to rank this right up there with The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Yeah, it’s that good. Fantastic storyline, great music, gorgeous animation and a very likable and memorable cast. Oh, not to mention probably the coolest/nastiest Disney villain ever. Plus the best Disney ending I’ve ever seen.
We saw Frozen back in October, but the next chance I get, I’d love to go see it again. And if that’s not the best compliment you can give a film, well, then you better cool off.
Chill out with Frozen in theaters now!