This movie is exactly what you would expect it to be. There is a scene stealing sidekick, a horse (or in this case, a reindeer) who acts like a dog for no reason, there’s love, there’s music, there’s some truly amazing animation. Frozen certainly didn’t reinvent the animated wheel, but it was cute. It was really cute.
When Elsa, born with the magical power to create snow and ice, accidentally injures her sister with her gift, her parents do what any rational people would do. They lock her up and teach her that her power is dangerous and to be hidden, turning her into a complete neurotic. Bravo. We have two new entrants for the crappy fairytale parent hall of fame. When this awesome plan inevitably backfires, Elsa runs away and her sister Anna chases after her. It got off to quite a slow start, but things picked up in due course.
For the first time ever, a Disney princess movie has two princesses. I like that the main relationship of the movie was between the sisters as opposed to a romantic relationship. As has been the norm in recent years, Disney seems to be making a concerted effort to make their female characters stronger and less dependent on their male counterparts. They did a really good job here. Like Rapunzel and Tiana before them, Anna’s and especially Elsa’s lives do not revolve around prince charmings.
Anna is voiced by
Along for the ride with Anna is Kristoff. Played by certified cutie Jonathan Groff (Glee), Kristoff seems to occasionally channel Flynn Rider. When his sled is destroyed, he’s upset because “he just paid it off.” He has a weird habit of talking to his reindeer, Sven, and pretending he’s talking back to him. He’s a loner and wary of other people (which is never explained). Rounding out the cast is Olaf, the magical, talking snowman (Josh Gad), who dominates every scene he’s in per Disney sidekick tradition.
The animation was beautiful, but the critics who pointed out the visual similarities between Frozen and Tangled were certainly not wrong. Not only do the characters have a similar feel, the scenery is such that Frozen could take place just north of the unnamed kingdom in Tangled. I’m not an animation connoisseur, so it didn’t bug me.
Arendelle, the kingdom the story is based in, is really reminiscent of the waiting area for the Matterhorn at Disneyland. I can’t help but wonder if Disney did this so they could insert characters from Frozen in the ride. I would really like them to stop doing this. Please.
Some stuff in the film might be a bit scary for very small kids. I know the wolves would’ve terrified me when I was little. Still, this one felt geared for a younger audience than Tangled. On the scary meter, I’d put in on par with Beauty and the Beast. It wasn’t as funny as Tangled, but I think it rates higher than The Princess and the Frog as far as laughs are concerned. It won’t have you rolling in the aisles, but it’ll put a smile on your face. Particularly Olaf. I really loved Olaf.
If you’re not a Disney fan and you don’t have kids, feel free to give this one a pass without feeling like you’re missing out on much. If you are a Disneyphile, this is a definite must see.
three and a half out of four snowflakes