Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Alan Tudyk
Rating: PG (some action and mild rude humor)
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.
By Cole Schneider
Disney’s newest animated classic, Frozen, is a much warmer affair than the title suggests. The fairy tale (an extremely loose adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”) follows a princess and her male counterpart as they try to save their kingdom from an evil sorceress and in the end discover true love. Sounds like Snow White, right? Or Sleeping Beauty? Or, to an extent, all of the classic Disney Princess movies? In a way, this is the same.
What Frozen does, though, is subvert all of the supporting plot points, which have been the trademarks of Disney cinema. The result is a film that is more surprising, more inventive, and more true to the concept of romantic love than many of their previous efforts. Without ruining any of the specific twists and turns of the plot itself, some of the interesting twists it makes on Disney convention include a villainess that is less than evil, a good guy that is less than good, and a heroine that actually shows love rather than just expressing it. How she shows love and to whom also become part of the fun.
However, it’s the 5 minutes before Frozen even starts that may be the real treat. In a Pixar-esque turn, Disney opens with an original short that pays homage to the early Mickey shorts of the 20s and 30s and taking a cue from the 20s classic, “Sherlock Junior”, it’s a silly and creative laugh-riot that demands everyone gets to the theater on time for.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
By Matt Greene
John Lasseter, creative officer at Disney Animation Studios, has done wonders with Disney’s animation, returning it to its past glories with movies like Tangled and The Princess and the Frog. While these and Frozen aren’t going to win over any Disney-detractors, Lasseter and company have deftly combined the nostalgia of the classics with the sensibilities of today in their latest effort. Frozen is a sweet, fresh, and cool movie that is by far the best animated film of the year, and maybe one of the best period.
Based on Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen”, Frozen is full of memorable, endearing and complex characters. The relationships between these personalities, specifically between the sisters, are heartbreaking and winning. And in what is sure to be one of the most talked about characters in years, Olaf the snowman caused me to giggle incessantly whenever he was onscreen. He is a perfect addition to the Disney’s comic relief sidekicks.
Working on so many different levels (fantasy, humor, drama, action, adventure, romance), “Frozen” is an instant Disney classic. So while the film probably wraps up a bit too neatly too quickly and the morals are somewhat over-explained, all of this is easily overlooked thanks to the great characters, stunning animation (especially in the background characters and ice visuals) and a collection of songs that may be Disney’s best since “Pocahontas”. Funny, bright, and joyous, “Frozen” is a fantastic and imaginative addition to the Disney catalogue…and the studios best since “Aladdin”.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.