Frozen (2013). Film review of the Disney animated blockbuster

frozen film elsa anna
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Animation

star rating 3 out of 5 worth watching

Film review, by Jason Day, of Frozen, the Disney animated blockbuster about a Queen who accidentally freezes her kingdom, leaving her sister to save the day. Featuring the voices of Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel.

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Synopsis

Elsa and Anna are royal sisters who live in splendid contentment until the day Elsa – who is heir to the kingdom of Arendelle – develops magical powers that mean she can control and create ice and snow.

The two are separated to protect people from Elsa but Anna, still a child, thinks that she has done or said something to upset her sister and grows despondent.

As adults, Elsa inherits the throne but it quickly becomes apparent she is more powerful than as a child and she places herself in self-imposed isolation on a mountain, not realising she accidentally plunged Arendelle into a mini-Ice Age on the way.

It’s up to Anna to convince Elsa to return home, aided by a comical snowman, (Josh Gad), a mountain man and his plucky reindeer.

Review, by @Reelreviewer

A few minutes into this hugely popular Disney flick, I thought momentarily about the plight of child geniuses.

There was a story in the Daily Mail – I know, I know, but the ‘cleb gossip/right scrollbar of shame always pulls me in – about one such genius, Laurent Simons, who at the age of nine will become the youngest person to graduate from a university next month.

Lovely story you might think, but as always with DM articles, it’s the readers comments that prove more enlightening about the human condition than the article itself, with a collective clarion cry that Laurent is being ‘abused’ or neglected in someway and should have a ‘proper’ and ‘real’ childhood and not be ‘shut away behind classroom doors’.

I don’t necessarily agree with those people’s sentiments about Laurent, but I felt the same about poor Elsa, whose superhuman ability to freeze all before her seems symbolic of the incredible intellect of a child genius.

Elsa is quarantined in luxury and not allowed to see Anna. We are left to ponder at what other neglect she suffers from this isolation (when they are reunited, their is friendliness, but Elsa is fidgety, neurotic and seems to suffer from a form of arrested development).

For me this was the only interesting thing about Frozen, probably the most over-hyped movie Disney has ever made. As a whole, it simply doesn’t do justice to the love and worship it has created with international audiences (unaccountably, from my perspective).

I admit that I did the wrong thing with an animated movie. I saw it on my own without kids. Big mistake.

If I had sat down with my little niece and her family to see Frozen, with her twirling around in her Disney princess dress trilling the theme song, seeing her loving every note of that song, I would probably have enjoyed it more.

But she was not there and the songs were winsome and not particularly inspired or ‘special’. That theme song – the oft-played ‘Let It Go’ – is actually good, but if you see Frozen after having already heard it a hundred times, hearing it again and the rest of the dull soundtrack will make you want to quit life and move to Guantanamo Bay.

And there is a LOT of soundtrack in Frozen, so thank heavens that the singing is of a superb quality all round and Gad provides lots of charm as Olaf the snowman.

Also superb is the animation – frostily stunning – but Disney can do that with their technicians thousands of hands tied behind their backs.

The story, like many modern Disney pictures, places a female as the lead hero and Anna is a believable woman of action and intent. Her intended, Prince Han, is a stay at home boyfriend who keeps the home fires burning.

It’s just a shame that the narrative arc – one of traditional, homely, hetero love – introduces the big, burly Kristoff (Jonathon Groff) to support her. Yes, the sexes are shown working in cooperation toward a shared goal but we also see that a tiny, clever woman always needs the physicality and strength of – comparatively – stupid man.

Very routine and patronising to all but the kids will lap this up, giving parents a pleasant afternoon.

For more, see the official Disney website.

Cast & credits

Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee. 1hr 42mins/102mins. Walt Disney Animation/Walt Disney Pictures. (PG).

Producer: Peter Del Vecho.
Writer: Jennifer Lee.
Music: Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Christophe Beck, Robert Lopez.
Sets: David Womersley.

Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathon Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk, Ciaran Hinds, Chris Williams.

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