A friend asked if I’d go see Frozen with her, and I’m super glad I said Yes.
To be forthright with you, I haven’t been much of a Disney fan as of late. The last Disney film I saw in theaters was Enchanted, and the most recent Disney princess movie I saw was The Princess and the Frog. I had heard mostly good things about Frozen via the Interwebs and people were going ape-shit over Idina Menzel’s big song, “Let It Go.” Add in the facts that the film also co-starred Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad and I was all in.
The film is about some royal sisters, Elsa (Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell). Elsa was born with the ability to freeze things – something she told at an early age to hide/suppress because it would be hard to control if she would become afraid. Once close, Elsa and Anna grew apart because Elsa was basically put into solitary so she wouldn’t hurt herself or others. Anna was unaware of her sister’s power until it was too late. They fought and Elsa accidentally turns their kingdom (Arendelle) into a frozen entity during the summer. Elsa runs away and sings “Let It Go,” the greatest female power ballad (which reminds everyone of “Defying Gravity” – especially because both songs are belted by the same vocally flawless lady) and deems herself free. Unfortunately the people of the kingdom are not pleased about it being winter and whatnot, so Anna decides she’s going to find her sister and talk some sense into her. On her journey, she befriends Kristoff (Groff) and his reindeer, Sven. They later run into Olaf (Gad), a snowman from Elsa and Anna’s childhood that Elsa recreated during her power ballad. (Olaf was my favorite character in the whole film – he was super funny, very cute, and was a selfless and caring character… inherently good and loved Anna unconditionally… my theory is because he was created by Elsa and although Elsa and Anna had grown apart, Elsa still loved Anna unconditionally.) Anna, Kristoff and Olaf face several external obstacles on their quest to have Elsa reverse the winter. As it’s a Disney film, all ends well and with true love overcoming all.
Overall, I really enjoyed this film. I thought the soundtrack was great and I left the theater with a lot of songs stuck in my head (always a good sign from a musical). The “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” might be one of the saddest songs I’ve ever heard about best friends/siblings growing apart. “Let It Go” would be my go-to car song if I still had my car. (I’ve listened to it thrice in the last hour…). “In Summer” was HILARIOUS. Oh, little Olaf… singing about what he would do in the heat of the summer. The best part was Kristoff’s reaction and how he really wanted to tell Olaf the truth about what happens to snow in summer. (Later, Olaf does find out what happens when snow comes in contact with heat, and it breaks your heart when he says, “Some people are worth melting for.” AWWWWWWWWW) During the end credits, Demi Lovato sings a pop version of “Let It Go,” and I loved that too.
The music was very reminiscent of other work. The opening song that the ice guys were singing very much reminded me of “Fathoms Below” from The Little Mermaid or “The Virginia Company” (and to some extent “Steady as the Beating Drum”) from Pocahontas… songs that establish the tone while also revealing cultural aspects of the setting. As mentioned before “Let It Go” was very much a “Defying Gravity”-esque ballad. It’s a means for Elsa to express her fears, but also allows her to take control of them and declare her newfound freedom and individuality. (Elsa had a lot of Elphaba moments… A LOT of them.) “In Summer” reminded me of some of the songs from The Book of Mormon (which originally co-starred Gad… not hard to put two and two together). Olaf’s obvious naivety about what would happen to him if he tried to stick around during the warmer months was very much akin to Elder Cunningham’s “Baptize Me” or “Man Up.” His heart is completely in the right place, but his common sense is very much elsewhere.
I was a little (okay, a lot) sad that Jonathan Groff only had one song (and a less than stellar one at that). He was wonderful voicing Kristoff, but I wanted to hear him sing much more than he did.
Another thing that bothered me about the film was the plot twist with Hans. I won’t spoil that for you, but it very much came out of nowhere and he basically just has an epic monologue that’s like “Here’s what’s really going on with me even though there was no foreshadowing to come to this conclusion, but you’re all going to go along with what I say because my voice is dreamy and I said so.”
The last thing that I found a bit unpleasant was that it got a little “damsel in distress” near the end when the film had been setting the female characters up as independent and headstrong women. However, I was pleased with the turn the scene ended up taking and was glad that the focus of the film was more about Elsa and Anna’s relationship than anything else.
I have an older sister and I definitely called her while I was walking to my apartment and left her a voicemail that she should go see this movie. A sister/sister relationship is a sacred thing and it was nice to see a well-crafted (and visually STUNNING) Disney film about sisters instead of just another film about a princess finding a prince.
Frozen was very entertaining and I really enjoyed myself. If you’re looking for a funny, heartfelt movie about family and friendship, I highly recommend it.